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  1. #1
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    Upgrade to cat 3?

    This is my second season racing (I started late May of 2009), and am 16 points into the 4's after upgrading in October. I've got a pretty solid sprint that keeps me consistently in the top 1-5 during crits, and enough overall fitness to keep with the front group on any serious road race. I'm considering upgrading to the 3's (another 4 points is just around the corner), but am concerned it may be premature. There are about 10 active riders on my team in the 4's with me, but virtually zero 3's. Should I stay in the 4's and have fun tearing ******** until I'm forced to upgrade, or just man-up and race the 3's alone? Which course of action would be the best learning experience?
    laterally stiff and vertically compliant

  2. #2
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    If I were in your situation, I'd stay a 4 for a bit. You'll have more fun, learn more about bike racing, and you'll be able to help your teammates get their upgrade points so you can all continue to work together as 3s.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pt_Lumberjack View Post
    This is my second season racing (I started late May of 2009), and am 16 points into the 4's after upgrading in October. I've got a pretty solid sprint that keeps me consistently in the top 1-5 during crits, and enough overall fitness to keep with the front group on any serious road race. I'm considering upgrading to the 3's (another 4 points is just around the corner), but am concerned it may be premature. There are about 10 active riders on my team in the 4's with me, but virtually zero 3's. Should I stay in the 4's and have fun tearing ******** until I'm forced to upgrade, or just man-up and race the 3's alone? Which course of action would be the best learning experience?
    if you enjoy tearing ********, we won't ask, or tell.

  4. #4
    gmt Grumpy McTrumpy's Avatar
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    nothing like hubris to compel people to avoid giving helpful answers.


    best of luck.

  5. #5
    Senior Member marsh283's Avatar
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    Mmmm torn ********....help a couple buddies upgrade, then do it yourself

  6. #6
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
    nothing like hubris to compel people to avoid giving helpful answers.
    +1 Upgrade and get some humility

    Or do what caloso said and help your teammates. Especially if you don't care how you do, you can just attack to soften the field and have your teammates counter when caught, lead them out, etc.

  7. #7
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    I don't know where you live, but the 3's will most likely bring a world of hurt compared to what you're used to now. Just something you should be aware of.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianappleby View Post
    I don't know where you live, but the 3's will most likely bring a world of hurt compared to what you're used to now. Just something you should be aware of.
    I assumed so much. I plan to be pack fodder whenever I do join the 3's...
    laterally stiff and vertically compliant

  9. #9
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    That's what I am. And I rushed up to the 3s as quickly as possible because I was in the opposite situation. I was the only 4 on my team and was looking forward to racing with teammates.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pt_Lumberjack View Post
    I assumed so much. I plan to be pack fodder whenever I do join the 3's...
    make sure to use lots of chamois cream, otherwise your ******* will be torn. repeatedly.

  11. #11
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    Sandbaggers suck. Move up when you should. Take your f'ing medicine.

  12. #12
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    The 4->3 jump isn't anything like the 3->2 jump. Do it.

  13. #13
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Personally, I might try to learn a bit about teamwork if I were you. Sounds like you are a strong 4 and so going to the 3's will be easy. But, if you really have that many teammates and a great sprint, why not be the leadout guy for a while. Help others get their points and then can return the favor when you are both 3's.

    Having said that, if you have a sprint, and don't rely on a leadout train to win (which would be VERY rare in the 4's) then go to the threes and have at it.

    It IS the ultimate cat for a reason.

  14. #14
    Last decade's model ijunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marsh283 View Post
    Mmmm torn ********....help a couple buddies upgrade, then do it yourself
    if only i can close the gap that he can open.

  15. #15
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    Do it.

    And don't forget about Peloton Points, it's more than just a stupid cat-o-meter

  16. #16
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    The cat 4 to 3 jump is pretty small, I think. Do whatever's the most fun.

  17. #17
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnRide View Post
    The cat 4 to 3 jump is pretty small, I think. Do whatever's the most fun.
    Yeah, I pretty much went from top quarter in the 4s to 2nd quarter in the 3s. The guys here to are dominant in the 4s usually do just fine in the 3s.

  18. #18
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    The 4->3 jump wasn't that big of a deal here in Florida. A little faster, but not much. Just more animated.

    My recommendation to the op: find out what your teammates goals are, and help them out.
    Putting the Duh in Floriduh.

  19. #19
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    +1 on helping teammates. Doing 1/2 lap leadouts and such will sap the strength from anyone's legs. Also if you're trying to help someone get to the front of the field (and not blowing them up in the process) you'll have to know how to maneuver a double length rider through a field. That's much, much harder than navigating solo through the field.

    When you get some nice assists in, you feel comfortable racing in close quarters, move up.

    Fitness-wise, at least where I am, 3s and 4s are virtually identical. It's only handling skills that vary wildly. I regularly get beaten in field sprints by 4s, and sprinting's the only thing I can do.

    Not sure if you saw my recent rant on handling skills (or lack thereof) in the 3s, but don't be a strong but non-fluent rider, for your sake and for the sake of other 3s.

    On the other hand, if you can graze a rear derailleur cable with your front tire while on a group ride (intentionally and without freaking out), you know how to touch wheels and stay upright, and you can bump with your elbows/arms/shoulders/hips without more than an annoying glance at the culprit that bumped you, help your teammates and then upgrade. You'll be totally fine in the 3s.

    cdr

  20. #20
    bf is my facebook. ljrichar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    The 4->3 jump isn't anything like the 3->2 jump. Do it.
    Most of us have no idea.

  21. #21
    avatar by Sean Powers mike868y's Avatar
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    Couldn't the OP just ride a few 3/4 races and see how he fares? If he can be a consistent player in a 3/4 race ins't that a sign that he could handle the 3s?
    Quote Originally Posted by the collective bf.net consciousness
    it depends

  22. #22
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    No one seems to have mentioned it, but the races are longer...

  23. #23
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
    Couldn't the OP just ride a few 3/4 races and see how he fares? If he can be a consistent player in a 3/4 race ins't that a sign that he could handle the 3s?
    I don't know where the OP is, but not everywhere has 3/4 fields. Our 4 fields usually fill up on their own. Sometimes there are masters 3/4 fields though.

  24. #24
    Senior Member ldesfor1@ithaca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
    Personally, I might try to learn a bit about teamwork if I were you. Sounds like you are a strong 4 and so going to the 3's will be easy. But, if you really have that many teammates and a great sprint, why not be the leadout guy for a while. Help others get their points and then can return the favor when you are both 3's.

    Having said that, if you have a sprint, and don't rely on a leadout train to win (which would be VERY rare in the 4's) then go to the threes and have at it.

    It IS the ultimate cat for a reason.

    +1 (see my signature)

    I raced in the 3's alone last season. Not much fun. Now I've got 2 teammates with me and 2-4 more soon to come. I cant wait to have 4-7 guys in our field.... awwwww, now I'm all excited to race. thanks, buddy.
    Teammates-on-Podium O'meter: 0/n (n=total # of teammates I get to race with)
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  25. #25
    Senior Member ldesfor1@ithaca's Avatar
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    Lumberjack: where do you race?
    Teammates-on-Podium O'meter: 0/n (n=total # of teammates I get to race with)
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