The problem with an MTB Cat2 (Cat5 road equivalent) moving quickly to Cat3 is that they may or may not have acquired the bike handling skills to deal with a solid Cat3 field, or worse, a P/1/2/3 field. Racing single track is about as far removed from racing an NCC crit as it could possibly be. This is what is broken in the system. Fudgy will cringe when I mention this, but back in the 80's before the points system, the district rep did the upgrades. They got to know who you were and how you achieved your results. They got to know you face to face and through others they trusted. Their job was easier because there was no Cat5 and Cat1 was handled by Colorado. All they did was 4-3 and 3-2. Once they saw you enough in Cat4 races and knew you weren't a hazard, getting to Cat3 was straightforward. Upgrading to Cat2 was much harder then. You were under a lot of scrutiny. They would routinely hold back strong guys if they were crashing or they received negative feedback about them. Our fields on average were much larger then than they are now. Lots of people's livelihoods were at stake. They didn't screw around. Points have replaced that scrutiny and the sport is worse off for it.