Your Tuesday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

December 6, 2016

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Race radios, gran fondos, one-day licenses, and more: USA Cycling announces policy and operational changes for 2017; Azevedo replaces Ekimov as Katusha general manager; Laura Kenny critical of omnium format changes; Wout van Aert happy with current form, despite criticism; Dwars door Vlaanderen adding cobbles, shifting date in 2018; Lotto Soudal announces team rosters; Van Avermaet named top Flemish athlete; Dumoulin, Van der Breggen and Ligtlee nominated for Dutch awards; Aqua Blue Sport unveils team kit; Course construction underway for Cyclocross World Championships; WorldTour riders look back on Revolution Cycling Champions League in London; Teaser for Mayhem documentary.

Race radios, gran fondos, one-day licenses, and more: USA Cycling announces policy and operational changes for 2017

by Neal Rogers

USA Cycling has announced several policy and operational changes for 2017. Among them are fee adjustments for members and event organizers, enhanced membership options, and rule modifications — including reintroducing the use of race radios for elite category road events. With the implementation of an overhauled IT system, USA Cycling is also launching a new membership platform to manage membership sales, event registration, event permitting, race calendars, results and rankings.

The upgrade, USA Cycling says, will allow for more flexibility to add products and services such as reduced pricing on one-day licenses for its Ride members — aimed at enthusiasts, rather than competitors — and unlimited use of one-day licenses for experienced racers who do not wish to pay $70 for a full annual license, eliminating one of the most common complaints for infrequent competitors.

The national federation will introduce several other rule changes for 2017. There will be a women’s Category 5 field for cyclocross, road and track. Gran fondos may be counted toward upgrading from Category 5 to category 4. Professional mountain-bike license holders will no longer be required to purchase a UCI license.

Bouchard-Hall acknowledged that these changes come as USA Cycling has faced a drop in revenue from traditional racing licenses, although revenue from its Ride memberships — about 7,000 total — has offset that. Since he took over at USA Cycling in spring 2015, Bouchard-Hall has overseen staff downsizing, reduced allocations of membership money into elite athletic programs, and departmental cost-cutting.

“Despite the financial challenges we faced a year ago, we are on the right foot,” Bouchard-Hall said. “We are on good financial ground. We will see no price increases, which I didn’t expect a year ago. We are holding things even. Most of our racers will see the same fees in 2017. We’ve seen a slow decline in race memberships, but we have been able to deal with it. It was not without pain to get there, but I’m happy most members will not see any price increases.”

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