Joey Iuliano (Sabino Cycles), promoter of the U of A Crit and Oracle Road Race, said his races would offer free entry to the defending champions of his races’ respective disciplines.
Iuliano said incentives would add more prestige to wearing a state championship jersey. “Showing it off” is the only motivation champions currently have, Iuliano said.
“Right now, you never see the jersey worn in races throughout the rest of the year because there’s not really a benefit to doing it,” he said.
The initiative, Iuliano said, is not to create new ABRA rules but to encourage promoters to follow what is already outlined in ABRA’s promoter handbook. Iuliano serves on the ABRA board of directors.
“I think it’s worth doing,” Jake Spelman (Athlete Octane) said. “If it’s a title that you earn for a year, that year should afford you some tangible benefits.”
Louisa Larson (Team Winded), a former state time trial champion, said the first priority of Arizona race promoters should be improved scheduling. She said it was important to get rid of conflicts with events like Interbike and the Amgen Tour of California.
“Then I think entry fees, call ups, etc. would be great,” she said.
Spelman said California offers discounted fees to reigning champions, and Iuliano said pre-race call-ups are fairly standard in other states.
“I just think it’s a nice way to honor the jersey and give some more prestige to winning it,” Iuliano said.