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Help Me With Cat Confusion. . .

Old 05-05-08, 11:25 PM
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elemental
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Help Me With Cat Confusion. . .

I am a collegiate cyclist, but an injury (or preemptive measures to avert an injury) kept me off the bike long enough this winter to make what would have been my first race season not a pretty sight. Now that I've had time to get back into some semblance of fitness, the racing bug is gnawing at me again, and I'd like to try some Cat 5 races. However, looking through the races and info at the lovely usacycling.com has been quite confusing. Basically, I have two questions:


1. If an event doesn't have a Cat 5 category, am I out of luck, or can I race with the 4s? I would imagine this means no race for me, but it brings me to part two: If a race divides by age and doesn't offer Elites (my racing age for this year is twenty), can I race with the Senior 5s? It doesn't seem like it would make much difference since we're all slow anyway, but I remember reading that older riders could race down a group for more competition but younger racers couldn't race a division up. Does this still apply when there is no correct age group?

2. Do I need to buy an entirely new license, or can I purchase the "add-on" road license to go with my collegiate license? I feel like I need a whole new license, but saving some money sure would be nice (to spend on other aspects of this expensive habit of course).


Thanks in advance for all of your help, I am sure these are rudimentary questions for most of you.
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Old 05-05-08, 11:42 PM
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I'm out of luck for your first set of questions, but for the second, I know for a fact that all you need to do is purchase the "add-on." Like 30 bucks right? A normal USCF annual license is around 60, so the first half of that is covered when you purchase your collegiate license.
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Old 05-06-08, 12:10 AM
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Every event is required to have a cat 5 race.
Senior 5 = cat 5 (masters is age races)
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Old 05-06-08, 05:11 AM
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A couple things:

1. You have to buy a full USAC license if you have a collegiate license. I thought it'd be an add-on but there is no such thing for collegiate license holders. $60/year.

2. Cat 5 means Cat 5 unless either the flyer doesn't mention it for age grade races (Juniors and Masters). However, if the flyer doesn't say anything, CALL THE PROMOTER before you go to the race. The latest race flyer is what is actually in effect, and if they forgot to put the "No Cat 5s in the Juniors or Masters races" and put it in on their site the day before the race, it's a legit rule. So call the promoter to clarify. "I'm a Cat 5 Junior/Master, can I race with the Juniors/Masters?"

3. Cat 5s, unless the flyer states the race has other categories, cannot race in other category races. This is just like any other category - Cat 4s can't race with 2s, and 2s can't race in the 4s. I believe that they can only mix with Cat 4s, except in training races (with "A", "B", etc races).

4. Just a note, Part 1 - the Cat 5 field limit, on their own, is 50 riders. This is a USAC rule. Cat 4-5 field limits are 75 riders, also a USAC rule. But 4s alone can have whatever the official approves (I saw 141 racers for the Cat 4B race at Battenkill for starters). Based on cost of running a race (time is of essence, esp with rolling road closures, police, etc) a promoter may elect not to have a Cat 5 race because of the small field size.

5. Just a note, Part 2 - Cat 5s CANNOT receive any prize money or any prime money or any merchandise in lieu of cash. This is a USAC rule. Their prizes cannot be worth anything - in otherwords they can only get medals and trophies. So, for a promoter, Cat 5 racing is somewhat lucrative because all the entry fee goes right to their bottom line. I find it hard to believe that promoters would skip holding a Cat 5 race for this reason, even with a smaller field.

CT state rep, race promoter, and Cat 3,
cdr
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Old 05-06-08, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by merckx89 View Post
Every event is required to have a cat 5 race.
Senior 5 = cat 5 (masters is age races)
by whom?
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Old 05-06-08, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
A couple things:

1. You have to buy a full USAC license if you have a collegiate license. I thought it'd be an add-on but there is no such thing for collegiate license holders. $60/year.

2. Cat 5 means Cat 5 unless either the flyer doesn't mention it for age grade races (Juniors and Masters). However, if the flyer doesn't say anything, CALL THE PROMOTER before you go to the race. The latest race flyer is what is actually in effect, and if they forgot to put the "No Cat 5s in the Juniors or Masters races" and put it in on their site the day before the race, it's a legit rule. So call the promoter to clarify. "I'm a Cat 5 Junior/Master, can I race with the Juniors/Masters?"

3. Cat 5s, unless the flyer states the race has other categories, cannot race in other category races. This is just like any other category - Cat 4s can't race with 2s, and 2s can't race in the 4s. I believe that they can only mix with Cat 4s, except in training races (with "A", "B", etc races).

4. Just a note, Part 1 - the Cat 5 field limit, on their own, is 50 riders. This is a USAC rule. Cat 4-5 field limits are 75 riders, also a USAC rule. But 4s alone can have whatever the official approves (I saw 141 racers for the Cat 4B race at Battenkill for starters). Based on cost of running a race (time is of essence, esp with rolling road closures, police, etc) a promoter may elect not to have a Cat 5 race because of the small field size.

5. Just a note, Part 2 - Cat 5s CANNOT receive any prize money or any prime money or any merchandise in lieu of cash. This is a USAC rule. Their prizes cannot be worth anything - in otherwords they can only get medals and trophies. So, for a promoter, Cat 5 racing is somewhat lucrative because all the entry fee goes right to their bottom line. I find it hard to believe that promoters would skip holding a Cat 5 race for this reason, even with a smaller field.

CT state rep, race promoter, and Cat 3,
cdr

I got a prize in a Cat 5 race...Certificate for some Voler arm warmers. I was surprised, because they had not announced any prizes for Cat 5.
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Old 05-06-08, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by elemental View Post
I am a collegiate cyclist, but an injury (or preemptive measures to avert an injury) kept me off the bike long enough this winter to make what would have been my first race season not a pretty sight. Now that I've had time to get back into some semblance of fitness, the racing bug is gnawing at me again, and I'd like to try some Cat 5 races. However, looking through the races and info at the lovely usacycling.com has been quite confusing. Basically, I have two questions:


1. If an event doesn't have a Cat 5 category, am I out of luck, or can I race with the 4s? I would imagine this means no race for me, but it brings me to part two: If a race divides by age and doesn't offer Elites (my racing age for this year is twenty), can I race with the Senior 5s? It doesn't seem like it would make much difference since we're all slow anyway, but I remember reading that older riders could race down a group for more competition but younger racers couldn't race a division up. Does this still apply when there is no correct age group?

2. Do I need to buy an entirely new license, or can I purchase the "add-on" road license to go with my collegiate license? I feel like I need a whole new license, but saving some money sure would be nice (to spend on other aspects of this expensive habit of course).


Thanks in advance for all of your help, I am sure these are rudimentary questions for most of you.
"Elite Cat5" is a bit of a misnomer, no? Seeing as literally anyone with $60 for a license, $20 bucks for an entry fee, an old 1970s 10 speed and a helmet can enter. I'm a Cat2 and I wouldn't even apply that title to the races I do.

"Senior" Cat5 just means it's not a juniors race.

While I'm pretty sure you're required to have a 5's race, some of the bigger, non-NRC races get around this somehow. There are several SuperWeek races with nothing below the Men's 3 or Men's Pro/1/2, for example. No masters, women, 4/5, or 3s, on occasion.
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Old 05-06-08, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent View Post
"Elite Cat5" is a bit of a misnomer, no? Seeing as literally anyone with $60 for a license, $20 bucks for an entry fee, an old 1970s 10 speed and a helmet can enter. I'm a Cat2 and I wouldn't even apply that title to the races I do.

"Senior" Cat5 just means it's not a juniors race.

While I'm pretty sure you're required to have a 5's race, some of the bigger, non-NRC races get around this somehow. There are several SuperWeek races with nothing below the Men's 3 or Men's Pro/1/2, for example. No masters, women, 4/5, or 3s, on occasion.
I thought this was the 19-23 age group or something? It certainly sounds stupid. Apparently my knowledge is already shining through.
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Old 05-06-08, 08:08 AM
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I've never seen or heard of a 19-23 race.

Maybe they have them out east or out west, but the only races I'm aware of like that are U19, U23 and U25 races, which are usually UCI races (Tour of Pennsylvania, L'Abitibi, etc.) or national championships.
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Old 05-06-08, 08:31 AM
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if you have experience racing, you could petition to become a cat 4. Then your problem is solved.
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Old 05-06-08, 08:38 AM
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+1 to that.

I never did a race as a Cat5. Thank you, collegiate racing.
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Old 05-06-08, 08:56 AM
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There is an add on to the collegiate license to race USAC. I have one as do some of my friends.

Mass start races done in Collegiate races count towards the upgrade for 4's so get 10 mass start races and upgrade.

If there are no 5's only races, you can do 4/5's. A crit series I've done was like this.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-06-08, 09:43 AM
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I guess I was wrong about the requried cat 5 field then. I do know that you can add a collegiate license to a USAC one for free when you buy it as I did it this year. Don't know about the other way around.
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Old 05-06-08, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
There is an add on to the collegiate license to race USAC. I have one as do some of my friends.

Enjoy!
Yep. It ought to be available as a $30 add-on on your USAC page. I think maybe cdr is confused, because you wind up paying the same total amount whether you buy the USAC license with a collegiate add-on at first or vice versa, and I think the total cost is the same as just buying the regular license ($60). At any rate, I have both, and it can be done this way.

If you did any (enough, or did well enough) mass start collegiate races this year, when you apply for the USAC license you can petition for an upgrade to cat 4. Otherwise, they will just send you a cat5 license and then you'll have to try to upgrade later and get a sticker for your license.
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