Saturday, August 27, 2011

OVCX Director Warns Sandbaggers

Sandbaggers beware! Besides getting ridiculed on this blog, Mitch Graham, the OVCX director, is giving out a warning to OVCX racers. Don't sandbag and if you win two races, you WILL be automatically upgraded. Glad to see the series promoter is doing his part in the fight against sandbaggers.

Well obviously if you don't win two races, but consistently "come in" 2nd or 3rd, you won't be upgraded automatically in the eyes of USAC. These guys are the real sandbaggers, avoiding wins by blatatly letting others win, or accidentally going off course so they get passed.

If you haven't seen the email, here is the entire OVCX 2011 FAQ Mitch sent out.

Dear OVCX Racers~
Lots of excitement is brewing with the start of cyclocross season less than 4 weeks away.   There are many questions about the Ohio Valley Cyclocross Series for this upcoming season - so I wanted to take a moment to try and tackle some of the more FAQ to hopefully help to make your goal-setting and fun-planning easier for the upcoming fall/winter.  This may be a lengthy message, so I'll put the more "important" FAQ's towards the beginning in case you get bored and stop reading.  Here we go:
Why the OVCX Series?
Each regional "scene" - Louisville, Indy, Dayton, Lexington, Cincinnati is awesome and strong.  But all together, we are much stronger.  The larger our  collective scene gets, the cooler and more competitive it gets.  We have over 10,000,000 million people within our collective region.  The strength and growth of our womens, juniors, and mens categories hinge on all of our commitments to each other's respective scenes.  Everybody has worked really hard to grow their cx scene - let's support each other's events.
What is the 2011 OVCX schedule?
There are 10 events that qualify for points in this year's OVCX Series.  Here's the schedule.  Due to a new rule handed down from the UCI, our largest event weekends, the Cincy3 and USGP Louisville, are not allowed to be scored events in the 2011 OVCX Series.  
Where can I find general series info, categories, prize money, etc?
How many races count for the overall?
Your best 7 OVCX finishes.
Is there a Zipp raffle?
Yes.  It will be seriously mongo this year. The Zipp raffle will work like in previous years - you compete in 10 events and you get in the raffle (racing twice in one event does not count as two events).  The Cincy3 and Louisville USGP count this year (in addition to the 10 OVCX events) in the raffle.   So if you compete in the minimum of 10 out of the 15 events - you are in the raffle.  Last year nearly 80 raffle prizes went out.  We will destroy that this year.
Is the final OVCX event worth double points like in the past?
No, the finale at Kings CX in Cincinnati will NOT be worth double points this year,  but you do need to be in attendance at the raffle to win.
What's this "Zipp Sponsored OVCX Athlete of the Week" I just read about?
(NEW)  This is a brand new program we pitched to OVCX title sponsor Zipp that we're pretty stoked about.  After each OVCX race weekend, we will award one male and one female racer the honor of "Zipp OVCX Athlete of the Week."  Each male and female Zipp OVCX Athlete of the Week will be provided one set of Zipp 303 tubulars to race on at the next OVCX event.  For the Zipp OVCX Athletes of the Week we are not necessarily looking at the winners .... but the most-improved, hardest working, loyal and good-spirited OVCX racers - those sorts of qualities.  We'll have consultants from each scene - Louisville, Lexington, Dayton, Indy, and Cincinnati help us make the call each week.  
What about chip timing?
Last year about one-half of the OVCX promoters ponied up and hiring a chip timing service to time the riders.  We have a contract for  every OVCX event to be chip-timed in 2011.   The timing chips are custom and yours to keep; it goes up on top of your helmet and you will use it all season long at every race.  If you lose yours, you will need to pay $10 for a new one.  So don't lose it.  Chip timing will be used for lap splits and as back up for finish results - we will use our officials for finish results.
How do these new categories work?
First, here are the new category arrangements.   Take a look at them before reading on.
Now, let's explain why we combined categories. We combined categories of similar ability for two primary reasons:
First, we did it to even out the number of riders racing at one time. Under the old system, there'd be 80 riders racing in one time slot and 15 in another. The new system should even that out to approximately 40-50 per time slot (wave).
Second, we combined categories to increase competition and fun. Racing more people of similar ability is more fun. But you really have to be racing them, not just racing on the course at the same time with staggered starts. So we had to figure out a way to accomplish that and yet maintain each individual race category.
The solution was to drop staggered starts (for the most part at least) and award OVCX Series points by wave, not category. This means that everyone that goes off the starting line together in a "wave" (regardless of category) races each other for the OVCX Series points available to that wave. And because staging/call ups are based on OVCX Series points, everyone in a wave is racing everyone else in the wave for next week's call up.
Yes, you will still be scored in your own category for daily results/awards and for daily podiums and for OVCX overall scoring. Here's how that will work.
Let's say you are an Elite Women Cat 3.  At Fisherman's, you would start in the 1:46 wave along with the Elite Women 1/2, Elite Women 35+, and the U19 Elite Girls. Let's say you finish in 6th in the wave and are the first Cat 3 Elite finisher. You would get 6th-place series points and be called up sixth in the wave the next week in Indy. But because you were the first Elite Cat 3 on the day, you won your category and would get the first-place prize for the category and a podium for the day. Your 6th-place series points would also put you in first place overall in your category. This would work the same in every wave with combined categories.
So if you're a 10-year-old junior girl, you'd start in a wave of 10-14 boys and girls at OVCX #1. Let's say you finished 15th in the wave and were the third 10-12 girl.  You'd earn 15th-place series points and be called up 15th in the wave the next week. And because you were the 3rd placed 10-12 girl, you'd get the 3rd-place prize for that category on the day and a podium. Your 15th-place series points would also put you in third place overall in your category, which means you'd get called up 15th in your wave next week.
Of course at OVCX #1 there will be no series' points to stage each wave with. Therefore, staging (call ups) at OVCX #1 are by order of registration WITHIN EACH WAVE NOT BY CATEGORY. So, depending on how they registered, an Elite U19 Girl might line up next to an Elite 35+ woman, and so on. A 10-year-old girl might line up next to a 14-year-old boy. For OVCX #2 and beyond, the top 25 ranked from EACH WAVE will be staged together in order. After the top 25 are staged, staging will be by order of registration within the wave.  This system will work for all combined categories going off the starting line at the same time.  Again, each category will get scored separately as well, and get a podium celebration each day as well as OVCX series points for their category.
Is something going to be done about sandbagging this year?
This is oftentimes a touchy situation - some of our best friends can be sandbaggers and it's difficult to have that talk to set them straight.   What we can say is this - be careful how you set your goals for this upcoming cyclocross year...if you set them too low you might find yourself getting automatically upgraded into the next category and having to revisit your goals again rather quickly.   Rules for upgrades can be  FOUND HERE.  Two wins is an automatic upgrade.  Count on automatic upgrades being given out after 2 wins.  If you are upgraded to a Cat 2, you will not be able to race in Cat 3 unless you request and are granted a downgrade.

If I upgrade categories, do my points carry up like in previous years?
Do I have to race the category on my license?
YES, this was the case at many races last year and count on this being even more strict this year.  If you pre-reg for a race in Cat 3, drive 3 hours, and show up showing the nice registration folks a license with a Cat 4 on it, you most likely will not be able to race.  Get your upgrade requests in NOW.  
What awards go out for the OVCX Series?
The top 3 finishers for each scored OVCX category will be recognized and awarded a trophy after the final race at Kings CX in Cincinnati.
How do I get involved in helping out at these events?
Thank you for asking!  Contact your local race promoter through their race's BikeReg link - all of them can use volunteers!  
That's about it.  If you have any other questions I've posted this message to BikeClicks please reply below the post.   I'll start a FAQ page on the OVCX website and add more popular questions as we go.  
See you in about 3 weeks at Fishsticks! 

Mitch Graham
OVCX Series Director
(513) 861-2453

No comments:

Post a Comment