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Getting to Cat 1 with 8 hours/week?

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Getting to Cat 1 with 8 hours/week?

Old 10-01-17, 08:51 AM
  #76  
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I'll give you it might be skewed. @tetonrider I'll walk my anyone/everyone and keep it in scope of cyclists that are racing already. And leave it at most all of them.

I'm not demeaning Cat 1, rather talking about the regional variation in Cat 2.
Can anyone <30 be one of the best Cat 2s in some region some place in the USA? I say if they execute the entire training plan of a good coach, most - all those on BF :-) (see I changed from everyone).

I did get to see a lot of that in many places. One state (unnamed so I don't start a fight) a kid was racing with adults as that was all that was there. The race profiles were such gears didn't matter as much and kid was a Cat 2 at age 14or15 and ranked top 2-3 in the country for 15-16. At nationals he could not keep up with the 3s. He later became one of the first kid to get his 1s, and at TTs like VOS finished below mid (it was wise of USAC to have selection races that brought all together). If his goal was to become a Cat 1 he did it.
There is a big difference in becoming a Cat 1 - which means that you are a really good 2 for where you compete, vs being a competitive Cat 1. Cat 1s travel more, Cat 2 is more local and Cat 3 more so yet, Cat 1s at the mid are more constant. That is one example - but it take just one to determine the low bar. I posted on this above when saying find the place to race and race there.

I saw lots of these kids at age 10/11 (and some age 8) and even then it was somewhat predictable, based on personality. Those with the personality, later did the time and focus.

Edit Add: When it came time to get all the juniors on the team Cat 1s, there was a strategy to do it beyond just racing better. Get on the plane, leave the 1s behind and race in another state. That was for budget of course, and It was a selection race by USAC, but the results were similar to what I described. Those same kids would have it much more difficult to get the points based on absolute placing in the local P123 races.

Last edited by Doge; 10-01-17 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 10-01-17, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
Where are the slowest places in the nation?
So not always, anyone but in general...

Avoid the early season races - everyone is too hungry. Late season can be too, YMMV
Try to do just Cat 2 races.

Join a foreign team (that is easier) and transfer. USAC hands out Cat 1s on transfers.

Avoid races with juniors, or know who they are. And esp a junior team. Juniors are not required to upgrade and a team is there likely to take points. See below*.

Pick stage races where there is a TT up front and ride the TT to conserve. Make sure everyone knows you are not a threat the next day and place well in the RR. Or work with the break when they know you are not a GC threat. Colluding is not allowed, but you can communicate your intentions without colluding.

Find Points/Upgrade races.

*Easier said then done, but if you can find a team that does point hunting for the riders - you are golden. Team junior was on does this masterfully. Get your several Cat 2s all with Cat 1 points - keep them Cat 2s and have them go race with the other Cat 2s that don't have the points. The riders with the least points are to finish in front. If your riders had upgraded they may not be available to do that Cat 2 race. Being there they controlled the race (they are Cat 1 level) and allowed you to win. If you are not good enough for them and are rolling in cash because of your working - become a sponsor and see if they let you on.


In SoCal San Dimas Stage Race, Murrietta, Carson Upgrade series, are all good for much of the above. But I'd expect certain locations to be better.
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Old 10-01-17, 12:17 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
so in terms of development, how much disadvantage am I putting myself in having this mentality with training?
How tall is a tree? It depends. Not knowing the specifics of your skill-set it could be anywhere from not very much to a lot.

I got to Cat 1 on around that 8 hour mark, coached @gsteinb to his Cat 1, and coached quite a few people to success on a national and world level.

All of them (and I) did that on a structured training plan, which included highly structured interval sessions of anywhere from one hour to two hours on a specific day. Many of the structured training plans also included JRA and group rides at times.

That was contingent on what the types and distances of the races that person was doing, and their tolerance for structure. And of course, their time available. All of the programs I wrote started with the athlete telling me how much time they had on a specific day. Then we monitor how things go and build from there. We collaborate to try to keep it both physically and mentally rewarding. For folks that aren't big on the trainer or intervals, the balm is applied when they go out on the group ride and start crushing souls, or start seeing the front end of the race.

While Cat 1 is not what it used to be, it still is a reasonably select group and, no, I do not believe that anybody can get there. There needs to be a skill and genetic set in place to make that upgrade, and the talent pool and field sizes certainly makes it harder in some places than others.

It is possible to get to cat one without coaching or a training plan. It will almost always take longer and produce less overall success. If you only have 8 hours to train you don't have an extra two or three a week to review your plan, outcomes, and progress. So you will not be making the adjustments necessary to optimize your time. In most cases you don't have the full knowledge to do that, and people tend to be pretty poor at self-assessment when things aren't going well, because the monkey brain gets involved.

Virtually everyone in this sport defaults to "if things aren't going well then I must train harder". Sometimes that's the case, too often it's not and the result of training even harder is even less progress. And people often see training failures as a negative versus as the logical outcome of training. If you hit every number in your intervals every time, then you're not training hard enough.

Very few people can keep the big picture in mind. As athletes we are only as good as today's workout. We don't see how this will affect things 2 or 3 weeks from now.

It's why virtually every successful pro has a coach and a program, and it's why coaches who race have coaches.

Done correctly, structure should not equal drudgery. Group rides do not equal structure, but can have value layered into structure, and you can layer structure into group rides. Contest all the sprints. Go off the front early and often. Wait for breaks to form and try to bridge up. Etc.

One of the great fallacies in the sport is that if you are doing longer races you should be humping gigantic miles. I just had a client win an 8 hour mountain bike Marathon. We did this on 10 to 12 hours a week, with perhaps two or three big 5-6 hour rides thrown in there over several months time.

So that is the best short and long answer I could give you without getting into the vast number of variables and your specific racing and talent set.

Last edited by Racer Ex; 10-01-17 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 10-01-17, 02:35 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Join a foreign team (that is easier) and transfer. USAC hands out Cat 1s on transfers.
Yeah. We have a squad in the SE. They're a "devo" team alongside their Pro Conti team. Solid bunch of cat 3 guys, most of them. Mostly foreign riders. All cat 1s. Utterly ridiculous. They have caused more problems the last two or three years than most other teams combined.
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Old 10-01-17, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by radish_legs View Post
where are the slowest places in the nation?
Cali
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Old 10-01-17, 07:39 PM
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yeah, even @mattm can win in cali
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Old 10-01-17, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Cali
What about Nor Cal? I need to know how legit Vegan Cyclist is, lol.
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Old 10-01-17, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
What about Nor Cal? I need to know how legit Vegan Cyclist is, lol.
Cali and NorCal are the same.
Same reason Berkeley is called Cal.

It is a different USAC district than SoCal / Nevada.

IMO - NorCal has much better road racing, and maybe road racers.
SoCal is pretty good in crits and has the "best" track in the nation.
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Old 10-01-17, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by scheibo View Post
yeah, even @mattm can win in cali
best of the worst!

seriously though, everyone knows "here" is the fastest, and "over there" is the slowest. plug in your region for "here."
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Old 10-01-17, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
I need to know how legit Vegan Cyclist is, lol.
check results
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Old 10-02-17, 07:47 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
check results
I've seen enough of his races on youtube. Cat 2 with no sprint, as he puts it. He doesn't claim to be anything more than that.
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Old 10-02-17, 09:32 AM
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I've often said to myself (and others) that if I could just train 12 hours a week, I'd be pretty good.

This thread has me thinking both maybe I don't need 12 hours and damn, no amount of hours will make me a Cat 1.

(Disclaimer: I'm a lowly 4 with no real desire to get beyond a 3. Geography is the main reason. There are exactly two races within an hour from here each year. Everything else is 2.5 hours away. To race enough to get any points, let alone enough to go 4->3->2, would require way more travel than I can handle. 5 hours in a car with a toddler, a hotel room, and time away from home is too much or one (maybe two) 45 minute race.) (Sidenote: There's only like 2 road races in Illinois these days...it sucks. 2.5 hour drive is easier when I'm racing for 2-3 hours.)
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Old 10-02-17, 09:37 AM
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I did some looking at Nats Cat 1 results and concluded (maybe wrongly so) that those having issues at the RR might not be used to hills.
Some were out with many laps to go. I excluded looking at those with medals next to their names who's team podium-ed. The better Cat 1s (not what this thread is about, just what I noticed) seem to race around a bit more.

Of the few lower results - the DNF riders I looked at, some had great records at a local crit they did repeatably. When racing outside of that local race, the results were not so good.

What I wanted to find was a Cat 2 only race in the region, and I couldn't. As it is beating worst Cat 2s in the nation is all you need to become a Cat 1 - where are those?

This race series has a lot of riders that repeatably do this race. I looked at a few of theri top riders and saw results from other races were not as good.
Results for Music City Crits - USA Cycling
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Old 10-03-17, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
How tall is a tree? It depends. Not knowing the specifics of your skill-set it could be anywhere from not very much to a lot.

I got to Cat 1 on around that 8 hour mark, coached @gsteinb to his Cat 1, and coached quite a few people to success on a national and world level.

All of them (and I) did that on a structured training plan, which included highly structured interval sessions of anywhere from one hour to two hours on a specific day. Many of the structured training plans also included JRA and group rides at times.

That was contingent on what the types and distances of the races that person was doing, and their tolerance for structure. And of course, their time available. All of the programs I wrote started with the athlete telling me how much time they had on a specific day. Then we monitor how things go and build from there. We collaborate to try to keep it both physically and mentally rewarding. For folks that aren't big on the trainer or intervals, the balm is applied when they go out on the group ride and start crushing souls, or start seeing the front end of the race.

While Cat 1 is not what it used to be, it still is a reasonably select group and, no, I do not believe that anybody can get there. There needs to be a skill and genetic set in place to make that upgrade, and the talent pool and field sizes certainly makes it harder in some places than others.

It is possible to get to cat one without coaching or a training plan. It will almost always take longer and produce less overall success. If you only have 8 hours to train you don't have an extra two or three a week to review your plan, outcomes, and progress. So you will not be making the adjustments necessary to optimize your time. In most cases you don't have the full knowledge to do that, and people tend to be pretty poor at self-assessment when things aren't going well, because the monkey brain gets involved.

Virtually everyone in this sport defaults to "if things aren't going well then I must train harder". Sometimes that's the case, too often it's not and the result of training even harder is even less progress. And people often see training failures as a negative versus as the logical outcome of training. If you hit every number in your intervals every time, then you're not training hard enough.

Very few people can keep the big picture in mind. As athletes we are only as good as today's workout. We don't see how this will affect things 2 or 3 weeks from now.

It's why virtually every successful pro has a coach and a program, and it's why coaches who race have coaches.

Done correctly, structure should not equal drudgery. Group rides do not equal structure, but can have value layered into structure, and you can layer structure into group rides. Contest all the sprints. Go off the front early and often. Wait for breaks to form and try to bridge up. Etc.

One of the great fallacies in the sport is that if you are doing longer races you should be humping gigantic miles. I just had a client win an 8 hour mountain bike Marathon. We did this on 10 to 12 hours a week, with perhaps two or three big 5-6 hour rides thrown in there over several months time.

So that is the best short and long answer I could give you without getting into the vast number of variables and your specific racing and talent set.
Good stuff!! I could save about 5 different quotes on my Strava from this
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Old 10-03-17, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
How tall is a tree? It depends. Not knowing the specifics of your skill-set it could be anywhere from not very much to a lot.

I got to Cat 1 on around that 8 hour mark, coached @gsteinb to his Cat 1, and coached quite a few people to success on a national and world level.

All of them (and I) did that on a structured training plan, which included highly structured interval sessions of anywhere from one hour to two hours on a specific day. Many of the structured training plans also included JRA and group rides at times.

That was contingent on what the types and distances of the races that person was doing, and their tolerance for structure. And of course, their time available. All of the programs I wrote started with the athlete telling me how much time they had on a specific day. Then we monitor how things go and build from there. We collaborate to try to keep it both physically and mentally rewarding. For folks that aren't big on the trainer or intervals, the balm is applied when they go out on the group ride and start crushing souls, or start seeing the front end of the race.

While Cat 1 is not what it used to be, it still is a reasonably select group and, no, I do not believe that anybody can get there. There needs to be a skill and genetic set in place to make that upgrade, and the talent pool and field sizes certainly makes it harder in some places than others.

It is possible to get to cat one without coaching or a training plan. It will almost always take longer and produce less overall success. If you only have 8 hours to train you don't have an extra two or three a week to review your plan, outcomes, and progress. So you will not be making the adjustments necessary to optimize your time. In most cases you don't have the full knowledge to do that, and people tend to be pretty poor at self-assessment when things aren't going well, because the monkey brain gets involved.

Virtually everyone in this sport defaults to "if things aren't going well then I must train harder". Sometimes that's the case, too often it's not and the result of training even harder is even less progress. And people often see training failures as a negative versus as the logical outcome of training. If you hit every number in your intervals every time, then you're not training hard enough.

Very few people can keep the big picture in mind. As athletes we are only as good as today's workout. We don't see how this will affect things 2 or 3 weeks from now.

It's why virtually every successful pro has a coach and a program, and it's why coaches who race have coaches.

Done correctly, structure should not equal drudgery. Group rides do not equal structure, but can have value layered into structure, and you can layer structure into group rides. Contest all the sprints. Go off the front early and often. Wait for breaks to form and try to bridge up. Etc.

One of the great fallacies in the sport is that if you are doing longer races you should be humping gigantic miles. I just had a client win an 8 hour mountain bike Marathon. We did this on 10 to 12 hours a week, with perhaps two or three big 5-6 hour rides thrown in there over several months time.

So that is the best short and long answer I could give you without getting into the vast number of variables and your specific racing and talent set.
Do you think almost anyone can become a cat 2?
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Old 10-03-17, 11:20 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
I did some looking at Nats Cat 1 results and concluded (maybe wrongly so) that those having issues at the RR might not be used to hills.
Some were out with many laps to go. I excluded looking at those with medals next to their names who's team podium-ed. The better Cat 1s (not what this thread is about, just what I noticed) seem to race around a bit more.

Of the few lower results - the DNF riders I looked at, some had great records at a local crit they did repeatably. When racing outside of that local race, the results were not so good.

What I wanted to find was a Cat 2 only race in the region, and I couldn't. As it is beating worst Cat 2s in the nation is all you need to become a Cat 1 - where are those?

This race series has a lot of riders that repeatably do this race. I looked at a few of theri top riders and saw results from other races were not as good.
Results for Music City Crits - USA Cycling
Well, I've won that series three years running. It's not really indicative of anything. But I got 11th at crit nats last year and got taken out with a lap to go this year.

This year I traveled quite a bit more to do some bigger races and have a couple of top 20s and two top 10s.

I simply need to do more to be more competitive. A Wed night crit series is in no way preperation for that.

As for the rr, I've done two this year and neither over 85 miles, so getting dropped 90 miles in and finishing mid 40s isn't a surprise there. Most of the top 30 race more pro road races. Makes complete sense in that regard. Hills on their own didn't have much to do with it, attrition did.

Of the four mid TN guys, one DNFed super early, I was dropped in the big split with a couple of laps to go, one was dropped from the 2nd group last lap, and one finished just in front of the second group.

Not great, but since we weren't doing Joe Martin or nature valley or anything all the better teams did, it's expected.

I have no idea why you think results in a crit series should translate to a 110 mile road race, though. 3 of the top ten ranked crit riders in the country DNFed. Feehery didn't even bother.

Last edited by rubiksoval; 10-03-17 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 10-03-17, 11:50 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
Do you think almost anyone can become a cat 2?
No. Cat 3, yes, because they've dumbed that down to just being able to finish. Last I checked upgrade points to 2 still expire, so you'd have to be at the pointy end of a Cat 3 race consistently to upgrade. They may have changed that though, and I actually need to go back and look because I have a C3 client who wants to get to C2.

If they don't expire, then still no, but more more folks could.
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Old 10-03-17, 11:55 AM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
No. Cat 3, yes, because they've dumbed that down to just being able to finish. Last I checked upgrade points to 2 still expire, so you'd have to be at the pointy end of a Cat 3 race consistently to upgrade. They may have changed that though, and I actually need to go back and look because I have a C3 client who wants to get to C2.

If they don't expire, then still no, but more more folks could.
Good. That means I must have some natural-born talent. ( <- will probably be a cat 3 next season)
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Old 10-03-17, 12:27 PM
  #94  
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I think they don't expire? ctrl+f 'expire' on Road Category Upgrade Guidelines - USA Cycling turns up nothing. The only mention of a time frame is wrt mandatory upgrades?
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Old 10-03-17, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
... A Wed night crit series is in no way preperation for that...
I think my point is being missed (not the first time).

If the goal is to get to a Cat 1 you don't need to be anything other than able to get points from beating Cat 2s. And to do that, you find the easiest to beat Cat 2s.

Where are they? I think you can kinda find them. I was illustrating using USAC data that is available to find out.
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Old 10-03-17, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
No. Cat 3, yes, because they've dumbed that down to just being able to finish. Last I checked upgrade points to 2 still expire, so you'd have to be at the pointy end of a Cat 3 race consistently to upgrade. They may have changed that though, and I actually need to go back and look because I have a C3 client who wants to get to C2.

If they don't expire, then still no, but more more folks could.
They do not currently expire. This changed about 4 years ago.

I just think a focused peak age male picking up a top 15 in a stage race, top 9 in a RR, top 6 in a crit against Cat 2s is not that out of reach.
And less out of reach doing the same in Cat 3.

My "anybody" view I'll walk back to people that actually race.

And these are guidelines.

Last edited by Doge; 10-03-17 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 10-03-17, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
I think my point is being missed (not the first time).

If the goal is to get to a Cat 1 you don't need to be anything other than able to get points from beating Cat 2s. And to do that, you find the easiest to beat Cat 2s.

Where are they? I think you can kinda find them. I was illustrating using USAC data that is available to find out.
There are plenty of cat 2 or 2/3 races, usually in conjunction with prts.

I don't think any mid-week or training series races should count for anyone except cat 5s.
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Old 10-03-17, 02:06 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
They do not currently expire. This changed about 4 years ago.

I just think a focused peak age male picking up a top 15 in a stage race, top 9 in a RR, top 6 in a crit against Cat 2s is not that out of reach.
Given that they don't expire then KATU is probably within reach of a lot of people. Even a blind bird finds a warm once in a while and if you're persistent and just race a bunch eventually you will probably accumulate those points.

My experience with upgrade coordinators is that they are all over the map on upgrades to Cat 1. Some will require X number of cat 2s in a 2/3 race in order to qualify for points, Etc some just go "sure!".

The upgrade process was much tougher when I started out. And no, that isn't me telling you to get off my lawn. Although you really do need to get off my lawn.
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Old 10-03-17, 02:13 PM
  #99  
Doge 
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
Given that they don't expire then KATU is probably within reach of a lot of people. Even a blind bird finds a warm once in a while and if you're persistent and just race a bunch eventually you will probably accumulate those points.

My experience with upgrade coordinators is that they are all over the map on upgrades to Cat 1. Some will require X number of cat 2s in a 2/3 race in order to qualify for points, Etc some just go "sure!".

The upgrade process was much tougher when I started out. And no, that isn't me telling you to get off my lawn. Although you really do need to get off my lawn.
I know it was a lot tougher for Speed Racer fans that watched channel 44UHF.

But I don't think it is now if working the angles. You need to get 15th place in a Cat 2s SR to get a point. That is likely harder than rolling to 6ths in other crits.

I mentioned, and others confirmed you can do it by being a foreign racer.

I've been in a race (me, not puppy) were the fastest bunch in front of me just crashed out. I still didn't win, but I got points.

Yes - coordinators are all over the board. Just like...
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Old 10-03-17, 02:15 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
They do not currently expire. This changed about 4 years ago.
As someone who is working on my 2 upgrade and managing a job and a lower volume of races, I'm painfully aware of page 16 of the rule book: (d) Points for all voluntary upgrade requests may only date back 36 months from the date of the upgrade request.
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