Today we wanted to talk about making strides forward. Not for the Jalapeno Cycling Team, mind you. Hopefully by now you understand that we are a lost cause. No, what I’m referring to is the steps forward in the larger picture of cyclocross.

Every year, Kate and I complain against yet another gaffe committed by the Superprestige or some other admired cyclocross series that hasn’t figured out a way to join the 21st century. Usually, this means Kate rolling her eyes at the only broadcast of the Elite Women’s race: a 5 minute recap that precedes the 30 minute introduction to the men’s race. This is often followed by me going on Facebook as the social media warrior, ranting and raving for three pages.

This year, we are taking a more proactive approach.

In our opinion, the fields of the future are the Masters Women’s races. This year, we saw a healthy growth of women in the 40/50+ fields, partly due to the MAC Series commitment to organize several fields around these demographics. It is great to see a place for so many high-performing Masters Women who have been in need of something other than the 3/4 entry women’s race and the UCI Elite Race.

Judging by the growth of women’s participation in cyclocross in New England and the Mid-Atlantic, Kate and I feel like it is only a matter of years before the Masters Women’s fields begin to rival the Masters Men’s fields in number.

Instead of waiting for that to happen, Kate and I are using a part of our team budget to proactively take a step forward. To our knowledge, for the first time in cyclocross, a Masters Women’s field will have the same prize payout and depth as the Masters Men.

Jalapeno Cycling will be sponsoring HPCX’s Masters Women’s 40+ Field BOTH on Saturday and Sunday. The races will now payout $330 each day, at five deep up from three.

For us, targeting HPCX was the obvious choice. It is the second longest running UCI race in the nation, just behind Cycle-Smart International. More importantly, it is the home state UCI race of the Jalapeno Cycling Team, and is a race that we feel is close to our heart.

While we hope this might encourage a few more women in New England and the Mid-Atlantic to come to HPCX, we already know we’re in for a treat no matter what. We’ve been watching the podium battles between Master superstars like Erin Mascelli, Robin Dunn, Jenny Defalco, Jennifer Kraut, Donna Tozer, Jennifer Maxwell, and Traci Rodosta, not to mention so many more great athletes out on the course.

You can register here at Bikereg, with the races taking place in a few weeks on October 29-30th.