USA Cycling Releases Updated Qualification Criteria For Cyclocross Worlds Team

USA Cycling has posted the athlete qualification criteria for the 2020 UCI Cyclocross World Championships, which take place the first weekend in February in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Instead of waiting until December, CXHAIRS is going to dive into this now, while everyone is still in “cross will soon be coming” mode. After last year’s dust up over the women’s U23 selection, I wanted to get the information out as soon as possible to make sure everyone is aware of the important dates, the changes in the criteria and the importance of early season racing for athletes aiming at a spot on a Worlds team.

When I first saw the new qualification criteria, I sent a list of questions to USA Cycling and a request to speak with Jesse Anthony, who started at USAC as cyclocross manager just before last December’s national championships in Louisville. Along with getting Anthony to help explain and clarify the qualification criteria, it was good to catch up on what he has planned for not only this season but the future for the cyclocross program. You can find links to the Cyclocross Radio episode with Anthony, below, or at www.wideanglepodium.com.

Before talking with Anthony I took some time to go through the new qualification criteria and compare it to the 2019 criteria. You can find the official document here: http://www.cxhairs.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2020-QUALIFICATION-CRITERIA-Cyclocross-World-Championships.pdf

[Update: USA Cycling has also released their own explainer document for the qualification criteria. It is available here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/craft-prod-assets/documents/2019-CROSS-DOC.pdf]

I’ve pulled out some key points from that document and discussed those in further detail below. The qualification criteria has undergone a bit of an overhaul, and I’ve tried my best to highlight the changes from 2019 to 2020 as well as to compare the differences between the criteria for men and women.

My biggest takeaways, are as follows: first, it’s good to see the Pan Am and US Champs are now auto-qualifiers, (assuming the Pan Am Champ is American), as opposed to criteria reserved for the last-chance qualification bucket. Also, podium bonuses are a nice incentive and the lowered service fee is great.

The part of the qualification criteria that I spent some time discussing with Anthony is the wider range of placements men can achieve to auto-qualify versus the women. This is not a new disparity, but I believe it is one that is going to be zeroed-in on following last year’s confusion surrounding the U23 women’s team.

And speaking of the U23 women and junior teams, the qualification criteria has been tweaked in a way that puts more emphasis on development and does not mirror the same criteria as the U23 and Junior men. Until the U23 women and junior fields are established, the criteria should be different. But that reasoning should not necessarily open the door to making the elite men and women qualification standards different. For me, those fields should stand on equal ground.Because I’ve included a large amount of information in this post, I edited out the U23 and junior portions and will reserve that discussion for another post. You can find the criteria here. I will note that one of the by-products of the late season discussion surrounding the U23 women’s selection in 2019 was that we learned some of the athletes who may have been considered for selection did not submit the necessary forms in time. To avoid that happening again, I started my breakdown with the important dates and how they have changed from last year.

After that I did a brief analysis of the automatic qualification criteria. With that information under your belt, the next section is the Q and A with USA Cycling followed by a link to the podcast episode with Anthony. The rest of the post is then a look at the discretionary and final selection criteria.

General Information and Dates

Key changes from 2019 to 2020: The service fee athletes who make the team under the final qualification criteria are required to pay to compete is reduced by $600. Discretionary athletes now funded by USAC and not responsible for service fee. USAC also reserves right to waive fee for final qualification selected athletes. Podium bonuses added for all athletes regardless of selection process. Ground-funded athletes who podium continue to have travel costs reimbursed. For the dates, Change from 2019 to 2020 is that deadline for submission of petitions is same date for all categories. In 2019, the date was significantly earlier for U23 and junior categories.

20192020
Service Fee$1600 for self-funded athletes. Self-funded athletes are ones who do not meet the Automatic Qualification criteria but are selected via discretionary or final selection. Self-funded are responsible for airfare.$1000 for ground-funded athletes. Ground-funded athletes qualify via final selection. Ground-funded are responsible for airfare.
Podium Compensation
If any Level 2 Self-Funded athlete achieves a top three (3) finish in the World Championships, USA Cycling will refund the Team Service Fee and pay the fair market value of an economy class round trip airfare ticket to the event (excluding excess baggage costs) to such Level 2 Self-Funded athlete. 

Podium bonuses for U23 and Elite categories at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships are
as follows, payable directly to the athlete by USA Cycling:
First place: $5,000
Second place: $3,000
Third place: $1,000
If any ground-funded athlete finishes in the top three (3) in their category at the 2020 UCI World
Cyclocross Championships, USA Cycling will refund the Team Service Fee and their reasonable
travel expenses to the event.
DeadlinesDates omitted to avoid confusion
Elite Men and Elite Women
• Deadline for submission of petitions: January 6th, 2020
• Confirmation of intent to participate of Automatic Nominations: January 7th, 2020
• Nomination of Discretionary Selections: January 8th, 2020
• Confirmation of intent to participate of Discretionary Selections: January 9th, 2020
• Nomination of Final Qualifications: January 20th, 2020
• Confirmation of intent to participate of Final Qualifications: January 21st, 2020
• Final announcement of the Team: January 22nd, 2019
U23 Men, U23 Women, Junior Men and Junior Women
• Deadline for submission of petitions: January 6th, 2020
• Confirmation of intent to participate of Automatic Nominations: January 7th, 2020
• Nomination of Discretionary Selections and Final Qualifications: January 8th, 2020
• Confirmation of intent to participate of Discretionary Selections and Final Qualifications:
January 9th, 2020
• Final announcement of the Team: January 10th, 2020

Automatic Qualification For Elite Men

The automatic qualification criteria is the top level benchmarks for making the team. If an athlete meets the criteria below, the athlete is on the team and fully funded.

Significant changes from 2019:

  1. The Pan Am Champion, if from the US is automatically qualified for the Worlds team. In 2019 this was a “final selection” criteria. This change applies to all categories, not just men’s elite.
  2. Automatic selection for top 3 in the prior year’s World Championship no longer has additional requirement that athlete continue to perform at world championship level throughout current season. This change is for all categories, not just men’s elite.
  3. Auto-qualifer for U.S. World Cups increased from top 5 to top 10.
  4. Auto-qualifier for European World Cups increased from top 10 to top 15.
  5. Auto-qualifier for DVV and Superprestige races increased from top 3 to top 10.
  6. Cyclocross Nationals champion added to auto-qualifier list. This was a “final selection” criteria in 2019. Final selection is the lowest rung of qualifier and does not include funding from USAC.
20192020
1. The Elite Pan American Cyclocross Champion, if American, will be named to the USA Cycling 2020 UCI Cyclocross World Championship Team. By UCI rule, this athlete will not count against the quota slots earned by USA Cycling from the UCI Nations Rank.
1. Any U.S. eligible athlete placing in the top three (3) at the prior year’s World Championships in the same event and category. In order to maintain their position on the Team, the eligible athlete(s) must continue to demonstrate the ability to finish in the top three (3) at the World Championships during the current racing season. This evaluation will be based on results from major international competition and current ranking on the appropriate UCI Individual Classification. If more than one rider meets this criterion, then the rider with the highest placing will be nominated. 2. Any athlete placing in the top three (3) at the prior year’s World Championships in the same event and category will be named to the Team.
2. Any USA eligible athlete who places in the top-five (5) at a UCI Elite Men’s World Cup event in the United States in September 2018. 3. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria, any athlete who places in the top ten (10) at a UCI Elite Men’s World Cup event in the United States in September 2019 will be named to the Team. If more athletes meet this criterion than there are spots available on the team, then athletes will be selected in order of their top results in either of these races. If two riders achieve the same result and only one spot is available, then the athlete with the best placing at the Waterloo World Cup will qualify.
3. Any U.S. eligible athlete placing in the top-ten (10) at a UCI Elite Men’s World Cup event in Europe from October-December 2018. 4. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria, any athlete placing in the top fifteen (15) at a UCI Elite Men’s World Cup event in Europe from between October 19th, 2019 and December 27th, 2019 will be named to the Team. If more athletes meet this criterion than there are spots available on the team, then athletes with a top fifteen (15) placing will qualify in order of the UCI World Cup classification as of January 6th, 2020
4. Any U.S. eligible athlete placing in the top-three (3) at a Telenet Superprestige Series or DVV Verzekeringen Trofee Elite Men’s UCI cyclo-cross event between the dates of October 7, 2018 and January 1, 2019.5. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria, any athlete placing in the top ten (10) at a Telenet Superprestige Series or DVV Verzekeringen Trofee Elite Men’s UCI Cyclocross event between the dates of October 12th, 2019 and January 6th, 2020 will be named to the Team. If more athletes meet this criterion than there are spots available on the team, then athletes will qualify in order of their placing at the 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship.
6. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria, the winner of the 2019 Elite Men’s National Cyclocross Championships will be named to the Team provided that race is held in its entirety and run under UCI regulations.

Automatic Qualification for Elite Women and Comparison to Elite Men:

Along with the auto-qualifying changes from 2019 to 2020 for elite women, I also included a comparison to the criteria used for the men so that the differences between the criteria can be more clearly seen.

Significant changes and comparisons: The changes listed in the men’s elite automatic qualification section, above, hold true for the women, too. The main differences are the change from only the winner of the U.S. World Cups, if American, auto-qualifying to the top 3 finishing spots being eligible. The same change was made for DVV and Superprestige events. A top 3 finish rather than only a win will auto qualify. For European World Cups, the range of eligible spots increased from top 3 to top 5.

The criteria for the women, although more inclusive, compared to last year, remains much more restrictive than the men’s automatic qualifications. Male athletes can place much lower at the same events and auto qualify for the Worlds team. Top 3 for women vs top 10 for men at US World Cups. Top 5 vs top 15 for European World Cups and top 3 vs top 10 for DVV and Superprestige events.

2019 Women2020 Women2020 Men
1. The Elite Pan American Cyclocross Champion, if American, will be named to the USA
Cycling 2020 UCI Cyclocross World Championship Team. By UCI rule, this athlete will
not count against the quota slots earned by USA Cycling from the UCI Nations Rank.
1. The Elite Pan American Cyclocross Champion, if American, will be named to the USA Cycling 2020 UCI Cyclocross World Championship Team. By UCI rule, this athlete will not count against the quota slots earned by USA Cycling from the UCI Nations Rank.
1. Any U.S. eligible athlete placing in the top three (3) at the prior year’s World Championships in the same event and category. In order to maintain their position on the Team, the eligible athlete(s) must continue to demonstrate the ability to finish in the top three (3) at the World Championships during the current racing season. This evaluation will be based on results from major international competition and current ranking on the appropriate UCI Individual Classification. If more than one rider meets this criterion, then the rider with the highest placing will be nominated. 2. Any athlete placing in the top three (3) at the prior year’s World Championships in the same event and category will be named to the Team. 2. Any athlete placing in the top three (3) at the prior year’s World Championships in the same event and category will be named to the Team.
2. Any U.S. eligible athlete who places first (1) at a UCI Elite Women’s World Cup event in the United States in September 2018. 3. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria, any athlete who finishes in the top three (3) at a UCI Elite Women’s World Cup event in the United States in September 2019 will be named to the Team. If more athletes meet this criterion than there are spots available on the team, then athletes will be selected in order of their top results in either of these races. If two riders achieve the same result and only one spot is available, then the athlete with the best placing at the Waterloo World Cup will qualify.3. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria, any athlete who places in the top ten (10) at a UCI Elite Men’s World Cup event in the United States in September 2019 will be named to the Team. If more athletes meet this criterion than there are spots available on the team, then athletes will be selected in order of their top results in either of these races. If two riders achieve the same result and only one spot is available, then the athlete with the best placing at the Waterloo World Cup will qualify.
3. Any USA eligible athlete who places in the top-three (3) at a UCI Elite Women’s World Cup event in Europe from October-December 2018. 4. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria, any athlete who places in the top five (5) at a UCI Elite Women’s World Cup event in Europe between October 19th, 2019 and December 27th, 2019 will be named to the Team. If more athletes meet this criterion than there are spots available on the team, then athletes will qualify in order of the UCI World Cup classification as of January 6th, 2020 4. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria, any athlete placing in the top fifteen (15) at a UCI Elite Men’s World Cup event in Europe from between October 19th, 2019 and December 27th, 2019 will be named to the Team. If more athletes meet this criterion than there are spots available on the team, then athletes with a top fifteen (15) placing will qualify in order of the UCI World Cup classification as of January 6th, 2020
4. Any U.S. eligible athlete who places first (1) at a Telenet Superprestige Series or DVV Verzekeringen Trofee Elite Women’s UCI cyclo-cross event between the dates of October 7, 2018 and January 1, 2019. 5. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria, any athlete who places in the top three (3) at a Telenet Superprestige Series or DVV Verzekeringen Trofee Elite Women’s UCI cyclocross event between the dates of October 12th, 2019 and January 6th, 2020 will be named to the Team. If more athletes meet this criterion than there are spots available on the team, then athletes will qualify in order of their placing at the 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship. 5. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria, any athlete placing in the top ten (10) at a Telenet Superprestige Series or DVV Verzekeringen Trofee Elite Men’s UCI Cyclocross event between the dates of October 12th, 2019 and January 6th, 2020 will be named to the Team. If more athletes meet this criterion than there are spots available on the team, then athletes will qualify in order of their placing at the 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship.
6. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria, the winner of the 2019 Elite Women’s National Cyclocross Championships will be named to the Team provided that race is held in its entirety and run under UCI regulations.6. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria, the winner of the 2019 Elite Men’s National Cyclocross Championships will be named to the Team provided that race is held in its entirety and run under UCI regulations.

Cyclocross Radio Ep. 149

Here is the full conversation with Jesse Anthony. If you are new to the Cyclocross Radio podcast and the Wide Angle Podium network, have a look around at www.wideanglepodium.com subscribe to the shows and consider becoming a member.

In my conversation with Anthony, I refer to these questions, which USAC’s “cross team” provided answers to. To give our conversation clarity I’m including the most relevant answers to those questions, below. After the Q and A section I go into more analysis of the actual criteria.

My request would be that even though I’ve provided the Q and A section below, you still listen to the conversation. It provides a better understanding of the decision making and also humanizes the process, which is something that sometimes doesn’t happen when discussing the cycling federation’s decisions and direction.

Along with Anthony on the call that makes up the Cyclocross Radio episode, Marc Gullickson was present. As the longtime MTB and cyclocross performance director for USAC, Gullickson was there to provide historical context and clarification if necessary. As it turns out it wasn’t, so Gullickson takes a back seat during the conversation.

Background Questions and Answers from USA Cycling:

As mentioned above, after reviewing the new criteria I reached out to USAC to get insight on the changes and the process. Along with the conversation I had with Anthony, USAC also provided written answers to my questions. During that conversation I refer to a few of these questions, so I wanted to provide context for those portions of that conversation.

What made the lower service fee possible?

USAC: The Service fee is determined by the estimated costs for the World Championships which depend on location. The lower fee this year is due to a less-expensive location and the additional financial support to the CX Program by the Mudfund.

What was reasoning behind offering podium compensation beyond travel reimbursement for ground-funded?

USAC: A podium is a podium, regardless of how an athlete qualified for the team. We want to inspire a higher level of performance in all of our athletes, and the podium incentive is one way we can do that.

What went into the decision to increase the range of finishing spots at World Cups and Belgian series races? i.e.,top 5 in 2019 to top 10 in 2020 for Men at US World Cups.

USAC: We adjusted the automatic qualification to try and match the level of competition with a challenging, yet attainable, standard that would indicate that an athlete is on track for a strong World Championships.

Why is there more restrictive criteria in finishing spots for elite women across the board? For example, top 3 vs top 10 for World Cups?

USAC: We set the qualifications in each category with consideration to several factors including the international racing environment and the current level of our top athletes in each category. Women and men are different, Juniors, U23’s and Elites are different. They all race in different size fields and the US athletes in each category are competitive on a different level. We apply equity by adjusting the qualifications accordingly which is the best way to encourage a high level of performance from our athletes. If you remember last year, the same bar was set for both U23 Men and U23 Women, but different numbers of athletes qualified in those two categories. We realized the fault there and adjusted this qualification criteria to create the most appropriate qualification process for each category.

For Final Qualification 7 the tie goes to higher ranked rider using UCI rankings. For Final Qualification 8 the tie goes to higher placing rider at cxnats. Why the completely different standard for breaking a tie for these two qualifications. One is based on season performance other on single race.

USAC: A correction here, the tie for Final Qualification 7 goes to the rider with the higher World Cup ranking, which is different than UCI ranking. The logic behind that is that if two riders achieved the same highest World Cup placing (example, they both achieved a 14th place) then the position would go to the rider who has been more consistent in the World Cups. Example, a rider who finished 15th five times and 14th once would get the position over a rider who finished 30th five times and 14th once. For Final Qualification 8, the DVV and Superprestige series are represent a different standard in international competition. They both operate with start contracts and run entirely in Europe throughout the season, which makes them less validating as indicators of international performance standards. With those factors taken into consideration, we set the tiebreaker for the national championships.

U.S. races, other than World Cups and CXNATS removed from determination for Elites. Only matter for U23s. There is no national series, fewer C1s, now, no Worlds consideration either. What is selling point for elites to race PRO CX with much fewer points on the line, no C1 prize money and it means nothing in bid to make the Worlds team?

USAC: This is up to each elite athlete along with their sponsors and coaches. Each athlete should be traveling to the races that provide the elements they’re looking for. If it’s prize money, course design, location, calendar flow etc. they will need to decide which events are most important for them. A national series in the US would significantly help athletes target specific races.

U23 women must finish among top 15 in US World Cup to qualify. Different for Euro World Cups where they are ranked against other U23 riders. Why different consideration for different World Cups? What is difference between Bern or Tabor and Waterloo or Iowa City?

USAC: Many of the European U23 and Junior Women athletes who race the European World Cups do not travel to the US World Cups, so it’s not feasible to use these races as a gauge for the development riders when compared against riders in their categories. However, their results among the elite riders in the US World Cups is a reasonable gauge of their level of performance.

Language in all categories reads “if positions remain” under selection criteria. Does this indicate that all available spots will be filled? Is there explicit language stating that all positions may not be filled so that athletes know it is a possibility? Or will full teams be sent for each category?

USAC: This is a good time to point out that we have purposely re-named the document and criteria with the label “qualification criteria” instead of “selection criteria”. We will explain this in a post on our website, but it enforces the fact that athletes qualify to the team by way of results/performances and are not selected to the team with the exception of discretionary selection positions. Even discretionary selection is a type of qualification where we have objective processes that are followed to identify riders who show medal capability or future medal capability according to performance trends. The “if position remains” note indicates that the criteria are prioritized, and even if an athlete meets one of the qualifications, they may not be nominated to the team because there are no spots available due to athletes qualifying and filling all available positions by higher prioritized criteria. This is not an indication that all spots will be filled, and there is no language stating how many spots will be filled because we are not filling the spots. The athletes are filling the spots. Again, with the exception of discretionary selections, we are not selecting anyone to the team, athletes qualify themselves by achieving the results stated in the criteria.

What was the determining factor for Cincy to be only non-champs race included with Pan Ams and CXNATS for U23 determination? Does this give advantage to Midwest/East Coast riders?

USAC: Given that we do not have a national series, we want to incorporate as many high-level events in the qualification process as possible. Cincy day 1 is the only UCI C1 race in the US in the later part of the season, and as such, this is one of the best opportunities for U23 riders in the US to compete against each other in head to head competition at a high level event. This may give an advantage to Midwest/East Coast riders, but there’s not really anything we can do about that right now. Unfortunately, travel is a big challenge for our athletes in this country, however, we are aware of this challenge and we are doing our best to limit the times they have to travel in order to participate in qualifying events for the World Championships.  

Who created new selection criteria? Who was consulted? Any rider input?

USAC: The Cyclocross Manager created the new qualification criteria in collaboration with the Cyclocross Performance Director, the Vice President of Elite Athletics and the USA Cycling Selection Committee. Several athletes as well as other members of the cyclocross community were also consulted.

Shouldn’t auto criteria 2 for jr women be deleted since there was no prior year world championship?

USAC: We included this criterion in the qualification document from the beginning of this category because if we added it at a later time it could appear as if we were adding it specifically for a certain athlete if such an athlete achieved the result for automatic qualification in the previous season.

Under discretionary selection, I’m not sure what this means: “demonstrating a trend of improving performance in International Competition that, when logically extended out two to three years, in consideration of the athlete’s development path, intersects the future World Championship standard for the event under consideration.” Subjectively, what does that entail?

USAC: It means the athlete has demonstrated progression at a rate that, if they continue to improve at a similar rate, they would soon achieve the performance level currently being demonstrated at the World Championships. This can be tracked objectively, but obviously no-one can predict the future. While we do try to take as much subjectivity out of the qualification process as possible, as previously mentioned, we also rely on our experienced coaching staff to detect talent development and project performance potential. Again, any discretionary selection is reviewed and approved or disapproved by the Selection Committee.

Qualification order as I read it is: First, automatic selection. If spots remain, discretionary picks come next. Finally, if spots remain after discretionary picks are made than final qualifications are used. In theory, all slots could be filled with auto and discretionary, or just all from discretionary, with final not used. Is that a correct read?

USAC: Yes this is correct. The criteria will be applied in order as it is written until either all spots have been filled or all the criteria has been applied and not all spots have been filled.

What was rationale for eliminating ranking floor for final selection? i.e., no more “must be top 50” or top 75 or top 150.

USAC: UCI points ranking is not an accurate indicator of World Championship performance potential. Including a UCI ranking in the World Championship qualifications encourages athletes to chase points, participate in races where other top riders are absent, significantly favors riders who live in certain areas, favors riders who have more financial resources available and does not encourage the highest performances at major events. These factors are all non-conducive to fielding the most competitive team at the World Championships.

Discretionary Selections

As is touched on in the questions above, and in my conversation with Anthony, the next level of qualification is the, excuse my technical term, mushy “discretionary selections.” This level of selections comes above the “Final Qualifications,” which include lower placements at World Cups, Pan Ams and CX Nationals.

Here’s the language describing Discretionary Selections: “If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria, then athletes may be nominated to the Team by the USA Cycling Cyclocross Manager and Cyclocross Performance Director and approved by the USA Cycling Selection Committee following the discretionary criteria described below. Any athlete seeking discretionary selection must complete the World Championship CX Discretionary Athlete Nomination Form on the USA Cycling website by January 6th, 2020.”

No real change from 2019 other than the criteria used, which we will get to momentarily, but for completists, here’s the old language: “If positions remain, then athletes may be selected by the USA Cycling Selection Committee following USA Cycling Principles of Athlete Selection. Any athlete seeking discretionary selection MUST complete the World Championship CX Discretionary Athlete Nomination Form on the USA Cycling website.”

The biggest change, here, is that the discretionary criteria is now self-contained in the selection qualification document and it is specifically tailored, to a point, to cyclocross. In prior years, a more general criteria was used that included mainly olympic disciplines and did not necessarily apply to cyclocross. It also gave the selection committee more leeway in choosing athletes. That criteria is available here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/craft-prod-assets/documents/USA-Cycling-Principals-of-Athelte-Selection.pdf

For 2020, the selection criteria is as follows:

USA Cycling may choose to fill quota slots through the discretionary selection criteria below in order to select athletes with medal capability, or future medal capability, for USA Cycling.


Discretionary Criteria


The USA Cycling National Team manager and / or Performance Director may recommend athletes, according to the criteria below, to the USA Cycling Selection Committee for selection to the Cyclocross World Championships Team through discretionary selection. The Selection Committee will review data on all petitioning athletes when considering the recommendations.


The USA Cycling Selection Committee will consider the following criteria:

A. Medal Capable Athlete– A medal capable athlete is one who has clearly demonstrated the ability to produce a medal winning result in the competition for which the athlete is being selected for by achieving one of the following criteria:
• Winning a medal (top 3 finish) within the last 24 months at the most recent World Championships and demonstrating the continuing ability to perform at that level or higher based on performances in International Competition in the last 12 months or
• Beating previous year’s Worlds medalists or current top UCI world ranked athletes in International Competition on courses similar to the event for which the athlete is being selected on multiple occasions in the past 12 months; or
• A top three finish on a course with similar profile and against similar competition to those expected for the event for which the athlete is being selected within the last 12 months.

B. Future Medal Capable Athletes– An athlete who is future medal capable is one who has the potential to produce a medal winning result within two to three years at a World Championship:

• Demonstrating a trend of improving performance in International Competition that, when logically extended out two to three years, in consideration of the athlete’s development path, intersects the future World Championship standard for the event under consideration; or
• Winning medals at Junior or U23 World Championships

Importance of International Competition

As used herein, “International Competition” includes any competition in which the field of athletes is sufficiently strong that performances in that competition are indicative of how an athlete can perform in the competition that the discretionary selection is for. International Competitions need not occur outside the United States, as “international” refers to the competitiveness of the field (i.e., includes many of the best riders from leading cycling nations around the world), not the location of the event.


Data to Support Discretionary Selections


Recommendations for discretionary nominations will be made by the USA Cycling National coaching staff. However, the USA Cycling Selection Committee will review data on all petitioning athletes and approve ALL athlete nominations using the discretionary criteria described below. In addition to performances in International Competition or competitions specified in the Athlete Selection Procedures, the Selection Committee may consider for discretionary selections, as appropriate to the discipline, the following:

• For all selections – Validatable and credible performance data such as times on courses (or portions of courses) of similar length or course profile and/or in similar environmental conditions to the event being selected for; or athlete power data;
• For choosing between two athletes in a selection category (medal capable or future medal capable) – Data may include any or all of the following in no specific order of priority. The inclusion and order of priority for any data set may be different from event to event as determined by the USA Cycling Coaching staff and USA Cycling Selection Committee.

  1. Race results in top international competitions;
  2. Race results in top national level competitions;
  3. Head to head competition results or performances between multiple athletes in consideration for a discretionary position;
  4. Technological data on athlete and/or event which is validatable and credible. By way of example this could include but is not limited to: times on similar courses or events, athlete power data, or event demand data.

The Importance of Discretionary Selection: This is where the bulk of the team could be selected if not all of the slots are filled by automatic selections. The final selection criteria may never be reached if the Cyclocross Manager and Cyclocross Performance Director nominate the remaining riders for existing slots and they are voted in by the selection committee.

Elite Athlete Final Qualifications

If slots remain after the auto-qualification and discretionary selection process has been completed, there is one more category, the final qualification bucket. The significant changes from last year, as noted above, are that the winner of cyclocross nationals and the winner of the Pan Am championship (assuming from the U.S.) are now automatic qualifiers rather than final resort qualifiers. The other significant change is that the “any other athletes in the top 50 or top 75” criteria has been deleted.

Similar to the auto-qualifier section above, there are differences in the range of placements that qualify for final selection between men and women (11th through 15th vs 16th to 20th).

The other notable change is that the domestic calendar has been completely removed from the criteria. The incentive to race domestically as part of a plan to better your chances for Worlds selection is next to zero with the elimination of head to head results in domestic U.S. UCI races.

2019 Women2019 Men2020 Women2020 Men
6. The top-three (3) ranked athletes on the UCI Individual Rankings as of January 15, 2019 provided those athletes are ranked in the top-fifty (50) overall. 6. The top-three (3) ranked athletes on the UCI Individual Rankings as of January 15, 2019 provided those athletes are ranked in the top-fifty (50) overall. 7. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria and discretionary selections, any athlete placing eleventh (11th) through fifteenth (15th) place at a UCI Elite Women’s World Cup event between the dates of October 19th, 2019 and January 20th, 2020 will be named to the Team. If more athletes meet this criterion, than there are places available on the team, the athletes with the highest placing in a World Cup will be nominated. If two or more athletes achieve the same World Cup finish result, the athletes with the highest World Cup ranking as of January 20th, 2020 will be nominated. 7. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria and discretionary selections, any athlete placing sixteenth (16th) to twentieth (20th) place at a UCI Elite Men’s World Cup event between the dates of October 19th, 2019 and January 20th, 2020 will be named to the Team. If more athletes meet this criterion than there are places available on the team, the athletes with the highest placing in a World Cup will be nominated. If two or more athletes achieve the same World Cup finish result, the athlete with the highest World Cup ranking as of January 20th, 2020 will be nominated.
The winner of the 2018 Elite Women’s Pan American Cyclo-cross Championships provided that race is held in its entirety and run under UCI regulations. 7. The winner of the 2018 Elite Men’s Pan American Cyclo-cross Championships provided that race is held in its entirety and run under UCI regulations. 8. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria and discretionary selections, any athlete who places fourth (4th) through tenth (10th) at a Telenet Superprestige Series or DVV Verzekeringen Trofee Elite Women’s UCI cyclocross event between the dates of October 12th, 2019 and January 6th, 2020 will be named to the Team. If two or more athletes achieve the same result and/or more athletes meet this criterion than there are spots available on the team, then athletes will qualify by order of their placing at the 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship.8. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria and discretionary selections, any athlete placing eleventh (11th) through fifteenth (15th) place at a Telenet Superprestige Series or DVV Verzekeringen Trofee Elite Men’s UCI Cyclocross event between the dates of October 12th, 2019 and January 6th, 2020 will be named to the Team. If more athletes meet this criterion than there are spots available on the team, then athletes will qualify in order of their placing at the 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship
8. The winner of the 2018/2019 Elite Women’s National Cyclo-cross Championships (race held December 16, 2018) provided that race is held in its entirety and run under UCI regulations. 8. The winner of the 2018/2019 Elite Men’s National Cyclo-cross Championships (race held December 16, 2018) provided that race is held in its entirety and run under UCI regulations. 9. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria and discretionary selections, the top two (2) American athletes at the 2019 Elite Women’s Pan American Cyclocross Championships will be named to the Team provided that race is held in its entirety and run under UCI regulations. If the winner of the race is American and qualifies by criteria number 1. above, then only the next best placed American will be named to the Team. 9. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria and discretionary selections, the top two (2) American athletes at the 2019 Elite Men’s Pan American Cyclocross Championships will be named to the Team provided that race is held in its entirety and run under UCI regulations. If the winner of the race is American and qualifies by criteria number 1. above, then only the next best placed American will be named to the Team.
9. Any U.S. eligible athlete placing in the top-ten (10) at a UCI Elite Women’s World Cup event between the dates of October 21, 2018 and December 26, 2018. If more athletes meet this criterion, than there are places available on the team, the athletes with the highest placing in a World Cup will be nominated. If two or more athletes achieve the same World Cup finish result, the athlete with the highest World Cup ranking as of December 27, 2018 will be nominated. 9. Any U.S. eligible athlete placing in the top-fifteen (15) at a UCI Elite Men’s World Cup event between the dates of October 21, 2018 and December 26, 2018. If more athletes meet this criterion than there are places available on the team, the athletes with the highest placing in a World Cup will be nominated. If two or more athletes achieve the same World Cup finish result, the athlete with the highest World Cup ranking as of December 27, 2018 will be nominated. 10. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria and discretionary selections, the second (2nd) placed athlete at the 2019 Elite Women’s National Cyclocross Championships will be named to the Team provided that race is held in its entirety and run under UCI regulations.10. If quota slots remain after considering the preceding criteria and discretionary selections, the second placed athlete at the 2019 Elite Men’s National Cyclocross Championships provided that race is held in its entirety and run under UCI regulations will be named to the Team.
10. The athlete with the most accumulated UCI Ranking Points from the following six UCI Category 1 events. If any of the following UCI events are downgraded from UCI C1 race status, that event will not be used as a selection race. If any race not on this list is upgraded to UCI C1 status, it will be added in this list.
• Rochester Cyclocross, Rochester, NY, September 8, 2018
• Reno Cross, Reno NV, September 19, 2018
• Jingle Cross I, Iowa City, IA September 30, 2018
• Charm City Cross, Baltimore, MD, October 6, 2018
• Cincinnati Cyclo-cross-Devou Park, Covington, KY, October 27, 2018
• Ruts N’ Guts Day 1, Broken Arrow, OK, December 8, 2018
10. The athlete with the most accumulated UCI Ranking Points from the following six (6) UCI Category 1 events. If any of the following UCI events are downgraded from UCI C1 race status, that event will not be used as a selection race. If any race not on this list is upgraded to UCI C1 status, it will be added in this list.
• Rochester Cyclocross, Rochester, NY, September 8, 2018
• Reno Cross, Reno NV, September 19, 2018
• Jingle Cross I, Iowa City, IA September 30, 2018
• Charm City Cross, Baltimore, MD, October 6, 2018
• Cincinnati Cyclo-cross-Devou Park, Covington, KY, October 27, 2018
• Ruts N’ Guts Day 1, Broken Arrow, OK, December 8, 2018
12. If positions remain, then athletes may be selected according to UCI ranking among athletes in the Top 50 Elite Women as of January 15, 2019.11. If positions remain, then athletes may be selected according to UCI ranking among athletes in the Top 75 Elite Men as of January 15, 2019.

As mentioned above, this analysis does not include the U23 or junior fields. you can find the complete qualification criteria document here: http://www.cxhairs.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2020-QUALIFICATION-CRITERIA-Cyclocross-World-Championships.pdf

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.