Search This Blog

Monday, December 9, 2013

usac's UCI Rule Enforcement

Mountain bike racers have long raced all kinds of event and always will.  The sense of adventure and need to compete and test their skills will draw them in many directions.  The American governing body of cycling, the one recognized by the Olympics and the UCI (world governing body), known as u-sac or USA Cycling has been riddled in controversy since its inception in the mid 90's.  They have made many enemies, but none so motivated as the  US  Cup guys.

During the 2013 season this rule came up and ShoAir-US Cup looked into fighting it, but decided it was not worth it.  Since then usac has been wooing them, the final results not fully public yet.

USAC asked the UCI to make it look like the UCI was making USAC to enforce this rule.  USAC asked the UCI to enforce this rule world-wide.  The UCI typically had let each governing body decide wether to enforce this rule or not.

USAC wants this rule so they can maintain a monopoly, possibly an illegal one given America's anti-trust laws.  A law that needs a challenger to test it in court.  No takers so far.

America's best mountain bike events are non-usac. Many racers and promoters literally hate usac.  Steve Johnson is "owner" of usac and has been observed to literally hate the sport of mountain biking.  A former road racer himself, he saw mtb gain popularity and take all the athletes and money away from his beloved pavement sport.  To gain control back NORBA, the original governing body for mtb, was tricked into merging with USCF (original road body) under the banner USA Cycling.  Control of the money left the sport of MTB and the 35,000 MTB licensees suddenly were paying for improvements to the road scene (14,000 members).  

MTB events went downhill as usac knowingly put much less effort into the quality of these events, but did everything for the road events.  Just recently, Mica Rice, was quoted in a article as calling the road racing their "marquee event".  If that was a slip, or if they just don't try to hide it anymore, it is clear that USAC is a road bike organization.  They just keep MTB around to satisfy the UCI and Olympic committee's regulations that a governing body must encompass all cycling disciplines.  It did not hurt that they had license and promoter fees coming in weekly from those 35,000 mtb racers. 
Now the mtb'ers have abandon usac, or gone to the road in their love-affair with Lance.  USAC MTB license numbers are way down, but USAC must keep it under their wing nonetheless.  Keep its head under water would be more accurate.  By maintaining the minimal requirements for the sport, or to rephrase, make it just good enough no one leaves, but bad enough that people are not in love with it, this tends to make the road scene more attractive.  Those talented mtb'ers, "should come to the road", as Steve Johnson told me in person.  I did give him a earful to no effect, but he confirmed everything I knew and suspected about USAC and their devious ways.

I could go on about the corruption at usac, but will stop here.

Will this rule be enforced in 2014?  That is to be seen.  My prediction when all this started was that they will enforce it of course.

The ShoAir/ US Cup, the largest promoter of big mtb events, left usac to host their events without the burden of usac, and this was very popular among the racing crowd, but the very few top pros that needed usac to gain access to UCI World Cup events pouted.  The US Cup has come to some agreement with Steve to join the dark side again, but unless power and control have been taken and given to a mtb advocate then little will change, and in the long run nothing will.

Time will tell.  There are few mtb'ers left who remember what the sport was before usac.  The new crowd can not see reality, wether they are a world cup pro or a weekend warrior matters not.

Many, many promoters are non-usac and have always been. This, in part, explains the low usac mtb license sales, as many refuse to buy a usac license, and have plenty of quality non-usac mtb events to attend.

Star Wars fans might recognize usac as being run by an evil Sith lord, but most mtb licensees are painfully ignorant that the very organization they are supporting is the very one causing hard to their sport.

If you agree you can refuse to purchase a usac license and tell your local promoter that you are choosing to support supporters of mtb rather than those that harm it.  The small local promoters are the ones driving support for usac and, thus, their preferences for the road.

Below is some more info on how the rule all started.

Just in case usac decides to remove this post here is what they said the UCI told them:

Clarification of UCI Rule 1.2.019 and related sanctions



To: USA Cycling Members
RE: UCI Rule 1.2.019

There has been a tremendous amount of discussion and misinformation recently in articles and forums regarding UCI rule 1.2.019, which prohibits all UCI licensed riders from competing in events that are not sanctioned by a national federation. USA Cycling received the following letter from the International Cycling Union (UCI) on March 26 to all national federations clarifying its expectations in the enforcement of rule 1.2.019.  It also explains what the few possible exceptions to its rule are.

The UCI confirmed that Rule 1.2.019 and the related sanctions in 1.2.020 and 1.2.021 must apply to every UCI-recognized national federation in the world. Therefore, as a member of the International Federation, USA Cycling will comply with the direction from the UCI.



To all National Federations

Sent by email only

Aigle, 26 March 2013
Ref: Presidency

 Re: forbidden races

Dear President,

It has recently come to our attention that some National Federations are experiencing difficulties in the interpretation and  application of  the rules relating  to "forbidden races",  namely  Articles 1.2.019,
1.2.020 and 1.2.021 of the UCI Regulations.

With this in mind, we would like to provide the following clarification which we hope you will find useful. Article 1.2.019 of the UCI Regulations states:

"No licence holder may participate in an event that has not been included on a national, continental or world calendar or that has not been recognised by a national federation, a continental confederation or the UCI.

A national federation may grant special exceptions for races or particular events run in its own country."

The objective of this regulation is to protect the hard work and resources you pour into the development of your events at national level. It allows for a federative structure,  something which is inherent in organised sport and which is essential to being a part of the Olympic movement.

Of course the regulation also allows the UCI, in line with its mission as an international federation, to guarantee uniform regulation.

Article 1.2.019 applies to all licence holders, without exception. It does not solely concern professional riders or just the members of UCI teams, contrary to certain statements in the press and on some blogs.

The second paragraph of Article 1.2.019 affords each national federation the facility to grant a special exception for specific races or events taking place in its territory.

Special races or events are understood to be cycle events which are not registered on the national calendar of the country's federation or on the UCI international calendar. This generally concerns events that are occasional and which do not recur, most often organised by persons or entities who do not belong to the world of organised sport. For example, an event may be organised by an association that does not have a link to the National Federation, such as a race specifically for members of the armed forces, fire fighters or students or perhaps as part of a national multisport event.

With the exception of these special cases, the National Federation is not permitted to grant an exemption to a cycle event which is held, deliberately or not, outside the federative movement. For example, in no case should an exception be granted to a cycling event that is organised by a person or entity who regularly organises cycling events.

CH 1860 Aigle Switzerland
Q)+41 24 468 58 11      fax +41 24 468 58 12

The objective of Article 1.2.019 is that exemptions should only be granted in exceptional cases.

Licence holders who participate in a "forbidden race" make themselves liable not only to sanctions  by their National Federation, as scheduled by Article 1.2.021 of the UCI regulations,  but also run the risk of not having sufficient insurance cover in the event of an accident.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please accept our kindest regards,

Pat McQuaid
CH 1860 Aigle Switzerland
Q)+41 24 468 58 11      fax +41 24 468 58 12

Clarification on affected riders: The letter from the UCI confirms no UCI licensed rider, in any discipline, may participate in an event not sanctioned by a national federation recognized by the UCI (USA Cycling is the sole national federation in the United States). Originally, this was described as only affecting those UCI-licensed riders on UCI teams. The UCI has subsequently clarified that the rule extends to ALLUCI-licensed riders, even those not associated with a UCI team. This rule only pertains to those riders holding an international/UCI license.

USA Cycling Working to Ease the Transition
USA Cycling understands the fact that this rule enforcement has a far-reaching impact on riders and race directors alike, particularly in the mountain bike discipline. To help manage the impact and assist riders and race directors with the transition, USA Cycling will work with non-sanctioned mountain bike events by providing the following for mountain bike events permitted with USA Cycling after April 1, 2013:
  • For any mountain bike event that occurred in 2012, but did not sanction with USA Cycling in 2012, USA Cycling will waive the permit fee (2013 only). USA Cycling will also subsidize $1 of the $3 dollar per rider insurance surcharge. The per-rider insurance surcharge for mountain bike events that occurred in 2012 but were not permitted in 2012 will be $2 per rider (2013 only).
What a USA Cycling Event Permit Provides for Race Promoters:
  • Low permit fees. A mountain bike race of less than 500 riders has a maximum permit fee of $100 a day. The only other fee USA Cycling collects is a per-rider insurance charge of $3 which covers one of the most robust insurance packages in cycling for the race director, the landowners, the sponsors, and excess accident medical coverage for participants. Comparable insurance coverage cost per rider is much more expensive.
  • Racing infrastructure for a safe and level playing field including anti-doping, rules and trained officials. As the only USOC and UCI recognized cycling organization in the U.S., riders in USA Cycling events can be subject to the groundbreaking USA Cycling RaceClean™ anti-doping program to create a level playing field.
  • Access to USA Cycling's online registration system that allows riders to register for events and sign electronic waivers on the USA Cycling website or by using the USA Cycling smartphone app.
  • $0.40 rebate to race directors for each registration when you use USA Cycling’s online registration system.
Why you Should Support USA Cycling Sanctioned Events:
  • USA Cycling spends more than $4 million per year supporting American athletes in development and international competition programs. Much of that money is generated from the racing activities of our more than 74,000 members racing more than 600,000 racing days each year in sanctioned events. Every time you race in a sanctioned event, a small amount of revenue is generated to support critical athlete programs.  Most importantly, virtually every dime USA Cycling generates as a result of your racing activities is reinvested in the sport.  However, when you compete in an unsanctioned event, nothing goes to support these important programs that help to maintain our international success and create the heroes and role models that are so important to the sport.
  • In 2012, USA Cycling spent more than $530,000 in support of mountain bike development programs, world championships and pre-Olympic camps to help riders achieve their dreams on the world's biggest stages.
  • Professionally-licensed riders are the direct beneficiaries of USA Cycling's significant investment in athlete support. As such, they have a vested interest to support the sanctioned events that fuel that support.
  • Insurance protection at sanctioned events is some of the best available and provides coverage not only for the race directors, but also for the volunteers and officials working the event, as well as the racers themselves. At unsanctioned events, there is no guarantee that the insurance provides adequate coverage to anyone other than the race owner. Most unsanctioned events will claim they have comparable overall insurance coverage for their event when compared to what USA Cycling’s insurance program provides, but our own research and analysis have shown that is just not the case.
  • Sanctioned events provide a safe and level playing field by a consistent standard  for athlete protection such as accident insurance, an enforceable code of conduct and USA Cycling's RaceClean™ anti-doping controls conducted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
  • Sanctioned events provide licensed participants with the opportunity to be part of the USA Cycling National Results and Ranking System that allows you to compare your results to everyone else in your age group by city, state, region or even nationally.
For complete information on fees, benefits and how to sanction an event with USA Cycling, click HERE

This Article Published April 5, 2013 For more information contact:

No comments:

Post a Comment