Scandal! Intrigue! Uproar! Exclamation points! The Mount Pleasant Pro/1/2 race was marred by some debatable officiating, and the Top Banana Competition had a big decision to make.
After meeting with the kolo t.c. Board of Banana Trustees, and consulting with numerous riders and various smart people, kolo t.c. has decided to neutralize the race as a part of the Banana series. With just 16 riders being scored out of a field of over 60, something was amiss on the day.
Race officials disqualified the first chase group comprised of roughly 18 riders with under ten miles to go. They also disqualified the chase group, consisting of roughly the same number of riders. Aside from a handful of solo chasers, dropped riders and the two man winning break, everyone else was DQ’d. USA Cycling officials stated that the chase group (note, they did not refer to the second chase group for this, only the first) went wide over the yellow line around the second-to-last corner, which came at Mile 101. Going around the corner at 30 with a tailwind, the official stated that all of the riders went across the center line. Riders did not attempt to advance their position, and their echelon formed safely inside the center line once around the turn.
A rider’s protest followed the race, with some spirited discussion going on between a number of the DQ’d riders and the race officials. Riders were outraged at being en masse, without warning and without specific documentation of individuals actually crossing the line.
For the sake of the Top Banana Competition, we won’t be taking this race into consideration. This is in no way a knock on the organization, promoters or sponsors from Le Tour de Mount Pleasant. The race is one of the best supporter, best run events in the Midwest and deserves even more credit for their outstanding efforts than they already receive. Le Tour is a massive undertaking and they have, year in and year out, put together incredibly well-done events. This is a respectful form of protest against officials making sweeping decisions that damage the credibility of the race and put a dark mark on an otherwise perfect racing weekend. For a race official to disqualify two thirds of a field shows very clearly that something was wrong. Riders do respect the safety and authority of USA Cycling’s guidelines, though there has to be check against sweeping decisions like this. If there were a few riders across the line, they should have been given a warning.
Here’s the Top Banana picture as it stands heading into the State Games of Michigan, which will serve as a replacement race. The State Games take place on June 23rd at Cannonsburg Ski Area. It’s one of the most enjoyable courses in the state and home of the Thursday Night Series for the past few weeks.
Check back tomorrow for the Women’s Top Banana Points, which is happily DQ-free. Enjoy the ride, folks.