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Old 09-25-07, 05:37 AM   #1
ElJamoquio
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What (or where) is the difference between Cat 2 and Cat 1?

So is there a logical reason why someone would want to be a Cat 1 rather than a Cat 2? Around here there's no Cat 1 races, but Michigan isn't the cycling Mecca some other places in the country seem to be.
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Old 09-25-07, 05:42 AM   #2
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So is there a logical reason why someone would want to be a Cat 1 rather than a Cat 2? Around here there's no Cat 1 races, but Michigan isn't the cycling Mecca some other places in the country seem to be.
Don't tell ryan.
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Old 09-25-07, 05:47 AM   #3
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unless you aspire to be on the national team, become a pro, or just want to brag, i don't see the point.
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Old 09-25-07, 05:58 AM   #4
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unless you aspire to be on the national team, become a pro, or just want to brag, i don't see the point.
+1
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Old 09-25-07, 06:11 AM   #5
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must be cat 1 to be on Armed Forces team.
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Old 09-25-07, 06:11 AM   #6
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Bragging rights.

You have to be a 1 to get into most NRC events.
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Old 09-25-07, 06:24 AM   #7
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USA Elite Championship is for cat 1 only.
Many NRC races are Pro/1.
When trying to join the Pro ranks, being a cat1 is imperative.
National team stuff, especially U-23 and women, is almost always cat1's or pro.
Starting a cycling business (coaching, etc), it is nice to have that on the resume.
It is very nice to answer "cat1", when people ask what cat you are.
I've been a cat1 since '97.
Pro-o-meter = dead.
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Old 09-25-07, 09:30 AM   #8
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You could reverse the question and ask: Why wouldn't someone upgrade to cat 1? Given that local events are all the same and it opens up more large scale options, there's no reason not to do so, should you some day aspire to do them.
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Old 09-25-07, 09:55 AM   #9
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You could reverse the question and ask: Why wouldn't someone upgrade to cat 1? Given that local events are all the same and it opens up more large scale options, there's no reason not to do so, should you some day aspire to do them.
you could, but why would you want to?
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Old 09-25-07, 04:39 PM   #10
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you could, but why would you want to?
Exactly my point. The two are interchangeable. It makes no difference one way or the other, short of denying yourself any extra ``benefits'' of running cat 1-only events.
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Old 09-25-07, 06:35 PM   #11
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Do you have to do anything to maintain the Cat 1 or 2 ranking, or do you keep them until you decide it's time to downgrade?

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USA Elite Championship is for cat 1 only.
Many NRC races are Pro/1.
When trying to join the Pro ranks, being a cat1 is imperative.
National team stuff, especially U-23 and women, is almost always cat1's or pro.
Starting a cycling business (coaching, etc), it is nice to have that on the resume.
It is very nice to answer "cat1", when people ask what cat you are.
I've been a cat1 since '97.
Pro-o-meter = dead.
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Old 09-25-07, 07:00 PM   #12
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Do you have to do anything to maintain the Cat 1 or 2 ranking, or do you keep them until you decide it's time to downgrade?
As of now, USAC does not force downgrades.
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Old 09-25-07, 07:56 PM   #13
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USA Elite Championship is for cat 1 only.
Many NRC races are Pro/1.
National team stuff, especially U-23 and women, is almost always cat1's or pro.
These were the answers I was looking for... I figured a Cat 1 race existed somewhere, just didn't know what/where it was.

I still don't get the Pro-thing, though. If I were a Pro team I wouldn't give two zipps about whether someone was a Cat 2 or 1, just whether they were winning or not. At least in my neck of the woods, they're all the same race.
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Old 09-25-07, 08:04 PM   #14
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If you're a 2 and you win some big races, you can go straight from the 2's to Pro. I don't know of anyone by name, but an official told me that people have done that.

Just a matter of a signature and date on a line, and a UCI license.
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Old 09-25-07, 08:18 PM   #15
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These were the answers I was looking for... I figured a Cat 1 race existed somewhere, just didn't know what/where it was.

I still don't get the Pro-thing, though. If I were a Pro team I wouldn't give two zipps about whether someone was a Cat 2 or 1, just whether they were winning or not. At least in my neck of the woods, they're all the same race.
I can't name an exact number, but a fair amount of NRC races are available to Cat 2 dudes. Some are, some are not. Just rambling off the top of my head:

All of the SuperWeek NRC races, which is 9 total, are Pro/1/2. I know Toona right after that has split Pro/1 and Cat2 races. Elk Grove is Pro only, with a 1/2 race on saturday only. Downers is Pro/1/2 saturday, then a 2's only, then a 1/Elite only, then Pro only on Sunday.
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Old 09-25-07, 10:12 PM   #16
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but Michigan isn't the cycling Mecca some other places in the country seem to be.
Mmm, I'm going to have to fight you on this. The Michigan scene is alive and well and generating a lot of the new core group:
Frank Pipp - Healthnet Maxxis - Iron Mountain
Scott Stewart - USNational Team - Oxford
Dan Bowman - Kelly Benefits - Farmington Hills
Mark Hekman - A&F - Drawing a blank.
Jake Rytlewski - Rite Aide - Bay City
Chris Baldwin - Toyota United - Kalamazoo
Kirk O'Bee - Healthnet Maxxis - Grand Rapids
Kasey Manderfield - Davisburg
The new Bissell (formerly Priority Health) Cycling Team

And a new crop of kids coming up who are moving through the ranks quite nicely.

Going old school:
Jonas Carney
Tim Swift
Tom Schuler
Connie Paraskevin-Young
Sue Novara
Sheila Young
Frankie Andreu
John Tomac

Federation types:
Sean Farrell
Evan Call
Chuck Quast
Dale Hughes

Also...
VeloNews Comlunist, Maynard Hershon
Felt Director of Marketing, Dave Koesel
SRAM Technical support, Jose Alcala

Events:
UCI Race: Tour de Leelanau
UCI Race: KTR Double Cross CX
Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic

I'm sure I'll think of more.
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Old 09-26-07, 03:47 AM   #17
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don't forget Mike Walden.

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Mmm, I'm going to have to fight you on this. The Michigan scene is alive and well and generating a lot of the new core group:
Frank Pipp - Healthnet Maxxis - Iron Mountain
Scott Stewart - USNational Team - Oxford
Dan Bowman - Kelly Benefits - Farmington Hills
Mark Hekman - A&F - Drawing a blank.
Jake Rytlewski - Rite Aide - Bay City
Chris Baldwin - Toyota United - Kalamazoo
Kirk O'Bee - Healthnet Maxxis - Grand Rapids
Kasey Manderfield - Davisburg
The new Bissell (formerly Priority Health) Cycling Team

And a new crop of kids coming up who are moving through the ranks quite nicely.

Going old school:
Jonas Carney
Tim Swift
Tom Schuler
Connie Paraskevin-Young
Sue Novara
Sheila Young
Frankie Andreu
John Tomac

Federation types:
Sean Farrell
Evan Call
Chuck Quast
Dale Hughes

Also...
VeloNews Comlunist, Maynard Hershon
Felt Director of Marketing, Dave Koesel
SRAM Technical support, Jose Alcala

Events:
UCI Race: Tour de Leelanau
UCI Race: KTR Double Cross CX
Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic

I'm sure I'll think of more.
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Old 09-26-07, 06:03 AM   #18
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Mmm, I'm going to have to fight you on this.
You don't have to fight me. I wasn't commenting, or even considering, the quality of racers.


Rather, I was speaking of the races themselves, and specifically, any races that would have a Pro/Cat 1 race separate from Cat 2. Most of the races are well done (well above my needs), but there's only about twelve 'real' crits/RR's per year... and none of them are of Elk Grove, Tour of (insert the blank) caliber, at least in my mind. Correct me if I'm wrong, please. But, in my mind, a 'cycling Mecca' would be a place people make a pilgrimage to in order to participate.

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Events:
UCI Race: Tour de Leelanau
UCI Race: KTR Double Cross CX
Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic

I'm sure I'll think of more.
I have zero experience with the cyclocross scene. I'll have to take your word for Leelanau, because it's five hours away from me, assuming no traffic (an invalid assumption). I've never done the Priority Health race, if it's that good, then I'm sorry I passed on it... but it's three hours or so away.

But let's say you know an aspiring pro from... let's say Alabama. He wants to get a ton of good competition on a week-by-week basis. He can live anywhere. Where do you suggest he move to - Austin, California, New England, Michigan?
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Old 09-26-07, 06:42 AM   #19
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For the months of July and August, somewhere near I-94 in Illinois or Wisconsin.
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Old 09-26-07, 07:54 AM   #20
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Do you have to do anything to maintain the Cat 1 or 2 ranking, or do you keep them until you decide it's time to downgrade?
Correct me if I am wrong YMCA but I believe that you do not need to do anything to keep the ranking however there is talk about creating a system where you do.
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Old 09-26-07, 08:27 AM   #21
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Correct me if I am wrong YMCA but I believe that you do not need to do anything to keep the ranking however there is talk about creating a system where you do.
There has been talk for years. It used to be that the USCF wanted to limit cat1's to 200 per year and downgrade those not making the cut, thereby allowing a few others to move up. This never happened and now I believe there are something like 600 cat1's.

As far as I am concerned, 600 or more is okay, because only 100-200 riders go to Elite Nationals every year and if someone earned a cat1 upgrade, but isn't really using it, there is no harm.
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Old 09-26-07, 09:22 AM   #22
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As for the Michigan scene, ElJam, you're right. There's not the intense schedule of racing. So from that standpoint, there are plenty of better places to live to surround yourself with an active scene.

But I also forgot to list the Iceman and Ore-to-shore and Superior Bike Fest.
And there are a few new big events on deck for '08
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Old 09-26-07, 02:18 PM   #23
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So is there a logical reason why someone would want to be a Cat 1 rather than a Cat 2?
You've been given some good answers already, especially YMCA's list of reasons. To his list I would add that it will help you if you pursue any individual sponsorship opportunities (in additon to your club/team) and it will also help you if you want to join a more elite team focusing on national events.

But even ignoring all those reasons, if you have the opportunity to reach cat 1 and don't go for it, you will regret it later at some point.

My story: I raced quite a few years of p/1/2 events in California in the 80's and early 90's and had some decent results (10 or so podiums with a couple wins) but never upgraded past cat 2. Not that I didn't want to, but I just couldn't do enough races and I couldn't stay focused and dedicated for a full season. Then 11 years ago, when I turned 35, I started racing Masters almost exclusively, figuring that my elite racing days were over. Masters racing was fun, but it didn't have the depth and intensity of the elite races, which was ok because my training time was pretty limited. As time went on however, I regretted my lack of dedication in those earlier years and in particular, not trying harder to upgrade and reach my potential.

Then a few years ago my employment situation changed from full-time to part-time and suddenly I had a lot more time to train. I rediscovered the passion for harder and longer training, so last year I started doing the p/1/2 events again. I've really enjoyed them because I knew (and know) that the physiological window-of-opportunity to race at that level is closing (I'm 46 now) and so I was able to appreciate it all the more. When I found that I could still be moderately competitive again, I decided to set a goal of finally achieving the upgrade. Not because it meant anything in itself, but because it was a tangible way to measure the dedication it would take for a full year of training and racing. It proved to be really challenging, and took a lot of weekends of races, but I finally got the 1. In a way, it's a bit anti-climactic because not much changes, other than having the opportunity to do a few even harder races next year! But at least now I won't have to wonder anymore if I really could have made it to that category.

Mark
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Old 09-26-07, 02:33 PM   #24
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You've been given some good answers already, especially YMCA's list of reasons. To his list I would add that it will help you if you pursue any individual sponsorship opportunities (in additon to your club/team) and it will also help you if you want to join a more elite team focusing on national events.

But even ignoring all those reasons, if you have the opportunity to reach cat 1 and don't go for it, you will regret it later at some point.

My story: I raced quite a few years of p/1/2 events in California in the 80's and early 90's and had some decent results (10 or so podiums with a couple wins) but never upgraded past cat 2. Not that I didn't want to, but I just couldn't do enough races and I couldn't stay focused and dedicated for a full season. Then 11 years ago, when I turned 35, I started racing Masters almost exclusively, figuring that my elite racing days were over. Masters racing was fun, but it didn't have the depth and intensity of the elite races, which was ok because my training time was pretty limited. As time went on however, I regretted my lack of dedication in those earlier years and in particular, not trying harder to upgrade and reach my potential.

Then a few years ago my employment situation changed from full-time to part-time and suddenly I had a lot more time to train. I rediscovered the passion for harder and longer training, so last year I started doing the p/1/2 events again. I've really enjoyed them because I knew (and know) that the physiological window-of-opportunity to race at that level is closing (I'm 46 now) and so I was able to appreciate it all the more. When I found that I could still be moderately competitive again, I decided to set a goal of finally achieving the upgrade. Not because it meant anything in itself, but because it was a tangible way to measure the dedication it would take for a full year of training and racing. It proved to be really challenging, and took a lot of weekends of races, but I finally got the 1. In a way, it's a bit anti-climactic because not much changes, other than having the opportunity to do a few even harder races next year! But at least now I won't have to wonder anymore if I really could have made it to that category.

Mark
http://marcofanelli.blogspot.com
Congrads, that's a great story
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Old 09-26-07, 06:49 PM   #25
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OTB - Marco, great story!!! And nice blog too.

Sometimes I think I ought to downgrade to cat2, just to see if I can get the cat1 upgrade again. It would be fun at 43, but the commitment to a full season (50-70 race days) of P12 stuff might be a bit much time wise, as the kids are now teenagers and I'm having lots of fun with the family.
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