Tuesday CCC Updates

What time is it? – So its almost August, road season is basically over, the Tour de France ending has all the roadies in a funk, and we’ve already fielded multiple emails from newbies asking lots of questions, so it makes sense we should have a big update. Look for more important updates over the coming weeks.

– First up, after 5 years of essentially the same race day schedule (except for the addition and jostling around of the SS category) the CCC is having its first major race day schedule change in a while to both accommodate the increases in rider performance and help everyone be more competitive at the local, regional, and national level. Due to everyone wanting to race and not enough daylight in December, there are no easy decisions when it comes to deciding on a CX race day schedule, but thankfully we have plenty of historical data to guide our choices. We looked at total rider counts and even the age and category breakdowns for every race in last year’s series to help us decide what is best for everyone… riders, race promoters, officials, parents. spectators, parks, pet greyhounds, you name it. So we put our heads together and spent literally weeks analyzing the data, thinking about where we’ve come from, where we’d like the series to go in the future, and after about 80 or 90 emails came up with the following race day schedule. We know we can’t please everyone all the time, but we managed to keep all categories from last year while adding some new features. The major changes are as follows:

  1. The race day will start 15 minutes earlier and end 25 minutes later.
  2. The Women 123 will have their own dedicated 45 minutes of course time immediately before the Cat 1/2/3 race.
  3. Added a short 15 minute course inspection time immediately before the Cat 3 race.
  4. Changed the Masters categories age minimums from 30+, 40+, and 50+ to 35+, 45+, and 55+. We reviewed the data from last year and found there were not as many 30-34 year olds as we assumed. See here.
  5. Masters races are now shortened to 40 minutes.
  6. Masters 35+ will start off the day by themselves (since older masters can always race down in age).
  7. Masters 45+ will lead the 2nd start wave of the day followed 2 minutes behind by the Masters 55+.
  8. Lengthened the Junior 15-18 race to 35 minutes while shortening the SS race to 35 minutes. Fitness and skill wise the Junior 15-18’s are closest to the majority of Single Speed racers so it made sense to combine these 2 categories.
  9. Keep the Women Cat 4 and Junior 9-14 together.
  10. Cat 3, Cat 1/2/3, Cat 4, and Cat 4/5 race lengths remain the same.

So after all of that the 2014 CCC race day schedule looks like this:

08:30 am   Masters 35+  (40 minutes)
09:25 am   Masters 45+  (40 minutes)
09:27 am   Masters 55+  (40 minutes)
10:20 am   Junior 15-18  (35 minutes)
10:22 am   Single Speed  (35 minutes)
11:10 am   Women Cat 4  (30 minutes)
11:12 am   Junior 9-14  (30 minutes)
11:40 am   Course Inspection  (15 minutes)
11:55 am   Cat 3  (45 minutes)
12:55 pm   Women Cat 1/2/3  (45 minutes)
01:55 pm   Cat 1/2/3  (60 minutes)
03:10 pm   Cat 4  (30 minutes)
03:55 pm   Cat 4/5  (30 minutes)

We’re putting this schedule out now so no one is surprised at the first race of the series at the end of September… so tell your teammates, tell your parents, tell your team managers, tell your shop owners, and be on time for your category’s race. Payouts are also changing and will be updated next week.

– And finally… the xXx Racing-Athletico Jackson Park TagTeam Two Person Relay Cyclocross Race is scheduled for Sunday August 24th, less than 4 weeks away. This is a great way to get ready for the CX season and always brings a few more crossers into the mix. So secure your teammates soon and get ready to high-five!

45 thoughts on “Tuesday CCC Updates

  1. Seems like you are trying to candy coat the obvious… As a white middle aged conservative, and I’m guessing representing the outskirts of the right when it comes to CCC demographics, I can totally get behind increasing the support for Women’s elite racing. I’m even on board for even prize lists for CCC. No one will be yelling louder than me(look for me in my green Borat mankini ladies ;) ).
    But to start masters racing at zero dark thirty and shorten our races…? Why would you needlessly piss off 1/3rd of your paying customers?
    By the way, I called every pet greyhound I know, they don’t get it either.

    Your April fools post shows you really care…


    • Interesting. As a masters racer I think this schedule is moving in the right direction. If it were up to me, there would be one masters race, with no payout, and 35/45/55 combined. Us old guys already have category options to choose from.

      And bravo to the ChiCrossCup guys for taking trying to “be more competitive at the local, regional, and national level” into account. It’s great where this series is going.

      See you guys at 8:30 a few times this year.


  2. Not sure if you’re joking, Arrigoni.
    I asked my pet greyhound, and his races were 5/16th of a mile. Don’t all old dudes wake up at like 5am anyway?

    Early to bed, early to shred, as they say. For more time and a later start, race your category.


  3. Shorter times, less categories, worse times, less chance to double/triple up. Total bummer that you dumped on one of the biggest groups that supports the CCC.

    Pay people equally but schedule based on who shows up.


    • 35+
      M Cat 3
      M Cat 123

      that’s 3.6 hours of racing you can do across 5 different race slots. This is just as much about improving the series as a whole, not catering to a specific group of racers. i would gladly accept less masters’ registration if it means opening up opportunities for racers who have historically gotten the short end of the step-in stake.


    • 40 minute races are the norm for masters races at UCI events, and as Chris said, there’s plenty of races to double/triple up. Overall, it’s better for a lot of people.


  4. I think the schedule is reasonable given the many conflicting constraints that you are trying to accommodate. I am completely behind the move to have the separate elite women’s race. I have no problem with having the masters start a little earlier to help make this happen. The thing that I think it would have been great to avoid is shortening the masters races down to 40 minutes. I don’t think it makes sense to have Cat 3 men doing 45 minutes and masters racers doing 40 minutes when the racers who are competitive in masters are mostly cat 1 or cat 2. If anything I think the masters racers should be longer. I think it would have been better to keep the masters racers at 45 minutes, drop the cat 3 race to 40 minutes, and drop the 15 minute course preview slot to 10 minutes. I know there are differences, but consider how Dairyland and Prarie State set the race times: cat 2/3 race for 50 minutes and cat 1/2/3 masters go for 70 minutes. Let me emphasize that this is a minor criticism; I think you’ve done a good job with the schedule on the whole.


  5. as a rider, promoter and someone who cares a lot about the future of the sport, i’m very pleased with the direction the CCC schedule is going. i have to get things moving a few minutes earlier on the day of my club’s race, but that’s a small price to pay for dramatically improving the conditions for the Elite Women and the 15-18 Juniors.

    everyone is still racing against their peers, and everyone is on the same course for the same amount of time as everyone else in your race. your prowess is still being measured on a more or less level playing field.

    this will absolutely improve the sport and the scene as a whole. well done, CCC


    • Of all the changes the one making the biggest impact will be cutting the masters from 45 to 40 minutes. Having high end endurance is pretty key in the top 20 masters fields and I often drop/gain 1-5 spots in the last lap.

      I get that there are not enough hours of daylight to make everyone happy. Wish things were different but willing to see how things go.


      • The highest placed Patrick in the over all last year was 45, so he has not lost a race, just time as he placed in the 30+ and 40+ and could still race the 35+ and 45+. If he is upset about time he could add three more races to his schedule (ss and two cats(he might have raced these but was never in the points)
        The next is Patrick 42, Last year he was ranked in the 40+, 4 and 4/5. He will lose the 40+ race but could race in the 35+ race. So in terms of time he has lost 5 minutes if he stays a cat 4. Instead of looking for 5 mins, he could work on his upgrade and gain a total of 40 mins by moving to cat 3 and racing the 3’s and 123 instead of the 4 and 4/5’s.

        There is one more Patrick but he is not a master based on age but is one based on skill as he is a cat 3.


        • a 40 minute race means 1 less lap. A lot happens in that lap… It has nothing to do with total time racing… Why are you making it so personal by trying to look this guy up? Are you a stalker?


  6. Very impressed with the new schedule, thanks to the CCC crew for all their hard work in figuring out that puzzle!! Can never please everyone, but I think these changes align the series with the country’s more professional events and will be great for ongoing growth. Thank you!!


  7. I am very happy that we you have decided to give the women’s elite field their own race! The men 50+ will no longer have us in their way nor will we have to contend with them for our podium. If the masters feel this is a problem then they should race their category. You have so many more options to be competitive in a race than I do. By this I mean a lot of our masters men are also (or could be) top finishers in the 3 or 123-yes I could race the men’s races but I would not be a top finisher like a master ride would be if he raced a different race. You also have the single speed race if you’d rather do that then your category. So stop complaining and be happy that the CCC is supporting women’s racing. I believe this will help women’s racing locally, regionally, and nationally!


  8. This change in schedule is so good that it might be enough to get me off the couch/moto and back onto the course. While there will always be criticism for any decision made, regardless of how much good/bad it does, I think you guys have taken a large step forward in promoting the sport to more and more people. Supporting the women and juniors, the future of the sport, is the right move. Well done.


  9. For a team like us (West Town Bikes) this schedule modification is great. I may even be able to race a couple times. Thanks for making decisions based on the development of the sport and community around it and not just trying to make the CCC more money.


  10. As one of the small groups (M 30-35) who now have to choose a new race I would like to say thanks. This is just the push I need to commit to 123s and hopefully trying out the full 60mins. Should make for a fun year and challenging year. See you in September.


  11. Hey Announcer…
    How could the winner of a 1 race be a sandbagger? Will you try to shame him/or her into moving to Belgium?


  12. I’m very happy with the schedule change! It mirrors what other series are doing in the region, and promotes rider development. I appreciate the thoughtful changes and look forward to seeing how they will further the development of our fastest women and juniors. FWIW, The WCA series has the masters racing for 30 minutes, so you’re still getting a longer race. So if it’s an issue about the length of the race, race your category.


  13. Fantastic changes to the CCC for this upcoming season! THANK YOU for separating the W1/2/3 field AND making it later in the day with the 1/2/3s. Awesome. Kuddos.


  14. The schedule changes are great. Among other positives mentioned above, it also divides the juniors across two fields, so they aren’t competing for race slots with only W4s. It frees up younger juniors to race ‘up’ with the 15-18s for additional race time and experience, and now the older junior girls can race both the junior cat and W4s, instead of having to choose one.


  15. Nice work! I think this schedule makes the most sense out of the time allowed. There are plenty of opportunities to race in category races too for any master that doesn’t want to get up that early. The goal is to try and grow the sport and by lengthening juniors and adding women’s specific races we will accomplish that. It’s about time we see a cat 123 women’s only field. Nice work CCC! See you folks in the dirt!


  16. B.S. cutting the masters racers down to 40 minutes. No offense but the races I saw last year the 50+ were passing the entire 1/2/3 field, and they lose 5 minutes. It would probably be worse in the 30+ and 40+. Doesn’t make any sense to me.


    • As others have noted, if the 50+ guys are strong enough to be passing the entire Women’s 1/2/3 field, and they feel that 40 minutes is insufficient time to suffer, then perhaps it would behoove them to drop $10 and race again later in the day in a category-based race.

      These data-driven changes are definitely for the good of the many, at a minimal cost to a few. They give more opportunities to racers who had fewer, while minimizing the losses to those who already had more options than most. Kudos to Jason and the series directors for finding ways to tweak and make things better for the good of the racing community.


  17. Overall I think the changes are great. However it’s a pity that the SS got shortened by 10mins. The most of any group….But hey it cross and we have a SS race.


  18. Why can’t we all just admit that as wonderful as it is that the Women 123 are getting our own race, it is unfortunate that it is at the cost of 5 mins for Masters and 10 mins for SS. I feel bad for them. They are some of the most competitive and strong guys out there and shouldn’t be forced to race their category if they don’t want to. I know there isn’t enough daylight to please everyone but there is more than one way to skin a cat.


    • A 40 minute race at a regional or national event (including the national championships!) is much more common than a 45 minute race. As the post said, the changes will “help everyone be more competitive at the local, regional, and national level.”


    • Course inspection=dedicated pre-ride time. Also gives the organizers extra time to replace broken stakes, clean up course tape, etc., before the elite races start. A very “pro” move by the CCC, and likely appreciated by most afternoon racers. When races ran long and the day got backed up, pre-ride time was very limited.


  19. none of the Masters racers are being “forced” to race their category.
    it’s a choice, just like your choice to train, or get up early, glue up that 4th set of carbon tubulars, or put down that burrito when you’re full even though there’s just 4 bites left.

    if it’s BS, if there’s another way to skin the cat, i imagine CCC leadership (and the others here) would like to hear your suggestions about making the series schedule better for EVERYONE, not just Masters who already have a plethora of options. so far i haven’t seen any solutions offered?

    check some other series’ raceday schedules and us know if there are others with more options for you to do 2/3/4/5 races in a day.

    CrustyCross, if the 50+ guys are passing the whole W123 field, yes they’re very strong, probably plenty strong to hold their own in the 1/2/3.
    cool story bro, now try passing the masters 45+ field.

    no disrespect to the guys dominating the Masters categories, clearly our series has a ton of strong riders – you wanna prove how strong, race your category.

    look at the data. try to see the bigger picture. do you want to have a series with no development for younger riders or women? i can see that some of you don’t care. with the size of our series we should be turning out more talents like Dave Lombardo, not fewer!!


    • One suggestion that I made earlier was this: have the masters race 45 minutes. Have the cat 3 race go 40 minutes. Cut the course inspection time from 15 minutes to 10 minutes (I’m not sure why we need course inspection time beyond the one lap anyone can take between races). Keep everything else the same. As I said before I think it is great that women and juniors are getting more time and dedicated races now.

      My thought was that the leaders of the masters races are generally faster than the leaders of the cat 3 race (most of the are 1’s or 2’s). Those are also the riders who could most benefit from the extra time as they’re more likely to compete at big races outside the series such as nationals (is there even a cat 3 national championship category; that would seem pretty absurd!).

      Upon reflection I think I can guess what the CCC is thinking. Since masters races are open category they can serve as a kind of overflow for cat 4/5. This is what has happened in the first couple races of the year for the last few years. This isn’t a great experience for the 4/5 riders as they often end up getting pulled early (or passed by riders who are not super nice about it). Solution: cut the race down to 40 minutes; in practice give the leaders around 37 minutes and make the courses very long. Then far fewer riders will end up getting pulled and/or passed. This, combined with the fact that a shorter race will be more appealing to new riders, will increase the number of 4/5’s who sign up for masters races over the course of the season. So the emphasis is more on getting novice riders to sign up and enjoy the race enough to keep racing than on what would be most useful/fun for the faster riders. I can live with that. I’m just glad that I get to race at 8:30 in the morning this year (in all seriousness that early start time is what allows me to race cross at all).

      I’m looking forward to the series!


      • I applaud the CCC for their thoughtful process. There is much to consider and finite time and space for scheduling the race day. Certainly no perfect schedule exists to satisfy every racer..

        Not sure its even a possibility, but thought it worth saying that I like John Whipple’s suggestions to bring the Masters races back to 45 min. Looking at the new schedule versus old, Masters races are moving from 135 min of the race day schedule to 80 min of the race day schedule [3 races to 2 (45+ and 55+ being on course together now though started separately 2 min apart)]. This is probably a very sensible change in light of other CCC Series’ priorities, and appears to be the product of a lot of thought. And I 100% support that W123 now have a clean unobstructed race.

        Yet, having opened up an entire race time slot, it seems fair to look for a way(s) to keep the Masters races at 45 min. John’s suggestion is one. Another might be to do without the course inspection altogether (as we have for all the years i have raced) and Keep Masters and Cat 3 at 45 min.

        In any case, being 50 years young …. I’m looking forward to being pushed beyond my limits by relative youth this year!!!!


      • Mr. Whipple, i didn’t count you among the complainers as your post was well-though-out, civil, and logical. you did indeed offer an alternative beyond “NOOOO” and it’s much appreciated, no sarcasm.

        if the cat1/2 Masters need that 5 minutes to compete on a regional/national level it’d really be better for them to race the 1/2/3 and also face stronger competition like they’ll be seeing at higher level events. if these guys are truly interested in developing, that’d be the route. if i thought i could actually get faster that’s what i’d do.

        i’ll also add that i don’t see why Masters should have a National Championship either. age brackets aren’t the best division of skill/fitness… which is why we have the other categories.

        looking forward to the season and happy to see juniors and women get more equal treatment.


  20. I think that the course inspection thing is a pretty good idea. At some of the longer courses the back part can get pretty torn up (with destroyed stakes and broken tape) and it will give officials/organizers/anybody with a pulse a little breathing room to try and tidy things up before the 3’s and 1/2/3’s do their thing.


  21. Looking forward to the CCC oligarchy giving the masters a 20% discount on entry since they’re cutting out 1 lap, or approx. 20% of our race.


    • check your math. they’re cutting 5 minutes, which is 9% of 45 minutes. use an abacus to figure this out.

      1 lap=20%? that would mean you did 5 laps in a 45min race. losing a lap with the last 5 minutes? if so, the first 4 laps avg 10min, and the last one only takes 5min? that’s what your math says.

      to all: if you don’t like how the series is run, start volunteering. get involved. it might grow your perspective beyond your limited experience. conversely, vote with your wallet! race outside the CCC if it’s so bad!


  22. I don’t get where everyone is coming up with 5 laps for the Masters races. Looking at the results that I got from One2Go (Thanks Nikki!!), I did 7 laps at Montrose and MAYBE would do the same on the 40min time. At ILR Day 1 and 2, did 5 laps and would still do 5 laps with the new time. And SHOCKING, same at Dan Ryan Woods. Just be happy we have such a great series. There used to be a time in the late 90s, early 2000’s where there was NOTHING!


  23. Course inspection is a great idea and much needed. With a chance to preview the course maybe the obligatory Cat 3 1st corner pileup will have a few less bodies. The strong masters guys should be doing the 123 anyway (quite a few are already).


  24. Pingback: Tuesday CCC Updates | Chicago Cross Cup

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