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  1. #1
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    Junior Racer Question

    Would you advise Juniors in the 15 - 18 year old age range to do Cat 5 races if no Jr. Category is offered? I know there are other factors, but asking generally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    Would you advise Juniors in the 15 - 18 year old age range to do Cat 5 races if no Jr. Category is offered? I know there are other factors, but asking generally.
    Absolutely. In our region the cat 5 would be just fine for any juniors who know how to ride in a group. We had several on our team race the 5 or 4/5 race this past weekend, and they did just fine. They might even get better experience riding in a group than the juniors field, which can split up quite a bit with the large spread in ability.

  3. #3
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    Would you advise Juniors in the 15 - 18 year old age range to do Cat 5 races if no Jr. Category is offered? I know there are other factors, but asking generally.
    of course, they are cat5's

  4. #4
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    It depends. How skilled are they on their bikes? Can they hold the pace and handle the size of other riders.

    I know a pair of brothers who were racing Cat 5 when they were 12 and 13 years old (17 and 18 now). The older one now is a Cat 1, took ninth place in an NRC crit last year as a 17 year old and just got a cycling scholarship to college. I fully expect to see him in the pro ranks in a couple of years. The younger one, who also is a heck of a HS track star, is just a couple points from his Cat 2 upgrade.

    At the same time, I've seen plenty of juniors who should not be in Cat 5 races. I have seen juniors start crying when they get dropped.

  5. #5
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    There's a vast spread between 15 and 18 year olds. Case by case.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    Would you advise Juniors in the 15 - 18 year old age range to do Cat 5 races if no Jr. Category is offered? I know there are other factors, but asking generally.

    I would advise them to ALWAYS do senior categories and only do juniors on crit days as your second or third or whatever crit.

    All good juniors are racing p/1/2 and 3s. The faster you can get to that level, the better. And that means racing races that give you upgrade points.

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    thanks for the responses.

    for background, i'm our elite team captain and one of my points of emphasis from a captain perspective is to enhance our overall team program so that there is pipeline of talent coming from the jr. ranks up through the categories and onto the elite team as appropriate, and the elite team can then transition to age graded racing. a whole cradle to grave concept:-).

    our jr. team, like many, is all over the map age and ability wise, with lots of representation at the 10 - 12 y.o. level, and the pipeline re-routed when the kids go to college, get a gf, etc., but one of the things I see is that our jrs. don't really race much unless there's a dedicated jr. race at an event. That's fine for the majority of the younger ones who are really just learning to ride a bike as 10 year olds, but I also don't see our older juniors participating in the category races, where in my opinion they should be. I wanted to get some input from respected individuals on this board before reaching out to our jr. coordinator and club BOD to push for more jrs. racing in category races.

    thanks again.

  8. #8
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    I thought you had posted a trick question.

    Based on the ONE Junior race we've had so far the 15-16-17 year olds can do their own race. If you have a Junior race that kids want to actually win I think it should be a 9-14 or something like that. The older Juniors are strong enough for their respective Senior categories. The youngest ones are not.

    In the Junior race we had the 15-16-17 year olds went on to do the 4s (field finish but active at front) and the P123s (made the break, lapped the field, etc). The 9-13 year olds were struggling in the 5s and 4s.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  9. #9
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Absolutely.

  10. #10
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    17-18, definitely. 15-16, depends on the kid.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  11. #11
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
    of course, they are cat5's
    Until they upgrade to Cat 4s. Or they are women (where Cat 4 is the lowest level).

    My daughter was a junior who mostly raced as a Cat 4 as there were very few junior races and even fewer junior women's races. Even racing as a Cat 4, the field was often 3-4 or even 1 - 4. She did well enough to upgrade to a Cat 3 while still a junior.

  12. #12
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    I would say for sure I am junior who lives in new Mexico and I race the 4s and do fine even win sometimes haha

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