Setting up competitions is a task for coach. The coach must choose competitions that suit for the athletes by their performance level. It is not wise to let the athletes compete at the competitions where the level of other athletes is significantly higher, since this might demotivate athletes.
Before choosing the competitions to the annual plan it must be considered what needs to be accomplished during the season. You should make differences between the dreams and the goals. There are some principles of your goals that you should also consider before setting up your goals. The most important goal of the year is the major competition and its date, where the athlete wants to be in the best shape. However, major goal might also be World Cup, for example. In this case all those competitions in this event are highly important. Other competitions apart from main goal serve as preparatory events for major goal and are the opportunities to test the performance of the athlete. The integration of major competitions with secondary competitions depends on the amount of major competitions in annual cycle and weather a traditional periodization models or block periodization will be preferred.
You should consider that demanding competitive schedule with lots of competitions and competition stress may exhaust athlete before major competition, because each competition taxes the athlete physically, mentally and psychologically. Therefore, enough recovery should be added into training plan during this period. In contrast, having few competitions may result in low athletic shape or low competitive experience before the main race.
Bompa (1999) advises that, once the competition schedule has been set at the beginning of the season, it is not wise to change competitions without any reason, because all the preparation has been made based on the initial competition schedule. Of course, if injuries or decreases in performance will occur, a change in competition schedule must be done.
Bompa T. (1999) Periodization. Theory and methodology of training, Human Kinetics.
Friel J. (2000) The Mountainbikers Training Bible, Velo Press.