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What are the Catagories?(8 posts)

What are the Catagories?flipflop
Apr 17, 2003 11:04 AM
I will be competing in my first race this weekend. What are the different Catagories(Cat-1,2 ect.) and how will I know which one I'm in?
Ask the promoter.Spunout
Apr 17, 2003 11:14 AM
Sometimes a Master's category can be faster than some senior categories, if your region has alot of old Pros around.

Depends on your license also. First race? Ride Novice I guess.
re: What are the Catagories?No_sprint
Apr 17, 2003 12:20 PM
You're not in SoCal are you? If so, I'm stayin' home. :)

Typically, if you're in the U.S., you'll be in the 5 or 4/5 category race.

Do you not ride with other racers when you practice who you can *learn* from? Is there no local club that's got some racers who can help you out? It would be a good idea to learn as much as you can prior to what you're going to be getting into, for your own safety and the safety of others.
Good advice. Start at the bottom, group rides, racing clinics.Spunout
Apr 18, 2003 3:58 AM
My local club puts on racing clinics; in most cases they won't let you ride in a race otherwise!
Good advice. Start at the bottom, group rides, racing clinics.No_sprint
Apr 18, 2003 6:55 AM
Indeed. Even our newest 5 racer can be considered a senior in his first race. He's talked the talk, walked the walk and done his darndest to keep up with the big guns at our club rides, race practice, team only practices, etc. 6 days/week.

Hittin' a 4 corner crit with 120 of your best enemies is not something to jump into without some knowledge and experience, for the safety of all.
I may be too late, but to actually answer your question…TFerguson
Apr 19, 2003 10:47 AM
First, unless you live in Southern California I guess, DO Race. It's the best experience possible.

There are many categories that differ depending upon the sanctioning organization, the race promoters, and the local "culture". I may not get them all correct for those that I am not familiar with, but you'll get the idea.

The sanctioning organization determines your overall Category, which is on your license. You may be in different categories for different types of events such as Time Trial, Road Racing or Velodrome (Track).

Under 19 (I think) are Juniors and are in age categories. I started racing at 50, so if you are in this category you'll have to ask others.

For 19 and older, the standard non-age related categories, from top to bottom, are: Pro 1, Pro 2, Cat 1, Cat 2, Cat 3, Cat 4 and Cat 5. I believe that Pro 2 & Cat 1 are equivalent but depend upon your professional status. These are all Senior categories. A beginner with a license is a Cat 5 no matter how old. Many sanctioning bodies do not have the Cat 5 in which case you go right into Cat 4. I don't think any have Cat 5 for women.

Masters are generally designated as 30 or older. Here there are tons of different categories. A local organization I race with has 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-64, 65-69, and 70+. Some other races have only a 30+ or a 45+. I understand other areas have Masters categories within the Cat # categories, such as a Cat 5 - 30+. Understand that racing in a Masters may sound like the way to go, but all levels of racers will be at that age level. Lance "could" race in your local 30+.

Citizen racers are non-licensed or purchase a one-day license for the event to cover the insurance. They are "one day, lowest Cat" as far as the sanctioning body (if there is one) is concerned, but may have their own races. Citizen races, again, may be split into age categories. In my area there is a whole series for Citizen (i.e. non-licensed) racers. Licensed racers are allowed to race but cannot get series points toward the championship.

My experience: I started road racing at 50 with 4 local non-sanctioned MTB races under my belt. It was a fairly big event but had a Citizen only 35+ race. It consisted of 2 x 5.5 mile loops. I started at the back and was dropped at the first corner. Since the laps were long enough that I never got lapped, I was allowed to finish the race. Me and a few of other droppies formed a miniature pace line and raced for all we were worth. I came in 3rd in the "sprint". I was hooked and no one was ever put into danger by my presence.

That summer (this was only last year, by the way) I raced a Cat 5 30+(got cut ½ way through, Citizen only 45+ (7th out of 16) and a Citizen only 30+ (DNF).

This winter I trained hard and CAN run with the pack.

Hope this helps and doesn't come too late. By the way, starting with a MTB race is not a bad idea. Beginners' races aren't very technical (dusty road races) and an MTBer will never tell you not to race.

I may be too late, but to actually answer your question…flipflop
Apr 21, 2003 3:23 AM
Well, yes you were too late but thanks for the info. I didn't get that good of information at the race. I raced in the Citizen catagory. A rider from my town that raced in the Cat 3-4 race, ran the citizens race also so I made sure I was on his wheel the last lap. I got second, now that was much better than winning the local sprint to the city limit sign on group rides. I can't wait for the next race.
You're hooked! (nm)TFerguson
Apr 21, 2003 4:55 AM