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Help... Where do I fit?

Old 12-17-09, 08:38 PM
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tandemnh
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Help... Where do I fit?

I am considering trying racing this year now that I am in much better shape and have been back on the bike for the past couple years. My questions is, I'm now 50 and certainly am amateur, where do I fit in? What level/category do I sign-up for when I look to enter a race? Is it Masters 50+, with or without any category rating?
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Old 12-17-09, 09:17 PM
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LorenzoNF
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When you're starting out, you're a Category (sometimes called Elite) 5. No exceptions.

Masters races are typically a) faster and b) smoother, with more experienced racers.
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Old 12-17-09, 09:53 PM
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ericm979
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The age categories vary in different parts of the country. In many places its M35, M45, M55. Your racing age is the age you will be at the end of the year. Different races offer different cats in the masters races. Sometimes (here in Nor Cal) its only M35 and M45. Often there is a M35 4/5 field. As a 5 you'd do better there than in the 5s or the M45s. The open 45s will have some super fast guys who have been racing for 20 years, and some super fast mutants who have not but are just as fast. The best for you would be a M45 4/5 or M45 5 field but those are less common.
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Old 12-17-09, 10:26 PM
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tandemnh
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So for the Battenkill in April, I would best fit in: Men Cat 5 45+
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Old 12-18-09, 12:46 AM
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DrWJODonnell
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yeah, but you should really try to get SOME racing in before that. B-kill is a TOUGH first race.
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Old 12-18-09, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
yeah, but you should really try to get SOME racing in before that. B-kill is a TOUGH first race.
or 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th, etc, etc race.
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Old 12-18-09, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
yeah, but you should really try to get SOME racing in before that. B-kill is a TOUGH first race.
Yeah, that race could turn you off from racing again.
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Old 12-18-09, 06:25 AM
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Kai Winters
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Good luck tandemnh.
cat 5 is what you will be assigned when you apply to USA Cycling for your license.
You can race in a Masters 45+, unless it has a cat# restriction...some race directors won't allow cat 5's in a masters field... but be prepared to get your head handed to you...especially if it is a crit...most "Masters" have many years/decades of racing under their belts and are/were higher cats when racing as seniors...many of my racing mates and friends are at least cat 3 while many are 2's.
I'd start out with some cat 5 races to get a feel for it, crits or road races and enter masters 45+ road races as they tend to start at a bit of a milder pace whereas in crits they usually start out blazing fast for the first 5 laps to burn off all the weaker and less skilled riders.

Good luck and keep us informed.
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Old 12-18-09, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by tandemnh View Post
So for the Battenkill in April, I would best fit in: Men Cat 5 45+
I'm gonna go ahead and recommend skipping that one in your first year unless you're able to take some serious pain. I did it this year as a 4 (my second season of racing), and YOW. That's a really, really, really tough race.
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Old 12-18-09, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
I'm gonna go ahead and recommend skipping that one in your first year unless you're able to take some serious pain. I did it this year as a 4 (my second season of racing), and YOW. That's a really, really, really tough race.
Negative. OP should ride it. It looks from here like a really fun ride.

Just plan on being alone and self-supported. Take a map.
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Old 12-18-09, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg180 View Post
Yeah, that race could turn you off from racing again.
Yeah, like the guy that wanted to do Sea Otter as his first race. Some races just aren't for the first time
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