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What road racing class is available to 50+?

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What road racing class is available to 50+?

Old 07-18-17, 11:49 AM
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What road racing class is available to 50+?

I've only done one crit before and I did everything wrong, think I came in second to last. My thing was always mountain bike racing, I was actually competitive there. In mtn bike racing there is the over 50 class, what class would I race with my road bike? I am far from being in shape for racing, but I would like to make it a goal for a year from now. I love racing, mtn bike, road, motocross. It's such a good environment and I miss it.
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Old 07-18-17, 11:59 AM
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around here we have 50+ Masters Men 4/5, and even 60+ ... check out The Official Website - USA Cycling and search for races in your area-- dunno where in the Ozarks you are, but this crit series in Little Rock is an example: https://www.usacycling.org/events/get...rmit=2017-1614

you'd be a cat 5, and a lot of crits will have a 50+ race (at least around here it's like that)
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Old 07-18-17, 12:02 PM
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Thanks. I'm quite a ways from Little Rock, but I bet they have races in Tulsa, I'm about 1 1/2 hours from there. I'll do a search on the USA cycling site.
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Old 07-18-17, 12:30 PM
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Old 07-18-17, 02:03 PM
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Everyone has a category, a gender, and an age. Based on your name I'll assume your gender to be male. Your racing age is the age you turn this calendar year. Your category will be Cat 5 and you'll be eligible to race in any Men's Category 5 race. As mentioned above, most crits have masters races where you have to be at least that old to enter, so a 50 year old can enter a 35+ race, but a 36 year old can't enter a 45+ race.

Note that many masters races are limited to certain categories too. So typically, you'll see a category listed as M35+1/2/3. That means that in order to enter you must be a man, at least 35 years old, and must have a Cat 1, 2, or 3 license. Sometimes you'll see a M35+4/5 race, which you could enter as a 50-year old Cat 5. Often though, your only option will be an open age Cat 5 race where you'll be racing against teenagers.

Very rarely you'll see an open category masters race (M35+1/2/3/4/5). I would not advise doing such a race for your first experience.
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Old 07-18-17, 02:27 PM
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masters is really competitive.
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Old 07-18-17, 07:52 PM
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You might want to visit the dedicated Master's Racing forum here also, Masters Racing (All Disciplines) - Bike Forums Those are some really good people that will be happy to help you in getting started with racing. Calls that posted above with some good information is a regular there, I think you will get a lot of good information, and support if you decide to go for it.

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Old 07-19-17, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
masters is really competitive.
It's true. At least in my district the 45+123 is always harder than the E3 race.
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Old 07-19-17, 12:52 PM
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I believe the criterium class for 50-59 is Masters C and 60+ is Masters D. OFTEN, the organizers will combine the two classes and may even combine them with the immediately younger class. (There aren't many things less fun than racing a criterium as a 57-year old up against 45-year olds.) Sadly, even with as many races as they hold over the long weekend, Tulsa Tough does not include Masters C or D classes.

But the hint has already been put out there . . . Masters bicycle racing is reputed to be the most chemically enhanced racing in America. (It is rather remarkable how much faster some cyclists become after they turn 45.)
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Old 07-19-17, 03:04 PM
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On the off chance you missed the previous references - You'll be cat 5, and you should worry more about racing with other cat 5s than other 50 yr olds. Some races will have a Masters 4/5 division, and that's not a bad place to be, but if you've only done the one crit, you may do better with the other cat 5s, which will typically include a few others in their 40s, 50s, or even 60s.
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Old 07-19-17, 03:08 PM
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So cat 5 is the equivalent of the beginner class in mountain bike races? I did a little reading on the USA cycling site and that's what I gathered. I know I will be beaten badly but it's a good goal. Back in the day when I was in top shape and I regularly rode with other crit racers they told me I would be competitive. But that was many years and lb's ago.
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Old 07-19-17, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeOK
So cat 5 is the equivalent of the beginner class in mountain bike races? I did a little reading on the USA cycling site and that's what I gathered. I know I will be beaten badly but it's a good goal. Back in the day when I was in top shape and I regularly rode with other crit racers they told me I would be competitive. But that was many years and lb's ago.
Everyone starts as a cat 5. After 10 mass starts, you can move up to cat 4. Upgrades past that depend on results.

Don't assume you'll be beaten badly. Cat 5s cover the full range from gifted athletes who simply don't have 10 starts yet to casual duffers who just enjoy a fast group ride. The biggest thing you'll need to focus on is racing smart and safe. Stay out of the wind and hold a good line and you'll do fine.

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Old 07-19-17, 03:53 PM
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Yep, Cat5. Preferably Masters Cat5. Because "young guns" Cat5 is also colloquially known as the "Death Race." Cat5 is why so many hospitals sponsor criterium races. (It can get a little crazy when guys who don't know how to ride in a pack ride in a pack as fast as they can.)
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Old 07-19-17, 03:58 PM
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So if you place in so many races you have to move up a class? If so that would be nice. Mountain bike races are filled with sandbaggers.
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Old 07-19-17, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeOK
So if you place in so many races you have to move up a class? If so that would be nice. Mountain bike races are filled with sandbaggers.
I've never heard of anyone being forcibly upgraded from 5 to 4. There's no prize money and not much prestige in winning a Cat 5 race so most riders get their 10 finishes and move up to Cat4. On the other hand, if you don't feel ready, then there's no shame in staying in the 5s a bit longer.

Cat 4, on the other hand, has its share of sandbaggers and there are forced upgrades.
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Old 07-20-17, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeOK
So if you place in so many races you have to move up a class? If so that would be nice. Mountain bike races are filled with sandbaggers.
Yes. You acquire "upgrade points", and at a certain level, you're automatically moved up. Also, since there are no cash prizes in Cat 5 races, there is no real incentive to stay in cat 5 once you're eligible to move up (unless, of course, you just really enjoy rubbing elbows at race speed with a bunch of guys who are still learning to race).

Many areas have "training races" on a weekly or monthly basis. These are low/no-pressure events that are fast enough to be competitive, but allow you to do things like sit out a lap and then hop back in so you can focus on learning and strategy without having to turn yourself inside out just to hang on. If your area has these, they're a great place to learn and get to know the local racers.

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Old 07-20-17, 01:56 PM
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Also, look to see if your district has any Early Bird clinic/races. These are mentored training sessions and races.
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