In case you missed it, the U.S. cyclocross scene suffered a heavy blow last week after the UCI decided to strictly, yet selectively, enforce its rules regarding the creation and recognition of a cyclocross series. The effect of the international governing body’s decision was the banning of the Verge and NACT series from the 2011-2012 UCI calendar.
Until now, USA Cycling has not released any statement pertaining to these events from last week. This left many of us in the dark without much substantive information. Many of us learned of the events as they happened by following the contemporaneous tweets by Cycle-Smart and Verge Series boss, Adam Myerson. In addition to a visceral blow-by-blow of developments on the ground, Myerson’s Twitter feed is also a fascinating 24-hour microcosm of the stages of grief, give or take one or two. I’m pretty sure Denial, Anger and Depression are present, but I don’t believe Bargaining or Acceptance ever made it into the mix. I think it is safe to say we would all be a little let down if they had.
As a disclaimer, I will start the Myerson timeline with two tweets Adam sent when I asked him if it was okay to republish his contemporaneous thoughts. First:
- @CXHairs I wouldn’t count my tweets as always reliable, informed, official statements. This is where I think out loud and complain, too.
One of the reasons Myerson has a large Twitter following is because he’s not afraid to speak honestly without filters. However, in the end, he cares as much, and possibly more, than anyone about the sport and wants to maintain an amicable working relationship with all parties. The night of December 1st was a shock to many and we shouldn’t hold accountable anybody for their contemporaneous thoughts. Along those lines, I received one final tweet from Adam before publishing this post:
- @CXHairs I guess just remember that these are people I’m trying to work with, not against, despite everything.
With the disclaimers and warranties behind us, here is what went down December 1, 2010:
- So much UCI shit going down right now, you don’t even know. Whole new game in 2011-12, victims of our own success. Wednesday, December 01, 2010 12:00:13 PM
- @SimonBurney Looking forward to talking at Nationals, and maybe sooner. Feeling awfully betrayed by the UCI today. Wednesday, December 01, 2010 12:17:12 PM
- @boudreau_paul @meaux_marie The UCI is not only the shark, but the shark that eats its young. And the young are eating each other, too. Wednesday, December 01, 2010 12:51:16 PM
- @millershighlife 1. UCI says 8 races per series max. 2. Certain events are moving onto other events without notice or negotiation. Wednesday, December 01, 2010 3:37:02 PM
- Did the Verge Series just get banned by the UCI? Did USAC already know and not tell me until 30 seconds ago? I think that just happened… Wednesday, December 01, 2010 5:11:55 PM
- Verge Series is done. I’m done. Have a good night, everyone. Wednesday, December 01, 2010 5:23:58 PM
- And so here’s the story: RT @cyclingdirt: North American Cyclocross Series Face Uncertain Future: WTF?: http://bit.ly/iekkFI Wednesday, December 01, 2010 11:02:01 PM
- Phone call with the UCI scheduled for today. Sit tight before you burn the house down. Thursday, December 02, 2010 9:35:00 AM
- The Verge Series is dead. Long live the Verge Series. Thursday, December 02, 2010 12:48:58 PM via TweetDeck
- And where one series ends, perhaps there is space for something new. Thursday, December 02, 2010 12:55:07 PM
- @closethedoor @resultsboy Take a look at the front row for nats and tell me local UCI races don’t matter for points. Thursday, December 02, 2010 2:19:56 PM
- Verge Series conference call conclusion: New England UCI race organizers’ union is a 15 fingered fist for 2011. Thursday, December 02, 2010 9:02:13 PM
- While you were sleeping, my people were working: http://www.nepcx.com/ Friday, December 03, 2010 9:15:55 AM
- 2011 Verge Series Schedule: http://bit.ly/g8ZDUY Friday, December 03, 2010 9:49:38 AM
While this was playing out, Colt from Cycling Dirt interviewed Myerson on his views of what happened. Here is that video from www.cyclingdirt.org:
Soon after this took place, I asked USA Cycling if they would be releasing a statement on the UCI’s decision to strictly enforce its rules. This evening USAC released that statement. Here it is in its entirety:
Clarification of recent UCI Cyclo-cross mandates
There has been a lot of discussion recently about rules the UCI is enforcing regarding the creation and recognition of cyclo-cross series in the United States. The UCI rule that pertains to series (Article 1.2.026) has been in place for a number of years, however it was not being strictly enforced in the past. The UCI is now enforcing the regulation for series that include UCI calendar events, which means a series that does not include UCI calendar races is not affected and should see no change to their status in 2011.
Cyclo-cross series organizers were informed of the UCI’s decision shortly after USA Cycling was notified by the UCI the week of November 29. The UCI’s decision to penalize the existing 2010 series in the U.S. that did not apply for UCI series approval was made at the last UCI Cyclo-cross Commission meeting on Nov. 26 and 27.
According to UCI rules, events that were included in a 2010 series of all UCI events, but not with series approval by UCI, will be barred from submitting an event inscription the following season. However, the UCI Cyclo-cross Commission decided to allow the individual events to apply for UCI calendar inscription but they will not be allowed to form the same event series of which they were a part of in 2010.
The UCI Cyclo-cross Commission also introduced some date protection rules including one that bans Category 1 events from occurring on the same day (or weekend) as a UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup event without UCI approval.
If you have any additional comments or concerns, please feel free to contact Kelli Lusk, National Events Director, at email@example.com.
Specific UCI Rule Changes made during the last UCI Cyclo-cross Commission meeting:
The primary goal is to protect the UCI cyclo-cross World Cup. This will be enforced by making the following rules:
- No C1 on the same day as a World Cup
- No C1 the day before or the day after a World Cup (except with UCI approval)
In addition, no C2 on the same day as a C1 in the same country (Europe) or identified region in the U.S. But the C1 races in the U.S. should be the biggest events on the Calendar
Series must be approved by UCI according to Art. 1.2.026., in addition Series must not comprise of more than eight (8) rounds.
Series that violated the rules in the 2010-2011 season will be banned as a Series for the 2011-2012 season; according to the rules they should even be banned from next year’s calendar. They will exceptionally still be accepted on the 2011-2012 international calendar but as independent/stand-alone events and provided they met the UCI regulations during the 2010-2011 season. But they cannot have a general classification or a leader’s jersey linked to their events.