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How are categories for hills defined?(2 posts)

How are categories for hills defined?Dutchy
Jun 19, 2001 1:21 AM
I have always wanted to know how/what definitions are used to work out the category of a hill/mountain. I guess steepness is a measurement, but does the hill have to have certain length climb to qualify? How many "cats" are there. Anyone have any ideas. CHEERS.
re: How are categories for hills defined?mr_spin
Jun 19, 2001 11:21 AM
I don't think there is an official standard, so it really depends on the race organizers. Categories are really just a method of assigning points for the mountains jersey, so organizers won't classify every hill in the race. Still, in the Giro this year, the Abetone, one of the most famous climbs in Italy, wasn't even categorized!

Generally, the two biggest factors in classification are elevation gain and length. Also considered is where the hill lies in the race, specific gradiants on the hill, the road surface, and whatever other mystical factors they want to apply (i.e., the Mistral winds on Mt. Ventoux).

There are five classifications: HC (hors categorie/beyond classificaton), then 1, 2, 3, and 4. HC mountains are the hardest for sure. The difference between a cat 1 and cat 2 tends to be length rather elevation gain.