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Old 01-28-09, 07:02 PM   #1
JayhawKen
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Start out in 40+ or Cat 5

Real quick and simple question - if you're 40+and just starting out racing, do you have to enter Cat 5 or can you enter Masters 40+?

Thanks.
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Old 01-28-09, 07:05 PM   #2
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Unless you have a 40+ 4/5 or something like that, start in the 5's. The 40+ open guys will kill it.

Most of our Masters races are 1-4's.
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Old 01-28-09, 07:14 PM   #3
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A better way of phrasing your question is, "Should I start off doing Cat 1-2 races for guys that have more than 20 years of racing experience or should I do Cat 5 races where everyone is like me?"

I'm a (weak) Cat 3 and I avoid most Masters races. They're too hard. 30+ is insane. 35+ is manageable for easy races. 40+ I've never entered. To get an idea of my wimp level (or HTFU level) I also don't do P123 races in general, which is about what a Masters race is.

One thing that illustrates this well is checking results for Masters and Cat 3s (or 1-2-3s) on the same day at various races last year. You'll see the same names up there in both races.

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Old 01-28-09, 07:20 PM   #4
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Most places will not let cat 5's enter a 40+ race. At least not down here. Also, the Masters do tend to be better (and safer) than cat 5. If you want to do those races, get your 10 starts and upgrade, then you can take your chances in surviving the 40+ races.
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Old 01-28-09, 08:00 PM   #5
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If you can hang, you'll learn more in the M40+, but it won't be good for your ego for a couple years. M40+ will be faster than Cat 3, but with a shorter distance generally. Team tactics rival the P/1/2 races, which is where you'll learn a ton.
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Old 01-28-09, 08:27 PM   #6
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Masters...all the ass kicking ability of the pros coupled with the knowledge of how to use it.

Just say no.

(I hung on for 2 laps once - 30+)
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Old 01-28-09, 08:34 PM   #7
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around here, my experience is I'm a pretty competitive Cat 4. I hang on for dear life in Masters 45 races.
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Old 01-28-09, 09:13 PM   #8
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I think you have to do 9 or 10 races in cat 5 first, but i think as long as you race cat 5 first you can race any other class later in the day, did that many times for crits
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Old 01-28-09, 09:23 PM   #9
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I think you have to do 9 or 10 races in cat 5 first, but i think as long as you race cat 5 first you can race any other class later in the day, did that many times for crits
- If you're a 5 you can race 5's and any masters category as long as they allow 5's (which is all of them around here). If it's a Masters 30+ 1/2/3 you can not enter it even if you "race cat 5 first".
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Old 01-28-09, 09:33 PM   #10
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Thanks all. I have no concerns about getting shelled by fast guys my age. My main objective is surviving the 10 races in Cat 5 without breaking any bones, so if that can be avoided from the beginning so much the better. If necessary I'll hang off the back for my 10 and get out.
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Old 01-28-09, 09:59 PM   #11
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Thanks all. I have no concerns about getting shelled by fast guys my age. My main objective is surviving the 10 races in Cat 5 without breaking any bones, so if that can be avoided from the beginning so much the better. If necessary I'll hang off the back for my 10 and get out.
Yeah, if you're comfortable in a fast group (led by racers), you might as well just try Masters.

They're a lot easier to ride in the pack than they are to win I think it's easier to stay in a Masters pack than a P/1/2/3 because they're so smooth. Especially once "the break" gets away. The pack gets really smooth.
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Old 01-28-09, 10:04 PM   #12
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It's not that bad. Tales of cat 5 mayhem are geatly enhanced.
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Old 01-28-09, 10:13 PM   #13
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I'm not exactly old enough to race Masters yet, but I've heard they're pretty much on par with the 3's in most scenarios. Crits tend to be harder than road races.
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Old 01-29-09, 10:44 AM   #14
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Masters...all the ass kicking ability of the pros coupled with the knowledge of how to use it.

Just say no.

(I hung on for 2 laps once - 30+)
Me thinks I got short changed for my 45th b-day last year. Where is my ass kicking ability?
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Old 01-29-09, 10:52 AM   #15
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Me thinks I got short changed for my 45th b-day last year. Where is my ass kicking ability?
If you find out where it is let me know. I could stand to pick some up as well.
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Old 01-29-09, 11:16 AM   #16
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5's
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Old 01-29-09, 11:19 AM   #17
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If you find out where it is let me know. I could stand to pick some up as well.
I left mine in my previous life.
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Old 01-29-09, 11:20 AM   #18
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I'm not exactly old enough to race Masters yet, but I've heard they're pretty much on par with the 3's in most scenarios. Crits tend to be harder than road races.
Yeah, I think it still comes down to Masters are easier to hang with (barring any major climbs), but 3s are easier to win. The two are certainly comparable though. 3s a little longer, Masters a little faster...
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Old 01-29-09, 11:23 AM   #19
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Race the 5s. I know everyone is in a hurry to get out, I certainly was, but if you don't have pack/race/hard group ride experience that's the whole point of doing 5s races.
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Old 01-29-09, 11:33 AM   #20
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I'm not exactly old enough to race Masters yet, but I've heard they're pretty much on par with the 3's in most scenarios. Crits tend to be harder than road races.
In just about every road race and circuit race I've done where the masters start 5 minutes behind the Cat 3's, we've caught and passed the entire 3's field.
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Old 01-29-09, 11:41 AM   #21
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In just about every road race and circuit race I've done where the masters start 5 minutes behind the Cat 3's, we've caught and passed the entire 3's field.
yep. I'm a cat 3, I've done alot of masters races in the 30+ or 30+/40+ field. The masters races are always faster than the cat 3 races. always.

I agree with WR though, it's easier to hang onto the pack in a masters race (maybe not a technical crit if you're unskilled at cornering) becaue they're smoother than a typical cat 3 slugfest, but harder to win.

OP - do the Cat 5 races until you've completed your 10. No offense, but the 40 + field doesnt want you there, and if you're a cat 5, or even most 4s and lots of 3s for that matter, you dont have the skills to belong there.
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Old 01-29-09, 11:54 AM   #22
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In one of my first races, I made the mistake of signing up for the Masters 35+. It was open to all categories. I figured that with a bunch of older guys it would be easier than the Cat 5 race. When I lined it up I noticed how lean most guys were. Then I noticed a few jerseys with stars and stripes on the cuffs and collars.

I held on and managed to finish in the pack but it was DAMN hard. I was lucky that it was a flat, non technical course and no wind.
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Old 01-29-09, 11:56 AM   #23
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I've been in 1 masters race. It was a 30+/40+ field that paid separately. When I lined up, I was already counting the money that I was going to win after showing these old geezers a thing or two.

Yep, MDcatV is correct in that they are very smooth as they pulled away from me... again... and again ... and again...



You want to do 5's.
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Old 01-29-09, 12:37 PM   #24
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I've been in 1 masters race. It was a 30+/40+ field that paid separately. When I lined up, I was already counting the money that I was going to win after showing these old geezers a thing or two.

Yep, MDcatV is correct in that they are very smooth as they pulled away from me... again... and again ... and again...



You want to do 5's.
Speaking of which, wanders, I'll be in the combined 30+/40+ race at OCS this weekend Should be enjoyable.
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Old 01-29-09, 12:58 PM   #25
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Speaking of which, wanders, I'll be in the combined 30+/40+ race at OCS this weekend Should be enjoyable.
You just lost the entry fee on my second race. I know I don't want any part of it now.
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