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  1. #1
    Senior Member goose70's Avatar
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    Masters Races and Upgrade Points

    Does placing in a masters race earn points towards category upgrades? I am a 42 yo cat 4 signed up for a masters (40+) cat 1-4 race, in an event that also offers a separate, non-age-restricted cat 4 race. For upgrade point purposes, does it matter which one I enter?

    Additionally, if an older masters group (50+) is combined in the same race as the 40+ group, do only the participants in the younger group count when tallying the number of participants to determine the eligible points?

    I did not find an obvious answer in the USA Cycling rules, but maybe I just missed it.

    Thanks.

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    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Goose I am sure CDR can clarify but to the best of my knowledge Master's results do not qualify towards category upgrades.
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  3. #3
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    I think they do in general, except for 2->1 upgrades where you only get half your points from those races.

    It probably depends on your area/local upgrade coordinator too.
    cat 1.

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    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    I thought it depended on the specifics of the field's actual racers categories... but since you're a 4 you should be able to claim any placing, since you're beating equal or higher categories. Subject to distance/field size of course.
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    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    It probably depends on your area/local upgrade coordinator too.

    In any case, your local upgrade coordinator is the place to ask.
    "have fun and be kind"
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  6. #6
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    FWIW, I upgraded from 4 to 3 on top tens (rather than points) and some of those were in Masters races.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  7. #7
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    You get upgrade points in masters fields same as any other field. You can race cat 4 or the M40+1-4. The cat 4 field might be easier. Cat 1-2 masters are fast.

  8. #8
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    In Arizona, they want half of your upgrade points to come from racing your category. The rest can be from Masters. Masters racers here choose races that are likely to get them points to race category, while mostly racing masters. And of course you can double on crit days and race both.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    You get upgrade points in masters fields same as any other field. You can race cat 4 or the M40+1-4. The cat 4 field might be easier. Cat 1-2 masters are fast.
    Seriously. In my experience, the E3 race is almost always easier than the 45+ race.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member goose70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Seriously. In my experience, the E3 race is almost always easier than the 45+ race.
    Thanks, guys. If I place high enough to be in the points, I'll clarify with the MABRA rep.

    And I've also heard that the masters races (which seem to be mostly combined cat 1-4 in my region) are typically faster than the open cat 4 fields, but they also typically have fewer riders. Maneuvering to a wining position might be easier (in theory) in a race with 25 as opposed to a herd of 70. I also figure I'll learn more from the masters, but I'll soon find out. (I'm guessing that I'm about to be schooled, but that's half the fun.)

    Anyhow, those are the reasons that I'd like to do as many masters races as I can, and why I'm hoping that any points I earn count.

  11. #11
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    We all talk from the perspective of our personal experiences, and mine is from racing mostly Masters (50+ and 55+), but some Cat4, here in Arizona. One of my goals for next season (second season in Cat4) is to cat up to 3. As mentioned above, our district wants to see at least half your upgrade points from, in my case, Cat4 races. I believe that is because they are inherently different from the masters races, and the district upgrade coordinator recognizes that. Here are some of the differences, here in Arizona:

    1. The masters races are 'smooth'. Less braking; less herky-jerkiness.
    2. The Cat4 races involve a LOT more braking and re-acceleration. Drives me insane, and I've sat up from not being able to get in sync with the flow.
    3. Cat4 races are often combined, either with the 3's, the 5's, or sometimes, one of each (a 3/4 and a 4/5 on the same day). The flavor is very different for each.
    4. Cat4 race are really hard to win, as there is invariably a guy "on his way through" that is really strong. Some guys go from 5 to 2 in the same season.
    5. Masters races are really hard to win, because you have to beat Cat2 guys with vast experience, who have forgotten things you haven't yet learned you don't know.
    6. Finishing in the top 10, in a Cat4 race isn't that hard. You just need to hang with the pack, all the way through the sprint, and not blow yourself up. The biggest obstacle to that is #2, which can wear you out.
    7. Finishing in the pack, in the top 10, in a 40+ masters race, is harder here. There are fewer people, but that is an age range full of 1-3's. Get to 50+ or 55+, and finishing with the pack is not that difficult. It becomes mostly 3's and 4's, with a few 2's.
    8. Masters races involve tactics, and even teamwork.
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  12. #12
    Arrogant Roadie Punk save10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Seriously. In my experience, the E3 race is almost always easier than the 45+ race.
    last year i did E3 dunningan hills and was in it to win it...well until i crashed with 3 miles to go. this year i did 35+123s and was dropped with extreme prejudice 30 miles in

  13. #13
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    35+3 and 3 are mostly indistinguishable around here.

    i'd say of the major races we have in Co from hardest to easiest its like

    P12
    35+
    35+3, 3, 45+ (though the fast TT guys in 45+ are deadly)
    4
    35+4
    45+4

    i have not found that 35+3 is all that smoother than 3, but 35+ definitely is. thats the sweetspot for me, where the racing is hard and fun and smooth but not dominated by mutants.
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  14. #14
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by save10 View Post
    last year i did E3 dunningan hills and was in it to win it...well until i crashed with 3 miles to go. this year i did 35+123s and was dropped with extreme prejudice 30 miles in
    Just want to point out that the "1/2" part of the "35+ 1/2/3's" has more to do with those races being faster than the "35+" part.

    If masters racers were faster than regular racers, they'd just race their cat in the first place and not make a whole other race for the old folks.
    cat 1.

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    Arrogant Roadie Punk save10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    Just want to point out that the "1/2" part of the "35+ 1/2/3's" has more to do with those races being faster than the "35+" part.

    If masters racers were faster than regular racers, they'd just race their cat in the first place and not make a whole other race for the old folks.
    i know. but that being said alot of the the masters 1/2 in NCNCA do just fine in p1/2s

  16. #16
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    Just want to point out that the "1/2" part of the "35+ 1/2/3's" has more to do with those races being faster than the "35+" part.

    If masters racers were faster than regular racers, they'd just race their cat in the first place and not make a whole other race for the old folks.
    Many masters are regular. We've learned the value of fiber.

    Quote Originally Posted by save10 View Post
    i know. but that being said alot of the the masters 1/2 in NCNCA do just fine in p1/2s
    I caught and passed the kid I was up against in the 4k at Elite Track Nats.

  17. #17
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    USAC clearly took into account my masters results in granting my cat 1 upgrade. I'm not sure I had points with out it.

    In the N.E. much of the upper crust of cycling is made up of crusty old men. Many who are former pros, national team members, olympians etc...

  18. #18
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    From 4 to 3 is usually experience with some results. Any racing with non-Cat 5s should be taken into account. Masters racing is usually much harder than a given 4 race.

    For the rules I don't know the specifics. I'd actually defer to asgelle on the actual rules. On practical experience I've seen riders get upgraded based on the regional rep's judgment.

    I see riders that earned their upgrades who can't race well (in the 3s). In fact I worked on a 2012 clip for a while with the focal point being a rider that can't corner - he ought to be a 5 - and then I realized that I didn't feel comfortable criticizing the guy for my own reasons (he means well but that doesn't mean he knows how to race) - all that time put into the clip and it's basically on hold.

    I see riders that upgraded only on experience from 4 to 3s but they're safe, sane, and reasonably skilled 3s. Ditto 5->4.

  19. #19
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    USAC clearly took into account my masters results in granting my cat 1 upgrade. I'm not sure I had points with out it.

    In the N.E. much of the upper crust of cycling is made up of crusty old men. Many who are former pros, national team members, olympians etc...
    You have the crusty part down pat...

    You home yet?
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  20. #20
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    i know the membership coordinator or our LA (formerly a splinter group but reintegrated to USAC this year) has a lot of discretion in upgrades. around here age group racing is treated identically for upgrades in every instance except 2->1, where they just quote from the USAC book:

    USAC Rule 1D2:

    (a) Guidelines and Notes by Category

    2-1:

    30 points in any 12-month period**

    50 points in 12 months is a mandatory upgrade



    **For category 1 upgrades, only 10 of the points may be earned in races that are part of a training series or may be earned in master's races.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Debusama's Avatar
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    I know some people who were able to upgrade to cat-3 racing in 60+ fields in order to go to master’s nationals. I’m sure the 40+ results would count. In the case of the 40+ pack, however, I think it would be easier to get points in the cat-4 pack since the 40+ is usually a faster group.
    Cat-3 Fred

  22. #22
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    USAC clearly took into account my masters results in granting my cat 1 upgrade. I'm not sure I had points with out it.
    But you also had P/1/2/3 wins as a Master.

    Back on topic. Masters fields may or may not be smaller than your category field. Small fields are a double edged sword. The odds may be better on paper, but there's also a lot less room to hide. Some of the hardest races I've done were in small fields.

  23. #23
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    But you also had P/1/2/3 wins as a Master.

    Back on topic. Masters fields may or may not be smaller than your category field. Small fields are a double edged sword. The odds may be better on paper, but there's also a lot less room to hide. Some of the hardest races I've done were in small fields.

    Your first sentence wasn't off topic.

    I had P123 wins, places and shows, yes, but clearly not enough points without them accounting for some of my masters results.

  24. #24
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    OP, all Masters upgrade points count up to Cat2. Cat2->1 10 points max from Masters under USAC. It's pretty clearly stated in the rulebook.

  25. #25
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Yeah, I got my Cat 2 upgrade on probably 60% masters points (much harder to get than the Cat 3 stuff, fwiw).

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