Forbidden races - Rule 1.2.019
The UCI is asking for rule enforcement, but why now?
Zabriskie who at the time were serving their suspension for doping.
I contacted USA Cycling in October about the participation of suspended riders in this event and much like Whitmore discovered, they didn’t have an answer to the gran fondo question.
“Being the new guy here I’m asking for input from several other departments on this issue. I will get back to you as soon as I have an answer,” was the response I received from Bill Kellick, USAC’s director of communications.
Two days later I followed up with Mr. Kellick asking for an answer and they were still stumped by the question claiming to be researching it and had, “many folks in on this discussion so it is taking some time.” I had no idea gran fondos were such a stumper of a question!
So while USAC was researching and holding discussions that apparently went for several days I emailed Travis Tygart, CEO of United States Anti-Doping Agency, regarding participation of pro riders and suspended riders. Within the hour Tygart responded saying they were okay to ride in gran fondos. Problem solved. Meanwhile the USAC never returned my email with an official answer…
Now, months later, USAC still has no answer regarding UCI licensees participating in gran fondos as they didn’t have an answer for team manager Whitmore either.
Other riders who hold a UCI license are also asking similar questions. Selene Yeager, AKA Bicycling Magazine’s Fit Chick and UCI license holder, posted on Facebook she asked the USAC about “forbidden races” and her ability to participate in them. This past January Shawn Farrell, Technical Director of the USAC replied, “The rule only applies to riders on UCI teams.” So just months ago the USAC was still obviously confused by rule 1.2.019.
These unsanctioned races and rides attract thousands of people all paying an entry fee. The UCI wants a piece of that money. Think of it like “protection money” that organized crime might demand from neighborhood store owners. The USAC are the “enforcers” – making sure the fees continue to flow to Aigle. You pay the fee to the federation and in return you get some banners, a nice USAC icon to place on a race flier and most importantly – insurance.
Talking to a race promoter he stated the USAC did a good job and while cheaper insurance is available, the USAC also offers a national ranking system so riders from around the nation can compare their results against others. So overall not a bad service on the amateur level. But here is where things get confusing.
Whitmore was offered the chance by USAC to swap his current UCI license for a new license now called “domestic pro” so he could race in forbidden events. Whitmore, while an impressive rider, isn’t a pro and didn’t want that license. Another option was swapping to a regular domestic race license. However, would have to wait until next year as he’d raced with his UCI license at the past UCI Master Worlds Cyclocross Championships.
The end result is that the enforcement of