Blog: Patrick Salt on Shortage of races

How bad is it getting? Is it a lack of sponsor money or organisers? Is it too challenging to promote a Premier?

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A contact close to one organiser has said that he is a bit peeved with the edicts coming from someone at BC who is supposed to co-ordinate big races. Seems that dates are late getting out and the department which is there to support racing has an awful lot of rules and restrictions to be complied with.

As he said, you need to be very determined to convince them that you can do everything they want. The problem is that BC want (quite rightly) the most professional standard they can get, but from unpaid volunteers, and for most people that does not fit very well.

All this from people who have never run a road race, except one event in Wiltshire which was supposed to be a start of something but died after year one. So they must know how hard it is, and really should help as much as possible. What is needed is maybe not a Premier Calendar, just a National A race (as the BC handbook defines) every two or three weeks, and about half a dozen UCI races so points can be gained – at the moment only the Tour of Britain and CiCLE Classic are UCI, I think (Ride London too in 2013).

This is an amazing state of affairs for a country with such a crop of world class riders, and it’s important that those on the way up get a good level of competition to help their progress. It can’t be all “marginal gains”, some big and bold decisions are needed to get road racing at top level firmly on the calendar, and if it means asking professional promoters, then why not?

All I want to do is roam the country with a chance of seeing some great races – where are they?

Patrick Salt


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