USAC is Out of Touch on a Few Things

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I wrote a post a few months ago about the USAC and the UCI Rule 1.2.019. Under the rule, all riders are subject to suspension if they are found to have competed in a non-UCI-sanctioned event. The rule is completely ludicrous and shouldn’t apply to races in the United States.

The UCI and USAC postponed enforcement of the rule for one year, hoping, I think, that everyone would just forget about the whole thing and it would just slide into enforcement without a challenge. That isn’t going to happen. Today there was an article at Velonews saying that Scott Tedro, promoter of the US Cup mountain bike series announced that they are not sanctioning any of their events through USAC starting immediately.

That is sort of depressing because I heard a podcast late last fall with Scott and he said that he was optimistic that this would all be worked out. I guess it went south and that is the reason for the un-sanctioning of the races.

What the UCI and USAC need to realize that many rules that apply to European racing won’t really work here in the US or probably in many other places in the world. The US is huge in geography. And it has a huge number of people racing bicycles. More people racing bicycles in the US don’t have licenses than people that do. Maybe this is a power play to get everyone on the same page, but the problem is that it is going to back fire. For sure.

I don’t think that the US Cup MTB series is going to be the one exception here. Obviously, the whole state of Oregon will be off limits to any USAC licensed riders, such they have their own association and have no intention of getting involved any more than they are with USAC.

All the MTB races such as Chequemagon, which has 3000 riders are not USAC sanctioned. I very much doubt that USAC can come up with a big enough enticement to get them to join the “bicycle racing community”. I wonder how many out of the 3000 registered riders have USAC licenses. I’d bet less than 10%. If those 300 riders didn’t race, they could fill their slots in a minute with 300 unlicensed riders. It won’t hurt them a bit.

We, the United States, have more licensed riders than any other country in the world. I made that up, but I’m pretty sure it is true. I’m not sure what the UCI would do if USAC just chose not to enforce the rule. It’s not like they could make it so USAC isn’t the sanctioning body of the sport here in the US. Someone at USAC needs to tell the UCI that this rule isn’t going to work here. If they don’t, then there is going to be some crazy happenings early next season. I think there are quite a few riders willing to make a bold statement and challenge this rule. I know I would.

One big happy cycling family.

One big happy cycling family.

10 thoughts on “USAC is Out of Touch on a Few Things

  1. Tommasini53

    i’d propose to requirements to work as usac (aka usuc) particularly in the upper echelon:
    1) you race local races regularly;
    2) you promote a local race once a year. and no farming this task out to some sports intern at the usuc office — usac executives need to get their hands dirty at the local level because that is where their salary comes from.

  2. Sean YD

    It’s clear what the UCI would do if USA Cycling stopped following its rules because it threatened the following action last year when this issue came up: 1) prohibit participation in all world championship events in all disciplines; 2) prohibit participation in all Olympic cycling disciplines.

  3. Steve Tilford Post author

    Sean-Do you really think the UCI would prohibit the USAC from sending riders to the Worlds and Olympics for this rule? I very much doubt that. The US riders, last year, got the UCI to postpone the enforcement of the rule for 2013. I’m sure that the USAC has more leverage than the riders and could use some of that to help do a work around of the rule for our country.

  4. Nancy

    I don’t think it is as easy as it should or look to deal with UCI because of the structure of the organization. They do what they want whenever they want even if it is not in the best interest for the sport.

    Anyway, 99 % of the USAC-UCI members don’t give a shit with participation to the Olympics or to the World Championship or their past results indicated that they are not good enough to get to that level. I don’t care whatever the rule will be but it is sad for the best athletes that will be affected. I actually enjoyed doing the hillclimbs that are unsanctionned events.

  5. Sean YD

    Yes, I do. They have the power to do it. Ask Sean Petty. Rules are made to be followed – and they are enforced.

  6. Sean YD

    You hit it on the head, Nancy, when you wrote, “…but it is sad for the best athletes that will be affected.”

    The UCI knows what matters to USA Cycling. And Steve has written on his blog countless times that USA Cycling is all about development of top talent at the upper tier, not improving or encouraging participation at the local or regional levels.

  7. Touriste-Routier

    Another sad thing here is that USAC/UCI could sanction these events, but they probably don’t understand why the organizers made the decision to sanction elsewhere or go their own route. Like Steve said, they are out of touch.

    I really believe that Professional/Elite Level Cycling has very different needs from Amateur/Developmental cycling. The USCF sucked in many ways too, but at least when they were separate from USPRO (thank you UCI for forcing them to merge…), they had opportunity to focus on their separate roles (not that they did).

    Now that the Olympics are open to Pros, and Worlds are no longer competed separately by Pros & Amateurs, but are “Elite”, it makes it even more compelling to have separate federations, or at least separate rules/parameters.

  8. Mike Rodose

    Cycling needs a defined league structure. Amateur, Minor, Major.

    Teams must be identifiable and long-lasting. Manchester, Yankees, Patriots, Canadiens, etc.

    Major League Riders need a Union.

    The public must be able to wager on the sport and drink freely at bike games.

    How to accomplish this? Hell if I know. Plenty of folks take salaries from Bicycle racing at all levels…ask them.

  9. Kathy Gilchrist

    The problem is not unique to USA. The rule has major implications here in the UK. In England there is a separate organisation which is responsible for running time trials. Enforcing the rule would mean that BC licensed riders would not be able to race in these time trials. It would be interesting to see how Brian Cookson would approach the situation should he take the mantle of UCI president.


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