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"Cattin Up"(12 posts)

"Cattin Up"DeadGame
Dec 18, 2002 5:57 AM
Can I assume that going from 5 to 4 is probably pretty easy if you have continued to improve in the offseason from your cat 5 form

From 4 to 3 probably the ceiling for most of us, myself included.

What does it take to go from 3 to 1/2 and what is the difference between Cat 2 and Cat 1 since I usually see them grouped together.
UpgradingSherpa23
Dec 18, 2002 6:55 AM
When I was a cat 5, I had to race with the 4's as well so there was no difference in going to 4's. In fact, I skipped 4's entirely, in that the USCF never gave me a cat. 4 license (I went from cat. 5 to cat. 3 in 6 weeks) Going to 3's was bigger step but not too hard, just the races were longer. Going from 3 to 2 (6 months) was a big step and it really took me 18 months to have any success as a 2, but I think that's because I moved through the lower categories too quickly and was still only in my first year of racing when I first did a pro 1/2 race. Going from 2-1 was VERY hard, way harder than any other category. Here's why: To go from a 2 to 1 you need to earn 30 points in one year but you have to earn those points racing Pro,1,2 so in reality you have to beat 1's and Pro's, and it's especially hard if you race in a cycling hot bed, like the Northeast, Southern California, or Colorado (I got my 1 road upgrade when I lived in T-town so it was pretty fricking hard). It's a good system because to get to a Cat. 1, you have to better than the best, in theory. You are not going to beat all of pro's in every race but if you race about 60 times in the year, and you are diligent during the races, you will consistently pickup the necessary points bit by bit. And that's just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, because once you earn your 1 upgrade, you are so greatly emboldened by your accomplishment, you know that you can win just about anything and you spend the rest of you racing career pursuing that. FWIW, there are no points necessary to from a 1 to a pro and a couple of years ago, if you were a 1 and you wanted a pro license, your sponsor could send USPRO $150 and you would be a pro. Just like that. Now, the team has to register with UCI and spend major bucks. So now, a lot of pros race with cat. 1 licenses.
UpgradingDeadGame
Dec 19, 2002 7:53 AM
Wow! You are blessed with a sick motor. That's very impressive.

Are you still competing as a 1? Where do you race now.
re: "Cattin Up"climbo
Dec 18, 2002 7:33 AM
4 to 3 is not too bad but it can take a while. I'm at 3 now (too me a year) and will stay there because it's fun and the races are longer, and I'm not getting any better. The big change I found in the NJ/PA area was that Cat 4 races were sometimes only half the distance of a Cat 3 race so it was quite a jump up. Plus, a lot of races have Cat 1-2-3 fields and then Cat 4-5 so you could be a Cat 4 one week and then when you go up to Cat 3, your race distance just doubled and you have Cat 1 and 2's mixed in.

Pick your races, get the points you need, train as though you are a Cat 3 and you'll be fine.
DependsBigLeadOutGuy
Dec 18, 2002 1:46 PM
I live in the NE and most of the local races usually have a category overlap...meaning if your a 3 you can race either 3&4 or race in the pro1/2 field. I started racing last year and did terrible in cat 5, did my 10 races and upgraded even though i wasnt ready, and amazingly enough won or placed in enough races in cat 4 to upgrade to cat 3 after 5 races in the cat3/4 field. So now that I am cat 3 I race in the pro/1/2 field. Placed in one race here before getting hurt and having to call it a season in august.I figure that my goal is to be a cat 1 so I might as well race with them.if you wanna be a cat. 1....race like one! I still think that if i didnt get hurt I would have made it to cat2 all in one season. No biggie, plenty of time next season.
Cattin UpChud
Dec 18, 2002 8:59 PM
As a guy who started racing when 4 was the lowest category ( the year before cat 5 came to be) I have learned that as long as you don't get hurt or burned out, hard work can take you to cat2. Take an adequate first aid kit to the 3's races. Guys who are in over thier heads hang it out (usually last lap last turn) and wipe people out. This used to be the problem with the 4's. Seriously though, if you just stick with it and do all of your off season homework, you'll do fine. After dropping out and coming back numerous times, I sat down and got serious about my last year as a 3, and I have been a 2 for 3 years next season.
By the way,the SE is very tough to race in, always has been. The pro 1-2 races usually have at least 10-12 TT III pro's in there and a handful of former-pro "am's" (Go-Mart, Fairway-Cyfac, Jittery Joe's). I do remember going to Superweek (as a 3) and racing 3's that were downgraded 2's from all over, that was tough to swallow. Things are tough, just be tougher. The difference between 3 and 2/1 is when you can live off nothing, put stupid amounts of time into training, and still exist in the real world. Sponsorship helps tremendously with this, (or very rich parents) so don't burn any bridges along the way. Good luck.
Cattin UpSadlebred
Dec 19, 2002 12:32 PM
Jittery Joe's is UCI III team. At least we Georgians can claim one pro team....as for women's racing in the SE, it is particularly tough w/Genesis and Atlanta Velo/Litespeed in the mix.
Cattin UpDeadGame
Dec 19, 2002 12:51 PM
Sadlebred,

Did you do the Athens Twilight Crit last year? Looks like a killer race.
Cattin UpSadlebred
Dec 20, 2002 10:20 AM
I didn't do the Athens crit last year. I was too busy at the Twilight mountain bike race DNFing b/c of various mechanical problems. I upgraded to a 3 last year and will probably do the 3/4 race in 2003. (If you haven't guessed by my previous post, I race Cat. 3 Women.)
I thought the USCF rules stated . . .superdog
Dec 19, 2002 8:18 PM
that you could not upgrade two catagories in one year? Someone told me that last summer at a race. What's the truth? Sounds like some of you have done it.
I thought the USCF rules stated . . .BigLeadOutGuy
Dec 20, 2002 6:46 AM
You can upgrade 2 cats per year, but you have to renew your lisence if you do.
cattin' upjohnnyd
Dec 24, 2002 7:31 AM
The other thing to think about when considering an upgrade is whether or not you've gotten what you want out of the current category. I'm going into my second season as a Cat 3 and I'm on a local Cat 3 team. Next year I want to get the points to upgrade to a Cat 2, but I also want to get into breakaways, do leadouts, etc. I don't know what things are like where you race, but a lot of races everybody sits around and waits for everybody else to do something and it usually ends in a sprint.

I did one season as a Cat 4 and I focused on getting the points to upgrade to Cat 3, but I didn't enjoy racing for myself and always thinking points instead of racing. This year I want to pick up the points to upgrade, but I also want to do more aggressive team racing and not wait for the sprint. Besides, once I get to Cat 2, I'll be pack fodder for awhile anyway.