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Europe?(8 posts)

Jul 10, 2003 9:07 PM
What is it like racing in Europe?
I'm not talking about the tour or the stuff we see on tv; I mean the races the the amateurs do.
Are they organized like over here with cat 5,4,3,2,1 type systems and points to move up in cat and all that other stuff or are they more open.
Do they have racing licenses? Could I just fly over there with my bike, find a race and do it or would I have to get some sort of foreigners license?
How would I find a race?
re: Europe?spitze
Jul 12, 2003 12:10 PM
It sounds like you are asking 'how do you race in Europe', so I'll answer that first. I can only speak for Germany. We have 3 amateur categories and 3 pro categories. You start at category 'c' and move up to 'a' (if possible). There are dozens of races in Germany every week. Some of the races are grouped by a single categories and start at different times of the day. Some of the races are grouped together. I'm cat C and have races with pros (GSIII) several times. (For me, it sucks racing with the pros because they are too damn fast.)
As an American you can get an International lisense, it is pretty expensive. I did this last year (I'm American). I've never raced in the USA, so I'm a Cat IV. But,... The international lisense put me in Cat A (the fast group). Man, what a learning curve! The international (UCI) lisense will allow you to race in any 'International' race in Europe. However, I was alloud to race in national races as well. Oh yeah, some races are grouped by age. But I've never done one of those.
Since I've never raced in the states I can't compare. But most road events are between 80 km and 180 km. Crits are arout 50 km. They charge hard from the start & attack every hill until the group is widdled down, then they ease up for a little bit. Many of the races I've done started out with about 200 and finished with less than 50; less if it is hilly, more if it is flat. Nevertheless, it is VERY exciting! And unless you speak the local language, the ride can get quite lonely.
Finally, mtb races are more relaxed. Most of them do not require lisenses, yet they are still very competitive.
What country are you planning on visiting? To find a race in Germany to to They list most, not all, of the lisensed events. Alright, nuff for now. So come over, we can use a few more Americans in the peleton!
American pro's would never wanna race with Crash 5's.niteschaos
Jul 12, 2003 6:41 PM
Example. During the cooldown lap after my race today some incoherant guy slams into my left side sending me flying off the road and into a pine try, bending my derailer hanger. I repeat this was the cooldown lap. I'm catting up ASAP. Even if it means I'm gonna get my ass handed to me for the rest of the year. At least it will be biked off instead of scrapped off like on a giant cheese grater.
Jul 12, 2003 8:02 PM
Sounds exciting; I can't wait!!
What are the courses like?
Are they short loops with a ton of laps or long courses?
Are there more road races or criteriums?
Do you have to be on a club/team to race or can you race as an individual?
How do you get on to a club/team over there?
Jul 12, 2003 8:19 PM
for some well-written race reports about racing in europe, check out

these are some of the journals from a friend and teammate who is spending the summer in belgium racing with the cyclingcenter and the U-23 team.
Jul 19, 2003 12:43 PM
Sorry for the delayed reply. It's tough spending time online when there is daylight left. Most of the races are road, not crits, and generally speaking they consist of laps ranging from 8 to 30 kilometers. You don't have to be on a team to race, but in Germany you must be on a team to get a lisense. It isn't hard to become a member of team; just ask around & show up at a club ride. Ride with them & see if you fit. If not, find another one. Then ask to join, pay the dues and buy a the jersey. Our club consists of about 50 members, but only about 10 of us race on a regular basis. Feel free to email me if you want to know more, or if you plan to come to germany:
Does Germany...jesse1
Jul 14, 2003 2:28 AM
...have a system similar to Italy where children are encouraged to participate in racing clubs (much like Little Leauge in the U.S.)?
Email me!iml
Jul 16, 2003 9:57 AM
I'm in Germany as well...been doing lots of mtb races, but I need to get back on the road, too. I'd love to get into the road scene here! Drop me a line at Thanks!