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  1. #1
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    2012 Preliminary O-Cup Schedule

    The OCA site has posted a tentative schedule for next year's O-Cup races. I thought some people on here may be interested.

    2012 Mountain Bike O-Cup XC Preliminary Schedule | Ontario Cycling Association


    Mansfield - April 29
    Woodnewton - May 13
    Albion - June 10
    Sudbury - July 8
    Buckwallow - August 12
    Duntroon - September 9


    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    Sudbury?!?!?!!!

    Hmm, I wonder who's been building what up there... Would be a great excuse to visit my Mom!
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    The Walden Mountain Bike Club has been working hard to cut a sweet trail system at the Naughton Ski Club sight. This will be an exciting venue! It's certainly more on the "Buckwallowish" end of the o-cup course spectrum. Picture Buckwallow but with some decent lungbusting climbs.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by oshaden View Post
    The Walden Mountain Bike Club has been working hard to cut a sweet trail system at the Naughton Ski Club sight. This will be an exciting venue! It's certainly more on the "Buckwallowish" end of the o-cup course spectrum. Picture Buckwallow but with some decent lungbusting climbs.
    Oh, that's great news!

    I was fearing tromping through the muskeg at the Laurentian XC Ski Club (nasty Crank the Shield flashback)!
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Hehe, thanks Nerdgirl! Team Monster? What I meant was invited by a coach from a team. I don't even know how the series works if you're reg an individual class or what the skinny is. If i get the urge i'm sure the info is on oca's site.

    I was having visions of people with "cleaning" up do drop and weasel.
    Most people actually race as independents. You can join an OCA affiliated club (e.g. HCC, Shorthills, Lapdogs) or a team if you want, but it is not at all necessary.

    Team Monster does have a certain ring to it....

    Don't count on finding info on the OCA site. I can't ever find anything there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    I was having visions of people with "cleaning" up do drop and weasel.
    They don't use either Weasel or Do Drop In trails for the O'Cups. Also the more 'technical' West d"Nile is only ridden by the elites and maybe the next level down.

  7. #7
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    Heard rumors of Sudbury. Will be a good opportunity to visit the folks as well. Kinda bummed no kelso, but understandable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oshaden View Post
    The Walden Mountain Bike Club has been working hard to cut a sweet trail system at the Naughton Ski Club sight. This will be an exciting venue! It's certainly more on the "Buckwallowish" end of the o-cup course spectrum. Picture Buckwallow but with some decent lungbusting climbs.
    Is this the same place they had the Ontario Summer Games XC races in 2010? A club member said it makes for a interesting and challenging race track. I also hear they are attempting to host a Canada Cup for the years Hardwood hosts Nationals.

    Its a good hike for the weekend warriors down here in Niagara. Google says just under 6hrs. So I might be sitting this one out. We'll see what the summer brings. Kinda bummed that the race that moved was Kelso, the course closest to home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thedumbopinion View Post
    Is this the same place they had the Ontario Summer Games XC races in 2010? A club member said it makes for a interesting and challenging race track. I also hear they are attempting to host a Canada Cup for the years Hardwood hosts Nationals.

    Its a good hike for the weekend warriors down here in Niagara. Google says just under 6hrs. So I might be sitting this one out. We'll see what the summer brings. Kinda bummed that the race that moved was Kelso, the course closest to home.
    Yep, same place as the summer games but many new trails have been added since then.

    Being from the north, I can only imagine what it would be like if the o-cups were only 6 hours away! I supposed it's all relative. We are hoping people will make the trek north for this one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thedumbopinion View Post
    Its a good hike for the weekend warriors down here in Niagara. Google says just under 6hrs. So I might be sitting this one out. We'll see what the summer brings. Kinda bummed that the race that moved was Kelso, the course closest to home.
    I think Kelso may have been on of the oldest venues on the race schedule, and though I don't race I'm glad to see them try something new.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post

    Don't count on finding info on the OCA site. I can't ever find anything there.
    One governing body seems to think that a flashy new website for mounting biking only will solve all.

    Mountain Bike CyclingBC

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    Anyone know why Kelso was dropped? I have some unfinished business with that race course. However, a new course in Sudbury will be pretty cool. Might have to make it a family trip for this one.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekbikes View Post
    Anyone know why Kelso was dropped? I have some unfinished business with that race course. However, a new course in Sudbury will be pretty cool. Might have to make it a family trip for this one.
    When you add a venue, another has to go. I don't there is much more to it than that, though I could be wrong.

    I like that Chico is continuing to add / rotate venues. Variety is good.
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    Dropping a race in the "GTA" in favour of one out in the boonies has to be a slightly risky proposition but I am glad for the greater geographic diversity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Dropping a race in the "GTA" in favour of one out in the boonies has to be a slightly risky proposition but I am glad for the greater geographic diversity.
    Yet by going to Sudbury you allow those riders up there to actually try and race an OCup. Riders who would normally not bother because of the distances required to do so. As we are seeing in this very thread from the GTA riders.

  16. #16
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    I am totally in favour of giving everyone a fair chance to race but Chico's not a charity and every decision to drop or add a venue has to be balanced with due consideration to the financial feasibility of that move.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__ View Post
    When you add a venue, another has to go. I don't there is much more to it than that, though I could be wrong.

    I like that Chico is continuing to add / rotate venues. Variety is good.
    Ok, another stupid question. Why can't Sudbury be an additional race this way Kelso stays on the race schedule? Is there some magic to the amount of O-Cup races for one season? I would think (maybe I am wrong) the series could handle one more race.

  18. #18
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    The other possibility is that Kelso CA itself really didn't want an O-Cup this year. There's a reason they were dropped from the CX calendar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekbikes View Post
    Ok, another stupid question. Why can't Sudbury be an additional race this way Kelso stays on the race schedule? Is there some magic to the amount of O-Cup races for one season? I would think (maybe I am wrong) the series could handle one more race.
    It's really simple. There is one race organization handling the OCup's in Ontario. So they are faced with 2 options,

    A. Keep Kelso while adding new venue in Sudbury. And increase the chances of producing a subb par event because of trying to do to much- Under Deliver

    B. Drop Kelso and produce a great event.

    Unless someone else stepped up and put in their hand to run a OCup at Kelso that is it. It's unfortunate situation but this is the reality that race directers face every year. And Ontario's MTB race scene has no where near the numbers needed to run 2 series all season like OAT does.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekbikes View Post
    Ok, another stupid question. Why can't Sudbury be an additional race this way Kelso stays on the race schedule? Is there some magic to the amount of O-Cup races for one season? I would think (maybe I am wrong) the series could handle one more race.
    A little birdie has mentioned on a couple of occasions that the folks at Kelso or shall I say the Halton Region Conservation Authority are rather difficult to deal with. I believe it. Not to get OT, but it always irked me to pay an entry fee to the place when I am going there to race.

    Personally for me, that's the first one I would like to do without if we had to drop one. The trail system there is rather small, so the same pieces of the courses are limited to make much of a varying race loop. I live less than 20 minutes away and think I rode there once this season.

    Sudbury will be a trek, and another course with some Canadian Shield will be welcome. Perhaps out of reach for some, but closer for others that find coming to the GTA a trek.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Yet by going to Sudbury you allow those riders up there to actually try and race an OCup. Riders who would normally not bother because of the distances required to do so. As we are seeing in this very thread from the GTA riders.
    FYI, a standing mandate for O-Cup scheduling from the OCA side (which I'm guessing is still in place) is to have at least one event per year away from the GTA stronghold. There was Elliot Lake in the not-so-distant past, Searchmont coming to mind from years past, and maybe even Calabogie sandwiched in the years between those two, which was a bit closer but still sufficiently out of the beaten path to consider it as "spreading it around". I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple of others.

    Whether that mandate gets met each year may be dependent on availability of a suitable venue, but it's the thought that counts.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    FYI, a standing mandate for O-Cup scheduling from the OCA side (which I'm guessing is still in place) is to have at least one event per year away from the GTA stronghold. There was Elliot Lake in the not-so-distant past, Searchmont coming to mind from years past, and maybe even Calabogie sandwiched in the years between those two, which was a bit closer but still sufficiently out of the beaten path to consider it as "spreading it around". I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple of others.

    Whether that mandate gets met each year may be dependent on availability of a suitable venue, but it's the thought that counts.
    They're doing the same thing on the road side too. That's why O-Cup #1 this year was way out in Calabogie. The major difference there being that road races are organized at the Club level and not by a "third" party.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    FYI, a standing mandate for O-Cup scheduling from the OCA side (which I'm guessing is still in place) is to have at least one event per year away from the GTA stronghold. There was Elliot Lake in the not-so-distant past, Searchmont coming to mind from years past, and maybe even Calabogie sandwiched in the years between those two, which was a bit closer but still sufficiently out of the beaten path to consider it as "spreading it around". I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple of others.

    Whether that mandate gets met each year may be dependent on availability of a suitable venue, but it's the thought that counts.
    When you think about it this is what happens when you have one series at this distance. It's easier to keep things closer to your home base then to truck it up to Calabogie or Sudbury every year. Especially if you are the only race directer and crew doing it.

    I know that OCA likes dealing with one RD- Chico. Makes life easier and less work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Yet by going to Sudbury you allow those riders up there to actually try and race an OCup. Riders who would normally not bother because of the distances required to do so. As we are seeing in this very thread from the GTA riders.
    Kinda gets me thinking, it's called the O-Cup series yet every race in recent years is within a couple hours of Toronto at most, with most venues being within an hour or so. If I lived in Ottawa, there's no O-cup race within 5 hours of me and it would actually be more convenient for me to race the Quebec Cup series. And if I lived up north or in Windsor, I'm SOL unless I can drive a good 5 hours or more.

    In Quebec they spread the venues out a lot more, it would be more of a pain to make it to every race but a lot more people will have at least a race or two that's not too far away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    Kinda gets me thinking, it's called the O-Cup series yet every race in recent years is within a couple hours of Toronto at most, with most venues being within an hour or so. If I lived in Ottawa, there's no O-cup race within 5 hours of me and it would actually be more convenient for me to race the Quebec Cup series.
    That's because that's already what many people in Ottawa and area do, and already have been doing for many years. Ottawa runs its own vibrant scene in just about all disciplines including road, CX, etc. and as you point out they often have Quebec events to supplement if they wish. No reason for the OCA to try to move in and cut someone else's grass, so to speak, with something that's already working well for the locals. There are some people from the Ottawa region who still choose to do just about the entire O-Cup series though, for their own reasons of preference.

    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    And if I lived up north or in Windsor, I'm SOL unless I can drive a good 5 hours or more.
    As I mentioned in my previous post, there's a mandate (to the best of my knowledge) to move at least one series event per year around to other locales. Realistically though, it only makes sense to plunk down most of the events near the greatest population base that is otherwise unserviced (Ottawa area being adequately serviced as described above). In any other regions, any local organizer can step up and run events any time they want. It's not like an O-Cup sanction is the only way to run an event. There's already tons of great events that aren't O-Cups.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    As in the World Cup no one will remember who won the yearly point chase.
    Bah, Pendrel, FTW!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    There's already tons of great events that aren't O-Cups.
    The only real benefit the OCup's provide is the same as when I ski raced with Alpine BC. It allows those who have the goal of being a World Level racer to earn their way to getting that coveted as used to call it C Card. It's the development stream for our future World Cup and Wold Championship racers.

    As in the World Cup no one will remember who won the yearly point chase. People will remember far longer who won the National or World Championships. More people will remember Eric Guay and John Kecera then the guy who won the point chase.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    The only real benefit the OCup's provide is the same as when I ski raced with Alpine BC. It allows those who have the goal of being a World Level racer to earn their way to getting that coveted as used to call it C Card. It's the development stream for our future World Cup and Wold Championship racers.
    Which presents an interesting problem for those elite racers with serious aspirations of moving on becoming full timers (which is only a minority of those racers holding elite licenses). The O-Cups aren't put on solely for the benefit of those elite riders, and to be viable the events need grassroots entry component from all ability levels and ages that make up the majority of participants. While some people may not think of O-Cup as grassroots events, that side of it truly is what makes up the majority of the entries with those riders just out for a bit of fun on the day.

    So, getting back to those aspiring international elites, it's best for them to minimize financial needs so they can focus instead on training and racing. With the events centralized around areas of higher population density and correspondingly high housing and living expenses, they are kind of stuck in a compromise one way or the other to have more hours in the car, or else sacrifice training time for income.

    Then again, no one promised to make things easy for them. I'm just pointing out the challenge. If they want it bad enough they'll find a way to make it work for themselves, given that there's very limited financial support available for most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Bah, Pendrel, FTW!

    In the scheme of the race world winning world's has more value then winning the World Cup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    In the scheme of the race world winning world's has more value then winning the World Cup.
    World championship winners in most sports usually get in a good amount of practice learning to win at lesser events. It goes without saying that freaky dark horse winners are not the norm, and winners usually come from a very select group. People who win world championships in various sports often pick up a series title along the way by "accident". Nothing wrong with that. I'm sure their sponsors and supporters don't complain.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Then again, no one promised to make things easy for them. I'm just pointing out the challenge. If they want it bad enough they'll find a way to make it work for themselves, given that there's very limited financial support available for most.
    It gets even more complicated at the very top level with the need to score UCI points in order to compete as a National athelete. I won't pretend to be an expert on this topic (especially since at least one member here rides in this rarefied air) but that's a whole other burden the best of the best have to bear.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedumbopinion View Post
    Wow, what an insightful comment. I never thought of it that way. It would be cool if they had one big event every 4 years or so that meant even more.
    Play your cards right and you might even spend the ensuing four years riding around on a gold bike!

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    In the scheme of the race world winning world's has more value then winning the World Cup.
    Wow, what an insightful comment. I never thought of it that way. It would be cool if they had one big event every 4 years or so that meant even more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thedumbopinion View Post
    Wow, what an insightful comment. I never thought of it that way. It would be cool if they had one big event every 4 years or so that meant even more.
    Well, I can't recall if Franz Klammer won the World Cup points race. But I do know he was World Champ in 76.

    And if you asked us kids point chasing the FIS version all that mattered was the Olympics and World's. And going stupid fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post

    In Quebec they spread the venues out a lot more, it would be more of a pain to make it to every race but a lot more people will have at least a race or two that's not too far away.
    What's not mentioned when it comes to Quebec is that their provincial sport system is way better funded then in Ontario. The provincial government funds it very well.. the best in Canada. If it wasn't there wouldn't be so many athlete's training and living in Quebec.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister View Post
    A little birdie has mentioned on a couple of occasions that the folks at Kelso or shall I say the Halton Region Conservation Authority are rather difficult to deal with. I believe it. Not to get OT, but it always irked me to pay an entry fee to the place when I am going there to race.

    Personally for me, that's the first one I would like to do without if we had to drop one. The trail system there is rather small, so the same pieces of the courses are limited to make much of a varying race loop. I live less than 20 minutes away and think I rode there once this season.

    Sudbury will be a trek, and another course with some Canadian Shield will be welcome. Perhaps out of reach for some, but closer for others that find coming to the GTA a trek.
    Yup, from the crew, they mentioned that Kelso is a pain in the butt to work with so they are happy to leave this venue and open a new one. I think it keeps things exciting and I always love riding / racing in new places! Kelso is a challenging and fun race course, but I agree with Mtbmeister... I live less than 20min away and I've only ridden there twice this year: once to preride, and the other to race... oh, and the MTB festival I do like the lake and beach there though after a hot ride!

    Sudbury will be a welcoming change for me. Good excuse to go up there... I hear it's beautiful that time of year

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louda View Post
    Sudbury will be a welcoming change for me. Good excuse to go up there... I hear it's beautiful that time of year
    Sudbury also gets a lot less rain than other parts of the province!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Sudbury also gets a lot less rain than other parts of the province!
    Must not stop and eat blueberries while racing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Sudbury also gets a lot less rain than other parts of the province!
    They just make up for it in Mosquito and Black Fly content.

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    Here's a cool video I found which shows some of the sweet singletrack in Naughton. This is not a course to skimp on tire sidewall in the interest of weight saving!!


    North Shore & Penthouse Single track @ the Naughton trails - YouTube


    Enjoy!

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    I just wanted to add my thoughts since I live in the north. In the past I've travelled to the o-cups for much of the race seasons. Even when I was younger and work was less of a priority the drive south with friday night or early sat. mornings, preride, race sunday, then get in the car and drive home was just too much. I live in the Sault and Michigan has 2 different race promoters that each put on a series of races. Their are all kinds of one off single day races and lots of endurace length races. More and more have been added the last few years and the racing starts early and their are races right up until the Iceman in early November. Even I'm racing in the expert race I don't have to buy a separate license. The races tend to be very affordable and well run. The courses are also a lot of fun. We're lucky that the promoters seem to get pretty good turnouts even at the more northern venues so they are come back year after year. When we had the Searchmont races (2 years) the promoter was actually Steve (promoter of the Iceman race). It was a joint venture between the oca and us cycling. The turnout the first year was pretty good for xc and the dh races. The second year the dh'ers showed but a lot less xc racers showed up. A similar thing happened in Elliot Lake. I think Chico only had the xc races there but they were decently attended the first year and the numbers went down each year afterwards. The Elliot lake course was Great, really hard and techy in sections. Some of the flattest parts of the course were quite rocky and took some skill to ride. Sorry to drag this out, I just think that as it was said above most racers can probably afford to miss one race from the series and most choose to skip the race which is the farthest drive. I've heard great things about Buckwallow and it would be closest for me to drive. One of these years I hope to make it there. Possibly even sudbury this year.

  42. #42
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    Sudbury eh?

    Not too far from Espanola. Now I can visit the inlaws, and ride all those rocks that I daydream about when I drive up to that area!

    This one is def on the radar.

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    Ok, so instead of ranting, I'll just ask nicely: Why are all of the women's races a lap shorter than the men's in each category? Over in running, the 100m isn't 80m for women, there isn't a pink finish line at 8k in a 10k road race, and a marathon isn't 34km if you have two X chromosomes.

    Is this driven by women racers who want shorter races? The organizers? Or is it driven by the OCA itself?

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    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    Ok, so instead of ranting, I'll just ask nicely: Why are all of the women's races a lap shorter than the men's in each category? Over in running, the 100m isn't 80m for women, there isn't a pink finish line at 8k in a 10k road race, and a marathon isn't 34km if you have two X chromosomes.

    Is this driven by women racers who want shorter races? The organizers? Or is it driven by the OCA itself?
    I'm not going to pretend to have the definitive answer here but I believe it mainly has to do with ensuring that all the races in a given time slot finish at roughly the same time. For instance all the 9AM racers have to be done in time to start the 10:30 races.

    That's why racers are roughly grouped and seeded by ability and speed. For instance, Master Sport Men and Sport Women have the same start time and with one fewer lap, the girls finish at roughly the same time as the men when they're seeded last.

    It's not perfect but I think that's the bulk of the reasoning.
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  45. #45
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    I did send an email to info@Chico, but I'll toss it out here.

    Any reason we don't have a Clyde class for the O-Cups?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14Stone View Post
    I did send an email to info@Chico, but I'll toss it out here.

    Any reason we don't have a Clyde class for the O-Cups?
    Perhaps because being in the same weight class does not translate to the same ability level / speed.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 14Stone View Post
    I did send an email to info@Chico, but I'll toss it out here.

    Any reason we don't have a Clyde class for the O-Cups?

    No need to follow suit with triathlons where just about everyone can be a 'winner' if they choose the right class

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by afalts View Post
    No need to follow suit with triathlons where just about everyone can be a 'winner' if they choose the right class
    Actually Clyde was removed from Ontario Triathlons as well. Hasn't had Clyde for a while now.

    Its not about winning or losing or anything like that, its just an honest question as to why there isn't the class in O-Cups, but there are for other races.

    Matt from Chico replied with a fairly detailed answer as to why, and it pretty much comes down to UCI guidelines, and the ownership of the races by the OCA where Chico is contracted to run them. Which explains why they DO have the class in other events where the OCA doesn't have any ownership.

    And as such, my question is answered. On to SS class where I'll get my ass kicked by guys warming up for their elite race :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    Ok, so instead of ranting, I'll just ask nicely: Why are all of the women's races a lap shorter than the men's in each category? Over in running, the 100m isn't 80m for women, there isn't a pink finish line at 8k in a 10k road race, and a marathon isn't 34km if you have two X chromosomes.

    Is this driven by women racers who want shorter races? The organizers? Or is it driven by the OCA itself?
    As others have noted, the motivation is to supply most racers with a race that lasts a similar time. A bit like cyclocross. A lot of cycling disciplines have chosen this philosophy, rather than running's equivalent distance approach. Where they haven't (e.g. stage races, marathons) you actually see smaller numbers of women choosing to participate. After all, ten hours on a bike (say, for an average recreational female rider) is a much more difficult challenge than three hours on a bike (say, for an elite male rider). I don't think it's something that pisses off too many women, really, but thanks for your concern.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    Over in running, the 100m isn't 80m for women, there isn't a pink finish line at 8k in a 10k road race, and a marathon isn't 34km if you have two X chromosomes.
    No there isn't a seperate finish line for women in running events. But you fail to mention in your comparison that all events especially track events men and women run gender seperate races. It's only when you get to the longer events that you don't see that unless it's World's or the Olympic's.

    Since you mentioned running. If you look at endurance running... the longer the course especially once you start exceeding the marathon distance the time gap between men and women shrinks to in some events non existent. But one has to keep in mind that this is only looking at running. It seems that there is less interest in this type of research in non running sports about how the event distance effects male and female results. Everything I have seen to date in this all comes from running.

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