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Old 08-11-08, 04:42 PM   #1
OCshark
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Coming back to racing in SoCal. Race 3s or M35+?

So it's been 7 years since I last raced (Senior 3). It appears I can renew my expired USA Cycling license online as a Cat 3 without having to run the gauntlet of newbie racer chaos.

I've joined a local racing club and have been training with them for several months now. The speed and endurance are coming back; I expect to be ready to race by February.

Looks like I've got a couple of options now. Race in the 3s, or the M35+ crowd (I'm 36). I'm trying to figure out what's the best group for my first few races back. These would be SoCal crits and road races only. The guys in my club seem to think the M35 crowd is pretty brutal speedwise; but they don't know much about the Senior 3s cuz they're all too old.
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Old 08-11-08, 05:07 PM   #2
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Start in senior 3, then if you feel like you can handle it, double up with the 35+. I'm 36, too, and race 3's almost exclusively, though that will change next season.

What club did you join?
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Old 08-11-08, 05:10 PM   #3
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Old 08-11-08, 05:17 PM   #4
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Awesome. Being old has some benefits. You'll be able to race in the 3's, 30+ 3/4, 35+ 1/2/3/4, and the P/1/2/3's depending on the promoter.
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Old 08-11-08, 08:00 PM   #5
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I have been doing both and the main difference is: in the 3s, you get your butt kicked by 17 year old kids whereas in the masters, you get butt kicked by 49 year old guys.

Seriously, the masters are stronger and they race with more team-work and tactics. The pace of the 3s is pretty close though -- just that the top 5-10 guys in the masters are stronger than anybody in the 3s. They drive the breaks and push up the effort level in the pack...

Try doing some of each or doubling up...
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Old 08-11-08, 11:04 PM   #6
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the correct answer is: both!
your best option is the 3/4 30 or 35+ category that some races have.
the 3s are full of 3s (duh!)
the 35+ are full of 1s and 2s
seems to me like the 35+ races are at least 1 mph faster than the 3s races i've done this year. also the masters just ride around the corner 2 wide with lots or room on the inside like it's no big deal while the 3s brake and slow and ride tight to the corner 6 wide and re-accelerate out of the corner
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