11 November 2015

U23s and Collegiate Racing

A VeloNews article was recently published describing the dismal state of the domestic amateur racing scene in the USA. It highlights the various difficulties encountered by amateur teams and individual racers trying to make the jump to the professional ranks. I won't repeat the points made there, but simply encourage you to go read it now.

This article (and some of the followup commentary) connects nicely with my focus on the collegiate racing scene and its potential role as a development path. It certainly warrants a deeper look to see if we can provide the critical U23 racing period through the vehicle of collegiate racing.

Here's some interesting numbers:

MTB Cross Country (Cat Pro & 1):
182:  male USAC licensees with racing age 19-22:
70%:  currently a member of a collegiate racing team (for women it is 85%)

Road (Cat 1 & 2 Road Race):
321:  male USAC licensees with racing age 19-22:
55%:  currently a member of a collegiate racing team (for women it is 88%)

Cyclocross (Cat 1 & 2):
75:  male USAC licensees with racing age 19-22:
57%:  currently a member of a collegiate racing team (for women it is 77%)

So, with the majority of the experienced U23 riders racing for collegiate teams, shouldn't we be directing national development resources to ensure the collegiate racing system helps these riders continue to progress while in school?

And where are these riders attending?

For Men's Road, 50% of all Cat 1 & 2 riders are at these 15 schools (with count):

Marian University:  11
Fort Lewis College:  10
Milligan College:  8
University of Colorado Boulder:  7
Lindenwood University:  7
Colorado State University:  7
University of Wisconsin-Madison:  6
Lees-McRae College:  6
Mars Hill University:  5
Colorado Mesa University:  4
University of California-Davis:  4
California Polytechnic-San Luis Obispo:  4
Furman University:  4
University of California-Berkeley:  4
Lindsey Wilson College:  4

For women,

Marian University:  5
Lees-McRae College:  3
Lindenwood University:  2
University of Arizona:  2
Milligan College:  2
Whitman College:  1
University of California-Los Angeles:  1

For Men's XC, 50% of all Pro & Cat 1 riders are at these 10 schools (with count):

Fort Lewis College:  14
University of Colorado Boulder:  8
Brevard College:  7
Marian University:  7
Lees-McRae College:  5
Colorado Mesa University:  5
Appalachian State University:  5
Lindenwood University:  5
Colorado State University:  4
Michigan Technological University:  4

For Women's XC, the following are the only schools with more than one Pro/Cat1 rider attending:

Ripon College:  2
Lees-McRae College:  2
Fort Lewis College:  2
University of Colorado Boulder:  2
Stanford University:  2

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