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Old 08-28-13, 07:32 PM   #1
JeffOYB
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Category proliferation?

I'm new to the sport but it seems like something big happened with the Cats since last year. Like there's more of them. No, maybe it's that the A-B-C structure is gone and now there are actual Cat's, same as Road.

So our little local first-time event in our town has 17 categories.

Now, mostly 3 Cats are grouped for each start. We have 5 starts.

Whew, it's a lot to juggle.

Cat 4's and Singlespeeds start together, for instance.

Well, all good fun. I don't mind getting lapped.

I once ALMOST did a crit in Europe -- they had everyone start together at one start -- from our equivalent of Cat 4's up to Tour de France top dogs. That woulda been a thrill... What, would they have pulled slowpokes as they were going to be lapped? I thought I'd catch another one later. Never did. Anyway...
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Old 08-29-13, 08:44 AM   #2
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The only thing that has changed is that they've added a Cat5. That being said, the local promoter can combine races as they see fit as long as they score them separately. For example, they can have Cat5 only, Cat4/5 combined, Cat 3 only, P12, SS/Masters, etc. In fact, our local promoter is combing Cat 4 & 5, defeating the purpose of creating the Cat5 in the first place. A, B, & C groupings are used for non USAC, training races.
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Old 08-29-13, 08:50 AM   #3
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My first year too (if I can talk myself into actually doing it) ... But yes, the Cat 5 is a new addition.

Our first race of the season has us racing with the juniors
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Old 08-30-13, 01:10 AM   #4
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Our first race of the season has us racing with the juniors
It's all fun and games until you get lapped by a junior. (Actually being lapped by a junior isn't so bad. Some of those kids are fast.)


Cross Crusade has 20 categories and people regularly ask for more.
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Old 08-30-13, 07:00 AM   #5
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HA! ... ours have boys and girls, Juniors 10-14 and 15-18 in it ... I'm sure I'll be passed.

BUT ... I might see if I can get my 12 year old into it
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Old 09-11-13, 12:06 PM   #6
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I am guilty of asking a promoter for an extra cat. I just turned 50 so many of the local races have a little niche armchair race for us old dudes in 30 minute 50+ masters, which is nice because it excludes the uber-fast 40-49 racers, which can still clean up in P12 races. There are fewer 50+ masters who can clean up in P12 races, although still some, but fewer. So this one race gave me the following choice: 40+ masters 60 minute race that started with the P12 open race . . . too long and too fast. or the Cat 4/5 40 minute race with the 20-something beginners. Not excited about racing with beginners. He turned me down based on burden to the officials. Really, the 50+ group is very popular when offered, all us old fit dudes in tights. So I opted for the 4/5 race and finished 5/27, a hollow victory, though some other 50+ made the same choice, but others raced the faster 3/4 race, and one raced with the 40+.
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Old 09-12-13, 09:09 AM   #7
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The Cat system went into place a few years ago now. It took a while to iron it out a bit. There were cat 1/2 road racers and expert mountain bike racers that didn't know where to start and there were a gazillion cat 4's. so they added the cat 5 this year. That is for USAC races. Most grass routs events still use an ABC system.
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Old 09-15-13, 07:40 AM   #8
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Not excited about racing with beginners.
As a Cat 4, you ARE a beginner, age notwithstanding. I don't see the issue here. Seems like you had a good race.

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The Cat system went into place a few years ago now. It took a while to iron it out a bit. There were cat 1/2 road racers and expert mountain bike racers that didn't know where to start and there were a gazillion cat 4's. so they added the cat 5 this year. That is for USAC races. Most grass routs events still use an ABC system.
The A/B/C system is already basically dead in New England (where 'cross is Serious Business and very popular) and in the Southeast (where there's not enough of a history with 'cross for the old category system to stick around). The switch to standard USAC categories was a good idea, and less confusing now that there are upgrade rules for high-cat riders coming over from other disciplines. Though Cat 3 is still so enormous around here that it often fills up.
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Old 09-18-13, 03:12 PM   #9
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As a Cat 4, you ARE a beginner, age notwithstanding. I don't see the issue here. Seems like you had a good race.
yeah, I been a beginner for 10 years! I'm hoping in the 50+ races, age will be the great leveler and somehow I will get faster relative to my age group peers . . . . I'm just unmotivated to race against first-timers, feel guilty beating them. I don't want to discourage the 20-somethings, having some old geezer lapping them.
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Old 09-19-13, 02:14 PM   #10
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As a Cat 4, you ARE a beginner, age notwithstanding. I don't see the issue here. Seems like you had a good race.



The A/B/C system is already basically dead in New England (where 'cross is Serious Business and very popular) and in the Southeast (where there's not enough of a history with 'cross for the old category system to stick around). The switch to standard USAC categories was a good idea, and less confusing now that there are upgrade rules for high-cat riders coming over from other disciplines. Though Cat 3 is still so enormous around here that it often fills up.
I am in the south east mid Atlantic and some races still use a/b/c but they are not USAC races. In fact I'll be putting one on this year. The cat 3's are big down hear but it took a few years for the 4's to upgrade. I think it's finally sorted itself out a bit. IT got really popular and so it was a good idea to use the cat system. When I started racing you could do the C race and then enter the A race. No one really cared as long as you got out of the way. The A race might have had 6 people in it on a good day so they welcomed more bodies. As a cat 2 now my races pretty much start with about 20-30 and that's because since they started the cat system a lot of 3's have upgraded. So it's nice to have the bigger fields.

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yeah, I been a beginner for 10 years! I'm hoping in the 50+ races, age will be the great leveler and somehow I will get faster relative to my age group peers . . . . I'm just unmotivated to race against first-timers, feel guilty beating them. I don't want to discourage the 20-somethings, having some old geezer lapping them.
The very first cross race I got chicked. Turns out the chic went on to win some impressive races.
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