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Newbie question about racing categories(4 posts)

Newbie question about racing categories94Nole
Jun 6, 2003 4:04 AM
Please define what it means or what one has to do to 1)become categorized (Cat 2, Cat 3,...) and what do those categories mean?
re: Newbie question about racing categoriesphilippec
Jun 6, 2003 4:46 AM
okay, its been a while since I raced in the states but here goes...

Road racing is organised by national cycling bodies that categorise their riders to segregate them into similar levels of ability. The United States Cycling Federation has 5 categories from beginer/weak to pro/strongest. Categories tend to race amongst themselves (w/ some exceptions).

Here is my own recollection of the USCF racing categories:

Cat. 5: Absolute beginers. Will lock up brakes in a pack if someone so much as comes within a meter. Believes "keep your line in the corners" means "keep a straight line across everyone else's trajectory". Elbow brushing is grounds for a fight. (This is, of course, in jest, we've all had to go through the cat. 5/Junior ranks)

Cat 4.: Lawyers and Doctors on wheels (well, that's how it was in the DC area!). OK bike skills and strength got them through Cat. 5, then they had children and now can't move up to Cat. 3 -- commute to train and many still could lose some weight. Some young guns blow through Cat. 4 in 2-3 months -- not to worry, they will get married, have children and slow down as well!

Cat 3. Good skills, good strength, good races. Takes a lot of work to be competitive, races can be at a brutal pace but riders rarely pull lame moves seen in 4 and 5. Must train a lot to stay here. Cat 3 is the #1 cause of divorce in the cycling community.

Cat 2. Young, no real job, ability to endure ungodly amounts of pain, no family -- bike monsters.

Cat. 1 Same as Cat 2 but x 2 and they get paid!(sometimes).

Well, that's how I remember it.



full disclosure: I race Régional (cat 2-3 equivalent) have a real job and a great family .. and cannot remember the last time I actually finished in the numbers.... you can't have it all!
Excellent summary!BipedZed
Jun 6, 2003 6:05 AM
Very astute, especially the Cat 3 divorce. Many of my teammates have had to choose between their marriage or racing. I'm on the cusp of a Cat 2 upgrade but will most likely have to put it off with my first kid on the way soon.
One category left out Mastersabicirider
Jun 6, 2003 6:30 AM
The one category not mentioned in my opinion is one of the fastest and toughest that is masters. The masters category usally starts at age 35 it is equivelent to Cat3 but most that are in this category have more years of racing experience than your Cat3 racers.
If you look at the times in RR, TT, Crit the masters category has some of the fastest times.
In my opinion it doesn't matter if you are a Cat5 or a Cat1 just being in a crit or road race is a rush I would never want to be without but thats just me speaking for myself.
You can get all the info you want at the usa cycling website the link is below.
Be safe out on the roads!!!!!!!!!
Ray Still
Mooresville, NC