Message re Philly Circuit Race and Results

From Conference Director Joe Kopena:


Unfortunately, I have to announce a change to this weekend’s race
results: Robin Carpenter, winner on the road of the Men’s A circuit
race, has been disqualified due to being ineligible for the race under
rules 7G1a and 7G1b. All other riders thus shift up a position, and
Charlie Avis (Princeton) takes the victory. John Frey will be
updating the results and posting updated season standings at his
earliest convenience.

No further punitive action will be taken against Robin or the
University of Pennsylvania team. After extensively looking into the
issue, I strongly believe that there was no bad intent on either part,
just over-zealousness to get another rider and friend out racing.
Certainly there was a good amount of very poor judgement and overly
optimistic rules and policy interpretation from the team, but I don’t
believe anyone acted in bad faith.

Similarly, obviously Robin’s presence greatly changed the race given
how it played out (a long two man breakaway). However, I don’t
particularly feel anyone was unduly robbed of their race; this is not
the same as a non-student or someone on performance enhancers unfairly
affecting everyone’s event. Robin is a full time student and fits
right in with the Eastern Conference, he simply isn’t eligible to race
for UPenn. What I most hope is that he will be able to start a club
at his closely affiliated institution and rejoin us later this season.

To the larger points, I remind all of our club leaders that each of
the teams needs to police these sorts of problems internally. This is
not the first such incident we’ve had in recent years, though the most
significant. Everybody needs to do more to prevent these problem from
occurring in the first place. From the conference’s perspective, we
could introduce mechanisms to check on this sort of thing, but they
would burn a good amount of our effort that would be better spent
elsewhere. As is, the worst effects of this incident are that Robin
loses a victory he could have been proud of, and that I’ve now wasted
a solid day on this that could have been better spent moving the
conference forward, let alone my actual work, riding, and so on.

Those mechanisms would also create additional burdens on all riders,
counter to our core goals. Not instating more formal, a priori
checks means though that we’re reliant on the teams to do their part
to watch over these matters. I would like to largely continue doing
so, but everybody needs to step it up a bit on this front.

Similarly, if anyone has any questions about anything, ever, please
feel free to reach out to me, our season and other coordinators, or
Jeffrey Hansen. In general, neither myself nor our other volunteers
mind getting email and we certainly encourage everyone to contact us
rather than winging a problem you’re not sure of. We may not respond
immediately if it’s not critical, but feel free to ping us again if
you really need an answer. Particularly if you find yourself in a
conversation with statements like “Maybe we should run this by Kopena
or Jeffrey Hansen,” then, yes, you should definitely do that…

As always, if anyone has questions or comments about this or any other
concerns, please feel free to contact me.


– joe kopena
right here and now

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