Aside from the loss of the GP Gloucester, the addition of a mandatory UCI Junior Men’s 17-18 race to all C1 and C2 UCI races for the 2019 season globally has a ripple effect which impacts almost all of the Vittoria Series categories. One of our primary values with the Vittoria Series is category and prize parity for men and women. Currently, there is no UCI Junior Women’s 17-18 category except at the World Championships, though we will be allowed to run that in 2020. Still, we want to match the duration and prize list mandated for the junior men.
Traditionally, the 15-18-year-old Junior Men raced in a combined race with the 40+ men. It has a long and successful history in New England. However, a UCI Junior race is not permitted to be mixed with any other category, though they have allowed us to put other categories on the course at the same time.
Here are the changes you’ll see this year based on these factors:
The UCI Junior Men 17-18 will get their own start, be 40 minutes long, and have an $897 prize list, per the rules.
The Master/Junior men’s race will now be 40+ and 15-16, and will start 1-2 minutes behind the 17-18 race depending on the course. It will also change to 40 minutes from 45, to match the 17-18 juniors. It will be run as it was before, as one race, with one set of results submitted to USAC, and additional category results for Series points and standings.
The 15-16 Junior men will now have their own series standings and jersey.
The Cat. 3 Junior women will now become a Cat. 1-4, 15-18-year-old category, and be run together with the 40+/50+ Cat. 1-4 Master Women, exactly the same way the junior/master men has always been run. They will be run as one race, with one set of results submitted to USAC, and additional category results created for Series points and standings.
In this case, the Junior 15-18 Women will also be racing for their own $897 prize list, to match the UCI Junior Men.
The Junior 15-16 women will also now have their own Series standings and jersey.
The combined Masters/Juniors women’s race will start 1-2 minutes behind the Cat. 3 women depending on the course.
This time slot will now also be racing for 40 minutes, rather than 45, to match the men.
The Cat. 3 men will now race for 40 minutes, to match the Cat. 3 women.
The masters 50+ and 60+ men will now race for 40 minutes, to match the 40+ men.
I hope what this demonstrates is how challenging accommodating one small change in terms of recognition of the 17-18 junior men can be when we extend that change for equality and consistency. My goal and expectation for those categories that have been reduced by 5 minutes is that not much will actually change. If we aim to make sure the winner of those races is always over the 40-minute mark, we’ll see finishers in the 40-50 minute range, which was ultimately the goal of a 45-minute race to begin with. It may lead to slightly more warm-up time between races, and on-time race starts. I think we’ll see a really competitive master/junior women’s race, and more quality overall in that field, with more room for the cat. 3s to race. We now add more recognition for 15-16 junior men and women, and considerably prize money for juniors, which we know they all can use.
Ultimately, the Vittoria Series is a community we are all a part of. I see us all making some small sacrifices in order to give more priority to junior men and women, which I hope we can all feel good about. It was not easy to solve this puzzle and it’s something I’ve been dwelling on for almost a year. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions, and especially to Colin Reuter for being my sounding board as I processed it. Thanks to all of you for continuing to support the series. 2019 is my 20th year in charge. Every year it seems like we’re faced with a new challenge, and a new opportunity for growth. I hope we can thrive with these changes, and survive the loss of Dearest Gloucester.
See you all at Noho.
Vittoria Series President