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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Posted this over in Front Range, to try and lure some folks from CO down to NM on the 14th-15th of August for a REAL XC race, and a DH one too! The Pajarito Punishment lives on! The gist is, blow off the Mountain States Cup Race in Eldora and come race some hardcore terrain, point-to-point!

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=310369#post310369
 

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So what ur sayin is...

:cool: You won't be in Eldo?! Looks kinda cool. I'm committed to Eldo so I can lock up the yellow jersey for the team at prepare for the inevitable flogging by Bockman and the rest of the Sport Crew. So then, how about Snowmass this weekend?
-Ocky
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OdaNelli said:
:cool: You won't be in Eldo?! Looks kinda cool. I'm committed to Eldo so I can lock up the yellow jersey for the team at prepare for the inevitable flogging by Bockman and the rest of the Sport Crew. So then, how about Snowmass this weekend?
-Ocky
Won't be making it to Snowmass, but WILL be going to the Championships in Mammoth! I've heard Eldora/Nederland is supposed to be good, but I've targeted this "home race" as an 'A' race for a while now.... especially when I see that some of the top guys in my expert MSC group have been sandbagging for a couple of seasons, OR moved DOWN from semi-pro! WTF is that? Not that I really care, but it's too bad some folks are like that.

Anyhow, great job in your season, and Mark will be nice to you! Might flog you a bit, but will be nice! I will be at Keystone for the finale, hope to do well there.....
 

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glenzx said:
.... especially when I see that some of the top guys in my expert MSC group have been sandbagging for a couple of seasons, OR moved DOWN from semi-pro! WTF is that? Not that I really care, but it's too bad some folks are like that....
how do you sandbag in expert? isn't the whole point that it's the top amateur class?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Iktome said:
how do you sandbag in expert? isn't the whole point that it's the top amateur class?
Easy! :) If one season you podium a couple of times, and finish strong, then do even BETTER the next year, with multiple podiums and all and stay in the same category (What's the NORBA stipulation, 5 podiums, then move up?) and win your class by a few minutes at each race..... I tend to see that as sandbagging, or at a minimum, a mean sponsor that MUST see first place year in and year out. Never mind dropping a level between seasons.... I know folks who retire, then come back years later and race a category or two lower, and it makes sense as they're racing with like-ability people. As an avid cyclist and amateur racer, when I see that sort of behavior my fondeness (read: willingness to support) of said sponsor dwindles. Better to see a team/rider challenging themselves and being competitive than win most races most of the time! After winning one state race and one 'regional' race in Sport class, I moved up to expert. While it is a bit more effort to move up to semi-pro (I believe you need to petition your regional NORBA rep. for approval). When I see results (like my time at the Moab MSC :eek: ) that would put a finisher in good shape in the next category up, seems time to move on.

I guess to directly answer your question, if you are smokin' the competiton in a REGIONAL level event (like the MSC series), especially in Expert, it's time to move up. Most of the pro's/semi-pro's I know are still "amateur", in that they work full-time outside of riding and have sponsors that may (or frequently may not) hook them up with at least some gear. One buddy of mine, a VERY strong NM Pro, and a decent regional level rider, camps in a freakin' tent even at BIG races! Still seems pretty 'amateur' to me, just his abilities are way above the amateur level!

Anyhow, the bottom line is I'd never be the one to whine to a race promoter/series director about this sort of behavior, as I think it reflects poorly on the "perpetrators"all on it's own. In fact, it makes me work that much harder! Just find it weird that someone would just keep winning and not move on (stagnate?). I mean, where's the passion for riding (instead of winning) then? Near the back of the pack type finishes build lot's of character, more than those podium spots, IMO! I know from personal expierience to boot...:D

Anyhow, maybe I'm way out there and all, but doesn't seem like it.
 

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So would that make me a sandbagger if I stayed in Beginner forever just to win my super cool wall plaque every weekend...? ;)
It's kinda what we talked about last week, to some degree everyone cares about how they place, otherwise we wouldn't talk about how we placed here or there, in essence it's kinda why we race. I think that what people often miss, is the personal satisfaction of the "journey" as opposed to the end result. So I was thinking about the 5 of 5 rule. Isn't there also a rule that says you have to race in the class registered on the license, and other than a petition to NORBA, you are not allowed to race below at any time? I tried to find it, but maybe I'm just makin stuff up. Good luck at your race locally Glen! NAtioanls is my final "A" race for the sason, and Eldo should be fun. Something like 2x 8 mile loops... should be interesting.
-Ocky
 

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there's no question that people can, and do, sandbag in the beginner and sport classes. but that wasn't the subject of your original post, nor my response, and is irrelevant. similarly, i don't disagree that pro/semi-pro mountain bikers don't make a whole lot of money. but that's not the point either.

NORBA has no rules for mandatory upgrades from expert to semi-pro. in fact, even an expert national champion is not required to upgrade. the national champ is allowed to upgrade if a request is made in writing, but otherwise no upgrade occurs. so according to NORBA, there are no expert sandbaggers. it's a good thing you don't intend to whine about it.

this, of course, doesn't answer your contention that good experts should move up for the increased challenge. but what if a locally or regionally good expert has his/her sights set on the national championship? does that person have to give up that opportunity to conform to your ethical system? and doesn't that just mean that a less ethical good rider, or an ethical "mediocre" (relatively speaking of course) expert, will be the national champ? all so the formerly good expert can get his/her arse kicked by pros 10 years younger.

just seems to me that expert is the top class for most of us, and a hypothetical 33 yr-old with 2.5 kids and a job shouldn't be called a sandbagger because he happens to be pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Iktome said:
NORBA has no rules for mandatory upgrades from expert to semi-pro. in fact, even an expert national champion is not required to upgrade. the national champ is allowed to upgrade if a request is made in writing, but otherwise no upgrade occurs. so according to NORBA, there are no expert sandbaggers.
Indeed I understand the the rules about a rider being "allowed" to upgrade, and that one can "plateau" at expert and call it a day. Being relatively new to racing, I'll admit a lack of long-term experience and much elite level rider interaction, but given the spirit of racing and personal challenge, I just can't relate to the notion of retarding growth. This is what I perceive in a racer consistently winning or placing highly in a class as competitive as expert, especuially after a couple of seasons! Again, just my POV. I'm sure there are many valid points to counteract it, and that's OK too. The world according to NORBA isn't perfect, this I'll also admit. The rules do a good job of being fair for the most part, and that's all we can hope for.

Iktome said:
this, of course, doesn't answer your contention that good experts should move up for the increased challenge.
Which is really the thrust of why I brought it up in a side-ways manner anyhow. Again, it's based on my perception and sense of what racing is to me! And you're points below outline why it may be appropriate to hang in expert for some folks.

Iktome said:
but what if a locally or regionally good expert has his/her sights set on the national championship?
Perfect reason to stay in his/her expert class! Thankfully there aren't too many folks at expert level with the time & resources to have that thorough a plan. If they are who I'm talking about, than I'm damn proud to be near them (and not "whining" about them)! Heck, I'd be happy to do support for a local/regional prospective champ! Oh, I do...;)

Iktome said:
does that person have to give up that opportunity to conform to your ethical system?
Heck no! The last thing I'd expect from someone racing at a level that put's them in contention for a national title is to listen to me. They better run in the opposite direction, fast! I'm sorry if it seemed like I was defining an ethical "system" when all I intended to relay was POV.

Iktome said:
and doesn't that just mean that a less ethical good rider, or an ethical "mediocre" (relatively speaking of course) expert, will be the national champ?
I think I see what you're saying, sort of, in that if all the fast experts moved up, the less "ethical" or more "mediocre" riders would win? Well, someone's always in the position to win, I suppose, and finding the group to race with at a similar level to one's own is key to deriving satisfaction from competition. Given the individuality among us all, there are few hard-fast rules for quantifying each other for accurate categorization, especially in amateur MTBike racing. So I suppose the gaps will always be significant in competition where there may be a national champ 'candidate' and local/regional level riders. Maybe that's why Allison Dunlap raced Men's Semi-Pro at Chalk Creek this year! She avoided the possible bad-feelings from local/regioanl pro women among other things, but probably just wanted the challenge! Again, I don't know her, or the reasons she did this, but respect and admire what she's done for the sport, to say the least!

Iktome said:
all so the formerly good expert can get his/her arse kicked by pros 10 years younger.
Again, in my limited view & expierience, I hadn't considered someone older facing this conundrum, and do apologize. Obviously there'd be a disparity among a strong regional level older expert, and a nationally ranked pro/semi-pro in a head-to-head race. But for those in there 20's and 30's (and lot's of 40+ folks I know!) there's plenty of room & time for growth. So my inclination would be to go for it!

Iktome said:
just seems to me that expert is the top class for most of us, and a hypothetical 33 yr-old with 2.5 kids and a job shouldn't be called a sandbagger because he happens to be pretty good.
That hypothetical 33 Y.O. doing "pretty good" in expert seems like the perfect candidate for hanging out in expert indefinately then! Multiple podiums over multiple seasons is a wee bit better than "pretty good" IMO, but still acceptable given what's been kicked around in this conversation if they're older..... or in limited instances if younger.

I certainly didn't mean to generalize nor did I intend to sway to far from my initial post, about a great race in an awesome region! I apologize for my "better late than never" over-enthusiasm in life for racing, and subsequent ignorance, as it's been a re-birth of sorts in my 34 Y.O. 2.5 kid type life... :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OdaNelli said:
So would that make me a sandbagger if I stayed in Beginner forever just to win my super cool wall plaque every weekend...? ;)
That'd Rock! :p

OdaNelli said:
Isn't there also a rule that says you have to race in the class registered on the license, and other than a petition to NORBA, you are not allowed to race below at any time?
Yes and no. I was a NORBA "sport" in May, and at Chalk Creek walked up to the NORBA official and she just punched my card to upgrade to expert. Easy Money. As for downgrading, especially one season apart, I don't know just what is involved. Probably a petition or something, but not sure. You do 'apply' to move up beyond expert....

I think were saying the same things, and maybe even agree! ;)

OdaNelli said:
Good luck at your race locally Glen! NAtioanls is my final "A" race for the sason, and Eldo should be fun. Something like 2x 8 mile loops... should be interesting.
-Ocky
Thanks! And again, from all I've heard, Eldora should be fun! I was sort of pleading to the Pro's, as they have the chance to win a decnt purse for there troubles! Expert will pay back about 1/2 the entry fees collected too. So the more folks that show up, the more "incentive" to win!
 
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