Season Omnium Awards
For immediate release, from J. Kopena ECCC Conference Director
A notable, immediate policy update: Starting this season, we will not
be awarding medals at the end of the spring for road season omnium
titles in the Men’s D, Men’s Intro, or Women’s Intro categories.
One of the clear successes of collegiate cycling is that it offers a
place for everybody, from elite and pro level A riders down to the
most beginner of Intro racers. That should never change, and no one
could mount a credible argument that the ECCC does not go the distance
and then a good bit more to support beginning racers.
However, we do need to address a slight tendency for riders on the
Men’s side to linger in the bottom categories, with three effects:
– It retards the progress of those riders; by not moving up they are
accruing wins and team points, but they’re missing out on new
challenges and the continuation of their development.
– It makes those races less accessible to newcomers who don’t have the
skills or fitness to keep up with riders that should have upgraded.
– It imbalances the categories, making the Men’s C and B races
somewhat light, while the D field has become unmanageably large.
Although the first two are important, the last point is really driving
the short term criticality of this issue. We can’t run infinitely
large D fields, for legitimate safety and accessibility concerns, and
neither can we continue adding more D fields ad infinitum.
Fortunately at Rutgers we have the flexibility to add fields and
accommodate this past weekend’s tri-split D category, but we simply
don’t have that luxury at every venue. That immediate pressure will
alleviate naturally as the season goes on, but it remains an issue to
address, and the Men’s categories should still shift upward a bit.
By all means, riders who have more to learn and don’t feel comfortable
upgrading should feel under no pressure to do so. That cannot be
stressed enough. However, by that same token, riders who are
successful in those categories and have ceased developing should be
encouraged to test themselves in the next category rather than
repeatedly beating up on newer racers. Therefore, to remove one
disincentive from upgrading, medals will not be awarded for the season
standings in Men’s D, Men’s Intro, and Women’s Intro.
As a topic to think about for next season, if the culture in those
categories doesn’t change slightly and the Men’s categories start
balancing out a bit more, it is entirely possible that it will be
necessary next year to enact mandatory upgrades on the D field, as
well as possibly other measures such as awarding team points but not
tracking individual standings for those categories.
As always, any comments or ideas are more than welcome.
– joe kopena
right here and now