New AusCycling Class Pinnacle Leaves Riders in Limbo

    There have been a number of changes since the transition from BMX Australia to AusCycling. It’s quite a concern the new class pinnacle leaves some riders in limbo.

    In simplest terms the pinnacle class is considered the fastest class. Where, providing the event doesn’t demand you compete in your strict age class, you can enter to ride up into that class if you are younger, but not beyond and if you are older you can choose to ride from your age group as far down to that class as you would like.

    BMX Australia considered the pinnacle class 17-24. AusCycling consider it to be 30-34.

    Here’s the ruling from The AusCycling Technical Regulations for BMX (with spelling corrected)

    2.01.02 A competitor in all categories other than participation categories (Novice, Sprockets and Mini Wheelers) may ride in any age category above their racing age up to the pinnacle category.

    Pinnacle category is the category with a maximum age of 34, categories above the age of 34 shall be combined with the next younger category. Participation  categories are permitted to ride up within their category only. (e.g. Sprockets must stay in Sprockets and Novice must stay in the Novice Category).

    Let’s take a look at the fastest racers in BMX racing today. The UCI elite classes, the worlds best, the only riders who compete for money at World Cup events and various other events on the world stage, and the only riders who would compete at the Olympics.

    There’s the junior elite, which is 17 & 18 year olds, and senior elite, which is 19 and above, there may be a spattering of riders who are over 30, but very few. And since Masters class starts at 30 you would say that elite, combined with junior elite, is 17-29 years old.

    Now if the pinnacle class was the fastest class it’s logical that class should start from 17, rather than finish at 34 as determined by AusCycling. It was like this for decades when BMX Australia were at the helm and it seemed to work.

    Masters Class is for the faster 30 and over guys. Let’s say you are from the 25-29 class, there aren’t many riders in your class and you are looking for more challenging competition. You can only ride up to 30-34 class, there’s not many options, and it certainly doesn’t appear to be the best option either. The 17-24 class is faster and generally much larger. 25-29 riders who choose to compete in participation categories may not be fast enough, or have the desire, to compete at pro level and racing pro straights. But they should have the right to more competition should they choose. All the faster 30 & over guys are in masters and a 25-29 rider can’t compete in the masters class, what do they do? Race any way? Or just find something else to do? I’d hate to think something like this could potentially lose racers.

    What do you think? Should the pinnacle class be returned to 17-24 or did AusCycling get it right?