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  1. #1
    Super Moderator David Arthur's Avatar
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    XC racing: Do the categories need a shakeup?

    Are there too many categories? I propose a simplifying of the category system to make deciding which race to enter easier and fairer. Read my comment piece on XC category

    What do you think? Does it work for you at the moment, or do you think there's scope for a reshuffle?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    1. Elite (Professional/ Semi Pro)
    2. Sport (Sunday League)
    3. Kids.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator David Arthur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    1. Elite (Professional/ Semi Pro)
    2. Sport (Sunday League)
    3. Kids.
    Nice and simple, I like it

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sniper's Avatar
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    You can't have Semi Pro with the Elite, or Richie will turn up!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dalesman 's Avatar
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    I'd look strange on the start line of a kids race, come to think of it so would you Stan.

  6. #6
    The Gorricks aren't BC races so riders can pick any category they like. It doesn't really surprise me that the turn out for sport and expert would be very low. Its the end of the season and most racers will either be riding cross or taking a rest at this time of year.

    It might be worth going to another Gorrick in spring to see what the fields are like then.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy23 View Post
    The Gorricks aren't BC races so riders can pick any category they like. It doesn't really surprise me that the turn out for sport and expert would be very low. Its the end of the season and most racers will either be riding cross or taking a rest at this time of year.

    It might be worth going to another Gorrick in spring to see what the fields are like then.
    Yes but out of how many categories?

    I was going to enter this until I saw trhe "male sport" catagory which best applied to me started at 2.15 aka

    a) Probably limited car poarking unless you turned up in the AM and hung around for hours
    b) Course chewed up if wet
    c) Finishing late in the day

    ...there are a few other reasons....

  8. #8
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    the simple answer is a bit too simple... You really dont want to have 18 year olds racing guys in their 50s...

    I think the 'old' way of doing it was good:

    youth
    juvenile
    fun - open
    sport - 17 to 29
    masters - 30 to 40
    vet - 40 to 49
    grand vet - 50 +
    elite/pro

    Fun would have to be strictly that however a 1 or 2 lap blast with no prizes, I remember a couple of 'fun' gorrick races in the 90s with lap time comparible to the elites...

    The two annoying things for me (still racing at 43) are the hangers on, ie the guys that race and win every weekend, and then just reregister in the same category next year instead of going into the elite group, and the current british points allocation. at the moment its big points for the winners (300 for a 1st) but they fall away too quickly for lower placed riders, which means that a good position in one race will keep you in the top ten for most if not all of the season, pushing back guys that are getting relatively good placings and doing a full season.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nick Evans's Avatar
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    Good article Dave, and a question which comes up time and time again...

    Open used to be called Novice, but they renamed it about 7 years ago, I think they should revert, you're quite right that it gets full of 'racers' - Rob Lee got a lot of grief years ago (from other pot hunters sorry to be robbed of their trophies!) for entering and winning (along with the Masters and the Expert in the same day IIRC), which rather undermines the 'Open' moniker. I seem to recall he even turned down the trophy, just wanted to do 3 races in a day.

    Expert is often poorly subscribed in the Gorricks for the reasons Andy mentioned, I was going to go, aditionally;
    - it's too late in the day, the catering guys have often packed up by the time you finish, it's also empty on the course, which is really dull
    - there's no ranking points on offer, and only a token trophy for the winner (which being combined elite/expert is very unlikely to be me, although I'd have had a good shot on Sunday!)

    The Spring series often have 20+ experts testing their early season legs, which is an improvement!

    They were going to change to a road style E/1/2/3/4 cat, but it all went very quiet. I think the real red herring is masters - there's no physical degredation in ones performance by age 30, often quite the opposite. Master used to be for 'enthusiast' riders over 30, but in recent years has become more commonly frequented by mid-table elites who've turned 30 (although there's been a bit of reversal in the last year or 2). The BC handbook says that the top 3 masters should be 'upgraded' to Expert. At least until this year that would have been a demotion - indeed the number of Masters who've gone to Elite shows that!

    I agree that a shake-up would be good, I guess the issue is that it'll annoy some; get rid of masters (which as you say is a big category) and you have 2 choices (for the top guys at least), put them in with expert and they take over at the top, or put them in elite and they go from winning every week to mid-table mediocrity. I guess the lower guys could blend more effectively with sport/expert as appropriate.

    On top of that, Gorrick are happy with their structures, and I'll wager would purposely not adopt anything BC did - Jon's not their number one fan! Considering that's where so many people get into racing it's probably got a bit of influence! At least having the categories aligned across series makes for better clarity - if people raced Open at a Gorrick where would they then go at a Southern/National? If you didn't have a license would you have to race 4th cat all the time?

    Longest post ever? Win!

  10. #10
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    No I think it`s good as it is. I`m a female old git but I sure dont want to ride the 0/50 cat with nobody in it when I can do expert or sport and get a decent race.
    I`ve been to Gorricks and there have been good numbers in Sport and expert.
    Maybe you just got a bad day!

  11. #11
    I did the masters category race at last Sundays Gorrick race and came 28th out of 33 finishers of all 3 laps. I felt like I had a good race, I battled with a few people for the first half lap, then had a bit of a battle for over a lap changing places with someone who would catch me in the twisty stuff but drop back slightly up the hills then having pulled away enough to be out of sight during lap 3, despite being 'on my own' I kept the pressure on the pedals for fear of being caught again and slight hope of catching anyone ahead who may have tired, also I did not want to slack off and get a poorer lap time. Plenty of race entertainment I thought, certainly enough to make it worth it over doing a normal ride in the forest.

    The only downers I experience is being followed by chatting riders warming up for faster categories, and holding them up, whilst I am 'racing', and also not knowing if that the lone rider behind or ahead is racing you or just practicing.

    When I was in my 20's I used to do the open category and come mid table, I have never started fast and found the queuing early in the first lap frustrating but the subsequent catching and passing satisfying. But I now like the masters cat even though I tend to be in the bottom quarter, maybe I just like time trialing!

    So currently at the gorrick xc events I can choose fun if I want to do 2 laps (and I would not worry the top 10 so could not be accused of trophy hunting) , open or masters depending on what time of day I want to race and whether I would prefer a smaller field, or even super masters if I fancied 4 laps and coming last. So it suits me fine as it is.

    I would not like a system where I could not choose number of laps but was forced to do a particular number according to age. I have usually had it after 3 laps.

  12. #12
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    BMI >30 so us fatties can not be excluded, it's fatism I tell thee!!

    * I'd have to eat more pizza to get there, but a training I could handle!!

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