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View Poll Results: How long did it take for you to upgrade from Cat4 to Cat3?
1 year or less 31 77.50%
1-2 years 7 17.50%
2-3 years 0 0%
3 years and up 2 5.00%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-03-09, 11:16 PM   #1
td.tony
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How long did it take you to upgrade from Cat4 to Cat3?

I'm trying to set a goal for the coming season.
I'm still a cat5 but by the end of January I will have completed the minimum number of mass starts required to upgrade. I've only done 3 crit races so far but my last race I placed somewhere in the top 15 out of 45, I still don't have enough sprinting power to place.

My goal I want to set is to upgrade from Cat4 to Cat3 by the end of the 2010 season. I'm wondering if this seems too far fetched or not for most riders.
I also joined my school's cycling team so I should have some guidance and support with training and nutrition and whatnot. I'd also be competing in just about every race of the season.

Last edited by td.tony; 11-03-09 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 11-03-09, 11:34 PM   #2
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Depends.

I'm halfway to the 3's. Took me 3 weekends to get the points to get halfway there.
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Old 11-03-09, 11:49 PM   #3
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It took me a little over a year, but I got all my points in a 6 month period (August-February).
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Old 11-03-09, 11:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by td.tony View Post
I'm trying to set a goal for the coming season.
I'm still a cat5 but by the end of January I will have completed the minimum number of mass starts required to upgrade. I've only done 3 crit races so far but my last race I placed somewhere in the top 15 out of 45, I still don't have enough sprinting power to place.

My goal I want to set is to upgrade from Cat4 to Cat3 by the end of the 2010 season. I'm wondering if this seems too far fetched or not for most riders.
I also joined my school's cycling team so I should have some guidance and support with training and nutrition and whatnot. I'd also be competing in just about every race of the season.
To a large degree getting to the 3s is more about figuring out how to race than anything else, so it's hard to say whether or not it is realistic for you or not. I was in a similar boat as you for the 2008 season, I finished my 10 races at the end of 2007 and started 2008 with upgrading to cat 3 as my goal. I didn't really get anywhere for most of the season until things started to click near the end of it. I don't think I had any huge fitness leap that suddenly allowed me to upgrade.

If you aren't already placing well in the 5s then it's going to be an uphill battle in the 4s. Things will get harder before they get easier. You just have to figure out your strengths and race to them. Hopefully things will click for you and you will be able to get your points in. It doesn't take too many good results to get 20 points.
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Old 11-04-09, 12:00 AM   #5
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On the road, I've technically been a Cat 4 for 6 years... that's 15 years with 9 years off in the middle.
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Old 11-04-09, 12:00 AM   #6
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Two seasons. I upgraded on top 10s, for what it's worth.
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Old 11-04-09, 12:06 AM   #7
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I became a 4, did my first two races in one day (as a 4) and got half way to my 3 upgrade. If my racing continues like that, I would say about 2 weekends worth of racing...LOL. We will see. With my luck lately, I will get fat or something and never place again.

I think that 3 months to a full season is a good average for a pretty good racer to upgrade.

My friend went from a 5 to a 2 in one month. Everyone is different.

Last edited by spinwax; 11-04-09 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 11-04-09, 12:13 AM   #8
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If you're racing with the Cal Aggies and the DBC, I think you'll have no trouble upgrading as quickly as you like.
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Old 11-04-09, 12:13 AM   #9
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My friend went from a 5 to a 2 in one month. Everyone is different.
Yeah, well he's a freak, and he snapped my streak. I was doing really well until I came up against him at Murietta. He snapped up all the primes and the win in the crit. The crit was a crashfest though so I attacked from the gun in the circuit race and he pulled the field until I was caught

That was his first cat 4 race... and my last.

Edit: That was March 14th and he was still a 3 at San Luis Rey on May 3rd, so it did take a little longer than one month (two, ha).
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Old 11-04-09, 12:25 AM   #10
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Yeah, well he's a freak, and he snapped my streak. I was doing really well until I came up against him at Murietta. He snapped up all the primes and the win in the crit. The crit was a crashfest though so I attacked from the gun in the circuit race and he pulled the field until I was caught

That was his first cat 4 race... and my last.
Actually a local 4 (still a 4), beat him in the crit. He did however win the RR and the overall if I remember correctly.

LOL, yeah he is fast. He averaged over 360 watts for the 40k CBR TT. Pretty strong. Suprisingly his FTP is close to mine, but his 5min is just INSANE. I think he was around 6.5 watts per Kg or more. Pretty good for a 19 yr old kid!

He and my other friend stayed with me over Interbike week. He is a good kid with a lot of talent and SUPER pasionate about cycling. I hope he doesn't get burned out.

Honestly, I think I would have upgraded already if I lived in SoCal. It is hard to get enough races in living out here. Well at least I would have liked to think so. I'm slow and getting old. I better get on the stick!
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Old 11-04-09, 07:05 AM   #11
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To a large degree getting to the 3s is more about figuring out how to race than anything else, so it's hard to say whether or not it is realistic for you or not. I was in a similar boat as you for the 2008 season, I finished my 10 races at the end of 2007 and started 2008 with upgrading to cat 3 as my goal. I didn't really get anywhere for most of the season until things started to click near the end of it. I don't think I had any huge fitness leap that suddenly allowed me to upgrade.

If you aren't already placing well in the 5s then it's going to be an uphill battle in the 4s. Things will get harder before they get easier. You just have to figure out your strengths and race to them. Hopefully things will click for you and you will be able to get your points in. It doesn't take too many good results to get 20 points.
+1 Once it clicks you'll rack up points pretty quick. I strung together 6 straight top 10's this summer before I upgraded. I ended up getting 20 points at the sametime I got my tenth top 10. Get your ftp up, that'll take you farther than working on sprinting. You'll sprint better at the end if you've used fewer matches to get there. Also, think of the last 4 laps of a crit as 4 seperate races, you have to race each lap to keep position or you get swarmed.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:11 AM   #12
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Upgrading to 3 isn't all that hard. 3's racing is only a little bit faster but 3's (somewhat) know how to race.

It gets hard in the 1/2's since everyone knows how to race and everyone is fast.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:18 AM   #13
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In Colorado, I did my first race mid-June as a Cat 5, and I was a 3 at the end of August.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:36 AM   #14
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TBD. I've been racing since February and I'm halfway there. Probably 1-2 years.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:39 AM   #15
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then there's pcad, our perpetual four.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:50 AM   #16
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It has something to do with terrain as well. Most races in this area detonate when they hit the first big climb. Unless you are in there, then kiss any upgrade points goodbye. Pack finishes are nearly nonexistent.

I would estimate the necessary power to be around 4.5w/kg threshold in order to get points on a regular basis. Perhaps a bit more since the climbs tend to be in the ten minute range.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:52 AM   #17
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16 races to go from 5 to 3.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:59 AM   #18
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Raced 4's for one season... earned all the upgrade points towards the end of the season though.
I'm setting no goals to upgrade in '10 because there are still races where I'm in there but in no position to contest anything.

The 3's are kind of like Jr high... everyone has started developing but there is a broad spectrum betwen the low and high ends. There are guys that in every right could be 2's and there are those who barely have their feet wet out of the 4's.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:04 AM   #19
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It has something to do with terrain as well. Most races in this area detonate when they hit the first big climb. Unless you are in there, then kiss any upgrade points goodbye. Pack finishes are nearly nonexistent.

I would estimate the necessary power to be around 4.5w/kg threshold in order to get points on a regular basis. Perhaps a bit more since the climbs tend to be in the ten minute range.
to do what, upgrade to category 3?!? baloney.

fwiw, I was a 4 for a calender year, from July of my 1st year racing until July of my 2nd. I upgraded with points and was a 3 for while. now I'm a 2 training to get my ass handed to me on a regular basis.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:06 AM   #20
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to do what, upgrade to category 3?!? baloney.

fwiw, I was a 4 for a calender year, from July of my 1st year racing until July of my 2nd. I upgraded with points and was a 3 for while. now I'm a 2 training to get my ass handed to me on a regular basis.
come up here and see for yourself.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:08 AM   #21
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but i wouldnt get to race against the cat 4s throwing down >4.5 w/kg at ftp
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Old 11-04-09, 08:12 AM   #22
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4 races. no points.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:20 AM   #23
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but i wouldnt get to race against the cat 4s throwing down >4.5 w/kg at ftp
that is true. in fact, because of the same phenomenon that I speak of, your P123 race would be the smallest field size. It is common to see a P123 race with less than ten riders in the same event as a 4 race with over 50.

in the capital district RR this year I was definitely climbing at 4.2w/kg and I just watched them ride away from me. cat 4 race.

at the GVCC race at Bloomfield this year the winners were putting in times that I could not come close to matching on the hills. I was over 4 w/kg as well.

I could go on all day with this. We have very very few crits and almost nothing flat enough to have a true pack finish. If you want that kind of racing, you have to travel to NYC or places south.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:29 AM   #24
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It has something to do with terrain as well. Most races in this area detonate when they hit the first big climb. Unless you are in there, then kiss any upgrade points goodbye. Pack finishes are nearly nonexistent.

I would estimate the necessary power to be around 4.5w/kg threshold in order to get points on a regular basis. Perhaps a bit more since the climbs tend to be in the ten minute range.
only if you're too timid to travel.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:34 AM   #25
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only if you're too timid to travel.
as much as it might seem that it would benefit me to do so....


I am still better suited to the hills. All of my best results have been on hilly races thus far. The fact that they have been just short of good enough to get me more than a few upgrade points notwithstanding.

Actually I have traveled quite a bit for races. The flattest ones being near Lancaster. I wasn't racing cat 4 though. Masters was tougher (according to a racer I know who did the 4s).
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