Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The first half of the season concludes with MennoCross, presented by Brian Reimer Audio this Saturday at CMU. The racing starts at 11am with the C Race.

Read the Race Bible for the basics. And please fill out the entry form and waiver in advance to help keep the registration line flowing smoothly.

For all other details, see the official race website.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Learn To Clinics

Cross Lab - Thursday September 29

Come out to learn and hone cyclocross skills. Free clinic with skills and drills for all abilities.

Canadian Mennonite University - 500 Shaftesbury Boulevard (site of this Saturday's MennoCross event)

Time: 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. (dropping in midway is fine)

*What's a cross lab, you ask? We'll play some games that involve cornering, bike handling and dismounting/remounting. It's pretty informal, more about working on technique than about working out. Bring your bike, your helmet and a bottle of water.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Up To Date Category Lists

I don't mind saying it was not an easy task, but we had to spread things around a bit if we wanted to continue racing. Please read this first. The categories are not a reward or penalty system, but simply a matter of placing riders where they will be the most competitive. There were many variables to take into account, including results this year and last. In short, notwithstanding mechanicals if you were lapped in both of the first two races you probably changed categories. If you were lapped in one you either moved or were on the bubble. Since organizing completely sucks the energy out of volunteers that was also taken into account. By necessity, there will be further adjustments as we go along. Although we have always resisted pulling lapped riders, that is still a possibility. You are all riding so well. The categories are getting faster and faster. We will have three very competitive races.

The men's categories are here.
The women's categories are here.

The cross committee will hold a cross clinic on Sunday before the race (from 12:30 till 1:00) to help with essential cyclocross skills like dismounting and re-mounting. Meet behind the backstop at the baseball diamond. Note: please DO NOT ride on the baseball diamond.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Barrier

Next up is LaBarriere Park. This race is organized by the cyclocross committee. We require volunteers to help with set-up Sunday morning, registration, and everyone will need to chip in for teardown. Please bring a rake.

If you can help with registration or set-up please email mca_cross at mts dot net

Race details are on the MCA site

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rider Category Changes

Due to the large number of riders in the B race, certain changes need to be made. We've attempted to give riders a chance to try out categories to see where they best fit in (see the Updated Categories post just below), but now we must act on that information.

Accurate Results
We are sticklers for accurate results. The B race is becoming too large for the commissaires to effectively manage. Other jursidictions sometimes have larger fields, but they use electronic chip timing which we can't afford and they generally pull riders as soon as they're lapped*. You might say let me race in the B race, I don't care about my results, but the other riders whose results you may adversely effect will not share the same view.

Interference With Other Riders
Lapped riders, no matter how careful, eventually interfere with the front of the race.

Safety is our foremost concern. You must be able to dismount and remount your bike at high speed in order to race in the B and A races. Dismounting is an essential skill. Not being able to dismount at speed creates especially dangerous situations for other riders. There were several very dangerous close calls on Saturday. If you need to work on your dismounting that's fine, but C is the race to do it in. We will organize a cross lab or two to help people with their skills, perhaps Thanksgiving weekend. Check back here for an update.

We re-balance categories regularly. All the races will be extremely competitive. As skills and fitness improve we move racers up.

Once the official results from Dark Cross are available I will post the uptodate category lists. If you have a question about your placement contact mca_cross at mts dot net.

*In the past, we have tried not to pull lapped riders. Without a re-balancing of the categories that would have to happen. It may still become necessary, but we are trying to avoid it. If you were pulled in the B race you would almost certainly have a much shorter race than if you rode 30 minutes in the C race.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Updated Categories

There's some stress in trying to decide which category to ride in (and therefore which race). Keep in mind that cyclocross is a short intense race, not a long, slow endurance event.

The cyclocross committee is trying to be flexible for the first couple of events with the B and C races and where there is doubt (and sometimes even when there isn't) allowing riders to pick the B race to start the season. We will, however, make changes by the 3rd race.

If you were lapped 2 or 3 times at St. Adolphe we strongly recommend that you move to cat 4. The experience will be much better. As your skills improve to beyond the cat 4 level you can be moved back to cat 3 again.

Here is a link to category FAQs that is a little easier to read than the post below.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

St Adolphe Photos

I'll post more when I get a chance.

Monday, September 12, 2011

DarkCross on Deck

"I went to a party and a cyclocross race broke out." That's what people will be saying after next weekend. Race Bible here. For everything else you need to know, check out the official race website.

St Adolphe

A video from Scott at the TrainingCoop. If you're a little confused the footage of the A and B races is intermingled.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mudfest indeed

What a tremendous way to open the season. Thanks to all who came out. Next up is DarkCross; our very first cross race under the lights. Following that is LaBarriere. That's a cyclocross committee event and we will be counting on volunteers from our cyclocross community to help with set up on the Saturday/Sunday and tear down afterward to pull that one off. Email Gary at gsewell at mymts dot net if you can help.

More photos to follow.


Saturday, September 10, 2011


Confused about the categories?

First you need to keep in mind that cyclocross is a short high intensity race. Picking a race because you want to race longer is counterintuitive. It's all about speed and explosive power.

If you've never raced cyclocross before or don't have decent elite level results you MUST start in either cat 3 or 4 (3 if you're a pretty good racer on the road or MTB, 4 if you're an average racer or new to racing). If you can ride away from the group in cat 3 road races or win Elite MTB races then you can apply to the cyclocross committee (speak to Gary Sewell) to start in 1/2. Riders with race experience the previous year will be categorized according to their results in the previous year.

-Relating to the above, riders who arrive only in time for the A race will simply not be allowed to race.
-Riders who are too strong for a particular category will be moved up.
-Equipment rule exemptions may apply to lower categories. A rider may take advantage of those, but once moved to a higher category must comply with the appropriate equipment rules.
-An elite level male rider with poor results/no results in the previous year due to injury/illness/etc may petition the cyclocross committee to start in the A race.

Note that for the purposes of deciding your category you shouldn't rely on the category seeding. Seeding was based on a combination of performance and attendance whereas performance alone should be considered when determining a competitive category.

If you were cometitive racing in A last year, you'll likely race in cat 1/2 this year.
If you were pulling up the rear in A last year, you'll move to cat 3 this year.
If you were in the top half of B last year, you'll race in 3 this year.
If you were in the lower third of B last year, you should consider racing in cat 4.
If you were lapped in B last year you should definitely race in cat 4.

Previously known as
CX 1/2  aka  'cat 1/2'
CX 3  aka  'cat 3'
CX 4  aka  'cat 4'

If you were racing in A last year, you'll race in cat 1/2/3 this year.
If you were in the top half of B last year, you'll race in 1/2/3 this year.
If you were in the lower third of B last year, you should consider racing in cat 4.
If you were lapped in B last year you should definitely race in cat 4.

Previously known as
CX 1/2/3  aka  'cat 1/2/3'
CX 1/2/3  aka  'cat 1/2/3' 
CX 4  aka  'cat 4'

Kids under 13 may only race in C race
Kids under 15 may race in either the B or C race

Citizen Licence
Citizen racers are only allowed to race in the lowest licenced category, i.e. the C race.

I know my category. What race do I take part in?

Which Groups
15 min
Non UCI licence
Number of races determined by organizer
Approx 20 min
CX 4 men, CX 4 women
25-30 min
CX 3 Men, CX 1/2/3 Women
40 min
CX 1/2/3 Men
60 min

Will my race be exactly sixty minutes?

Official Time
Time plus lap(s)
25-30 min
25-30 min
20 minutes plus 1 lap
40 min
37-42 min
30 minutes plus 1 lap*
60 min
56-62 min
45 minutes plus 2 laps

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cyclocross Seeding

All A,B, and C races in Manitoba cyclocross (see below in the blog) are seeded. It's the only fair way to do things. The more you compete the better your start position.

-For the first race of the year seeding will be based on the final cyclocross seeding of the previous year.
-For the second race of the year, seeding will be based on the final cross seeding of the previous year and the results of the first race.
-For the third race on, seeding will be based solely on the results of the current year.
-A rider moving up a category carries no seeding points with them.
-A rider moving down a category will be seeded at the front/near the front of the new lower category.
-If you have not previously raced you will be seeded at the back of your category.

A seeding list will be present at each race.

You MUST initial the seeding list when you sign in. You must be present on time at pre-assembly. Only riders who have initialled beside their name will be called up during assembly. If your name is not called or you are not present when your name is called you will start at the back of the category.


Cross Season's Pass

Only $80. That's less than last year. It's $30 off and like getting two whole races for free!

Available at the first two races. Cash only. We're working on getting express entry to the races included with it.

Cross Cup 2011

Who is the best cyclocross racer in Manitoba?

Who is the strongest, most consistent, cunning, powerful, and adaptable rider? Train cross, eat cross, and sleep cross and one day you may be the Cyclocross Cup Champion.

2011 Cup Races:
St Adolphe
Dark Cross
LaBarriere Park
Canadian Mennonite University
Whittier Park

Points awarded in each race. Best 5 results count.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cross Bike Rules 2011

As wth any sport, you must use the proper regulation equipment if you want to take part in competitions. Nobody cares if you use illegal clubs when you're learning to golf or an illegal bat when learning to hit or a motor in your bike as you head up Alpe d'Huez on your own, but use them in a competition and there's a problem.

Cyclocross has certain equipment requirements. They are there to promote safety and fairness. More importantly they are part of the challenge of cyclocross and one of the things that make cyclocross cyclocross and not mountain biking or road biking. In order to increase access to the sport we look the other way in the B and C races and allow you to use a wide variety of equipment. However, if you compete in the A race (either by your own desire or you are moved there for competitive reasons) then you must use the proper equipment. It's a reasonable requirement for taking part.

Bike rules as passed in 2010 can be found here. It lists UCI rules, our rules last year, and the rules for this year. You'll note they've been relaxed to allow both cat 3 and 4 to use non-compliant equipment.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cyclocross Categories

Updated September 7th

There are a few significant decisions about cyclocross categories that will be implemented for the 2011 season. Please read the following carefully to make sure you know where you should race.

In the past, we usually had two races (identified as A and B). Rider categories and races were the same. I.e. an A rider rode in the A race. This year there will be three main races at every race, plus a separate race for kids under 11 years old. Also for this year there are numbered rider categories—CX 1/2, CX 3, CX 4 or Cat 1/2, Cat 3, Cat 4 if you like. This brings us more in line with most other North American jurisdictions. Please note that CX Categories do not correspond to Road Categories. New racers to cyclocross will start in either CX 3 or CX 4*.

For the most part, if you are a male who raced in the A race last year you will be Cat 1/2, top 2/3 of B Race last year = cat 4, and lower 1/3 of B race/C race = Cat 4. But it is slightly more complicated than that, as explained below.

Women: Women who raced in A or B in past years will be combined into a single category (Women Cat 1/2/3) and race alongside the Cat 3 Men in a 40 minute race. Cat 4 women will take part in a 30 minute race.

Children: Children under 11 years of age will race a 20 minute kids race, often on a modified course. U13 children will race the 30 minute race alongside adults. U15children may race either the 30 or 40 minute races. With the exception of Provincials, race results will not be broken down according to age categories.

Citizen Racers: All racers with a Citizen License may only race in the 30 minute race alongside the cat 4 racers.

Unlicensed Racers: in races where unlicensed racers are eligible to participate, there will be an additional race, designated the “Open Race.” No licensed racers may participate in this race. And unlicensed racers are not eligible to participate in any of the other races. [An exception to this is children under 11, who may race alongside the rest of the U11 children. Unlicensed racers over 11 years of age will race alongside the adults in the Open Race.]

The races will be as follows:

Kids Race - 15-20 minutes – U11 kids and younger
Open Race - at select events
C Race - 30 minutes – Men Cat 4, Women Cat 4, U13 and U15 kids
B Race - 40 minutes – Men Cat 3, Women Cat 1/2/3, U15 kids
A Race - 60 minutes – Men Cat 1/2

An additional 30 minute Open Race for unlicensed racers will be held at the following three races: DarkCross, MennoCross, and Southern Cross. It will be a separate race from the 30 minute 'C' race.

*New riders must start in Cat 3 or Cat 4. Only riders listed on the Cat 1/2 start list may compete in the A race. All others must start in B or C races. If a new rider shows up to race and only the A (Cat 1/2) race is left they will not be allowed to race.
Riders may only move to Cat 1/2 after demonstrating ability in Cat 3 and being moved up by the cyclocross committee. Riders with previous high level cyclocross results may appeal to the cyclocross committee to start in Cat 1/2, but must do so before race day.

If you have any questions, please contact Gary Sewell, Chair of the Cyclocross Committee.