The First Fixed Criterium World Championships - Explained
Fixed-gear criterium racing is a fairly new sport. Red Hook Crit is one of the most popular and prestigious races. It’s first edition in Brooklyn, NY, started over 11 years ago yet only got popular and very competitive on more recent years. So popular than now we have fixed-gear criterium around the world almost weekly, with several professional road cyclists participating.
From May 31st to June 2nd of 2019, we will have in Dijon, France the first ever Fixed Nations Cup. Now, this isn’t a licensed, UCI or big governing body race but still everyone in the fixed-gear world will and is treating it as the legitimate World Championships of the sport. The organization has come up with a fair qualification process where any rider, of any age or nationality can participate. That means that this is not an exclusively professional race yet it is something where everyone, both pros and amateurs can participate, which has everyone very excited.
The event consists of 3 races over 3 days. On the first there will be a team time trial, on the second a criterium and on the first an omnium (road race). That incorporates all kinds of events that fixed-gear, non-track riders are used to and have access to.
In this event, nations and not teams will be represented. That means that each participant has to qualify for their country. Now, Fixed Nations Cup realizes that there aren’t a lot of countries with a lot of possible participants so they came up with a system, fair for those countries with a lot of participants as well as the ones with a lesser amount.
The way it works is more simple than it looks: if a country has at least 30 riders attempting to qualify, the 5 with the most points will qualify. This applies for both men and women. If a country does not have a minimum of 30 athletes attempting to qualify, those athletes will attempt to represent their continent. That’s it. It could be more complicated but all it is is that you have to be top 5 in your country unless your country had less than 30 athletes in which case you have to be top 5 in your continent.
The way to acquire points is also not very complicated. First of all, Fixed Nations Cup has provided a list of criterium races throughout 2018, eligible for points. In each of those races, only the A Finals will give out points. And, you can’t be lapped.
So, assuming you finished an A Final, on the same lap as the winner, in one of the qualifying races chosen by Fixed Nations Cup, this is how many points you can get:
- 1st of each nation - 10pts
- 2nd of each nation - 7pts
- 3rd of each nation - 5pts
- 4th of each nation - 3pts
- 5th of each nation - 1pt
- Plus, if the criterium is in your home country, your points are multiplied by 2.
- Plus, if the race is organized by Red Hook Crit and you win you get an extra 50pts, if you get 2nd you get an extra 35pts and if you get 3rd you get an extra 20 pts.
It’s more simple than it sounds. It can also sound easy but picture this: if you’re an Italian racing Red Hook Crit in Milan and you’re the 6th Italian to cross the finish line, you get 0pts, yet if you’re Italian and win, you get 120pts. It is expected for qualifications to be as close as 10pts, so we would advise for you to always try to get that extra spot in the ranking (specially if you race for Team Kingdom)
The rankings are updated after each qualifying race on the Fixed Nations Cup website so you can know how you’re doing as the season unfolds.