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Old 04-29-08, 11:39 AM   #1
joecool2727
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Nationals or Cat3??

Ok so i just saw that this year's U23 National Championships are going to be in Orange County this year, which is only like an hour away from me. But to participate you must be a Cat2 or better. I just recently upgraded to Cat3 but have almost half my points for a 2 upgrade and i think i could get enough points by August, when Nat's are.

I'm pretty sure that if I were to do Nationals i would get killed, but it would also be an awesome experience. On the other hand I am liking Cat3's right now and am getting good prize money. Should i start busting my balls now to get that 2 upgrade just to get killed in Nat's or just keep racing 3's and getting the cash?? What would you do?
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Old 04-29-08, 11:54 AM   #2
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If you see yourself advancing in the sport, and have time to train at a Cat 2 level for the next couple of years, I'd go ahead and upgrade by August.

If you're not fully committed, you might enjoy Cat3 for awhile. (at least to you start approaching a forced upgrade.)
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Old 04-29-08, 12:00 PM   #3
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How long have you been racing and how old are you?

IMO - stay cat 3 until it's not useful for you any longer, then upgrade to cat 2. If you're not challenged physically or strategically at cat 3, then it's time to move up. If you're still behind developmentally in tactics or skills, even if you've the engine you might want to consider staying put for the balance of the season. Would be better for you to consult those you race with/against for an opinion as they know your fitness, skills, and smarts better than those of us in internet land. By way of comparison, I decided at end of last year to stay a 3 for this season for a few reasons, but I'm 37 y.o. so might have a different outlook on my racing "career".

If this is last year you can do u23, disregard above and go for it.
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Old 04-29-08, 12:07 PM   #4
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I just turned 19 and this is my first race season. The increased race tactics and skills in Pro/1/2 races is definately a concern for me.
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Old 04-29-08, 12:07 PM   #5
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You and your brother are waaay too fast to be in your first year racing.
Can't you just make this a game-time decision? Keeping killing the races and decide the week ahead of time?
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Old 04-29-08, 12:08 PM   #6
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Given how well you did at the Cal RR and Punchbowl, I'm guessing you'll do fine at U23's.
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Old 04-29-08, 12:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by joecool2727 View Post
I'm pretty sure that if I were to do Nationals i would get killed, but it would also be an awesome experience. On the other hand I am liking Cat3's right now and am getting good prize money. Should i start busting my balls now to get that 2 upgrade just to get killed in Nat's or just keep racing 3's and getting the cash?? What would you do?

By getting your upgrade points, wouldn't you be racing the 3's and thus getting the cash?

I fail to see how they are different. Keep racing the 3s and raking in money, get all of your points, upgrade when you wish.
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Old 04-29-08, 12:21 PM   #8
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I just turned 19 and this is my first race season. The increased race tactics and skills in Pro/1/2 races is definately a concern for me.
You've got time then, consider waiting. Hopefully you've got a mentor or coach that you're working with who can advise you appropriately on when to upgrade and what races to do. I'm not trying to insult you, but if this is your 1st season racing, you're like a "ferarri without a steering wheel" meaning you've got a big engine but probably still need to learn how to use it. Good luck, I wish I had your future!
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Old 04-29-08, 01:23 PM   #9
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Good money in the 3's? I need to come out and race in california!

I assume you are talking about the crit or RR as you only need to be cat 2 or higher in those events. The TT accepts lower categories.

If you really feel you would get your butt handed to you, then I might focus on learning more this year (this coming from a guy who is often labeled a sandbagger so beware) and consider it next year or the year after when you have both more experience and a better chance at placing quite highly.

Cool experience yes, but to be pack fodder (at best) and (at worst) possibly causing a crash which damages someone else's aspirations because you don't yet have the experience? I am not sure it is worth it even though it is in your back yard.

But heck, register, and if you have the upgrade points and the desire, your spot is there. If not, you blew a little money. Which seems like it would not matter because you are raking it in by winning the 3's anyhow.

:-)
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Old 04-29-08, 02:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent View Post
By getting your upgrade points, wouldn't you be racing the 3's and thus getting the cash?

I fail to see how they are different. Keep racing the 3s and raking in money, get all of your points, upgrade when you wish.
My thought exactly. Go win some money getting upgrade points, and when you have the points to cat up come back here to discuss. I look forward to that thread in a few weeks.
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Old 04-29-08, 02:12 PM   #11
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I would play it by ear. Since you are only 19, this is your first year racing and you are doing so well you may surprise yourself by how fast your grow and learn. August is a while away. So I would stay with the 3's earn your upgrade points and maybe earlier in the Summer make your decision. My gut feeling is you will upgrade to the 2's. If you upgrade do a few races with them and then make your decision about the Nationals. Even if you are pack fodder it may be a good experience.
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Old 04-29-08, 02:40 PM   #12
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My votes, in order of preference:

1. Ask your coach. If you don't have one, you should, given your apparent talent and age.
2. Wait until July to decide.
3. Abso-friggin-lutely.
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Old 04-29-08, 05:36 PM   #13
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By getting your upgrade points, wouldn't you be racing the 3's and thus getting the cash?

I fail to see how they are different. Keep racing the 3s and raking in money, get all of your points, upgrade when you wish.
Yes, but even though Nationals are all the way in August, i have been told that reg opens mid may, and i read somewhere on the USAC website that you must be the category that you plan to race in at the time of registration or else they will drop you from the list without a refund. So this means i would have to be give up being a cat3 all summer so that i could race nats in august. Or am i mistaken? Has anyone done a national championship before?
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Old 04-29-08, 05:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kudude View Post
You and your brother are waaay too fast to be in your first year racing.
Can't you just make this a game-time decision? Keeping killing the races and decide the week ahead of time?
We ran track in high school which i think helps a lot and also would ride with the local club on weekends, but no racing until this year.

I wish i could decide a week or so before the race, but i think reg opens mid may and the window to register is small, or so i've been told.
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Old 04-29-08, 05:53 PM   #15
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Email max jenkins on the UCB cycling team (or get your brother to get ahold of him). If he doesn't know, he'll know who to ask.
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Old 04-29-08, 07:58 PM   #16
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I think at the rate you are going you will be forced to upgrade to a 2 before it becomes an issue
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Old 05-01-08, 12:21 PM   #17
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As a person who quickly went through the lower categories as well, I would advise you to bide your time in Cat 3 for a little longer. The jump from 3 to 2 is much bigger than any of the others. I thought that, if I were to continue my growth and improvement as a cayclist, I need to upgrade sooner rather than later. I was a top 10 rider in the 3's for most of the season and Pro,1,2 was a rude awakening to say the least. It really killed me, physically and mentally. I never should have upgraded so quickly.

Just my experience...
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Old 05-01-08, 01:02 PM   #18
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As a person who quickly went through the lower categories as well, I would advise you to bide your time in Cat 3 for a little longer. The jump from 3 to 2 is much bigger than any of the others. I thought that, if I were to continue my growth and improvement as a cayclist, I need to upgrade sooner rather than later. I was a top 10 rider in the 3's for most of the season and Pro,1,2 was a rude awakening to say the least. It really killed me, physically and mentally. I never should have upgraded so quickly.

Just my experience...
+1.

I went from the 3s to the 2s at the end of the last season, and am ramping up my 2008 campaign. To avoid the 3-->2 "shellshock" I've kept my racing to a minimum so far this year, and have been building my body up slowly to meet the demands of Pro/1/2 racing. For example, today will be my third 3hr ride in a row, 1.5 of which will be a moderately fast group ride. Lots of hard tempo, lots of intervals, and LOTS of food/sleep/recovery. I'm going to gradually build up my racing schedule, with the peak being the middle of July to early August, with racing two or three days in row pretty much every weekend during that stretch.

I don't think being podium material is realistic for me this year given my strengths and the courses/racing around here, but I'm going to bust my ass to help my team out in whatever manner I can, and maybe pull a result or two in of my own. I know I'm going to end up being pack fodder a lot of the time this year, but if I can do some good work for my friends and teammates, and learn a lot along the way, I'm fine with that.
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Old 05-01-08, 02:45 PM   #19
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Ok as of now i am sort of leaning towards staying a 3 for a while. I've been told that Nationals are usually held in the same place two years in a row, so chances are Nat's will be in Orange County again next year so i can always do them then. But im doing two decent sized races this weekend (Barrio Logan Crit and San Luis RR) and I'll see how i do there to really make a decision.
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Old 08-11-08, 06:35 AM   #20
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ZOMBIE THREAD OMG LOLzies

DrW's... uh... 'exploits' at Nationals inspired me to search for how to 'qualify' to go to Nationals.


Quote:
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I assume you are talking about the crit or RR as you only need to be cat 2 or higher in those events. The TT accepts lower categories.
So... does this mean, say, a really slow Cat4 TT'r could race nationals? Would I need to be a 3? Win some races?

Let's face it, if I went, my goal would be to not finish last... but it'd still be fun, even if (when) I sucked.
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Old 08-11-08, 09:31 AM   #21
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The TT is open to lower catagories. You could race it as a 4.
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Old 08-11-08, 10:37 AM   #22
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Let's face it, if I went, my goal would be to not finish last... but it'd still be fun, even if (when) I sucked.
According to DrW, the reason to go to Nats is to win!
Actually, I agree ElJ. I went to a National Champ race in June just to see how I stacked up against my competition. I got spanked, but I have a clear idea of what I need to do for next year and decent idea of my gameplan for the next 4.
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Old 08-11-08, 10:41 AM   #23
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FWIW, the cat 1 road race was 120 miles and the winning time was 4:28:39, over 26 mph.
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