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Trouble-a-brewin in Belgium! Masters World champ challenged!

Uh oh, drama folks! Looks like my friend Edwin Raats, Masters racing 'hard man' from The Netherlands, tried in vein to challenge the participation of Ludovic Dubau in last year's Master's Worlds in Mol. I paraphrased the translation below for you from an article in Belgian Cycling Selection.

29 November 2008, Edwin Raats still with empty hands
It's [nearly a year] now after the world masters cyclocross championship in Mol and Edwin Raats has thrown in the towel as a result of his complaint against the irregular participation of Ludovic Dubau [in the 2008 January race]. Dubau won this world championship indeed, but there was serious doubt if he, however, belonged in the masters category. Dubau as an example rode as an elite racer in A1 the cyclocross in Roubaix just before the master's worlds, and briefly stood in the top 200 at the UCI ranking for Elite cyclocross racers.

Edwin, with the UCI rule to his side, complained against this irregular participation which cost him the world title in Mol in January. We supported Edwin Raats point of view; the world championships for masters belong to the pure amateur sportsman, to them that Elite racers have chosen consciously to race for the master's [trophee]. In spite of his sound complaint, Edwin still has not received an answer from the UCI and of the Dutch KNWU, which him would have support in its matter, he experiences little good will here make work, for them it is purely a master category issue. It is sad note that this complaint no longer gets attention from the UCI, and this dipute and hs already dragged on way too long.

Finally it concerns here, however, the world title. Edwin is tired of this fight and wishes now to be able put energy in the sport himself. However, he remains with a sour feeling: "Apparently the sport-loving value of the World Championships is [sucked out] and seems its more and more a commercial matter. I have 23 years with a permit at the KNWU/UCI and have considerable experience in this sport. With much pleasure I have raced for years in the amateur and masters, all [us] boys with the same context and the same objective. It's our game, and no aubaine (translation: 'cherry picking) by the inferior elite racers."

Small [closing] detail: In November our master Dubau took 3rd in the A2 cyclocross at Marle, behind Mourey and Vervecken. Master for 1 day?

So Edwin is taking one for the team I guess but has clearly created a stir. So for all you folks heading over to Mol this year, best of luck. It's a knife fight against hardened pros.

Reader Comments (10)

"the pure amateur sportsman"

What a refreshing phrase! I thought that concept had been abandoned years ago. Should pros be allowed in masters races? Are any of the US Masters CX champions pros?
Is masters merely an age classification or does it also imply something more?

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterflan

Well, i think that is *the* question. To me, it is not an issue of "are you racing pro races" or "did you race pro races." The question is "are you a full time professional at the time of the Worlds" in addition to other attributes (which are obviously loosely in place now) like world ranking, etc for those that may be worker/racers who are competitive in UCI designated races.

December 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

same might be said about your boy winning the US nationals or Bruno Roy winning for that matter.

December 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That's actually the point I was making above, Anon. I think there is a massive difference between a person racing pro races versus a person who is a full time professional. The lifestyles are radically different. Brandon as an example is at the shop slugging boxes, slinging bikes, training early AM's, no time for 'feet up'. Maybe you're suggesting from a purist standpoint that these worlds should not mix or be partitioned in some way. For me personally, I like to mix it up in Pro races to supplement my Master racing...and would be bummed if I could not for fear of jacking my Master's stance. It's an extremely interesting question.

December 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Andy Jacques-Maynes won the 30-34 masters race AND got 8th in the Elite race, Tilford won "his" masters race an got 18th in Elite. My opinion is once you're earned UCI points during the season and are "eligible" for a call-up in the elite race at Nationals, then you're considered an Elite rider or "pro" and therefore you race the elite race only. Once you are flying around chasing UCI points, you can be called a "pro" and no-longer just a "pure amateur sportman". Is AJM or Tilford really furthering their cycling careers by getting winning the 1 and only masters race they do all year or getting top-10 (or top 20) in the "pro" race?
The "B" races are the same way. Brian Jensen is a catagory 1 in cross and won one of the B races.

December 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hmm...interesting take, Anon2. I like the idea that if you've accumulated UCI points, no masters race for you.
That seems to make some sense, at least as much as any other idea I've heard.
That being said, seeing Mr Dwight taking the win over Matt Kraus was pretty cool, and if I'm right that was a guy with no UCI points beating a guy who has several.

December 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWes at East Coasters

I have to agree with Annon2. If you have UCI points then you have made your choice. Why sandbag?

December 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

What I meant to say in my earlier comment:

--I like the idea that if you've accumulated UCI points, no masters NATIONALS race for you.--

December 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWes at East Coasters

Where would an ex-pro (cross, road, or mtb'r) with UCI pts. from the last season fit into the masters racing scene w/o sandbagging?
Would they simply not race any elite events henceforth? Podium for more than half the races contested until they are 10yrs. older and then take their place as pack fodder?
Or, should they hang it up (not race)until they are 45 and resume racing?

December 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Current year UCI points should take you out of Natz for that year at the very least.
That's just my 2 cents as a usually-midpack-sometimes-top-10 masters guy.
I think there needs to be a dividing line, whatever that may be.

December 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWes at East Coasters

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