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  1. #1
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    Cat'ing up? When to go Expert?

    I race sporadicly - probably average 5 races/yr. I've placed 1st in one race in three years. But, the only time I don't place 2nd or 3rd is if something goes "wrong", e.g. mechanical, sick, etc. I'm stuck in this "on the podium but not top box" limbo. My assumption (in comparing lap times to Cat 1), is that I'd be mid-pack at best as a Cat-1. I can easily make a case (defense) that I should stay in Cat-2... but keep wondering if it's time to move up.

    Thoughts?
    thanks!
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  2. #2
    Endurance Junkie
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    I would say that you should cat up so that you can race against the best. Plus you get more for your money since you usually get to do an extra lap. Does it really mean much to be on the Cat 2 podium since you know the best guys are all racing Cat 1?

    BTW, this is all coming from a Cat 2.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by skibum1321 View Post
    Does it really mean much to be on the Cat 2 podium since you know the best guys are all racing Cat 1?
    It used to. Now, I feel like Steve Martin, a.k.a. Nathan R. Johnson in The Jerk (as the weight guesser "You can pick any prize... any prize on this shelf... any prize on this shelf between the eraser and the... " 2nd place... 2nd place in my age group, 2nd place in my age group in Cat-2...
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  4. #4
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    How's your endurance? If you are ok with the added mileage it's probably time to move up. A win or a few podiums in C2 doesn't automatically make you a sandbagger, you'd be fine to stay and get a few more podiums, but you're probably fine to move up anytime. I also think that a good sign that it's time to move up, is seriously wondering if it's time to move up.
    I recently moved up, I found that the first 2/3 of the race in C1 was a little more enjoyable, since the race was longer I dropped my pace by just a little bit off the 'panic' pace of C2, but it was a rough course and a 2:10 race for me, I don't do hardly any 2 hour rides so I was pretty spent at the end, -but that's how it's supposed to be. I have always believed and observed that the best C2 racers would do just fine in C1. I think you would find a mid-pack C1 finish equally satisfying as compared to a 2nd or 3rd in C2.

  5. #5
    I'd rather be riding
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    I've been debating the same thing. I'm a cat 2 and only have podiums in small races, all big races I'm upper mid pack. I just really want the extra distance and will likely move up soon even if it means finishing last every race. Is there anything wrong with this as long as I complete the course in a reasonable time?

  6. #6
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    Unless you're racing sanctioned races just do a race in expert and see how it goes.

  7. #7
    I should be out riding
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    Depends on why you race. Personally I think there's more fun and challenge in racing the highest class possible without being embarrassed.

  8. #8
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    In my opinion:
    I'd say that if you are regularly podiuming, it's a sign it's time to cat up.
    If it looks like you'd be mid-pack in the cat above you, that's the cat you should be in.

    My situation:
    I'm regularly podiuming in Cat 2 Women, but the field size is usually 2 to 5 riders.
    When I compare my lap times to the Cat 1 women, they are (for example) 3 to 6 minutes faster than I am on a 6 mile lap and doing more laps. I'd be so far off the back, it'd be ridiculous.

    When it looks like I could be competitive for second-to-last place and be reasonably sure of not getting lapped by the lead woman, then it will be time for me to cat up. For now, I will enjoy my photo-ops and trinkets and the pure joy of being out there racing.
    Last edited by KAriadne; 05-21-2013 at 06:21 AM. Reason: left out a verb

  9. #9
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    If you are even thinking about it you should do it. No one cares if you lose a cat1 race, but people will care if you are getting a podium at every cat2 race. We have some locals in my area that don't seem to get this. They think that they shouldn't move up until they are competitive with the next level. For this reason, we get like 10 experts and 30 intermediates at our weeknight races. Some of the intermediates are faster than our experts at times. I just have to shake my head.

    I second the advice that you should do an unsanctioned race in expert. The first couple races will suck a little bit. There is a much larger ability curve in the expert categories.

  10. #10
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    Damn I love this forum. Great thoughts, advice and ideas guys (and girls). Last night, I told my wife that, in last weekend's race, I realized I wasn't gunning for the podium for the same reasons as before. It was more of a "You'd better #$*&ing get on the podium" instead of "Man, it'd be awesome to get on the podium." She wasn't paying attention. But if she were, I'll bet she'd have agreed with you guys ;-)
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  11. #11
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    How many guys are in your field? Placing 3rd with 7 guys in your field is mid pack cat 2 and a podium does not mean so much compared to a 3rd in a cat 2 field of 32 racers sorta thing. Also, I am assuming the cat 1 guys do more laps, so comparing lap times makes no sense.

    .02

  12. #12
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    Typically 15-30 guys in the field. And yeah - I kinda figured two laps at X is a bit easer than 3 laps at X. My lap times put me near the front of the Cat-1... but I'm doing two to their three. I'd have to ratchet down the effort... putting me mid-pack... at best.
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  13. #13
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Clearly you should cat-up then. Good luck out there. Your first season in cat 1 will be humbling most likely

  14. #14
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    I'm ignoring the cons and looking only at the pros...
    - I can brag that "I'm an Expert!"
    - I will get home from races an hour earlier... no more waiting around for the podium presentation
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  15. #15
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    You might surprise yourself. When I moved to CAT 1 I placed top 4 in my first 5 races. The longer races helped me. My lap times usually get faster.

  16. #16
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    Racing cat.1 is not much different than racing cat.2, cat.1, May be slightly faster, the races are longer, but the quality of racers are way better, no more having a mechanical, then starting back up, racing through the field and having morons not let you by to retain their 70th place. I've been expert, cat.1 since 1990, even though my fitness hasn't always been up to par in all those years. I race cat.1 50+ now.

  17. #17
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    "we get like 10 experts and 30 intermediates at our weeknight races. Some of the intermediates are faster than our experts at times."
    -good point, if the top 10 Cat2 racers moved up to Cat1 in my area the fields would be much better balanced too, there's usually 30 C2s and 10 C1s.
    Try to get the other top 5 finishers to move up with you. Maybe if you move up that will help some others decide to move up too. Way back in '91, I remember some Expert starts with 75 riders, I think there were more Experts than Sport/c2s back then...

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