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Masters Racing (All Disciplines) Race on the track or road or on your mountainbike in the Masters Category? Want to talk tactics, strategy and training with your peers?

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Old 09-12-14, 11:16 AM   #1
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Advice re: category upgrade

Background - In the past, I've primarily focused on MTB XC racing. Won a regional championship this year (Cat 1), 2 state titles, and 5th (40-44) at Nationals in July.

I race with a local Cat 3 road team, mostly Masters age guys but primarily crit racing. This year, I did more crit racing than usual, and have ended up very close to the mandatory 40-point upgrade to Cat 2. 38 points at present. I didn't race a crit until June, almost all the points have come since then; won a training crit but best "real" results have been a 2nd in the Masters' 3/4 race at the US Crit Championships and 4th Cat 3 at the NC State Championships. Various other top 3-7 finishes, including a 7th in 35+ (first Cat 3 by several places) in a big regional race.

Crits aren't really my strong suit at 140 lbs and no sprint to speak of (most of my training has been FTP-based due to XC racing). I won 40+ in the Boone-Roubaix road race, 6th overall (unsanctioned, but a big race with TONS of steep climbing and gravel). 3rd in Love Valley Roubaix (after a flat early in the race) on a similar course.

I do well in the "A" training races (1/2/3) locally and often make the break, or contest the sprint. A few top-3-5 finishes there.

Next season I plan to focus more on the road side of things; my only real MTB goal is Marathon XC Nats in Georgia.

So.... given that I'm 40 already, most of my road racing will be crit-based (just not enough open road racing here), and I'd have to find a new team (unless I only race Masters)...

Should I apply to cat up? Either way, I'll be modding my training to accommodate the different racing focus.

Thanks for any relevant experience or advice.
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Old 09-12-14, 02:59 PM   #2
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i upgraded to cat 2 as a 39 y.o. although as a 3 you can do P123, it excludes you from some races that are P12, and frankly, the P12 is always just a better race. Sounds like you have the chops, might as well show them off, and if you continue being as successful as you've been, then upgrading to Cat 1 is something few do and it opens avenues to race at premier events with the pros, which is just cool. the only way you'll maximize what you learn in the sport is to race at the highest level you can. I say upgrade, you can do masters races regardless and higher category = better racing. if it doesnt work, then downgrade.
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Old 09-13-14, 05:58 AM   #3
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I'm not qualified to advise because I'm not in your class, but as a general principle I'd say upgrade. From some experience as a old, fat, low-category racer, and a lot more experience as an official, the higher category (and masters) races are smoother and safer as well as higher-calibre.
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Old 09-14-14, 09:28 AM   #4
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I made it to Cat 1 at 47. Upgrade. Don't be Kramer at the dojo.

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