New National Criterium Jersey unveiled

Apr 11, 2005
Ahhh, nothing like a bit of revisionism to bring a smile to my face.

Did you get this CCA press release?

National Criterium Jersey Unveiled June 30, 2005 - The Canadian Cycling Association is pleased to announce that the winner of the criterium event at the National Road Championships in Kamloops, BC, on July 9 will be awarded a jersey to go along with the title. The criterium is an event that showcases cycling before thousands of spectators in major urban centres, and it is the CCA’s opinion that recognizing a criterium champion in this way will help promote our sport in the eyes of the general public.

"It is the CCA's opinion"!!!!!!

Yeah, it took two years of me pointing out how stupid it was we didn't have a jersey for the CCA to make it their opinion! (documented proof of that is below)

To journalist out there, you should ask the CCA why it is their opinion now but wasn't for at least five years before? What changed other than my raising the issue, repeatedly? It is a simple question, why now after years of neglect when the US and many other countries had Crit championships for years and years? What changed other than me raising the issue for two years?

So let's call the new National Criterium Championship "The Arzouian Cup". As I said earlier this year, I am even willing to donate a small tin cup and when it is not being used at the National Championships CCA President Kinash and its new Marketing Director Kim Sebrango can sit on a corner of Bay Street and use it to ask for handouts. Ideally, Bill will want to add a little monkey on his shoulder and Kim should have a grind organ.

The CCA's opinion, yeah right! The CCA doesn't have clue unless you bang it over the head again and again and again.

The CCA also included this definition below . That was no doubt for Kim Sebrango their new Director of Marketing Operations who has no cycling experience at all. Now she knows what a criterium is. Probably by the end of the year she will be ready to begin to market the sport she knows nothing about. So the 2006 season will be lost but there is hope for 2007.

Maybe the CCA will get lucky and Ms Sebrango will leave early because, if Soccer Canada is any indication, as soon as she left there after ten years soccer signed its biggest deal ever a year later. Let's hope it doesn't take ten years at the CCA.

This wasting of year after year is no longer a problem because Canadian cycling is used to it, it has already wasted three years under its current President Bill Kinash who walked away from a $15,000,000 event with ZERO sponsorship and who told Canadian Press he and CCA had no plans to market Lori Ann Muenzer's gold medal. That is the kind of message you want to send out to a national audience. "We have no plan". I'll say!

Canadian cycling is used to spinning it wheels.

No doubt Bill was too busy planning that great brain-storming session together he told us about in his Christmas Greeting in December 2004. At the end of an Olympic year one of the biggest accomplishment the President of Canadian cycling chose to highlight was brain-storming session! Given those brains, the session must have been very short...

Three Blind Mice (CCA President Bill Kinash, Chief Operating Officer Steve Lacelle and Kim Sebrango, Director of Marketing Ops), see how they run things.

CCA definition of a criterium:
- Closed circuit between 800 and 3,000 metres;
- Classification decided either by order of finish or by points accumulated in intermediate sprints;
- Free lap for mechanical mishap or crash.

If you doubt that it took all kinds of effort to make this criterium jersey's importance part of the "CCA's opinion", here is just a small sample of the documentation and procedures necessary for what was basically a no-brainer.

Imagine if it is this difficulty to get a no-brainer accomplished how long it will take to get the more complicated stuff done????

Proposal to the Events Committee and Officials Committee November 12, 2004

From :

Re: National Criterium Champions Jersey

I understand that the committee is currently in agreement that a Champions jersey should not be awarded for the National Criterium Championships. I would like to propose that this issue be reconsidered.

I pursued this matter with Brett Stewart some time ago to which I was given the explanation that


In my mind, the entire matter comes down to the fact that a Champion's jersey is not awarded for the criterium. On this basis, the criterium is not considered a recognized title, but all other aspects are equal to the treatment of the road race and ITT.

For example:

- The event remains a part of the National Championship schedule.

- The top 3 placed riders in each category receive the same Championship medals, as in the road race and ITT.

- The winners in each category are recorded as National Champions, as are the road race and ITT winners.

- The criterium offers prize money which is not the case for the road race and ITT.

There is no recognized title that applies to criterium, therefore, we cannot recognize the event as having true national champion status. As the criterium is part of the National Championship schedule, we apply the same protocol in place for the road and ITT events, so there is consistency and continuity for all events.

Because there is no recognized title status, a number of age groups are combined for the purpose of having 4 start groups with reasonable size fields. For example:

This is the format that we have run with for a number of years. The Development Committee supported this prior to the Governance transition, and now the format is supported by both the Officials Committee and the Events Committee. The matter rests with the Program Committees and not the Board.

If you feel strongly that there should be an official domestic status for the criterium, then I would recommend that you prepare a proposal to present to the Program Committees during the fall meetings (end of October). This is the time when the committees will review issues emerging from the 2004 season, prior to considering policy amendment for the 2005 season.



My appeal is based on my belief that there is an opportunity to elevate the importance and profile of the National Criterium and create a marketable entity. This is done successfully with many championships events that have emerged in various disciplines of cycling and other sports over the years.

Apparently we acknowledge that we are hosting an event that is not giving a recognized title, but in all other aspects is equal to the road race and tt. It seems that the criterium is currently stuck in the Nationals as a token, with no consideration that it might have the potential to grow in importance even if it not a UCI National Championship.

If we accept that it is essentially our National Criterium Championship, then I would like to propose that it be given more potential for marketability by increasing the profile. Can it not be a Champions jersey that varies from the UCI National Champions jerseys. Although Criterium is not a UCI recognized event, it is still a marketable entity in North American Cycling. Just as short track cross country in mountain bike has become a marketable property, but is not a UCI event. This has also been shown in other disciplines and sports. XTerra World Champions were not recognized by ITU, Epic events such as the Trans Alp Challenge are not UCI sanctioned, the 24 Hr Solo Worlds or Nationals is not recognized by any sanctioning body, but these titles all create sponsorship opportunities for the events and for the athletes with the titles. The consumer and many sponsors are not scrutinizing details such as how the event is sanctioned to assess it’s credibility. If the appeal and profile is there, that is their primary concern.

We can build up the profile, appeal and marketability of the National Criterium by awarding a jersey to the Champions and by having this event more optimally scheduled in the weekend to be a crowd draw and at a time that would accommodate athletes vying for Worlds selection. The criterium should take place mid day in an urban center, after the road races the day before.

I understand that a primary concern is with regard to the potential for an awarded jersey to be worn inappropriately which would cause unwelcome issues for the Officials. I think this can be very easily avoided with a clear explanation at the outset. The UCI is constantly coming up with rules that everyone manages to figure out, such as the relatively new mandatory wearing of the National Champions jerseys at World Cups.

A jersey is the most important accolade of a cyclists success. The criterium, whether acknowledged by the UCI or not, is a very important component of the North American cycling scene. Criteriums are what have in many cases, sold our sport to the public and to potential cycling athletes. I may have never started cycling had I not seen the Gastown Grand Prix. I have heard this same sentiment from many BC cyclists. I am sure there are similar examples across the country.

I urge you to reconsider this proposal to fully integrate the Criterium as a celebrated National Event.

Best Regards

sent out to all major CDN news and cycling media outlets

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