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Old 03-25-05, 02:07 PM   #1
my58vw
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Upgrade question

I know that you need to do 10 mass start races to go from Cat 5 to Cat 4, no issue. A few questions tought...

Does all races in which you in a mass start (crits, rr's) count to the 10 even if you...
- Are DNF (pulled or drop out)
- Do not finish in the main peloton
- Are not in the "ranked" riders (top 20 in most cases), i.e. placed

If you do not place in the top 20 or so how do you request and upgrade from 5 - 4? Do you have to prove that you were in 10 mass start races or do they know?

I am not all that concerned but I would like to be able to upgrade when I get more completative in Cat 5 and higher it will be more important... (like next year). This does not apply for 4 - 3 or higher.

Thanks as always.
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Old 03-25-05, 02:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my58vw
Upgrade question

I know that you need to do 10 mass start races to go from Cat 5 to Cat 4, no issue. A few questions tought...

Does all races in which you in a mass start (crits, rr's) count to the 10 even if you...
- Are DNF (pulled or drop out)
- Do not finish in the main peloton
- Are not in the "ranked" riders (top 20 in most cases), i.e. placed

If you do not place in the top 20 or so how do you request and upgrade from 5 - 4? Do you have to prove that you were in 10 mass start races or do they know?

I am not all that concerned but I would like to be able to upgrade when I get more completative in Cat 5 and higher it will be more important... (like next year). This does not apply for 4 - 3 or higher.

Thanks as always.

The upgrade from 5-4 is really simple: 10 mass STARTS. There is nothing in that rule talking about finishing the race. You can upgrade faster if you start winning in those 10 races; but that is up to USAC and your local association.

Yes, you do need to show that you have STARTED ten mass start events. Keep a small resume of your races. You don't need to worry about your placing in those 10 starts. Unfortunately to move up from 4-3 is more complicated. You need to have a certain number of points in a 12 month period (not necessarily a calendar year, but a rolling 12 month period). You also have to have a certain number of top 10 placings to move up to a 3. The program is similar from 3-2, and 2-1; but with more stringent requirements.

You'll do fine. Have fun and stay safe. Practice in the 5s, learn how to ride in a pack at speed, learn how to attack, chase, etc. Once you get your 10 races, upgrade, there is no reason to sandbag. If you're competitive in the 5s, you'll most likely be competitive in the 4s (unless some 3s are sandbagging as 4s, you'll know them pretty quick).

Good Luck.
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Old 03-25-05, 03:57 PM   #3
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I disagree. If you are getting dropped you should probably stay in 5's till your strong. In fact stay in 5's till you make the podium or at least several top 10 positins.
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Old 03-25-05, 04:20 PM   #4
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Funny thing is that many of the races around here are Cat 4 and 5 together, which is interesting (sure makes it hard on the cat 5 guys).

This season is to learn and get better... next season we will see...

My worry is when I am ready to go up I will have to knock in a few races before I do...
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Old 03-25-05, 04:42 PM   #5
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That's my advice too. Until you can hang in the 5s, don't worry about trying to upgrade, you'll only get your ass handed to you more often then in your current category.
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Old 03-25-05, 05:30 PM   #6
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That's my advice too. Until you can hang in the 5s, don't worry about trying to upgrade, you'll only get your ass handed to you more often then in your current category.
Generally speaking a 4's race pace is about the same as a 5's but for about twice the distance. If your gassed at the end of 5's race you'll stuggle to hang on to the pack in a 4's race.

The jump from 5 to 4 isn't all that big...the jump from 4 to 3 is bigger and so on.
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Old 03-25-05, 06:03 PM   #7
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Just curious, how does one go about not moving up after completng 10 mass start events? Can you request to remain a 5 for another 10 races or something?
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Old 03-25-05, 07:06 PM   #8
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It looks like USCF does not rate races where you do not place in the top 20 or so. I think you have to request an upgrade at the beginning of the season by showing 10 race starts.

In SoCal like I said Cat 5 and 4 likely race together in crits. For RR there is not a huge difference in milage either, like an extra lap in a circuit, etc.
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Old 03-25-05, 07:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by my58vw
In SoCal like I said Cat 5 and 4 likely race together in crits. For RR there is not a huge difference in milage either, like an extra lap in a circuit, etc.
Really here in Texas the 4's do almost double the distance in RR's. The rule of thumb here is 5's and 4's average speed is around 23 mph in a RR, 5's do 25-30 mi while 4's 40-50mi. We usually have the 4's and 5's split off in both crits and RR's. In just about every RR so far we've had at least a 5a and 5b race, in some we've actually had a 5c race!
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Old 03-25-05, 08:01 PM   #10
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If you can avoid it, don't move up until you win one. Learning to win takes time. If you move up too fast, you may never ever win a race. I have some friends that Pride them selves on yo yo ing at the back in the Pro 1/2 races. What fun is that, you're just out there surviving. They should have stayed 3 and won a few races...
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Old 03-26-05, 06:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by my58vw
Funny thing is that many of the races around here are Cat 4 and 5 together, which is interesting (sure makes it hard on the cat 5 guys).
Around here, 5's can't race with any other group. In most cases you can't even race in any of the masters groups if you aren't a 4 or higher. There used to only be 4 categories, and you we're automatically eligible to upgrade from 4 to 3 after racing a year as a 4. I thought the purpose in creating a category 5 and adding the 10 mass start rule was to ensure that sketchy newbies didn't hose the more experienced riders. The 5s also have a smaller field limit (50 vs. 100). Consequently, one of the main motivations to upgrade from 5 is to not have to ride with the sketchy newbies (and the 5s are usually the first event in the morning or last in the evening).

All that said, there is no requirement to finish the race, so crits... where you get booted, count. There is some value to getting experience with mass finishes... a major source of crashes. If you aren't in a position to contest for a placing, just ride in a watch the finish. Lots of wrecks are caused by people who want to improve their placing from, say, 27th to 23rd.
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Old 03-26-05, 02:37 PM   #12
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i have a question. i am a cat 5 and a junior. do my junior's races go twards the 10 mass starts to go from 5 to 4?
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Old 03-26-05, 05:35 PM   #13
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i have a question. i am a cat 5 and a junior. do my junior's races go twards the 10 mass starts to go from 5 to 4?
Yes they count
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Old 03-26-05, 11:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna
I disagree. If you are getting dropped you should probably stay in 5's till your strong. In fact stay in 5's till you make the podium or at least several top 10 positins.

I didn't say he had to finish well, just START. If my opinion was asked, then I would say the same as you.
He asked a technical question, and as an official I answered it that way.
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Old 03-26-05, 11:16 PM   #15
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Just curious, how does one go about not moving up after completng 10 mass start events? Can you request to remain a 5 for another 10 races or something?
You don't get forced into an upgrade, unless it's obvious that you are that much better than your immediate peers; or if you accumulate enough points in the 12 month period.
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Old 03-26-05, 11:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pearcem
i have a question. i am a cat 5 and a junior. do my junior's races go twards the 10 mass starts to go from 5 to 4?
Nope, Jr races are seperate from Category races. To move up in through the categories you have to race in your category. So, in your case, pick your races. If I were you, I'd practice in the Jrs. Then go up against the older riders in the 5s after you've gotten some race experience and you feel strong enough to stay at or near the front. Then after you've moved up, I'd really pick and choose races. I know of a lot of kids who were here in Park City for Nationals who are Cat 1/2 racers, but raced Nationals in the Jr. age categories. This meant that they were extremely experienced, and had little to no fear of the other racers.

It may be possible for you to race a Cat 4 Jr race; where you have to be both. It's done in the Masters (old farts) categories in the larger population areas of the country.

PM me if you have more questions. You ask interesting questions, and they sometimes need more info than can be given easily in this manner.
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Old 03-26-05, 11:44 PM   #17
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thanks for the answer, that's good to know. since the junior races are so short, i am going to try to double up a few times in the later part of the season, once i am a little stronger rider. I have done 5 cat 5 races, and i have been fairly competitive in all of them. i have stayed with the group in all of them but one where i was stuck behind a crash, and i managed to get 2 top 20 finishes and a 3rd place. I guess i wanted to know because i have felt a little nervous in the cat 5's. i know they are usually pretty scetchy, but i have almost been tangled up in nasty crashes every time, including one that took down a buddy of mine. I was hoping that i could maybe move from 5 to 4 in juniors where the fields are smaller. Oh well, i guess i'll just have to stay up front
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