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  1. #1
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    When to move up a class?

    So, I'm a 40 year old that has raced a couple of races this year and found the top box a couple of times in the Sport class. At what point is it time to move up to Expert? This is for the SERC series (SouthEast Regional Championship). I'm not in the hunt for the overall, but curious for next year. If I win, or place in the last couple of races, should I move up to expert 40-49? What are the absolute rules? FWIW, I beat 2nd place by almost 10 min this past weekend...

    thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhopton View Post
    So, I'm a 40 year old that has raced a couple of races this year and found the top box a couple of times in the Sport class. At what point is it time to move up to Expert? This is for the SERC series (SouthEast Regional Championship). I'm not in the hunt for the overall, but curious for next year. If I win, or place in the last couple of races, should I move up to expert 40-49? What are the absolute rules? FWIW, I beat 2nd place by almost 10 min this past weekend...

    thanks
    I don't know the absolute rules, I think it's 5 top fives and it's mandatory.
    I have some friends who primarily race a non-USAC series as experts. They asked USAC if they could race Cat1 since they race expert and all. They were told if they got a top 5 their petition would be approved but not until, so they've had to sandbag and crush the souls of the Cat2s...but only once.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhopton View Post
    So, I'm a 40 year old that has raced a couple of races this year and found the top box a couple of times in the Sport class. At what point is it time to move up to Expert? This is for the SERC series (SouthEast Regional Championship). I'm not in the hunt for the overall, but curious for next year. If I win, or place in the last couple of races, should I move up to expert 40-49? What are the absolute rules? FWIW, I beat 2nd place by almost 10 min this past weekend...

    thanks
    If you are beating 2nd place by 10 minutes then it is time to move up in my opinion. Races are more fun if you have competition. You may just finish mid-pack in the Expert class for a while, but at least you have something to shoot for.

  4. #4
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    As mentioned if you are racing USAC they will eventually move you to Cat. 1. I think the number of podiums needed to petition to upgrade is 3, and some number more than that they will automatically upgrade you.

    FWIW most of my races are endurance races and are not "sanctioned" by USAC but are recognized at USAC and "credit" is given. So after crushing a Cat. 2 XC early in the season I petitioned to Cat. 1 and they upgraded me. Since then I'm finishing mid pack in the last "XC" race I did, so the upgrade was a good idea.

  5. #5
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    Also, check your series race rules, I would guess there is a upgrade standard. My local series is not a USAC governed series, and judging by the fact you are using the terms Sport and Expert, neither is yours. Our non-USAC series is pretty casual about upgrades. No permission is needed, just sign-up for the next category up. If you wanted to try the category above you are usually free to do so and then you can move yourself back down the next race. If there is obvious sandbagging, however, the race director reserves the right to make upgrade mandatory. Peer pressure is probably enough usually.

  6. #6
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    If you're beating 2nd place by 10 minutes you should move up asap.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  7. #7
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    Racoon Mountain? I raced there too. Are you sure you won by 10 minutes? I happened to have the results up so I took at look at your class, winner was by a little more than 2 minutes, not 10. If you really did win by 10 minutes, then you will be very competitive in cat 1, so I'd petition to move up now just so it's more of a challenge for you. Otherwise, 5 top 5s, then move up.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by climr View Post
    Racoon Mountain? I raced there too. Are you sure you won by 10 minutes? I happened to have the results up so I took at look at your class, winner was by a little more than 2 minutes, not 10. If you really did win by 10 minutes, then you will be very competitive in cat 1, so I'd petition to move up now just so it's more of a challenge for you. Otherwise, 5 top 5s, then move up.
    Yeah, Dave botched the times for the Sport 40-49 class; he announced it over the loudspeaker several times right before the awards. They made up all of the times in that class just to make the numbers sort correctly. The only thing correct about the results were the race number ranking.

    OK, you guys have convinced me - I'll move up to Expert 40-49 next race.

    mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhopton View Post
    OK, you guys have convinced me - I'll move up to Expert 40-49 next race.

    mike
    You can move up that way to sport, but there is actually a USA Cycling process to go through to move to expert. Take a look at their site and request an upgrade.

    Are you beating the entire sport class or just the 40-49? The USA Cycling site is kind of vague on what they consider top 5's, is it the entire sport class or just your age group...I don't know the answer.

    BTW: after 5 top 5's your mandated to move up. The rules say they will allow you after winning a race or a certain number of podiums.
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  10. #10
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    The USAC rules are not ambiguous at all. 5 top 5's and you must move up, this is true for all categories. From cat 2 (sport) you can petition to move up to cat 1 (expert) after 2 top 5's. For a given race your class needs to meet minimum rider requirements. Top 5 in a 6 person class doesn't count, except if you win. For masters II (40-49) the minimum class is 10 riders. However a win in a class of 5 will still count towards upgrading.

    This is all on the USAC website in the rulebook.

    The only time this gets tricky is if you are in contention for the overall win in a race series, then you can petition to *not* move up until the end of the series. But any decently run series will spell out the specific rules for that scenario.

  11. #11
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    Hmm. I always thought you had to win your Cat overall for it to count as a podium and not just your age group. I have read USAC rules on upgrading. Maybe I should go read it again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dust3313 View Post
    Hmm. I always thought you had to win your Cat overall for it to count as a podium and not just your age group. I have read USAC rules on upgrading. Maybe I should go read it again.
    That's just for the pro upgrade.. or at least you need a few overall podiums and not just age group cat 1 podiums.

  13. #13
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    Maybe I'm old school, but if you never win a race in your category, or at least podium, you may regret catting up later. Learning how to win at your current level is valuable too. And hey it's fun. The OP did this, so good luck with the upgrade.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by paetersen View Post
    The USAC rules are not ambiguous at all. 5 top 5's and you must move up, this is true for all categories. From cat 2 (sport) you can petition to move up to cat 1 (expert) after 2 top 5's. For a given race your class needs to meet minimum rider requirements. Top 5 in a 6 person class doesn't count, except if you win. For masters II (40-49) the minimum class is 10 riders. However a win in a class of 5 will still count towards upgrading.

    This is all on the USAC website in the rulebook.

    The only time this gets tricky is if you are in contention for the overall win in a race series, then you can petition to *not* move up until the end of the series. But any decently run series will spell out the specific rules for that scenario.
    Thanks for the clarification. I always thought it was overall in Cat, not segregated by age groups.

    In this case, I'm racing with a bunch of guys that should have moved up years ago...
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2 View Post
    I don't know the absolute rules, I think it's 5 top fives and it's mandatory.
    I have some friends who primarily race a non-USAC series as experts. They asked USAC if they could race Cat1 since they race expert and all. They were told if they got a top 5 their petition would be approved but not until, so they've had to sandbag and crush the souls of the Cat2s...but only once.
    I think I'm one of those crushed souls, lol. I totally get it, though. And (for the most part) I don't think the soulcrushers want to be there crushing our souls any more than we want to be crushed.

    For me, one positive of racing against them is that I get to see what it would take to move up, and even though I'm doing well in Cat2 and probably should (or will have to) upgrade soon according to USAC rules, I know I wouldn't even be close to competitive with 90% of the Cat1 field. So it provides an incentive to train harder.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by longshanks View Post
    I think I'm one of those crushed souls, lol. I totally get it, though. And (for the most part) I don't think the soulcrushers want to be there crushing our souls any more than we want to be crushed.

    For me, one positive of racing against them is that I get to see what it would take to move up, and even though I'm doing well in Cat2 and probably should (or will have to) upgrade soon according to USAC rules, I know I wouldn't even be close to competitive with 90% of the Cat1 field. So it provides an incentive to train harder.
    ne_dan needs to get his USAC props still too. You should send USAC a thank you note.

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    It's a bit sad that the "top 5 in five races rule" doesn't involved field size standards or adjustments for field size. There are plenty of smaller races where a cat 2 top 5 finish would only mean a top 30% finish... not nearly enough to make the jump from Cat 2 to Cat 1?

  18. #18
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    it does involve field size standards, read up a few messages.

    from the rule book:

    Category 2 riders may move up to Category 1 after two top five finishes by presenting an upgrade request and a resume to USA Cycling.

    Category 2 riders must advance to Category 1 after placing in the top five in five races. Failure to do so may result in license suspension.

    For upgrading purposes, classes must consist of the following competitors:
    Junior 15-18 10 rider minimum
    Senior 15 rider minimum
    Master age 30-39 15 rider minimum
    Master age 40-49 10 rider minimum
    Master age 50+ 5 rider minimum

    For races with 5 or fewer competitors, only the top finisher will count for upgrading. For races with 6 to 10 competitors, only the top three finishers will count for upgrading. Upgrades will be based on a rider's placings in his category over a calendar year.

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