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  1. #1
    Riding Heaven's Highways on the grand tour ModoVincere's Avatar
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    35+ Masters or Cat 5 ?

    Ok...looking to do some races this upcoming year. From what I can tell, I have 2 choices as to which to race as. A cat 5 or a Masters. What can you tell me as far as each category?
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  2. #2
    Cat3.*....Cat2 asmallsol's Avatar
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    Have you raced before? 35+ masters can be fast as hell. Cat 5 would be a much better starting point.

  3. #3
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Masters will probably shell you as you will be mixed with ct 1-5 if you are lucky. If you are unlucky, you will not be allowed to race masters as many masters races only allow masters if you are cat 1-4. Race Cat 5, upgrade to a cat 4, then decide.

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    Riding Heaven's Highways on the grand tour ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input.
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  5. #5
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    +1 M35+ is usually faster than Cat 3

  6. #6
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    35+ is anything from a 2/3 pace to a Cat 4 pace. Cat 5 is really where you should begin. 35+ is generally safer however, more experienced riders, less boneheads. But bike racing means crashes regardless.

  7. #7
    OTB is imminent travis200's Avatar
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    If you have the option to race Masters 35+ 4/5 I would go that route. If not cat 5 would be the most sensible choice. 35+ open is a brutal race.
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  8. #8
    Go Pre! DreamTheater's Avatar
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    Cat 5. Get some experience in crits. After you have upgraded to cat4 and become competitive, then you should consider doing a few masters races.
    "I'm going to work so that it's a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it"......a quote from my hero Steve Prefontaine

  9. #9
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Would prefer if you started in cat5's please.
    Look forward to having you join us after you get the requisite 10 races under your belt.
    Until then, best of luck.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Duke of Kent's Avatar
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    Unless you had some crazy natural talent, or you had been a 2 in a previous life, you'd get blown out the back in a M35+ within 5 laps. Especially if they're Cat1/2/3, like most are around here.

    That's not bringing you down, that's just the truth.

    My friend's old man and his teammate, both M45+ dudes, have crushed the spirits of many a young college boy out to his first Wednesday Night Worlds, over the years. By that same token, they've also taught me most of what I know about riding and racing. Wiley old f***ers.
    "If a non personal post makes you feel as if you've been attacked, maybe the problem IS you."

  11. #11
    Senior Member Coyote2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travis200 View Post
    If you have the option to race Masters 35+ 4/5 I would go that route. If not cat 5 would be the most sensible choice. 35+ open is a brutal race.
    +1, though I have done at least one race which had 35+ open as the only option for that age group, and it wasn't too bad -- I came in smack in the middle, and I was only a cat 5.

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    Most areas wont allow CAT 5 racers to race Masters.

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    The mods changed this... damocles1's Avatar
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    USCF races are rarely open in the 35+ ranks. Some promoteros do a 35+ Cat4/5 race and the other is 35+ 1/2/3.

    Masters is filled with old guys who have raced a long time and a lot were at the top of the pile at one point. They are very competitive and there is a lot of yelling and screaming. Too much testosterone for some. I like it because I listen to the yelling, laugh in their general direction and then sit on them until the finish.
    Masters love it when you suck wheel and then beat them in a sprint.

  14. #14
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
    Most areas wont allow CAT 5 racers to race Masters.
    That is correct.

  15. #15
    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by asmallsol View Post
    Have you raced before? 35+ masters can be fast as hell. Cat 5 would be a much better starting point.
    +1 for sure. Conventional wisdom would lead one to believe that the 35+ would be the best choice - especially if you are around 35. However, as others have already stated, the masters 35+ will include some REALLY fast and experienced guys. Most will rip the legs off any cat-5 racer.

    ... Brad

  16. #16
    Young and unconcerned Treefox's Avatar
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    Folks in 35+ would probably be more aware of that whole falling = hurt thing that so many Cat 5 types seem to be ignorant of when they go careening about the place.

    But notes re: speed above are certainly true
    Die schokoladenseite des radfahrens.

  17. #17
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bac View Post
    35+ will include some REALLY fast and experienced guys. Most will rip the legs off any cat-5 racer.
    It's a little ridiculous really. If you're not a solid Cat 3 when you enter 35+ racing, prepare for a wake up call. I was a 4 when I started regularly racing 35+ road events around 1993 or so. Oooofaa. Here's my favorite Vets race story of all time:

    Scene: Central Park, March Spring Series 35+ race, March of 1995 or so. My pal Steve Tinston (Steve is 53 now, in the 1990's he was the NY State 40+ TT champ for 3 straight years, so he is fast) is in a break with the notorious Trevor (don't know his last name) from Long Island. The two of them are away for about thirty minutes. With about 4 miles to go (the Central Park course is 4-5 laps of a 6 mile circuit, can't recall which) Trevor turns to Steve and this exchange takes place:

    Trevor: 'What's your name?'

    Steve: 'I'm Steve.'

    Trevor: 'Steve, it's been nice riding with you, but I have to go now.'

    At this point Trevor launches and drops Steve completely to solo in for the victory, Steve did hold off the peloton for 2nd in that race. When there are guys in the field who can summarily dust the NY 40+ TT champ, those are fast guys. Trevor did the exact same thing to me and my breakaway in a Brooklyn race around that time. Seven man break, Trevor launches on the little hill in Prospect with 2.5 miles to go, nobody in our group could get his wheel. We did hold off the peloton however.

  18. #18
    Senior Member SteveA's Avatar
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    TT riders not always the best Crit riders ...

    I used to race in the 1970's. Some things don't change a lot. The U.S. mens road TT champion (multiple years) raced in our area (Ohio). He could bust everyone by a large margin in TT's and was decent in road races - but was by no stretch of the imagination a great crit rider. He was mister fast and steady - not always able to respond to changes in pace (like attacks).
    Steve A.

  19. #19
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Yeah, crits require a completely different kind of fitness and a lot more mental skill and tactical strategy than TTs or RRs. Heck, just being able to stay on someone's wheel flying around a corner at 35mph+ as you're both scraping your pedals is the difference between winning or getting dropped. And that has absolutely nothing to do with fitness.

    And the type of fitness required is simply torture. Being able to go from 25mph to 35mph instantly at 99% all-out sprint, then holding 35mph for 15-20 seconds, then dropping down to 25mph to recover and go around a corner at the limit and then zip up to 35mph again instantly. That's tough work!

    ModoVincere, I'd recommend join a group of racers in your area and train with them. You'll get in the required intervals to build this kind of fitness. And do as many practice races as you can before the season starts next year. There's absolutely no way to prepare for racing other than to do actual races. There's simply too much mental development that requires actual experience to pick up.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
    Would prefer if you started in cat5's please.
    Look forward to having you join us after you get the requisite 10 races under your belt.
    Until then, best of luck.
    +1. I'm sure the 35+ Masters racers would unanimously prefer that you start in the Cat. 5's, and stay there until you figure out what you're doing.

    Bob
    Be the Bike

  21. #21
    The mods changed this... damocles1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Lex View Post
    +1. I'm sure the 35+ Masters racers would unanimously prefer that you start in the Cat. 5's, and stay there until you figure out what you're doing.
    Yes, thank you...

  22. #22
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    I see bike racing has a fair bit in common with ski racing. It's amazing how even at a lot of the biggest races like the Vasaloppet and the Birkie many of the elite skiers are in their 40s. I think what happens is their kids reach high school age and they a) have more time and b) feel the need to keep up with their often athletically proficient offspring.

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