Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Weekly Cycling News and Ramblings

It might only be Tuesday, but it seems like it's already been a busy week as far as cycling related news in the states. The first, is the Scott Tredo, who basically kept a national race series going in the US last year, has cut his ties to USA Cycling and all of the red-tape bullshit the UCI requires. This both sucks, and is great. It sucks because, at the end of 2008, it didnt look like there was going to be a national series. Then Tredo stepped up, put a series together, (which was focused on every rider, not just the pros), and saved the day. Without him, there may have not been a national series last year. It is great, because it shows USA Cycling, that the vast majority of the riders and racers they claim the represent dont give a flying fuck about UCI points, and just want the races to be affordable, have quality courses, and most importantly FUN.

USA Cycling wanted the PRO XT series last year to be UCI sanctioned, so that pro riders could get UCI points, which determines things like starting positions at World Cups, Olympics, and World Championships. In order to meet the requirements of the UCI, too much was being asked of the promoters (financially included), and this was getting passed onto racers. Essentially, with so few racers actually caring about or trying to earn UCI points, it seemed unfair to pass the cost onto them, so that an event would have UCI points available. Excuse me while I allow the blood to flow back to my head, a promotor of a major mountain bike series, seems to care more about the average joe racers, then the pros. Sure it sucks that our US pros might not be able to race here in the states and get those UCI points, but plenty of those are available in Europe. And with all due respect to the US pro racers, I dont think that going to Europe for an extended period of time to race mountain bikes is a bad way to spend a few months.

The other USA Cycling news is that one again, Sol Vista Resort in Granby will host Mountain Bike National Championships. Not to keep complaining, but it would be nice USA Cycling didn't host Nationals at the same venue for two years in a row. While Sol Vista did a good job of hosting the event, I don't think that the venue could be described as "stellar". I understand that there are a number of factors that need to be considered when selecting a venue for Nationals, but can't we spice it up a little. What about somewhere in the Southern Appalachains, the Pacific Northwest, or Pennsylvania? How about they choose a Nationals venue in the manner that the Tour chooses locations for a stage to start and finish. Get all ski resorts to apply saying why their venue would be the best choice, then visit the locations, cut the list down to five, then maybe let the racers who pay their annual fees vote for the venue of their choice. Bring the power back to the people!

For those of you who like raffles, bikes, and supporting charities, head on over to Fatty's page. The back story, last week Fatty wrote a snarky letter to Johan over at Radio Shack stating why he should be on the new team. Johan laid out a challenge to raise money, and it has kept getting more out of control. If you donate to the charities, you get entered to win a raffle with prizes that include, a Gary Fisher Superfly, signed Trek Madone, or a Trip to the final stage of the Tour de France. I'm not Lance's or Johan's biggest fan, but everything about this is "win-win". Money is getting raised for quality charities, Fatty (who is one of the kinder folks I've had the pleasure of riding with) gets to go to Tucson, and people can win some sweet prizes. Donate for your chance.

Finally, Oregon has become the US capitol of cross for the past ten days. Last weekend was the finally USGP races in Portland, and plenty of the MT crowd went and threw down. This weekend will be National Championships in Bend, and once again plenty of MT folks we be flying the Big Sky cap over there. Best of luck to the racers like Curry, Radley, Campbell, Doll, Fiore, Frykman, and others. I will make one prediction, and that is in the the mens junior race, Skylar Trujillo of Fort Collins, Co will end up on the podium. Kid's been invited to both the US Euro camps for CX and MTB, and even though he is 16 already has a win in Europe under his belt. Dude is crazy fast, so remember that name, cause you might be hearing it for some years to come. Follow it all at the home of the ram.

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