January 2/07 11:48 am - Funding the Worlds 'Cross Team (An Explanation)
Posted by Editor on 01/2/07
2007 CCA 'Cross World Cup & Worlds Criteria
On December 27th (2006) a group calling itself Friends of Canadian Cyclo-cross Racers sent out a request for donations to support the Canadian riders who will represent Canada at the Cyclo-cross World Championships in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium on January 27-28 (see Daily News December 27, 2006 11:00 pm EST). The group is asking for donations because Cyclo-cross is not funded by the Canadian Cycling Association (primarily because it is not an Olympic sport, and the CCA does not receive funding for it), and the riders will have to cover their own expenses.
The news piece has received broad exposure, with cycling websites around the world picking it up. Below we have posted the CCA announcement which went out to all athletes before the start of the season, and we managed to speak with Kris Westwood, Director National Racing Programs about the policy of funding only Olympic disciplines.
"This is a general policy - we have limited funds and so we cannot unfortunately finance Worlds teams to non-Olympic disciplines. We get nothing (in funding) for non-Olympic disciplines. I'm not unsympathetic; I did the 'Cross Worlds six times myself and it was all self-funded, including clothing. Unfortunately, that's just the way it is.
In the past we have given clothes, but this year for both Downhill and Cyclo-cross we decided to give the athletes an opportunity to have their own sponsors and made up some special jerseys without sponsors, with blank sidepanels so that they had space for their own logos and sponsors. All the athletes were consulted (about how much clothing they wanted) and we ordered accordingly. We aren't alone, other countries like the U.S. are the same. The U.S. support the national champions, but others all pay a fee, including a clothing charge.
I have spoken with a number of people along the lines of helping to set something up in Cyclo-cross and Downhill (for dedicated sponsors), but we have had no success to date. It's a great plan in theory, but someone has to step forward. I put together a (costing) for a sponsor for the national team for Worlds in Downhill or Cyclo-cross, and it will be a minimum of $10,000. That would cover airfare, accommodation and support at the races (manager/mechanic).
Unfortunately, the national team is one of the most unmarketable programs we have. A professional team is a package; you know who is on the team and you can promote it all year. The national team is a more ephemeral group of athletes - there is really only a couple of events each year in each event. In the Cyclo-cross it is in Belgium, and Downhill will be (the Worlds) in Scotland, so where is the interest to a sponsor?
I saw the news article (Friends of Canadian Cyclo-cross Racers) on your website. One thing that they maybe aren't aware of is that if some contributes through the CCA we can issue a tax receipt, and we can provide proof that the donation goes directly to the cyclo-cross team. I would love to see members of the cycling community step forward to support the athletes."
Kris Westwood said that anyone wishing to contribute to (or sponsor) the Cyclo-cross Worlds team can contact him directly - firstname.lastname@example.org
CCA Pre-season 'Cross Team Announcement
The 2006-07 cyclocross season is about to begin, and the CCA would like to clarify the registration process for athletes wishing to attend cyclocross World Cup events, and the selection process for the Canadian 2007 Canadian Cyclocross World Championships team.
Athletes interested in competing in cyclocross world cup events must register through the CCA. The registration deadlines are as follows.
01.10.2006 Aigle (SUI)
22.10.2006 Kalmthout (BEL)
28.10.2006 Tabor (CZE)
04.11.2006 Treviso (ITA)
12.11.2006 Pijnacker (NED)
25.11.2006 Koksijde (BEL)
03.12.2006 Igorre (ESP)
08.12.2006 Milan (ITA)
26.12.2006 Hofstade (BEL)
14.01.2007 Nommay (FRA)
21.01.2007 Hoogerheide (NED)
Athletes should contact Sean O'Donnell at email@example.com at least one week before the registration deadline for each event to indicate they are participating. The CCA will only enter riders who include the address of the accommodation where they will be staying the night before the event and indicate what jersey they will be wearing. The CCA is not responsible for any fines incurred by athletes who enter but fail to show up for events without informing the CCA.
The world championships will be held in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium, on January 27-28.As published in the 2006-07 CCA National Team selection criteria (www.canadian-cycling.com/English/teams/national/documents/2006-07_worlds_criteria_en_FINAL_MODS.pdf), riders must meet a certain minimum level of performance in order to be eligible to be selected to the worlds team, and the team will then be picked according to the published criteria:
Final selection date: January 8, 2007
Maximum size of team:
Elite men: 4 riders
Espoir men: 5 riders
Junior men: 5 riders
Women: 5 riders
All athletes should be aware that participation in the 2007 cyclocross world championship is entirely self-funded, and that they may be asked to contribute to the costs of support staff.
Athletes wishing to attend this event must participate at the 2006 Cyclo-Cross National Championships.
To be eligible for consideration for selection athletes must meet one of the following criteria:
Elite men / Women
1) Finish within 105% of the winner's time at the 2006 Elite Cyclo-Cross National Championships
2) Accumulate 100 UCI cyclo-cross points by January 1, 2007
3) Be the highest ranked Canadian rider on the UCI Cyclo-Cross Individual Classification on January 1, 2007
1) Finish within 105% of the U23 winner's time at the 2006 Elite Cyclo-Cross National Championships
2) Accumulate 50 UCI cyclo-cross points by January 1, 2007
1) Finish within 105% of the Junior winner's time at the 2006 Elite Cyclo-Cross National Championships
Athletes should inform the CCA of their interest in competing at the 2007 Cyclocross World Championships no later than November 12, 2006. All interested athletes who meet the criteria above by January 7, 2007, will be selected. If there are more athletes eligible than spots available, then the CCA High Performance Committee will make the final selection decision on January 8.
As stated above, athletes will be responsible for their own expenses at worlds, including travel, the cost of clothing, accommodation booked by the CCA and the cost of one CCA-appointed staff member (travel, accommodation and honoraria). A rough estimate of this cost is $1,500 per athlete, excluding airfare. The final amount will be determined once the team size is set.
Athletes with personal sponsors may affix logos on their clothing. The two side panels (30 cm x 7 cm) and the right breast (8 cm x 8 cm) of the National Team skinsuit will be left blank for that purpose. The CCA reserves the right to use other sponsor areas on the clothing (shoulders, sleeves and shorts) for sponsors who may wish to support the entire team and thereby reduce the cost per athlete.
Interested sponsors should contact CCA High Performance Director Kris Westwood before November 15, 2006, in order to respect clothing production deadlines. Only cash or value-in-kind sponsorships above $10,000 will be considered. The CCA may award a finder's fee to any individuals or agencies who secure sponsorship on behalf of the Canadian cyclocross worlds team, to be negotiated on an individual basis.