I've been riding for 3 years now. On a group ride up at school with some cat 3 racers, we were doing a hammer fest over some hills. At the end, one racer asked me if what class I raced in. I tell him I've never raced. He kinda urged me to start racing saying I would be close to cat 3 material as is. So I enter a race. First race, I finish mid pack. Nothing special. 2nd race, I try for both prenes, pull a close second in both, then finish 4th. Next crit, I enter was the crit state champs. I pull in 5th. I also did a lower level canadian crit where it was a much more relaxed feel, and 1 1/2 hrs long, and won 2 prenes/sprint points and finished 3rd.
Talking to some other racers (cat 3) they were saying with results like that, I would do fine in cat 4. This weekend, there are 4 crits (although only 1 is a US crit, the others in Canada ) So I request an upgrade to cat4.
Result: DENIED. The rules are clear I must do 10 mass starts before moving up. So that means for almost another half a season (we do not have that many crits around here) I will have to be in Cat5. In cat5 there are 2 diffrent groups that show up. The people that should be there legitimately, and those that are waiting to move up. At the crits that I have done, the pack always splits into two real quick. This is why.