USA Cycling does not fully fund all athletes selected for the team representing the United States at the Cyclocross World Championship, which takes place January 28 and 29 in Bieles, Luxembourg. To attend Worlds, many of the athletes must raise money to pay the USAC service fee and travel costs. The total cost is somewhere between $4000 and $5000. And that amount may be more or less depending on an athlete’s needs and circumstances. For now, I’m not interested in discussing why USAC can’t (or won’t) fund all athletes making the trip to Worlds. I’m more interested in making sure those who represent the United States do so without paying out-of-pocket. Let’s save the indignation for another time and work on the task at hand.
Ultimately, I’d like to help create an entity similar to the American Cyclo-cross Foundation that was started in 2001 to ensure athletes received funding for trips to Worlds. ACF was a private foundation created to consolidate donations and distribute them equally. This is my main concern with the rise of rallyme and gofundme campaigns: it favors those who come from strong, large, supportive cyclocross communities, and leaves others without support. I’d rather see a system in which everyone who needs funds receives them equitably.
Creating an ACF-type entity is not going to happen overnight, and it’s not going to happen for this year. But I believe this is the time to get the conversation started so that by next year, we have an organization in place that can allow athletes to concentrate on being prepared to race Worlds without having to worry about the cost of getting there.
If you’re interested in how USAC funding works, here is the athlete nomination worksheet that outlines funding levels: s3.amazonaws.com/USACWeb/forms/2017_CX_WORLD_CHAMPIONSHIPS_USA_CYCLING_ATHLETE_NOMINATION_WORKSHEET_(V1)%20(3).pdf
As I say above, it’s too late for any consolidated fundraising effort this year. But at the very least, I wanted to consolidate the individual athlete fundraising efforts that are currently going on so that you have the opportunity to see who needs assistance and help as many as you can. This list will grow as more links become available, so please check back.
Thanks for supporting these awesome men and women:
[editor’s note: I will start updating the list to indicate when fundraising goals are met. That doesn’t mean you can’t give to those athletes, but maybe take a peek at the underfunded riders first.]
Rebecca Fahringer (Elite Women):
Jack Kisseberth (Elite Men): [FUNDING GOAL MET]
Ashley Zoerner (U23 Women):
Emma Swartz (U23 Women):
Spencer Petrov (U23 Men): [FUNDING GOAL MET]
Maxx Chance (U23 Men): [FUNDING GOAL MET]
Gage Hecht (U23 Men):
Caleb Swartz (Junior Men):
Denzel Stephenson (Junior Men): [FUNDING GOAL MET]
Calder Wood (Junior Men):
Ross Ellwood (Junior Men):
Feature photo: © 2017 Bruce Buckley Photography