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I'm not a pro, just a CAT 4 racer with a USA Cycling License. Can I be suspended and fined by UCI / USAC if I participate in non-sanctioned races? I've heard they are cracking down on licensed pros racing in non-sanctioned races, but does this apply to everyone? What is the likelyhood of that actually happening?

UCI 1.2.019 rule states “No license holder may participate in an event that has not been included on a national, continental or world calendar or that has not been recognized by a national federation, a continental confederation or the UCI. Breaches of articles 1.2.019 or 1.2.020 shall render the license holder liable to one month’s suspension and a fine of 50 to 100 Swiss francs.”

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2 Answers

If you were to rephrase the question "could I be suspended...?" then I think you'd have your answer: Absolutely. The wording of the rule is clear and unequivocal.

But as you phrased it "will I be suspended...?" the answer is it's possible, but not very likely for a Cat 4.

The vast majority of USAC officials are merely cycling enthusiasts who work part time as officials. Most of them have full-time jobs and officiate on the weekend because they like to do it, not because they get paid to. Until an official gets near the level that they're officiating pro races, the pay averages out to less than minimum wage. That being the case, you can pretty much bet that they don't have the time to comb through the results of every low-level racer at every race all around the world and compare them to the races that they've officiated.

Then again, they are cycling enthusiasts. There's always a chance that they'll be reading results for the fun of it and just happen to notice your name somewhere that it shouldn't be. Especially if you're racing sanctioned and unsanctioned races in the same area. Officials travel a bit by necessity, but usually not too incredibly far.

Addendum: Having gone on to read the full text of the UCI rules, 1.2.019 states that: "A national federation may grant special exceptions for races or particular events run in its own country." What those exceptions are, and how and when USAC might apply them is not clear.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The UCI has subsequently clarified that the rule extends to ALL UCI-licensed riders, even those not associated with a UCI team. This rule only pertains to those riders holding an international/UCI license.

See Reference on Rules Clarification from UCI/USAC: http://www.usacycling.org/clarification-of-uci-rule-12019-and-related-sanctions.htm

So, what it boils down to is that if you're just a USA Cycling licensed rider, but do not hold an international UCI license, then this rule does not apply. If you do hold an international UCI license, then it does.

Update:

It appears that the rule will not be enforced this year, 2013 and is planned to be enforced in 2014.

The UCI listened to the feedback from the various groups involved and who feel affected by a strict and immediate enforcement of rule 1.2.019 and its associated sanctions. The UCI has decided to postpone strict enforcement of rule 1.2.019 in 2013 with the expectation that all stakeholders (National Federations, race directors, teams and riders) will discuss and do what is necessary to prepare for the rule’s full enforcement in 2014.

Reference: http://www.usacycling.org/update-on-uci-rule-12019.htm

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Regardless of whether non-pros can be fined. This rule is complete and total garbage and should be abolished if the UCI wants to stay relevant. –  Benzo Apr 8 '13 at 20:34
    
Don't worry @Benzo, you can still participate in the ElliptiGO World Championships –  Kibbee Apr 11 '13 at 17:15
    
I like to do several Ultracross series events (Hilly Billy Roubaix, Iron Cross), Alleycat races (totally unsactioned, questionably legal), Roller Races / Gold Sprints, and was considering Randoneeuring and / or challenges like Crush the Commonwealth (Pittsburgh to Philly), unsanctioned cross races (like the Bilenky Junkyard Cross) and the occasional Bike Polo Tournament. So, I'd probably go without a UCI license since I do more unsanctioned events than USAC sanctioned events. –  Benzo Apr 11 '13 at 17:40
    
Rules like this are actually fairly standard for professional athletes. It's completely ludicrous to apply it to amateurs though. But I would expect nothing less from the UCI. –  jimirings Apr 11 '13 at 19:21
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