Okay, I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but the line up procedure at Louisville is just plan wrong. A lot of us were talking up at Jingle Cross about the estimated amount of participates at the Master’s Worlds in Louisville and the opinions differed a lot. Some said that they thought that there will be more Master riders in Louisville because they don’t want to go up to Madison and race in the snow. Others thought that more guys would show up in Madison because of the other categories and wanting to travel with, and watch friends race.
I’m sticking with my belief that there will be less participates in Louisville than were at last year’s Cross Nationals in Bend. I’m not sure if there are going to be as many as in Madison, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is if there are over 80 riders in a category. I looked at the list of participates of the race at Bikereg.com and they are about 30 guys signed up in each category. I don’t really see it getting up to 80 in most. And I really don’t care much about most, I care about mine and can’t imagine that happening. So it goes back to “the most fair way” according to the organizers and the UCI, which is random draw. And I state it again, how stupid is that? A race that does not take any ability level into consideration, then lining up the starters in a random order, and calling it the World Championships is nuts. I still have no comprehension why the organizers think that introducing a random element into the start will assure the race to be the most fair. Maybe they missed the memo that all you do is to buy a license to race. Virtually anyone and everyone that desires can to it.
I’m not sure if I saw a foreign rider on the list, they are kind of hard to recognize by name. (I’ll have to go back and look more closely.) But, for sure, the majority of riders, by miles, are going to be from the United States. It’s still a month and a half away, so I sure wish someone from the organizing group or USAC would realize that it is an insult to all participates of the event, ie master riders in general, to have such a lack of interest in the event that they could screw up something this important and then just leave it.
I am perplexed why someone in charge doesn’t address this problem. Either have every rider participate in a time trial or just line the American riders up by the USAC ranking points, which they are doing for the Nationals the week before. They could let the foreign riders have their random draws and the US guys would line up according to their US rankings. The USAC seems to think that is the fairest way to run their National Championships, but the World’s organizers and the UCI think not. Even though 95% of the riders there are going to be from the US. Seems like someone has to be mistaken here. But, no matter how much I complain, I realize that there is very little chance that anything is going to change here. It’s a shame because it would be so easy.
Now to the USAC rankings. I’ve been following the rankings somewhat and realized it would take the majority of the season for there to be enough points for the formula to work. And it might take all of this season until next season for it to finally stabilize. I’m not sure about using the rider’s three best races in a calender year for the points. To me that seems like too few. I’ve been noticing that if a large group of riders keep competing against themselves in a local area, they just keep driving their ranking score lower and lower, which is really ranking them better according to the USAC. So, 10 guys, any category, could get together and race only against themselves throughout the year, every weekend, over and over, and eventually be the lowest ranked riders in the country, if they just switched their places around each race. I doubt that would ever happen, but the system seems to be a little strange.
I received an email responding to some of my questions from the USAC and I was told that the computer re-tabulates the rankings every Monday night. So I waited until Tuesday morning to check mine out. Below is my rankings from cyclo-x this year. I don’t understand why they fail to use my lowest three scores to get to the ranking number. Maybe someone could email and tell me why that is. If I have math mistakes on my rankings, then I assume there are lots of other mistakes. This thing only has to be completely correct by the first week on January, so I hope someone is paying closer attention to the whole mess than me and is addressing the situation sooner rather than later.