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When to Upgrade to Cat 4(12 posts)

When to Upgrade to Cat 4lexington476
Aug 23, 2003 3:59 AM
When do you know it is time to move from cat 5 to cat 4? I am cat 5 now, finish in the last third in cat 5 races, but I am slowly getting better. I think real soon I would have the 10 mass starts to move up to cat 4, but I would just end up being the last person across the line.
Cat 4 races are not significantly faster than Cat 5 races, andbill
Aug 23, 2003 9:00 AM
not a whole lot less squirrely, either. The guys who win Cat 5 races likely could do really well in Cat 4 races, as well, although there are lots more people in Cat 4 who would finish in, say, the top third of a Cat 5 race. The guys who win Cat 4 races are getting ready to upgrade to 3 (or already are sandbagging), and there is another 25% maybe who would outclass most Cat 5 fields pretty handily, but with respect to the rest (i.e., the view from the rear third), there isn't a huge difference. That's a complicated way of saying that when to upgrade depends mostly whether there are Cat 4 races you want to do versus whether you want to hang around until you taste a top ten finish or a win before you upgrade.
4 and 5 are often combined anywayfiltersweep
Aug 23, 2003 11:10 AM
Meaning you'd be racing the exact same individuals.
re: When to Upgrade to Cat 4Eric Marshall
Aug 23, 2003 5:22 PM
After you get your 10 mass start races over with, if you plan to race more than a few races a year, you should upgrade.
Between your tenth and eleventh races...biknben
Aug 25, 2003 5:09 AM
There's no reason not to upgrade. In many cases, the only difference between the two cats. is ten races. The speeds are nearly the same. An arguement could be made that the 4s have more experience but, IMO, 10 races doesn't make you that much better.

In my case the only races that don't combine the 4 and 5 is the state championships. If you have any goals of moving up to higher cats. than get through the lower stuff as quick as possible.
Between your tenth and eleventh races...Nightengale
Aug 26, 2003 12:22 PM
Wait until you get a result that you are proud of.
What no one else has mentioned exactly ...Will Ross
Aug 27, 2003 3:54 AM
It may depend on where you live and what races you're doing, because around here (PA), there are races where the 4's have to do the 3/4 race, and sometimes the 3's are heck-bent on getting rid of the 4's ASAP. If your races are mostly 4/5's it probably doesn't matter, but it depends on how the races are combined. A 3/4 race may be significantly faster than a 4/5. If this isn't an issue for you, then when you feel you have adequate experience (comfortable in a large pack, on descents, etc.), then move up. Unless you want to get to the point where you have learned how to get into breaks or negotiate a sprint first -- in which case more Cat. 5 experience may or may not be helpful. Only you know that answer to that one, and don't let anyone push you or shame you into moving up before you feel you're ready. There are plenty of sandbaggers around here, but from your post, it doesn't sound like you are in danger of becoming one.
What no one else has mentioned exactly ...manicoti
Aug 28, 2003 7:36 AM
I am a first year racer and I think you should upgrade after your first year. I will be a Cat. 4 next year simply because of all the 5's in this area who don't upgrade. I have had good success and gotten a couple of top tens, and I have gained lots of experience in only a short time racing. Race 5 till you feel confident. I also think that some good results are beneficial. How can you expect to race to win, when everytime you start to do well you move up. Win a race or two, get some good finishes, and feel good about your progress first before you move up. Then you will be squashed and humbled (unless you are gifted) and you will be able to look back and remember the successes you have had. I got dropped early, hung with the pack during mid season and got a 6th in the state race during my first peak, then peaked again this last weekend and got 2nd in a 4/5 crit. I suck at crits, but I am estatic about the results and look forward to moving up next year.
i agreeThe Human G-Nome
Aug 28, 2003 3:26 PM
what's the point of moving up if you're even getting shelled in your 5? it just means you'll be TTing off the back of all your 4 races. by that point, it's not a race but more of a "best seat in the house" way to watch the 4s for a few fleeting moments. if you're really off the back of the 5s then it's not like you'd be getting in anyone's way and it's not like you're sandbagging.
Aug 29, 2003 5:00 AM
If you're in the back third in a cat 5 you probably need more preparation--training, fast group rides, education from reading all the books ( at least). At least you are not getting dropped, so you are on your way.

Everyone Ive spoken too, and everythig Ive read says dont Cat up until you are "ready". If you are in the mix at the end of most races, that is, positioned to be able to win, then you might be ready to upgrade.

The ten race rule is just a minimum anyway.
re: When to Upgrade to Cat 4R600DuraAce
Aug 29, 2003 8:15 PM
I am going to do it after my 9th race. I can spend the whole time in the back of the pack and move up far enough to contest for the sprint about a lap to go.
You'll love the 4s53T
Sep 1, 2003 4:39 PM
The 4s actually have breaks from time to time. If you're playing tailgunner, you will wind up sprinting for 12th a lot!