Just after some opinions from the wider racing/riding community here!
For some time now I've been thinking about how to make racing more competitive in the national/regional series......particularly for the women's categories.......what do people feel about a move towards the road style system?
We seem to have lots of categories with very small fields when quite a few of the racers are doing similar lap times......but riding around on their own.
We would still need to bear in mind our younger racers as they would need to compete against their peers until considered physically strong enough.......although they could race with a particular class....e.g. 3rd cats? But have different coloured numbers and finish a lap earlier?
The idea being to promote ability related racing rather than simply age related.......there would need to be a promotion/relegation system in place, and we would need to initially do some trial and error category assignment to get up and running........what do we all think?
Would really value some thoughts from the people that pay to race........it's our sport and I've heard quite a few dissatisfied comments, so in line with the recent British cycling survey, I thought I would just ask!
This is exactly the reason ive started focusing on mtb more now.
I always had a soft spot for cyclocross, but have become a bit fed up of having nothing to
race for. The categories are just far too open. Senior/Vet/Womens etc. eg. you've got a top 5 in the country racing against a first timer.
Enjoy much more riding against similar level riders and actually competing for something.
Elite/Expert/Sport/Open seems to work. And yes like you say a Promotion/Relegation is great.
I dont see how the National series can improve?
Will leave it another few weeks, but if no one else has any feelings towards this idea......I think I won’t pursue it with BC ! No need if people are totally happy with how it is currently.
I'd have to agree with Chris. I do like the fun/open/sport/expert/elite system and the ability to race alongside racers of a similar ability. However, I do think this system needs to be more formalised etc. with perhaps a points system for progression or relegation.
As someone who has never raced 'sport' category (do I do plan to next season), there does seem to be a very broad range of ability even in this category. Sport seems like a hugely popular field yet by comparison the 'expert' category usually fields a very small race.
I wonder whether 'sport' would be more attractive if the goalposts were shifted slightly to make it easier to progress into 'expert', while also providing more bodies for the 'expert' category?
As others have said, categories are ok, however the system for moving up could be improved. There are many people in Open that should be in Sport, and many in Sport that should be in Expert.
Having said that, there's a big problem with participation in open and sport for ages 18-39. I wouldn't be surprised if more than 70% of people are over 39 in Senior categories at regional races. Certainly in MSG it's like that, sport and expert fields are pretty much dead. Open is full of fun social riders looking for a challenge.
I think the problem is more to do with the affordability and accessibility of the sport, it is not a cheap hobby, and to be any good you have to work for it, even with natural talent!