Cycle-Smart Blog


18.12.10   Scheldecross   Antwerpen   BEL   C1
19.12.10   Coupe du Monde UCI / UCI World Cup   Kalmthout   BEL   CDM
26.12.10   Coupe du Monde UCI / UCI World Cup   Heusden-Zolder   BEL   CDM
27.12.10   Superprestige Diegem   Diegem   BEL   C1
29.12.10   GVA Trofee - Azencross / Cross des as   Loenhout / Wuustwezel   BEL   C1  
30.12.10   Sylvester Cyclo-cross/Versluys Cyclo-cross   Bredene   BEL   C2 





Today's blog entry consists only of me insisting that you read this one: 


Pick Up Party presented by Noho Coffee and The Kidney Project info

On Friday, November 5th, the Cycle-Smart International will be hosting it's traditional Pick Up Party from 7-9 PM, at Northampton Coffee in Northampton, Massachusetts. The rider registration and party is presented by The Kidney Project, and will feature event president Adam Myerson as the guest barista, pulling shots from Noho Coffee's Synesso espresso machine. Noho Coffee is owned by Wheelhouse/NCC rider Mukunda Feldman.

"Because coffee is a hobby for me, it's a thrill to be able to get behind the bar and be able to use professional equipment for a change," Myerson said. "When Mukunda offered to host the Pick Up Party and asked me if I wanted to pull a few shots, I jumped at the chance."

In addition to coffee, there's be a selection of fine Belgian ales provided by Ramadon's Liquor Store in Three Rivers, MA. Ramadon's is the family business of Chris Ramadon, founder of the Kidney Project. The main goal of Kidney Project is to spread the importance of organ donation through the medium of cycling. Says Ramadon, "If it were not for organ donation I would not be here today.

Ramadon was a promising young rider in the Northampton Cycling Club who eventually required a kidney transplant, and has recently returned to high level racing. "I was and am still a cyclist and started with the NCC. I wanted to start something that people could have a bond to and be able to be involved at any age and get others involved. I won two gold medals at the last Transplant Games which qualified me to attend the World games which will be held in Sweden in June and I hope to be able to represent TKP there and be able to have members participate on a world scale!"

Participants in the Cycle-Smart International will be able to pick up their race numbers for both days at the event, enjoy an espresso or beer, and learn more about The Kidney Project in the process.

Northampton Coffee is located at 269 Pleasant Street in Northampton, Massachusetts.Their web site is:

Adam F. Myerson
President, Cycle-Smart, Inc.: Solutions for Cycling
Organizer, Cycle-Smart International Cyclo-Cross
President, Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series
Captain, Team Mountain Khakis

32 Ditson St., #5
Dorchester, MA 02122
(413) 204-3202 Mobile
(512) 681-7043 Fax



More Saturation Points

To further make my point, take a look at last weekend's events.
Lots of races, lots of choices, lots of points given out. Surely there were some "soft" races in there and not all points were equally earned. Should there only have been races in Belgium last weekend, since that was where the best riders were? Or is it ok that each geographical region (not nation, but region) had a UCI event?
I hope the obvious answer by now is "of course not," unless you think the US riders should have to get on a plane every Friday and Monday in order to race bicycles.
Internationales Radquer Steinmaur October 31, 2010, Steinmaur, SUI, Cyclo-cross - C2
TOI TOI Cup #4 October 30, 2010, Lostice, CZE, Cyclo-cross - C2
Cyclo-cross de Karrantza October 31, 2010, Karrantza, Spain, Cyclo-cross - C2
Saverne - 1ère manche du Challenge La France Cycliste de Cyclo-cross October 31, 2010, Alsace, FRA, Cyclo-cross - C2
British National Trophy Round 2 October 31, 2010, Ipswich, GBR, Cyclo-cross - C2
Trofeo Ayuntamiento de Muskiz November 1, 2010, Muskiz, Spain, Cyclo-cross - C2
Cyclo-cross International de Marle November 1, 2010, Marle, FRA, Cyclo-cross - C2
Beacon Cross October 30, 2010, Bridgeton, NJ, USA, Cyclo-cross - C2
Colorado Cyclo-cross Classic October 30, 2010, Boulder, Colorado, USA, Cyclo-cross - C2
HPCX October 31, 2010, Jamesburg, New Jersey, USA, Cyclo-cross - C2
Boulder Cup Cyclo-cross October 31, 2010, Boulder, Colorado, USA, Cyclo-cross - C1
Superprestige Zonhoven October 31, 2010, Zonhoven, BEL, Cyclo-cross - C1
GVA Trofee - Koppenbergcross November 1, 2010, Melden - Oudenaarde, BEL, Cyclo-cross - C1 


On the "Saturation Point" of UCI races in the US

Taken from an email I recently sent to all the US UCI event organizers, in response to the question, "Do we have a saturation point?"

Saturation point?

Saturation point of what, exactly? Because one person's saturation point is another's growth of the sport. Do we have too many criteriums in America? Or do you think the Belgians complain the UCI races in France or Switzerland are "soft" as well?

I promise you, for every complaint you've heard about saturation points or soft races I've got 10 riders who are psyched about the prize money they're making, and for the travel they don't have to do in order to compete in quality events. UCI events are job opportunities for bike racers. Further, the abundance of races is pushing every race to improve, at every level. A local race in New England now is the same quality as what a UCI race used to be. And to really stand out nationally, you need to put on a C1 event now. That's positive growth and improvement.

If you want to talk about saturation, are you talking about all of the United States? Because we know all the races in Belgium happen in a very, very small area of the country. Do not compare the US to Belgium. When there are as many UCI races in Massachusetts as there are in Belgium, then we can start to talk about saturation. A much better comparison would be how many UCI race there are in Europe as a whole to how many there are in the US.

The "saturation point" is what's bringing a guy like Valentin Scherz, the best Swiss U23, back to the US for the first half of the season to race again this year, and bringing the 2nd best Swiss U23, Anthony Grand, along with him. It's causing a guy like Luca Damiani to come back to the US for 'cross after his road season, instead of staying in Italy like he did last year. It's causing a guy like Jesse Anthony, who has been one of the riders criticizing "easy points," to decide instead to get his ass in his car, drive to Granogue, and win 2 hard fought and well-publicized UCI events, taking advantage of the opportunities instead to complaining about them. It's bringing a guy like Alex Candelario back to 'cross after leaving it to focus on the road for the past 10 years.

What exactly _is_ getting saturated, then? Points? Of course, we have a limit on C2 and C1 point totals, so there's already a check in place for that. Media? Seems like we're getting plenty of great coverage, and making stars out of the riders at every level. So what's the limiter? All I see us getting saturated with is more good events, more prize money, more press, better quality, more competition, and more growth. More please.

I do not see a situation where the UCI, or USA Cycling, would have any motivation to restrict the number UCI events in the US. This same question was raised when I was on the Commission, directed at Belgium, and the conclusion then was that it was not possible or fair to the riders to limit the number of races there so that the scenes in Italy, Germany, Spain or France could grow. Curtailing growth or strength in one country was not the way to encourage growth or strength in another.

This topic comes up once a year. It came up when we first had more UCI races than the what was just in the 6- or 8-race national series. It came up again when we started to have conflicts on opposite coasts. It's apparently coming up again now, I assume because we've had another big jump in the total number events. The sky was not falling back then, and it's not falling now.

I honestly think we are just scratching the surface of growth of a pro 'cross scene in the US. Until there's a UCI race every weekend in each region at the same time (like there is or was in Switzerland or Italy or France or Belgium), we have room to grow. And until there's a C1 every weekend in the US the same way there's a $10,000 or $15,000 NRC criterium or road race during the summer, we have room to grow. And until more European riders are choosing to come to the US to race (the way they do right now for the US road scene), we have room to grow.

I'm going to save this for next year, and save myself the work of writing it again.