Pro Riders Racing Non-sanctioned UCI races

I dislike how pro teams can show up and take 1-5 spots per team, while the rest of us have to do the lotto to get in. What happens when we have 10+ pro teams there and lose those entries as well? Also, if I have to race against someone who can finish the race in <10-hours and I’m fighting to finish in 13, I’ll save face and not go, prefer to not live with the embarrassment and shame.

It was really cool to see some people I know and ridden with or shared a beer with race against and beat big names.

Do we actually know that the entries of the Pros prevented entries from Joes?

Meaning, it’s entirely possible that race organizers held to the prescribed rider limits and added the Pros to the field, above and beyond the rider cap.

I could easily see it going either way, and think that it would be better to find out rather than assume one way or the other.

Interesting. I guess motivation differs, but I don’t see how one persons ability or success diminishes my own achievements.

If I judged myself against pros (whether they attend one of my events or not) I would be disappointed all the time. The reality is that pros are likely 2x or more better than most of us and that will never change.

I got a taste of that last year when I did the Tour of Utah, Ultimate Challenge. I did the final Snowbird climb at twice the time (half the speed) of the effort from Sepp Kuss that set the Strava KOM. Simply amazing to share a course on the same day and see what it really means to be a Pro. Despite that difference, I was super happy with my effort on the day and I exceeded my internal and external goals for the day.


Due to the fact Bradley Wiggins hadn’t raced a local time trial for a number of years he was in the same category as me a few years ago in an Open 10 mile TT. It was the fastest course in the UK (the now defunct V718) and he was hoping to break the course record, he didn’t manage that but he obviously won the race. He gave his prize money back to the organiser, I was in the prize money myself, I didn’t for one second think how he’d done me out of some money. It was one of the best experiences of my cycling life.

He started 3 minutes before me so I was there in the queue behind him, an amazing day.


Part of the appeal of gravel was the equal footing of every racer, a beer gut loser like myself could go to a gravel race and not be embarrassed to show my face. I registered for the DK lotto three times and never selected but I’m also now starting to realize that it’s been a blessing because it’s not a good race for me and I lack the fitness to finish with a respectable time.

Funny, I did my first ever “real climb” a couple months ago and was so ashamed by my Strava results that it took real effort not to chunk my bike off the peak of the mountain and quit.

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To be honest, that all sounds defeatist. You really can only compare your times with yourself.


Wow, that’s interesting and sad at the same time.

Different strokes and all that…

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I thought that the UCI has been known to send out letters threatening penalties against riders for competing in non-sanctioned events. At least events that are gaining popularity.

I think it’s cool that pros show up for some of these events. Since the events being discussed are so large it probably changes nothing for my experience. Maybe I’ll catch a glimpse of some pro that I don’t even recognize.

What grounds do they have in keeping a person from competing in other events?
That just sounds crazy to me from a sanctioning body.

I know that some team contracts have provisions about where and how a team rider can compete. That usually comes with strings as part of the pay contract and desire of the team to control visibility and exposure of the athlete.

But I fail to see how a sanctioning body has any right to set those boundaries.

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Thanks to the nature of a mass-start event, cycling (I guess all racing) is way less adversarial than other competitions IMO. It’s not like an NBA team showed up to your local charity 3 on 3 tournament and dunked on everyone. Pete Stetina showing up and doing his best doesn’t put anyone else down or deprive them of the opportunity to also do their best. I love seeing pros do these events, and hope I’m lucky enough to find myself signed up for the same event as some WT guys some day.


Put another way, are any marathon runners bummed out that Eliud Kipchoge shows up to the Chicago marathon and runs a 2:02? His result has nothing to do with your attempt at a PR.


Here’s an older article from 2013, but I recall reading threatening letters they sent to athletes and Red Hook crit promoters a couple years ago.

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Thanks for the link.

Wow, that is absurd and all too typical of the UCI with it’s long history of stupid rules. That group really is a mess.


+a million. The UCI seems a lot like the company I work for that I can not say anything bad about in public for fear of losing my job. I mean I get it but, if something is obviously antiquated/not working/broken why cover it up as if everything is ok? I’m for calling something like it is. I expect the same from my superiors if I’m messing up.

Money and greed certainly bring out the worst in humans.

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How do you track your progress, without a baseline? I mean, you have to start somewhere and, honestly, it seems like you’ve quit before you’ve begun (and not just specific to this).

I hope you find your motivation (other than comparing yourself against the ‘pros’) someday. Keep the rubber side down, my man.


To be fair, Collin Strickland is a pro himself. Also, most of the people that were complaining the loudest about the “pros” showing up were pros themselves.


I thought the UCI backed down and was not enforcing that rule while it “studied” the issue.

FWIW - I believe this rule applies to everyone with a UCI licence and in a few pockets of the US that reaches well below the pro ranks. I live in Detroit and there are popular road and track races across the river in Canada and if you are from the USA, you need a UCI license to do them because even though you might be just a cat 4, its an international race. About half the racers I know have UCI licenses. The only reason I don’t have one is I work on the wrong side of town to make the Wednesday night race series across the border without skipping of work a couple hours early.

He’s a pro engineer. :wink: I don’t think he stocks his icebox on his cycling proceeds. But maybe.

Anyhow, DK isn’t about what goes on at the front anymore. Or maybe it never was. It’s about being out there. It’s about normal people doing exceptional things…or not being afraid to take on something beyond your ability.


Just, FYI:

In 2018 Strickland was able to quit his day job and become a bonafide professional cyclist at the tender age of 30.

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In case you were wondering


FYI… it’s taken me a very long time to stop looking at my Strava results and comparing with friends, particularly on climbs. I now focus on how I perform against my prior results. It’s much more productive, although a hard point to reach. Also, important to keep in mind that you are ABLE to be out there, pushing yourself, while others may be unable to ride due to medical issues.

You might consider reading The Brave Athlete… they have some good suggestions for mental aspects like this.