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Old 02-18-05, 10:01 AM   #1
Hitman
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race catagories

Can someone explain the difference between the catagories of races. Does it have to do with the speed or distance of the races? I would like to start racing as soon as I get my new bike (Not sure what I want), but need to know where to start. Any info will help. Thanks
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Old 02-18-05, 10:13 AM   #2
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All USCF licensed riders start out as Cat. 5 riders. You upgrade catagories by earning points at races.
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Old 02-18-05, 10:14 AM   #3
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If you look around the forums there's a link to the US Cycling rules and regs as a PDF file - if I find it i'll post the link on this thread.

Basically you'll find something that suits you, whatever you're into.
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Old 02-18-05, 10:22 AM   #4
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Can't find it now but check this:

http://www.usacycling.org/

Should have all your questions answered here.
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Old 02-18-05, 10:26 AM   #5
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The higher the catagory the better and stronger the racers tend to be. Like the others have said the above websites are good resources.

One thing to consider is that many races will bunch groups together (i.e. 4 with 5 and 1 with 2 with pro).
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Old 02-18-05, 10:28 AM   #6
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you will start off as a category 5. most races allow you to buy a one day license, or you can buy a year round card. if you ride without a team you'll be considered unattached (which may require an extra fee...depends on the organizers). as you participate in more races or place really well you can upgrade to cat 4, cat 3, etc... up to cat 1.
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Old 02-18-05, 04:30 PM   #7
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Do the organizers have the discretion to move you up in categories even if you don't have the points? In other words...I have heard of certain riders that went from cat 5 to cat 1 in 18 months or so. One guy in particular was a distance runner before he took up cycling...so he adapted really quickly to cycling and just started to lap the field in crits....so he was moved up very quickly from 5 to 4 to 3 etc.

I once read that Andy Bishop(former pro with 7-11/Motorola) was racing in the Tour de France just 2 years removed from being a cat 4.

So it seems that if you go out there and just dominate ..the officials will try to push you up faster even if you don't have the points. Am I right?
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Old 02-18-05, 04:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneradtec
Do the organizers have the discretion to move you up in categories even if you don't have the points? In other words...I have heard of certain riders that went from cat 5 to cat 1 in 18 months or so. One guy in particular was a distance runner before he took up cycling...so he adapted really quickly to cycling and just started to lap the field in crits....so he was moved up very quickly from 5 to 4 to 3 etc.

I once read that Andy Bishop(former pro with 7-11/Motorola) was racing in the Tour de France just 2 years removed from being a cat 4.

So it seems that if you go out there and just dominate ..the officials will try to push you up faster even if you don't have the points. Am I right?
If you have some talent, moving up is easy. It really doesn't take long to go from 5-3 or even up to 2 if you're strong and race regularly. The jump to 1 is much more difficult but plenty of guys do it and do it quick. I personally know a handful of guys who have gone from 5-2 or 1 within a year or two.
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Old 02-19-05, 12:56 PM   #9
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Organizers can't move you up to a higher category. That's left to USCF officials.

Strength is one thing, but officials usually want you to develop pack riding skills before moving up too fast. In fact, any official that upgrades a rider solely on strength is doing everyone a disservice.

IMO, the jump from 5 to 4 is the wave of a hand.
4 to 3 is relatively easy.
3 to 2 is very difficult because a LOT of riders refuse to upgrade to Cat 2 which creates a logjam in the Cat 3 level. There are a bunch of guys in the Cat 3 field who have enough points to be a 2, but won't do it. We call these sandbaggers: Professional Cat 3s.
IMO, it's similar to staying in the 5th grade.
2 to 1 you need a team around you to help you.
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