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Old 02-22-06, 12:37 PM   #1
thomspins
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win before cat up??

Who here feels you should win one race in a category before moving up?

I've heard this before, and don't know if I totally agree w/ it.

Perhaps you consistently place in the top 5 but aren't a great sprinter.... why not go ahead and get into some harder racing..?

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Old 02-22-06, 12:45 PM   #2
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I think it should depend on HOW you won the race. An old team-mate of mine upgraded from 4-3 in one race because he solo'd the 102 mile course and won by 17 mins.

Talk to the USCF rep for your area. Most of the time, they understand.
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Old 02-22-06, 12:50 PM   #3
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The Peter Principal applies very well in Cycling. As you move up, evenually even top 5's will be difficult to acheive. So if you missed out on the rush of crossing the line hands in the air in lower cats you may never get the chance to experience it.

And if you are truly consistent top 5 you will win, sooner or later.
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Old 02-22-06, 01:12 PM   #4
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Aahh the eternal question of moving up before you can compete! Back in the old days when I first started racing there was no cat 5. I made to the 3's due to some crashes in crits. Once I arrived in the 3's I never finished another crit (got pulled every time). I wasn't a great cat 4 but circumstances got me to the 3's.

My feeling about moving up from 5 to 4 is you should at least be in the top 10 consistently in the 5's before moving up. Otherwise you are going to be off the back of a decent 4's field pretty quickly.
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Old 02-22-06, 01:47 PM   #5
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Not much wisdom here as I've only been racing a month but I think it depends on the circumstances, your goals, and your current Cat.

Myself, I'm a new Cat5 wanting to get out as soon as I can. Haven't won a race yet but am pretty consistantly top 5 with a 4th, 2nd (to a Cat4 that placed 6th in the Cat4 only race), 25th (TT), 10th (with no time lapse), and a 4th. For me it's a few things, safety, racing with team members, and progression or pushing myself. Part of it for me is that I don't feel safe, so I won't sprint aggressively for the line in my current Cat. Hoping that'll change when I'm racing with more experienced riders.

So, I'm obviously not the fastest Cat5, but there will always be those that will stay until forced to move up. Guess it depends on your perspective as whether that's a good move or not.

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Old 02-22-06, 01:48 PM   #6
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I think there's some advantage to getting out of Cat 5. If you've done your 10 races, and are consistently placing, I'd move up even if you hadn't won. Above that, I wouldn't be in a hurry. Things get pretty hard as a 3.
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Old 02-22-06, 05:02 PM   #7
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It really depends on what you're trying to achieve. If you're a good strong climber and not much of a sprinter and are getting top 5's in flat crits, then sure, move up, especially if you have your sights set on some tough hilly road races. Or if you have a lot of teammates who are in a higher catagory and you think you can help them out, then move up.

However, if you're not winning and most of your teammates are in your current catagory, then maybe it's better to stick around a while.

I know of a guy around here who as far as I can tell from his results never won a race as a Cat 4, but had several top 5's who just won his first race as a Cat 3.

I plan to move up to 3 as soon as I can. After that it doesn't matter too much since I'll mostly be racing in 35+ 1/2/3.
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Old 02-22-06, 05:58 PM   #8
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Hey Pizza hows the elbow?
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Old 02-22-06, 06:32 PM   #9
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If that were the case the CAT5 fields would consistently have 200+ riders in them. Get in your 10 races and move up to 4.
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Old 02-22-06, 08:25 PM   #10
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The further up the ladder you go, the harder it's going to be for you to win a race. Winning a bike race feels really, really good, so don't be in too much of a rush to play with the big boys. If you cat up too quickly, you may lose your best chance at crossing the line first, and you'll regret it.

That said, it's always a good idea to get out of cat 5 as quickly as possible. Those races are such a crapshoot anyways, not to mention all of the crashes.
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Old 02-22-06, 10:02 PM   #11
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Get away from Cat 5 quickly for the safety reasons stated above plus, the races are too short and there is very little opportunity to pull out a breakaway victory or employ many tactics (if you are more of a TT person such as me) as the peloton will go NUTS to chase down anything 5 seconds out of their reach. Also, the short races give a lot of advantage to the sprinters. Also, if you cat up and find it out of yur league, you can always downgrade.

I would recommend that you sprint in all of your races, particularly if you can contest the placing. In general, the sprint gets much tighter, and much faster as you upgrade, so get used to doing it now.
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Old 02-22-06, 10:09 PM   #12
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At least around here you *can't* go from 5 to 4 without doing 10 races, whether you finish first or dead last. I felt pretty gypped when I found this out after winning my last race. I haven't placed lower than 4th so far, and I'm *stuck* a 5 for like 5 more races.
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Old 02-22-06, 10:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 2Rodies
Hey Pizza hows the elbow?
Getting better quickly, thanks.
I've been riding on the trainer pain free, and have been doing some running as well to mix it up.
I had originally not planned to race again until April 1, but now think I'll do the Zamora RR on March 19 in the 35+ Cat 4 race.
(And hopefully get the KOM prize and some upgrade points )
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Old 02-22-06, 10:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypersnazz
At least around here you *can't* go from 5 to 4 without doing 10 races, whether you finish first or dead last. I felt pretty gypped when I found this out after winning my last race. I haven't placed lower than 4th so far, and I'm *stuck* a 5 for like 5 more races.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong - but I'm pretty sure if you score points in 5 races you are allowed to cat up.
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Old 02-22-06, 11:53 PM   #15
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The rule is that you can't cat up from 5 to 4 until you have had 10 mass start races. However, you can appeal this rule (for any cat upgrade for that matter) if you contact your local offical who handles the upgrades. They usually do not make exceptions because ten races can be done in 6 weeks or so if you really want to upgrade, but you are allowed the appeal.
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Old 02-23-06, 12:22 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypersnazz
At least around here you *can't* go from 5 to 4 without doing 10 races, whether you finish first or dead last. I felt pretty gypped when I found this out after winning my last race. I haven't placed lower than 4th so far, and I'm *stuck* a 5 for like 5 more races.
You can get credit for 5 mass start races by going to a clinic (at least you can in Nor Cal - NCNCA). That's what I did, 5 races and a 5 hour clinic. Actually I did 6 mass start races, but one was a 3.5 mile hill climb so it was too short to count toward an upgrade.

If you can make it to this clinic in Marin County this weekend, it counts as 5 races for a Cat 5:
http://cyclingsystems.com/basic_skills0206.html
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Old 02-23-06, 07:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Rodies
Aahh the eternal question of moving up before you can compete! Back in the old days when I first started racing there was no cat 5. I made to the 3's due to some crashes in crits. Once I arrived in the 3's I never finished another crit (got pulled every time). I wasn't a great cat 4 but circumstances got me to the 3's.

My feeling about moving up from 5 to 4 is you should at least be in the top 10 consistently in the 5's before moving up. Otherwise you are going to be off the back of a decent 4's field pretty quickly.
before you can compete?..

Yeah i've never placed lower than 7th mostly top 5, in any race as a Cat 5, its always came down to making the jump a little to late or early for the sprint.. at least in the last 8 races i've done.
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Old 02-23-06, 08:03 AM   #18
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5's I think are more to get your mass start experience but if you are not finishing with the lead group in the 5's then don’t cat up. I believe that to go from 4 to 3 you should win. But having said that I am thinking in other terms now. The cat 4 races around here are short boring races where everyone waits around till the 200 meter mark. Last year my strategy was to break away when ever I could to at least have some fun but it was only successful once out of about 25 races. The cat 3 races are often 30 miles more or longer and sometimes lumped into the 1/2's. This is where things can start happening. So I may get my 10 top 10's and cat up this year, I still don't know?
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Old 02-23-06, 08:10 AM   #19
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I will preface this with the statement that I don't race: With the exception of 5->4 which I will give you as to get away from the beginners after the requiste number of starts...OR a win...I think you need to win to move up. What is the reason to move up if you haven't won? Just so you can say you are a Cat X? If so then you are a weenie and you don't deserve to be there. If you deserve to be a Cat 3 rather than a Cat 4 then go win a race and show me.
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Old 02-23-06, 08:13 AM   #20
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I have no opinion

Actually...
It really depends on where you race for example. Here in SoCal there is not a huge difference in many races, 4's race with 5's and 4's are not a huge amount faster than 5's (ask TCR for example), like Ontario series 45 minutes Cat 4/5. If you want to ever upgrade to 3 then becoming a 4 as fast as possable is a paramount importance - you need lots of races to upgrade to 3 (25 with 10 top 10's) if not by points.

Looking back on my experience, racing in mens catagories I will always been slower than the guys, it is mainly due to recovery, etc. My criterion is a bit different therefore in relation to many others ideas on this area. I beleive Cat 5 is for expeirence and 4's and above are where the true "competative" racing starts... fives are like holding your hand...

That said it will be several years until I race seriously again.

Mandy
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Old 02-23-06, 08:24 AM   #21
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In Oregon you can cat up from 5 to 4 if you've raced in 10 mass starts or if you accumulate 15 points. So if you're winning, you can move up faster.
"The cat 3 races are often 30 miles more or longer and sometimes lumped into the 1/2's. This is where things can start happening."
I don't know about other states, but the cat 5 races here can be difficult. The season opener last weekend was 22 miles and the next one is a 3 race series of 44 miles with 3,000 ft. of elevation gain. This summer is the Willamette Valley Classic, a three day stage race. The final stage for cat 5/4 is 50 miles and 4500' of climbing. All other cats are 70 miles and 7500'. Joyous.
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Old 02-23-06, 10:27 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbhowat
Someone correct me if I'm wrong - but I'm pretty sure if you score points in 5 races you are allowed to cat up.
From what I understand this year 5's don't get points. They want you to do 10 mass starts before you make the move to 4. Here there are no gifts if you are doing well, it's 10 and out no exceptions. If you are dominating 5's races here then you could have your 10 races done in about 6 weeks. Our racing season is in full swing with oportunities to race twice a weekend through April.
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Old 02-23-06, 10:36 AM   #23
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you have to ask yourself why you're racing. is it to win? or is it to hang with stronger riders? i'd like to know what it feels like to win a race so i'm staying in the 5's for now.
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Old 02-23-06, 12:23 PM   #24
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you have to ask yourself why you're racing. is it to win? or is it to hang with stronger riders? i'd like to know what it feels like to win a race so i'm staying in the 5's for now.
This is a refreshing and unique perspective. Up to now I have not encountered a single 5 who said anything other than they're hoping to move up ASAP. Usually "because it's safer", though I suppose there is a lot of benefit to be had by trying to hang with theoretically stronger riders. Which is kind of funny because if all of the new 5s go to 4s with the minimum possible, basically the 4s are "polluted" with guys who are just *barely* 4s . . . not much more appealing than 5s is it really?!? Also in my (admittedly brief) experience looking at races, it seems that in many smaller races the 4s and 5s are lumped together so what's the big rush?

In any case, good luck! I hope you win some!
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Old 02-23-06, 02:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
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you have to ask yourself why you're racing. is it to win? or is it to hang with stronger riders? i'd like to know what it feels like to win a race so i'm staying in the 5's for now.
I'ts really worth it.
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