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Unifying the USDH vision and working with USAC - Outlaw's proposal

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7/27/2022 6:36 AM

Tyson Henrie of Outlaw racing is going above and beyond, trying to unify the USDH scene with hopes of improving racing in the states through USAC. Ideas like a national points series and regional race organization are among a few on the plate. He's put together a google doc/form presenting his goals and solutions and is looking for your input, too.

Share your input or give support here:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScN0wgI5yq0ziD0Qj6b5sXirJu3cUXVnHw9iLngnfDtYV3JXg/viewform

Some excerpts
Mission Statement: To prioritize the long-term development of gravity riders and to provide or support club development and athlete development pipelines to the Elite levels of Downhill and Dual Slalom.

Vision: Establish USA as the best in the world in Downhill and Dual Slalom within 5 years based on World Cup/Crankworx standings.

Photo

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7/27/2022 6:52 AM

I'd be curious to see what percent of MTB or MTB gravity has a favorable opinion on USAC.
From my experience dealing with them as a former racer/club organizer/race promoter it seems like the only priority to USAC is master road racing and getting the highest ROI possible

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7/27/2022 7:18 AM

Didn't we go through all this about 15 years ago with Dylan Dean and the formation of the Pro GRT?

Pro GRT, Maxxis Eastern States Cup, NW Cup, Downhill Southeast, Downhill Rockies, US Open, etc.

The pieces are all there, they just need to be unified and organized.

I think the biggest problem is right there in the title....USAC. They are the only connection to the even bigger *hit show that is the UCI.

What really needs to happen is for Crankworx to become the new premier global DH racing promoter, then the UCI and WC racing as it is now with all the issues (like Andorra) can all go bye bye.
The fact that the WC riders are forming a union is pretty telling.

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7/27/2022 7:46 AM

I think we have to look at what the IXS series has done. That's a multinational series that spans somewhat the geographical size of the US, and seems to have proper retention and market share. One of the biggest problems the US has always had is that it's incredibly expensive to compete cross country in the NW Cup as well as Neko's series AND the ESC. It's hard to leave your region if you have a solid series, and if you do, that requires a significant amount of motivation and willingness to spend spend spend. Kind of why you'd typically see KHS, a couple folks forking money for proper accommodations and then a lot of dirt bags (like myself, sleeping in a rental minivan), so extrapolate that to the future growth and families now getting into racing. It's one thing if you can drive your family (in your own expensive rig) to a race but it's a whole other ball game if you're shelling out for air travel, checking bike bags, rental car, hotel, food, let alone race entry. The family has to be incredibly dedicated to the sport and that's just hard to prioritize.

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7/27/2022 8:35 AM

Just skip usaC and start your own points gathering website. Rate different events and results accordingly. You could also toss prize money and awards based on the independent points accumulation.
Then go soliciting for sponsorship once you’ve shown what the system can do.
But kudos: we need to build this ourselves !!!

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PNW ROOTS
ROCKY MT. HIGH

7/27/2022 8:53 AM

maximumradness wrote:

Just skip usaC and start your own points gathering website. Rate different events and results accordingly. You could also toss ...more

Unfortunately that will not do anything for getting riders beyond the US and onto the bigger stage.

You need the sanctioning body of USA cycling to get anywhere internationally in the current situation.

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7/27/2022 9:16 AM

It’s so perfect: you need usaC.
But they do next to nothing.
While I know many many dh racers past present and future appreciate your efforts, working within the usaC/Uci points system will only take you to their stage.
Ultimately I misunderstood your vision.
Ultimately (imho) it will be alternates that usurp the stagnant and non contributing global points lock system that the Uci has implemented and proven to be the barrier.
But doing what y’all doing domestic is a great honest effort to make the current system work for Americans. And yes. That is exactly what DD AND PROGRT was an attempt at.
Americans don’t quit. Nice work.
But also: crankworx and red bull.

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PNW ROOTS
ROCKY MT. HIGH

7/27/2022 9:19 AM

What if the USA was the “bigger stage” ????
We have the venues, the racers, and it seems, a handful of hungry race promoters and regional series to tie together again.
I’m super pumped for the next phase of GREAT US DH RACING TO BEGIN.
But it does seem possible to make us racing great again and not necessarily need to go “bigger more global” for that recognition.
We just need to tie them together and promote and film…… make the USA the premier racing venue

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PNW ROOTS
ROCKY MT. HIGH

7/27/2022 9:24 AM

It's never so clear as at Nats how poorly the gravity disciplines fit in with the overall USAC culture. I always say that the USAC officials look like a bunch of birdwatchers (not that there's anything wrong with that) and just seem generally annoyed by and suspicious of the gravity folks.

I'd also like to talk about the DS course this year. I'm not risk adverse, but that course seemed pretty damned hazardous in design... and from what I understand the design was necessitated by USAC needing to take some of the width of the course out to make more room for the XC course.

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7/27/2022 9:27 AM

The media coverage for nationals was abysmal
I gotta think Barry is right tho. With such a vast geographical area, it’s a large financial burden for (personally) race dads (and moms) to bridge.
National Points system is the answer to that.
How to incentivize the corporate media outlets to make coverage of us national events is a major challenge.
NORBA (sorry for the swears) had the venues abs organization to eclipse the World Cup.
If USAC can’t embrace that potential, maybe they lose the dh community entirely.
But we have seen that NOT happen twice now

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PNW ROOTS
ROCKY MT. HIGH

7/27/2022 10:41 AM

As a Grom who got into racing after the NORBA days, and as a wrench for current gravity racers, USAC needs to open their eyes. Collegiate Nats last year was for lack of better words a Sh*t show. It always comes down to coaches cornering the USAC officials when slalom goes til past dark, and the poorly built courses can’t even be seen by riders. The DH course was dangerous to say the least, plus the XC courses weren’t taped completely so some teams cut large sections of the course.
The rising race entry fees have kept myself, along with many others I know from participating in the larger race series. $200 for an entry to race at a venue that is free to the public to ride is mind boggling.
Instead of having multiple series that all think they are the best, why not come together and join forces to create a National MTB race league that focuses on growing the sport instead of making it even more of an elitist event than it already is. The more people that attend means more money for the local
Businesses and in turn, more exposure.
Even if nothing comes about, UCAS needs to realize that holding nationals at altitude isn’t helping. The highest World Cup race is Andorra, which is only at ~6k feet.
Anyway, there are plenty of large venues with mountain biking infrastructure that can accommodate a national championship level event that aren’t at 10k feet.

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Making bikes go fast since 2020

7/27/2022 10:57 AM

The altitude thing is ridiculous. It's not AS bad with the gravity disciplines, but I can't imagine for the XC folks. Our local XC team went out 3 weeks in advance in order to acclimate... talk about making the sport inaccessible.

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7/27/2022 12:39 PM

Question: is there anyway to do this without USAC?

What would it take to create a 2nd sanctioning body? Like BMX had ABA and NBL at the same time.

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7/27/2022 12:48 PM

Downhill Rockies wrote:

Question: is there anyway to do this without USAC?

What would it take to create a 2nd sanctioning body? Like BMX had ABA and ...more

Seems like there's an opportunity here with Redbull now being freed up from contracts with UCI. I've heard a lot of people say you need USAC for event insurance and such, but you all throw your events just fine without that, right? The main issue is in just getting the UCI points so racers have a chance of racing world cups... but seems like with Red Bull, could create a whole parallel/alternate series that eventually pulls the top racers in.

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7/27/2022 12:53 PM

Downhill Rockies wrote:

Question: is there anyway to do this without USAC?

What would it take to create a 2nd sanctioning body? Like BMX had ABA and ...more

hogfly wrote:

Seems like there's an opportunity here with Redbull now being freed up from contracts with UCI. I've heard a lot of people say ...more

Don’t need them for insurance, just points. Also, didn’t mean to thumbs down your question. Stupid fat thumbs of mine.

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7/27/2022 2:48 PM

I haven't purchased a USAC license in probably 10 years, but this thread is triggering some repressed PTSD.

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7/28/2022 9:47 AM

Get USA BMX to take over sanctioning of gravity racing and set up national and regional series for downhill and DS

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7/28/2022 9:49 AM

olddogbmxer wrote:

Get USA BMX to take over sanctioning of gravity racing and set up national and regional series for downhill and DS

Oh god. Please no.

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7/28/2022 10:48 AM

Brevard_Bikewrench wrote:

As a Grom who got into racing after the NORBA days, and as a wrench for current gravity racers, USAC needs to open their eyes. ...more

What was dangerous about the DH course? They could have just taped around the final wood feature given the conditions, otherwise I can't think of anything.

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7/31/2022 2:45 PM

olddogbmxer wrote:

Get USA BMX to take over sanctioning of gravity racing and set up national and regional series for downhill and DS

Isn’t USA BMX now run by USAC?

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8/1/2022 7:36 AM

olddogbmxer wrote:

Get USA BMX to take over sanctioning of gravity racing and set up national and regional series for downhill and DS

mfoga wrote:

Isn’t USA BMX now run by USAC?

From talking to people at USAC, it is my understanding that USABMX is still running the show and remaining somewhat independent, while simultaneously being able to utilize some of the resources USAC can provide. USAC is still struggling from the pandemic, so it kind of gave them the chance to bring on another discipline without having to allocate a lot of resources to it. It gave USABMX a bigger platform to operate and a few more resources for organizers.

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8/1/2022 10:26 AM

USABMX is affliated with USAC and UCI but basically run their own show. They run great national and regional/local series and are a model of how to run a sanctioning body. They just opened a new multi million dollar headquarters, enclosed world caliber track and BMX museum in Oklahoma.

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8/1/2022 9:23 PM

Thanks spomer for posting this and for all the thoughtful responses. This has been a journey and I'd be happy to talk with anyone that has more info on systems that have worked in the past. There's so much more that our NGB can do to keep the momentum gravity racing has at the moment. Junior cat 1 categories are typically the biggest at each race we've attended with a lot of VERY fast kids. One of my biggest goals with Outlaw is to provide opportunities for all riders no matter their background, we do this with scholarships from donations and sponsors and merchandise sales (shameless plug), and if a kid wants it and has the passion, then we'll find a way to pay for it. But we can't do that for all junior riders, and the more fast riders we have in the country, the better our system gets and the more competition we have to push us to go faster.

Anyway, we are compiling all of the responses and organizing them to create a rough draft proposal for a dream athletic development pipeline for DH/DS. This will be on a living document that we will post links to on our Instagram @outlawtribe_ and hopefully on Vital. Lots to do, but I'm hopeful it will improve our athletes success rate on the world stage, create more interest in DH as a viable business opportunity for host sites and organizers, and keep our riders safe to ride another day.

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