Collegiate Cycling - Road Rules Summary


This is a summary and not exhaustive; consult the USA Cycling rulebook for complete details. Published rules preempt any notes given here. Bracketed citations refer to relevant rules. Current rulebooks are available at:

Status [6B, 6C, 6B5]
All racers must be full time students, members of a licensed USAC Collegiate team, and hold a valid USAC Annual Collegiate License ($30, or $60 w/ Full USAC Road or MTB license) or One-Day license ($10). One-day licenses are not accepted at National Championships or any other Category A race. Some conferences will not allow One-Days for B races, either. Check with your conference director to be sure. One-day licenses are, however, a viable option for first-time racers looking to try the sport.

Circuit and Road Races [3C]
Riders from different events or on different laps may not work together. Lapped or lagging riders may not contest sprints and must cover the race distance unless pulled from the race.

Criteriums [3D, 3D5, 3D7]
Crit courses are .8-5km long and closed to traffic. Riders that suffer a crash or mechanical accident not due to faulty maintenance with more than 8km to go in the race may make their way to the pit and receive a free lap to enact repairs (two laps on courses <1km). To do so they must report to the pit official immediately after the incident. Riders may not ride backward on the course for any reason, but while the free lap rule is in effect may run backward to the pit, and/or cut the course if permitted. Riders on different laps may work together, but riders may not drop back to support a breakaway. Lapped or lagging riders may be pulled or finished early by the Chief Referee, but otherwise finish on the same lap as the leader. A number of prime sprints based on category will be held for points, four places deep. Lapped riders with the lead are eligible for primes. Primes are awarded regardless of finishing the race or not.

Helmets [1J1, Appendix 5]
Event participants must wear an approved helmet at all times while riding a bicycle – even if not currently racing!

Clothing [6E, 1J]
Riders must wear clothing for their collegiate team or blank apparel or incur a $20 fine and/or disqualification! All riders on a team must wear identifiably similar clothing.

Categories [6D, 1D1, 1D2]
Riders may request category upgrades (and downgrades) via their accounts. Decisions are based on experience and upgrade points – not the same as collegiate points! Collegiate categories require the following USAC Road categories or equivalent experience: A – Pro/1/2/3; B – 3/4; C – 4/5; D – 5. Collegiate races count for USAC Road upgrades and vice versa. Upgrading from C to B requires 10 mass start races; B to A requires 20 points in 12 months (see rules for full criteria). Riders may upgrade from D to C as they wish. Team Division is based on school size; schools of over 15,000 full time students are Division 1. Smaller schools may elect to race in Division 1 on a yearly basis.

Results [1M7, 101]
All protests to the race results must be expressed to the Chief Judge within 15 minutes after they are posted!

Road Conduct [3B1, 1N6, 1N7, 1N9, 1N10, 1N11, 3B4]
On courses not closed to traffic, riders must stay to the right of the centerline of the road, at penalty of relegation, disqualification, or suspension. Riders may make no abrupt, dangerous, or interfering motions, intentionally. Riders may not leave their bicycle – bring it with you if you are running for the finish! No rider is permitted on course during events in which they are not participating. It is the responsibility of each rider to know and follow the course.

Equipment  [1N10, 1I1, 1I3, 6F1, 1J6]
Riders may be penalized for causing a crash due to faulty maintenance, including poor gluing. Handlebar ends must be solidly plugged. In mass start races, bicycles must have a freewheel, a working brake on each wheel, and no handlebar extensions. No rider may use equipment which is not mass-start legal in any event. This includes aero bars and any wheels not explicitly approved for mass-start events. Radios, walkie-talkies, and mobile phones may not be used, regardless of category. Further, no earpieces of any sort, such as music players, may be worn.

Feeding & Repairs [3B6-9, 3C5, 3D6, 3E7, 3F11]
In road and circuit races, riders may be fed food & drink in designated areas. No feeding in crits or time trials unless authorized. No glass containers. Riders may exchange food and drink; teammates and non-competitors may assist with or exchange mechanical parts while stopped. Riders returning to the race after a mishap may be pushed 10m.

-Summary courtesy Joe Kopena, Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference Director