January 8/07 10:30 am - Canadian Road Nationals Update
Posted by Editor on 01/8/07
Canadian Road Nationals Update
On January 4th, the Canadian Cycling Association released a preliminary schedule for the national calendar (see Daily News: January 4/07 8:45am EST - 2007 National Calendars). In the Road schedule, the organizer for the Road Nationals was listed as 'TBA' and the date was pushed back by a week from the previously planned date.
The reason was the shift of the UCI continental stage race Tour of Utah to dates on top of the planned Road Nationals date (so it wouldn't conflict with the Montreal-Boston stage race). This has had a ripple effect...
Richard Deslandes, who was going to organize the Road Nationals has had to pull out with the date shift - there is a big festival going on in the Granby region on the new dates. The CCA is currently in discussions with two potential Quebec organizers, and is looking at the following schedule:
July 4-7: Junior and Master road and time trial events (possibly Criterium)
July 8: no racing (or possibly Criterium)
July 9-11: Elite and Espoir road and time trial events
The logic behind this schedule is:
- The Elite/Espoir men finish the Tour of Utah on the 7th, so this would give them a day to travel, before starting the time trial.
- Masters (who make up the bulk of the numbers) are less able to take time in the middle of the week to race.
- It is critical to have as many top Canadian pros as possible able to attend Nationals, for maximum ranking points (for Olympic qualification).
- The following weekend doesn't work too well for B.C. riders, since it is the start of B.C. Superweek.
- Three days are now needed for Elite/Espoir events because there will be separate road races for Elite and Espoir categories (at least for the men).
If a Quebec organizer cannot be secured for those dates, then the CCA will look at other Eastern Canada (Atlantic, Ontario) venues first, and then open it nationwide. If no one can be found for those dates, then other dates will be considered, as long as they are before August 15th (UCI deadline for points to count in nation ranking). However, other dates are likely going to conflict with some other major event on the domestic calendar.
And the primary reason that all this shuffling is happening? The UCI did not protect the previously approved Nationals dates from other UCI events in North America when they allowed the Tour of Utah to shift! For countries with ProTour teams and riders, national championships are not as important as they used to be for ranking, so non-ProTour countries are left scrambling.