The Colorado-based American Cycling Association (ACA) voted to rejoin USA Cycling Friday night during a club council meeting in Golden.
The ACA reportedly will rechristen itself the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado, the name the group bore in 1999 when it broke away from the national governing body over a variety of grievances.
Among the issues driving the split were the controversial firing of the then-U.S. Cycling Federation’s district representatives — one of them Yvonne van Gent, presently ACA’s state rep and membership coordinator — in favor of a “regional rep” structure, and a growing sense that the national governing body cared more about elites than weekend warriors.
Van Gent did not immediately reply to a request for comment from VeloNews.
USA Cycling had tried before to bring ACA back into the fold, but without success. On Friday, at a meeting chaired by Al MacDonald, a veteran official with UCI, USAC and ACA credentials, the Colorado association’s board of directors and senior staff supported reintegration with the national governing body.
In documents prepared for the council meeting ACA directors and staff wrote that their recommendation was “based on new information, clarification of policy, and successful conversations with USAC leadership in the last three weeks.”
“The board and staff understand that this is a significant change from recommendations that have been made over the past six months, when the idea of partnering with USAC became a focal point for the organization. In this time, we have worked hundreds of hours to build an agreement with USAC that serves the Colorado cycling community in the best possible way.
“Be assured that this was not an easy decision, but one that has been made with the best interests of our membership as a whole and for the betterment of cycling in Colorado.”
The group will serve as the local association for Colorado and eastern Wyoming in 2012.
Clint Bickmore, vice president of ACA’s board of directors, said that “with a coordinated race calendar, one set of rider rankings, the increased potential to bring national-level events to Colorado, the integration with collegiate racing, the ability to create exciting ancillary events with the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and the shared power of two great organizations, this decision will immediately improve the competitive cycling community in Colorado.”
USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson, who presented his case to Friday’s council meeting, said afterward that his organization was “very pleased and honored that the ACA and
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