As the guy who promoted the mentored fields at the Albany Crit, I've got to say thanks to Casey for relating all the positive feedback of the novice racers about the Albany mentoring concept.
There were a few vocal critics - strangely, all were W4's - before and after the race. I say it was strange because the women's racing is generally so much more .... supportive ... than men's. In fact, I followed the guidelines of the Women's Mentoring Project in structuring the Albany program. Ironic.
Well, apparently many of the novice mentorees thought enough of the program to positively mention it in the survey, so I'm very satisfied.
I still strongly believe in mentoring for the novice fields. It will make the quality and safety of crit racing exemplary in our region. Given the range of quality of the W4's, and the comparatively low numbers of their fields, I agree that it doesn't make sense at the present time to split their fields by experience.
Which means, if we all agree in general that mentoring is a good thing for the novice cats and should be encouraged, then the experienced W4's are going to have to get accustomed to the idea ... or upgrade.