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Old 09-06-07, 10:23 AM   #1
cmyke
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Why do you try to rush into CAT 4?

Now, correct me if I'm wrong ... I'm simply going by what I've read here.

It seems as if a lot of riders new to racing are quickly grasping for a CAT 4 upgrade. My question is, why? If I raced, I would think I'd stay in CAT 5 until someone basically forced me to go to CAT 4. Wouldn't you just get better and better until you're winning every CAT 5 race, then someone just plops you into CAT 4? I don't understand why riders are essentially "barely" making the cut into CAT 4 when they could hone their skills in CAT 5 for another 10 races.

Keep in mind, I've never raced, so this is possibly a naive question
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Old 09-06-07, 10:27 AM   #2
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From what I have heard, Cat 4 is slightly less dangerous than Cat 5 and the paces are higher. If you Cat up, you are going to have to try harder and longer to win, etc. So there is an advantage there. As well as with the rider experience and then there is the fact that you can start winning cash prizes as a Cat 4.
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Old 09-06-07, 10:30 AM   #3
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If your goal is to learn to race, Cat 5 is not the place to do it. Cat 3 is. Get there as fast as you can.
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Old 09-06-07, 10:43 AM   #4
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Its not so black and white.

I do agree that some people do rush out into cat 4 before they should but its not really a big deal. All you are trying to do is race ten times to get used to actually racing. Cat 4 isnt really that much different other than the fields being larger and races being longer.

Some people rush to get to cat 4 so they can do masters races. Others do it just so they can start racing for points or whatever instead of nothing like in cat 5.

There can also be huge differences in talent in cat 5 since almost everyone has to start there so why wait once you have your 10 races? Cat 4 isnt going to be much harder and in some cases it may even be easier. You are going to get better faster in cat 4 than you will lingering in cat 5 since the talent around you is changing more frequently.

Thinking that staying in cat 5 is an easy way to win all the time you are wrong because there are always super strong riders that have the fitness and ability to be in higher cats but dont have the required experience needed to be a cat3+
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Old 09-06-07, 10:44 AM   #5
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Obviously,
i'm not in the rush to upgrade category, and I think there is some advantage in staying at a level where you have a chance to win regularly, and learn how to manage those situations.

But after a bit if you want to improve, you need to race better competition.

Additionally, you know in every Cat 5 race there are going to be new racers doing their first race that have no clue what they're doing. There's an advantage getting away from that.

Also, I think there's a fairness issue. Cat 5 is supposed to be for beginners. Once you're no longer a beginner, its appropriate to move on and make room for a new crop of beginners.
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Old 09-06-07, 10:55 AM   #6
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From what I have heard, Cat 4 is slightly less dangerous than Cat 5 and the paces are higher. If you Cat up, you are going to have to try harder and longer to win, etc. So there is an advantage there. As well as with the rider experience and then there is the fact that you can start winning cash prizes as a Cat 4.
I think you are misinformed. 4s are not necessarily less dangerous, or slower, than 5s. In fact, it may be the opposite, depending on the specific race. You have to understand that 5s are a mixed bag; you have strong riders who have never raced (but are good) right alongside weak riders who have also never raced (but suck). It is a mistake to judge someone's ability simply based on the fact that they are racing 5s they may just be passing through briefly. But everyone has to start there, no matter how good they are.

I can't speak for everyone who "rushes" into the 4s, but to me there is really no advantage of staying in the 5s longer. Experience? You will get basically the same in the 4s. Many times 4s and 5s fields are combined, anyway. Wins? A Cat 5 win is no different than a Cat 5 race start. Easier race? Ha ha, you are dreaming. More/less dangerous? no way...all categories have crashes.
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Old 09-06-07, 10:57 AM   #7
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In the very few races I've done this year, in both Cat 5 only and Cat 4/5 fields....I didn't notice any difference between the two.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:04 AM   #8
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Most people are in a hurry just so they don't have to tell others that they are a Cat5 anymore...
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Old 09-06-07, 11:06 AM   #9
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I'm in a hurry because I'm a Cat 4 on the track. I just don't race enough on the road to get my upgrade.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:08 AM   #10
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So you can get one step closer to the P1/2 and the big bux
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Old 09-06-07, 11:17 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by cmyke View Post
Now, correct me if I'm wrong ... I'm simply going by what I've read here.

It seems as if a lot of riders new to racing are quickly grasping for a CAT 4 upgrade. My question is, why? If I raced, I would think I'd stay in CAT 5 until someone basically forced me to go to CAT 4. Wouldn't you just get better and better until you're winning every CAT 5 race, then someone just plops you into CAT 4? I don't understand why riders are essentially "barely" making the cut into CAT 4 when they could hone their skills in CAT 5 for another 10 races.

Keep in mind, I've never raced, so this is possibly a naive question

How do you hone your skills by winning every race? That means that you're far superior to everyone out there, and no matter what you do, you win. Meaning you don't learn from your mistakes. And that is pretty much the opposite of what any racer, from 5 to Pro, wants to do. We learn through our failures, not the things we do correctly. By pushing hard, making an error, coming back the next weekend and making better on an opportunity.

And just a personal anecdote here:
In the 4/5s (I was never actually a 5) I never came close to winning a race. I simply didn't have the sprint for it, and the tactical side at that level is pretty much nonexistent. I made my upgrade to the threes through accumulation of top 10s. In the 3s, I've racked up more podiums and top 10 finishes than I did in the 4s. I was forced to figure out how I was going to survive, and how I was going to be able to be a factor, other than a field sprint. In the 4s it was just a matter of making sure I closed gaps and put myself in a decent position most of the time, which doesn't fly in the 3s. So, I took my strength, and worked on it, and worked on it, and... you get the point. Coupled with a newly found tactical knowledge and my ability to start, bridge to, and work in breaks, I'm able to get the results.

Soon enough, I'll have to figure all of this out again, and get used to life in the Pro/1/2 field (later this month...). And, that probably means getting a coach. My rate of recovery is still improving, but my fitness is just slowly creeping upward.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:19 AM   #12
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I want to race 3s as soon as possible because it will teach me more so I need to get through Cat 5 and 4 as quickly as possible. No one that I train with is a 5, so races are a bit lonely.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:23 AM   #13
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I'm planning to race twice this weekend and once next Tuesday. After that I should be eligible for my upgrade. My only hesitation with upgrading then is that I probably won't do any more races until next season and I'm wondering if I should stay with the 5's until after a race or two next year, just so I'm not jumping straight into the faster 4's fresh out of the offseason. Anyone have thoughts on this?
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Old 09-06-07, 11:25 AM   #14
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Did you stay in 3rd grade until you aced every single test?

It's human nature to want to advance.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acape View Post
I'm planning to race twice this weekend and once next Tuesday. After that I should be eligible for my upgrade. My only hesitation with upgrading then is that I probably won't do any more races until next season and I'm wondering if I should stay with the 5's until after a race or two next year, just so I'm not jumping straight into the faster 4's fresh out of the offseason. Anyone have thoughts on this?
Hate to answer a question with a question, but seriously, what do you expect to gain from doing so, that you couldn't do as a 4?
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Old 09-06-07, 11:47 AM   #16
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Did you stay in 3rd grade until you aced every single test?

It's human nature to want to advance.
Obviously.

What I was trying to say was it seems like the new CAT 5ers learned how to doggie paddle, yet they're desperately trying to enter the 400m freestyle.

I guess I was under the misconception that each CAT was essentially a learning curve, which resulted in an upgrade when you got an "A," rather than a holding ground for you to complete a specific amount of races, regardless of skill.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acape View Post
I'm planning to race twice this weekend and once next Tuesday. After that I should be eligible for my upgrade. My only hesitation with upgrading then is that I probably won't do any more races until next season and I'm wondering if I should stay with the 5's until after a race or two next year, just so I'm not jumping straight into the faster 4's fresh out of the offseason. Anyone have thoughts on this?
Go ahead and upgrade, and it will put more urgency on your off season preperation for next year.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:51 AM   #18
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Obviously.

What I was trying to say was it seems like the new CAT 5ers learned how to doggie paddle, yet they're desperately trying to enter the 400m freestyle.

I guess I was under the misconception that each CAT was essentially a learning curve, which resulted in an upgrade when you got an "A," rather than a holding ground for you to complete a specific amount of races, regardless of skill.
You are over estimating the difference between cat 4 and cat 5.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:53 AM   #19
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What I was trying to say was it seems like the new CAT 5ers learned how to doggie paddle, yet they're desperately trying to enter the 400m freestyle.
I'd say that's a gross overestimation of the difference between 4 and 5. What you describe is more like the difference between 5 and *2*.


Quote:
I guess I was under the misconception that each CAT was essentially a learning curve, which resulted in an upgrade when you got an "A," rather than a holding ground for you to complete a specific amount of races, regardless of skill.
It's different for each category. To go from 5 to 4 you need 10 mass starts. STARTs, not wins, not podium finishes, not top 10s, heck, not even finishes. 4 -> 3 requires some actual work
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Old 09-06-07, 11:55 AM   #20
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I think "CAT 4 is safer" is a common misconception. Some of the most brutal crashes I've seen were in CAT4 races. I think it's a combination of people rushing through 5s who still are not all that good in a pack, but now they are going faster and think they can ride. Also now they are not "newbie" 5s so they put higher priority on winning, even thought they are racing for crap prises, so they take more chances. All this leads to spectacular crashes.
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Old 09-06-07, 12:10 PM   #21
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Now, correct me if I'm wrong ... I'm simply going by what I've read here.

It seems as if a lot of riders new to racing are quickly grasping for a CAT 4 upgrade. My question is, why? If I raced, I would think I'd stay in CAT 5 until someone basically forced me to go to CAT 4. Wouldn't you just get better and better until you're winning every CAT 5 race, then someone just plops you into CAT 4? I don't understand why riders are essentially "barely" making the cut into CAT 4 when they could hone their skills in CAT 5 for another 10 races.

Keep in mind, I've never raced, so this is possibly a naive question
About that...
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Old 09-06-07, 12:11 PM   #22
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I'm planning to race twice this weekend and once next Tuesday. After that I should be eligible for my upgrade. My only hesitation with upgrading then is that I probably won't do any more races until next season and I'm wondering if I should stay with the 5's until after a race or two next year, just so I'm not jumping straight into the faster 4's fresh out of the offseason. Anyone have thoughts on this?
Everyone else will be fresh out of the offseason as well. Do it.
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Old 09-06-07, 12:20 PM   #23
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Also, I think there's a fairness issue. Cat 5 is supposed to be for beginners. Once you're no longer a beginner, its appropriate to move on and make room for a new crop of beginners.
This is exactly why. We don't have citizen races anymore, so cat5's became the event for the true beginner.

When men had to start at cat4, it was okay to stay in 4's forever if needed, but it was no place for the true beginner. That's why we have 5's. So after 10 races, get the heck out.
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Old 09-06-07, 02:05 PM   #24
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I think "CAT 4 is safer" is a common misconception. Some of the most brutal crashes I've seen were in CAT4 races. I think it's a combination of people rushing through 5s who still are not all that good in a pack, but now they are going faster and think they can ride. Also now they are not "newbie" 5s so they put higher priority on winning, even thought they are racing for crap prises, so they take more chances. All this leads to spectacular crashes.
I agree. There wasnt a single crash in the 10 cat 5 races I did and just about one in every cat 4 races ive done including one that took my out and sent me to surgery. Heck in one race alone there was 4 crashes.
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Old 09-06-07, 02:27 PM   #25
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If your goal is to learn to race, Cat 5 is not the place to do it. Cat 3 is. Get there as fast as you can.
Want to race some 4/5's races on a one-day and pull me to a win?
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