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  1. #1
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    Apply for Cat1 Upgrade or Race Cat2?

    Last year was my first year back racing after a 12 year lay off. I raced the SS open class in some local races and the Arizona state series. I had one second place finish at a smaller local race and 4 top 5 finishes at the 5 rounds of the State series.

    This year I built up a geared full suspension bike to ride/race. I used to race the sport class in Oregon in the late 90s and was barely breaking into the top ten back the. Now I'm 36 with a small business and three kids and have about 8 hrs a week to train.

    Should I apply for a Cat1 upgrade from USA Cycling based off of my SS open finishes or race Cat2 seeing how I've never raced with gears in Arizona? In the SS races here they ride the same course and distance and often times start with the Cat1 field. My times from the SS races would barely put me in the top ten in Cat1 at most of the races.

  2. #2
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    How do your times compare to the mid pack Cat1 times ? I'd say if you're at least mid pack , upgrade. You're already racing the distance and with a little training and 20 or so more gears
    you'd do fine.
    Last edited by SSdirt29; 10-24-2012 at 12:20 PM.

  3. #3
    Rod
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    According to the statement "my SS races would barely put me in the top ten in Cat1" then I would go for it. I got 8th place overall in a Cat 1 race this year and I would have been Cat 2 racers by 3-4 minutes. I think you will do fine and may even find a little more time to train. If not it sounds like you will still finish close to the top 10
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  4. #4
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    Not to sound harsh but waiting to move up a CAT when you are able to place top 10 is sandbagging.
    In the AZ series if you're top 5 in SS Open you should definately be racing CAT1. The top 5 in ss would be top half of CAT!. Comparing your times to the top sport guys is kinda misleading because usually the top sport guys are usually guys that should have moved up long ago.

    I'd rather place bottom of CAT1 than top of CAT2 any day.

  5. #5
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    Move up! You'll get faster riding w/ the cat1 guys.

  6. #6
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    Or just start as a two and if you think you can upgrade, do it. It only takes like 2 days to request an upgrade! The USAC official may want you to do this anyway
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  7. #7
    Formerly of Kent
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    I'd rather get my teeth kicked in by the category above me after moving up, than show up to a race and know that I'm almost guaranteed a top 5.

  8. #8
    LMN
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    I am old fashion in that I think upgrades should be earned.

    If you are too fast for category 2 you will quickly get enough points and up-grade. My bet is you will find Category 2 is surprisingly competitive, and quite enjoy batting for the front end of the race with guys your speed. Remember category 2 is suppose to be fairly quick, it is for guys who have done at least a year or two of racing (recently) and are doing a reasonable amount of training.

    A lot of people try dilute cat 2 by accusing guys who can finish of the top 5 of sandbagging. You are only sandbagging if you are consistently crushing everybody in your category.

    Racing is fun when you are in the right category for your ability. If you are too fast or too slow for a category it isn't particularly fun.
    Last edited by LMN; 10-31-2012 at 06:53 PM.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  9. #9
    CB2
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    I think you should ride your SS in whatever Cat you choose to race.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    I am old fashion in that I think upgrades should be earned.

    If you are too fast for category 2 you will quickly get enough points and up-grade. My bet is you will find Category 2 is surprisingly competitive, and quite enjoy batting for the front end of the race with guys you speed. Remember category 2 is suppose to be fairly quick, it is for guys who have done at least a year or two of racing (recently) and are doing a reasonable amount of training.

    A lot of people try dilute cat 2 by accusing guys who can finish of the top 5 of sandbagging. You are only sandbagging if you are consistently crushing everybody in your category.

    Racing is fun when you are in the right category for your ability. If you are too fast or too slow for a category it isn't particularly fun.
    I agree with this 100%. Consistent top 5 finishes in Cat 2 doesn't make you a sand bagger. IMO it means you are merely competitive in that class and is where you should be racing. It's a different story if you show up and everyone else knows from the start that they are racing for 2nd place.

  11. #11
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    +1. I'd wait if I were you. See how the season starts, you can always upgrade if you're doing really well.
    Misfit diSSent ALC SS
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  12. #12
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    Upgrade.

    I like that our semi-local races series (WORS) has had an in between class for some time, called Comp. Same course as the Cat1, typically one less lap (one more than Sport/Cat2).

  13. #13
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    .02

    Field size?

    It would be helpful if we all include this info. Simply stating "I got a top 5....or I placed 8th" is not helpful if we don't know how many people you placed in front of.

    In some states like CA, mid pack could be 18th place, while in some states a "top 5" could mean last place

  14. #14
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    In Wi, midpack could be 175th place in sport (overall that is)

    Field size definitely matters. Although a top 5 in any class is usually pretty solid. There always seem to be that many fast riders. Unless of course you start getting into stuff like Cat 2, men's masters single speed, ages 40.4 to 41.73 . Hey... I wouldn't put it past USA Cycling.

  15. #15
    Shut up and ride
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    upgrade.

  16. #16
    What It Be ?
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    I submitted my upgrade request yesterday. Been racing sport for 3 years. Did a summer after work series this year podium each race and 3rd overall. Not a USA Cycling events but I did it anyways. Looking forward to it!

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