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Following the collapse of the USA CRITS national criterium racing series, a collection of teams this week announced the formation of a new organization called the National Association of Cycling Teams (NACT). The group contains all the primary teams that raced USA CRITS with the notable exception of L39ion of Los Angeles.
“All folks are working together well,” USA Cycling’s chief of racing and events Chuck Hodge told VeloNews. “We really needed a crit series to pull people together after this year. We’re working together with folks to see what that looks like. A few other things are brewing. We saw this as a chance to rebuild.”
Many race organizations previously associated with USA CRITS have yet to announce their plans for 2022. The series had assisted teams with travel and hotel costs to attend the 10 races this season. Many of the races, including Tulsa Tough, Boise Twilight, and Littleton Twilight, were run by organizations other than USA CRITS, but the latter provided the overarching series, including streaming internet video coverage for all the races.
The newly created NACT is a non-profit organization registered in Georgia, with a mission of representing riders and teams. The group describes itself as providing a unified voice for pro riders across several disciplines, with the immediate focus on American criteriums.
“I believe that it will be better for racing and for racers if elite teams work together to preserve what progress has been made, but with a new direction,” said Lauren Dodge of Automatic Racing, who was selected by the teams to serve as the association’s speaker. “I want to see a series co-created by a number of stakeholders including teams, race directors, and USA Cycling.”
NACT is planning to work closely with the stakeholders like USAC and event organizations to help make the sport inclusive and economically viable for all involved, they said.
“While our initial group was focused on restoring a successful criterium season, we realized cycling is one of the few American sports without a unified organization representing the interests of its athletes,” said CS Velo Racing’s Meredith Dodds, who helped organize the association’s launch.
NACT is open to all domestic elite and professional teams registered with the UCI. Currently the group consists of 19 teams with a mix of both men and women’s teams.
L39ion of Los Angeles was among the first to pull out of USA CRITS in October when rumors of sexual misconduct began to spread about USA CRITS managing director Scott Morris. In late October, L39ion put on its own criterium — Into the Lion’s Den — in Sacramento with a $100,000 purse and a region-based team format for the men’s race.
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