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  1. #1
    Senior Member tallmantim's Avatar
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    Australian categories vs US racing categories

    Hello

    I am about to ride my first crit ride next week at Sandown raceway in Melbourne.

    Just interested, from reading this forum, whether cat 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are synonymous with cat A, B, C, D and E in Australia.

    I am looking at starting in a cat D.

    Here is the rundown on the categories here:

    Where do I belong?

    A Grade - average speeds generally above 40kmh .

    Suits - strong and very experienced riders. Excellent cornering and bunch riding skills are required. At least one win at B Grade level is a prerequisite for acceptance into a CCCC A Grade crit field.

    B Grade - average speeds are generally around 40kmh.

    Suits - strong and experienced riders. B Grade riders have generally accumulated a number of top four places in C grade competition and should have very good bunch riding skills and understanding of race tactics and etiquette.

    C Grade - average speed 37 - 38kmh

    Suits - riders with some bunch riding experience. C Grade fields often comprise a mix of experienced racers, newer riders from a triathlon or MTB background, and riders who have moved up from D Grade after achieving a number of places over a season, as well as riders who have too much strength for the D Grade race to provide them with meaningful competition. Strong riders will often move very quickly into B Grade.

    D Grade - average speed 34 - 36kmh

    Suits - experienced riders who do not have the strength or fitness to compete in a higher grade, and new or younger competitors aiming to build experience and strength.

    Novice Racing Clinic (also known as E Grade) - average speed 22 - 30kmh

    Suits - new senior riders with no bunch riding experience, and junior riders without the strength or fitness to race at a higher level. At least half of each session is run at a moderate speed that allows Tokyo Olympian Mick Hollingworth and his team of mentors to teach the basics of crit racing: bunch riding, cornering and working turns. In the closing stages of each session, Mick will increase the speed to allow the more confident riders to tackle attacking and sprinting. Senior riders will generally not be allowed to sprint against juniors, and once senior riders have shown they have gained the necessary skills and confidence the will be invited to join the D Grade bunch.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DanielS's Avatar
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    I don't really know, but I reckon that the Cat system is 'one higher' so A grade is sort of like Cat 1&2, then B grade ~= Cat 3, C grade ~= Cat 4 and D grade ~= Cat 5 and E grade is below that. E grade is normally pretty slow, and from what I read here, Cat 5 races are actually fairly competitive.

    Either way, don't think about it, just go race and you'll soon know where you stand. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Senior Member tallmantim's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response.

    LOL, I'm 37 and just starting my racing career! Still time for a pro team to pick me up, right?


  4. #4
    Senior Member DanielS's Avatar
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    Never too late! I know plenty of guys your age and older who race. BTW there are some more australia-centric forums at http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums that are worth checking out

  5. #5
    Senior Member Falchoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tallmantim View Post
    Thanks for the response.

    LOL, I'm 37 and just starting my racing career! Still time for a pro team to pick me up, right?

    Our local Vets club has grades down to G! The local CA affiliated clubs only go down to E.

    Which grade you belong in depends on your fitness and experience. I didn't start racing until I was over 40 - started in E grade. I had been riding for a few years before though, commuting ~30km round trip to work each day and a ~100km ride on the weekend. I got second in my first ever road race.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.

  6. #6
    gmt Grumpy McTrumpy's Avatar
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    average speed is not such an accurate indicator.

    I have done some low category races in new york that averaged over 40 km/h

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