CRCA is pleased to announce a variety of investments in and enhancements to Open Racing that we have planned for the season ahead.
From a high level we are recruiting individual Race Directors for each of the Open Races, shifting responsibility away from the (volunteer) Director of Open Racing position as this role was stretched incredibly thin by the complexity associated hosting the Open Race Schedule.
We hope this change will result in a smoother race day experience. Our goal across the schedule is to start races on time, run safe races, and enhancing the broader racing/spectating experience. There won’t be many individual dramatic changes, but we do think there will be lots of small improvements.
At the Grant’s Tomb Criterium we revamped the schedule to move the Juniors field to the middle of the day in the hope of continuing to attract the next generation of racers to the event. We are also shifting the finish line slightly to the North and making a variety of behind the scenes organization improvements (including more portojohns) that we hope add up to an improved race experience. We are also introducing separate scoring for the Grant’s Tomb Criterium so there will be enhanced opportunities to earn upgrade points and we lowered the early registration discount price to just $30.
We are still in the planning phases for the Orchard Beach Criterium but are attempting to interface with NYC Parks and DOT to have pavement repairs made before this years event. Unfortunately this is a more complex task than you might imagine but we’re working hard on planning and should have more news soon.
For the Bear Mountain Classic we made significant changes to the schedule, particularly for the first wave of races, where we are offering additional Masters fields across a variety of categories. We are also exploring opportunities to add recreational cyclists to the event and may have more news on this front soon.
June’s Dave Jordan Central Park Classic is meant to remain the most prestigious race on the schedule with significant price pools and the hope for sold out fields. We are forced to make some tweaks to post-race podium presentations due to NYC Parks restrictions, but will have news on this front in the coming months.
The Lou Maltese Memorial will return as an Open Race after being part of the members-only Club Series in 2018. We look forward to the event’s return to the Open Race calendar.
Finally the Mengoni Grand Prix will remain the season finale for CRCA’s Open Race schedule. We’ll be looking to streamline the race morning registration process but otherwise this event will remain much the same as in prior years.
Unfortunately the Fort Lee Criterium will not take place this year as the event was not able to generate the fundraising requirements that Fort Lee was hoping for, particularly when compared to the significant costs associated with road closures. We have our eyes open on alternative events to replace the Fort Lee Criterium so if anyone has viable venues (with support for the required road closures) please don’t hesitate to reach out.