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Old 09-05-06, 10:39 PM
  #13  
Pizza Man
Racing iS my Training
 
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Francisco
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Bikes: 07 Bianchi San Jose, 08 Tarmac SL2, 05 Cervelo P3

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Originally Posted by urbanknight
I think USCF doesn't want unlicensed riders mixed with their licensed riders. Most likely to avoid crashes by untrained riders or sandbaggers as mentioned above. I think if anyone notices you winning too many races in Cat 5, you get bumped. Is that right? I know I got upgraded to 4 automatically when I was racing 10 years ago.
+1 (Although I don't know if there is an automatic upgrade from Cat 5 to Cat 4, it's usually just based on 10 races, but if you win too much in the 4/5 combined races you will get an automatic upgrade to 3 eventually)

I was talking to a friend tonight who raced in the public race last year (he wanted to race Cat 5, but got there after the field was full). He made the mistake of starting near the rear of the pack.

Now for those of you who do not know this course it's 4 miles of flat on the highway before the climb starts. In all of the racing groups from Cat 5 on up, the pack always stays together for the 1st 4 miles because guys know not to let a gap open up in front of them. In the public race, however you can get some recreational riders mixed in the middle of the pack who have no experience with pack riding and don't understand the concept of drafting, and they'll let a gap open up in front of them.

Anyway, my buddy got caught behind some slower riders while 10 guys rode off the front. He had to chase solo in the wind and didn't catch them until the base of the climb, and by that time he was much more tired than he would have been if he had been riding with the lead group.

So, if you want to compete and not just complete the race then go for Cat 5.
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