The Eastern Conference takes special pride in all of its many women racers and its robust, friendly atmosphere for both veterans and newbies. Historically the conference has maintained a comparatively high percentage of women for competitive cycling, and puts significant effort and attention toward maintaining and growing its women's program. 


Women racing in the ECCC can expect a lot of competition and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. ECCC road races in particular routinely feature well over a hundred women competing across our 3-4 fields/5 categories. These encompass everything from pro and expert student athletes in our Women's A field, down to the most green of new racers getting some coaching and instruction in our Women's Intro clinics and races. In addition, non-collegiate new women racers are welcome to participate in our Women's Intro races, providing great opportunities to bring out non-student friends and clubmates who are interested in trying out racing for the first time. 

 

Our volunteers, officials, and race directors all conduct our women's races with the exact same approach and standards as our men's races. All categories are held at all races, and fields are never cancelled or cut except under the same extreme circumstances as men's races would be. This attitude permeates the conference, with all of our women racers getting the respect and recognition that they deserve from all of our members.


Between the great atmosphere, huge fields, low costs, and excellent races, the ECCC is one of the best places for women's cycling in this region or the country. Come get involved!


Get Started

The following are some resources for women just starting out in the ECCC.

  • New Racers Guide
    New women racers should check out the general guide for new racers as all of the same rules, policies, and details apply.
  • Women's Road Categories
    The ECCC runs a slightly non-standard arrangement of its women's categories in road races. This page explains the setup and provides a guide for women trying to decide which category to enter.


Get More Involved

Once started in the ECCC, the sky's the limit. The ECCC features a number of women team captains and presidents, race promoters, and important conference volunteers. In addition, the following are women's specific resources to get more involved and keep racing.

  • ECCC Women's Mailing List
    The conference runs a mailing list specifically for discussing improvements and potential issues for our women's races. It's also a great way to connect with other women to meet up at other events, find host housing, or ask general questions. All ECCC women are encouraged to join and participate on this listserv. A number of positive changes have been implemented in recent years that were either extensively worked through or prompted by discussion there.
  • Non-Collegiate Summer Races and Other Events
    Several races in the region place a similar focus as the ECCC on ensuring high quality women's events. A number of the local associations also run leagues specifically for women. 


Contact

Have any other questions, ideas, or concerns? Contact the ECCC's Women's Cycling Coordinator or any of our other volunteers!

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ECCC Women's Road Categories

Every ECCC road race features three women's races covering four categories. Basic information about these and progressing through them is available on the Categories and Upgrades pages. The following are additional women's-specific notes and guides.


Women's A/B

The Women's A and B categories are run as a single field for veteran racers.

  • Women's A is restricted; riders must earn enough upgrade points or have a USAC Category 3 license and request an upgrade via their usacycling.org account to enter the field.
  • Women's B is also restricted; riders must earn enough upgrade points or have a USAC Category 4 license and request an upgrade via their usacycling.org account to enter the field.


The categories are scored separately; i.e., the first B finisher wins the B race, regardless of how far back in the overall field they finish. Both combined and split results are published and usable for upgrade points.

  • In criteriums there are 4 primes in this field. As with the finish, As and Bs are scored separately. Women's A racers earn double points on the first and last prime. Scoring remains four deep.


Women's C

Intermediate riders should enter the Women's C field.

  • Some race experience is recommended here, including experience riding in groups (pacelining, etc.).
  • Women routinely finishing ahead of this pack should consider attempting the Women's B races.


Women's D

Beginner riders with a small amount of experience should enter the Women's D field.

  • New racers who are comfortable and have some experience riding in groups (pacelining, etc.) should feel free to try this category. D riders can drop down to Intros for a weekend if they want to receive some more coaching on mass-start racing.


Women's Intro

Completely new racers and those unused to group riding should enter the Women's Intro field, which provides a safe and educational introduction to bicycle racing.

  • ECCC Women's Intro races are also open to new non-collegiate racers (first time Cat 5 licensees)!
  • Immediately before every Women's D mass start race (road race, circuit, or crit) is a one hour on-course and off-course clinic, with veteran racers conducting drills or talking about skills and tactics.  After the clinic, participants may start the Women's D race.  


Remember that all categories are restricted to full time students on a licensed collegiate club, except for Women's Intro.


Truly elite Women's A racers may elect to compete in Men's A or B events for additional training. Talk to the conference director and/or road season coordinator for details.


Questions and comments about women's categories should go to the women's coordinator and/or upgrade coordinator.

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