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Cat & Masters Question

Old 05-19-07, 11:43 AM
  #1  
slabby
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Cat & Masters Question

So I'm testing the USCF waters. A crit I'm considering has a couple category options that has me a bit confused:

Master Cat 4/5 35+ Male: 45 Min
Elite 4-5 Male: 40 Min

I was under the impression that the lower master cats were intended for vintage noobs like me (or racers getting back in after an extended timeoff). But the time duration would suggest that it's a tougher race than the Elite 4-5.

Can anyone clarify this for me?

(Note: This is in the SF Bay Area. I mention this in case the classification is a regional thing.)

Thanks!
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Old 05-19-07, 12:37 PM
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kensuf
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Originally Posted by slabby
So I'm testing the USCF waters. A crit I'm considering has a couple category options that has me a bit confused:

Master Cat 4/5 35+ Male: 45 Min
Elite 4-5 Male: 40 Min

I was under the impression that the lower master cats were intended for vintage noobs like me (or racers getting back in after an extended timeoff). But the time duration would suggest that it's a tougher race than the Elite 4-5.

Can anyone clarify this for me?

(Note: This is in the SF Bay Area. I mention this in case the classification is a regional thing.)

Thanks!
From what I can tell, masters races are for the grizzled old vets who've been racing for decades. Personally, I'd probably pass on the masters race if it's your first time out of the gate.

Of course, I'm talking out my ass as I've yet to do a real race..
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Old 05-19-07, 12:54 PM
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I think a masters 4/5 race would be better then the regular 4/5 race. Its the straight up masters races you steer clear of if you are a new racers since they could have cat 1s/2s/etc
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Old 05-19-07, 01:12 PM
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since they are both 4/5s go with the masters to be a little easier on you. The five mins won't make that much of a difference. Hopping in with a bunch of 22 year old kids with no fear sprinting for 40 minutes does not sound like my idea of fun. At least the masters pretty much all have to go to work after the weekend is over.
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Old 05-19-07, 01:38 PM
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Yeah, 4/5 masters would be fine to start off.

A straight-up M35+ race is likely to be faster than a Cat 3 race, depending on who shows up.
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Old 05-19-07, 01:56 PM
  #6  
merlinextraligh
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In my experience the MAsters 4/5, will be just about as hard as the elite 4/5. One if you look at the demographics a heck of a lot of 4's and 5's areover 35 anyway. Also there a lot of fit 35 year olds, some that have been riding a bike a lot longer than the 22 year old kid in the open 4/5 race.

The big advantage of the35+ 4/5 race is you'll be racing with a little bit more mature crowd, that also has to go to workMonday morning so it should be a little safer.
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Old 05-19-07, 02:51 PM
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you guys haven't seen the sandbaggers in the 35+4/5 races in nor-cal/nor-nev. It will be faster and they will be smarter than the regular 4/5. For most of the races the masters do race shorter distances.
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Old 05-19-07, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jrennie
you guys haven't seen the sandbaggers in the 35+4/5 races in nor-cal/nor-nev. It will be faster and they will be smarter than the regular 4/5. For most of the races the masters do race shorter distances.
that's a good point. I'm a female racer, so I haven't experienced this directly. However, I have heard some of my guy friends complain about sandbaggers. Apparently there are a lot of guys who could probably be 3's if they raced more but don't want to get bumped up to the 3's where they will often have to go with 1/2/3 or an open class (basically almost the same thing). Ditto for guys who are 3's who don't want to upgrade and get stuck in the P/1/2.
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Old 05-19-07, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
that's a good point. I'm a female racer, so I haven't experienced this directly. However, I have heard some of my guy friends complain about sandbaggers. Apparently there are a lot of guys who could probably be 3's if they raced more but don't want to get bumped up to the 3's
Yep. In Norcal the 35+ 4/5 will be at least as fast and as aggressive as the Elite 4/5, and will be deeper. There are guys in there that have been 4's for years, win those races, then hide so they don't get forced. And there will be at least as many squirrels. I'd enter both for the miles and experience. It's worth the $10.

Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
Ditto for guys who are 3's who don't want to upgrade and get stuck in the P/1/2.
I am old. And yet I shall upgrade after Mt. Hood and fire off the Cat 1-ometer.
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Old 05-19-07, 05:51 PM
  #10  
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Isn't "Elite 4-5" sort of an oxymoron ??
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Old 05-19-07, 06:12 PM
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According to the 2007 USCF Racing Rules for Road, Track, and Cyclocross:


Racing Age.......Age Group
Under 10 .........Youth
10-18 .............Junior
19-22 .............Under 23
23-29 .............Elite
30+ ................Master
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Old 05-19-07, 06:13 PM
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jrennie
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no worse than using senior to describe 18-34
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Old 05-19-07, 06:15 PM
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From experience, in the SF Bay area: the Masters 4 races are filled with former 3s and higher cat racers that "were no longer competitive" (yeah, right) in their category. Don't make the mistake I did and go into the race thinking "ahh, it's just a bunch of old guys who decided to take up racing." That describes me but not too many others in Masters 4s.

That's not to discourage you from entering that division, just beware what you're likely getting into. As a new 4, I find the races very tough, but usually filled with pretty smart and stable guys. So it's pretty good racing until I get dropped. So, 5-10 minutes
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