USA Cycling announced today that it has scrapped the 30-34 age group for its masters road and track national championships. It cited low participation rates in the category as the reason.
"After careful vetting and approval by both internal staff and the USA Cycling road and track sport committees, the chronically low level of participation at masters road and track national championships led us to remove the category completely," explained USA Cycling’s Managing Director of National Events, Micah Rice.
"For example, this year at Masters Road Nationals, we had 25 men show up for the 30-34 criterium while our 40-44 and 45-49 fields had over 100 riders each. For the women’s 30-34 race, there were ten riders. The numbers at Masters Track Nationals were even smaller."
The organisation also hopes that by removing the category, it will result in easier scheduling of the remaining categories.
Other changes to the rule book include the elimination of tanden track sprint national championships, which was previously announced, and the creation of a youth age group for six to nine year olds. USA Cycling will begin selling annual licenses for the youth class.
It also will require youth and juniors in the 12 and under categories to using mass-start legal bicycles starting in 2012. The same rule will be applied to the 13-14 year age group in 2013.
The complete, updated 2012 USA Cycling rule book will be available online at http://www.usacycling.org/rulebooksoon.