USAC has a “new” ranking system that they are going to use to line up the National Cyclo-X Championships for all categories other than Elite, Collegiate and Junior 17-18. According to USAC, they are now using “an innovative algorithm” that compares you to everyone else. It also means all Master’s categories at Nationals will be line up according to this ranking.
You can go here and check out the press release by USAC about their revelation. From there you can click on a link and go to your USAC account and see your ranking in every discipline of the sport.
I don’t know enough about this to know if there is a chance it will be fair. I do know that you don’t get a very good ranking by racing small local races, or big races with badly ranked riders. You need to be competing at bigger races with lots of good, low ranked, riders to get a low score, which is what you’re striving for. For example, winning my age group at Nationals last year is worse for my ranking that getting 5th in a local Cat. 1 race in Kansas City.
I tried to see how they were going to award points for the UCI races I did last week in St. Louis and Madison, but for some strange reason, they assigned points to all of the races except the Elite races at those events. I emailed USAC and received the following out of office reply – I’ll be out of the office 9/13-9/18 at Collegiate Track Nationals in Indy. I’ll be in for a half day on Monday 9/19, then off again for MTB Gravity from 9/20-9/26 at Beech Mtn, NC. From there I go straight to Elite Track Nationals in Carson, CA from 9/26-10/2. From there I’m going on vacation from 10/2-10/6. I should be back in the office for a bit on 10/7. So, I’m holding my breathe on finding out the answer soon. I checked out some other UCI races from the East coast and they assigned points there, so I have no idea why they skipped last weeks Elite division points.
So, I guess we’ll all have to just wait and see if this works are perfect as we’re all hoping. I have no idea how they are going to treat Colorado and Oregon whose riders don’t “belong” to USAC. Also remember, if you want to line up good at Nationals and you’re not racing a UCI category, you should probably consider racing a regional event with better riders instead of racing your age category with not such highly ranked guys. Good luck.