Beginer or Sport?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    New question here. Beginer or Sport?

    When do you move up from Beginer class to Sport? I've riden in 6 races in the beginer class and the best place for me was 4th out of 22 rider's, usually i'm in the middle of the pack. I feel like a good rider, but on race day I get shown up.

  2. #2
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    How many more races are there this season? If only a couple more you can stick with beginner, you never know, you may end up with a win. The only reason I say this is once you switch to sport it will probably be a long time before you ever make it to the prize table again. It sucks but it's usually true. This is my second season in Sport class and my best finish is 6th. I am shooting for some top five's next year though.

    Now if you are getting bored with the beginner classes and want to start doing some longer races to help you get ready for next season that could be very beneficial as well.

    Basicly, do what you want. Since your best finish is a 4th I don't think you are in any danger of being considered a sandbagger if you stick with beginner a few more races. Enjoy them while you can.

  3. #3
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    Depends on your goals

    This is a question that troubles many riders/racers. I will offer my 2 cents based on my limited observations. In many series classes have significant speed/skill overlap. Top of the field beginers will not necessarily be the bottom of the sport pack. Most top sport riders would ride low/mid-field in an expert race. The courses are typically similar in all aspects but length.

    Beginner class is just that. For beginners, not out of shape skilled riders. This should be a stepping stone to sport. Not a place to spend your race career. If you have the fitness and endurance the sport length may suite you well. Many young racers do not have the endurance as the mileage increases and fade fast.

    You will become faster racing with faster riders and you will get more race for your money. If you are serious and willing to put in the time and miles to improve don't be affraid of sport. There will be a wide range of speeds as long as you posses the necessary bike handling skills and base fitness. It may take years to get to the top of the field if ever. Most race series do not force upgrades and many racers have a hard time moving up and getting spanked. It is likely you will see the same names finish top 5 in sport for years. The step to expert requires a commitment to training or freak natural skill.

    I am certain low cell has noticed this at the WVMBA Sport races he is competing in. The series recommends upgrading with 5 top 5 finishes in a season. A decent rule if you are looking to improve and make progress and not be content with your current status. I am personally going to have to make the decision to move to expert next season and understand the dilemma. I will get my ass handed to me.

    If you can handle the distance and have the skills to get around the trail get out of beginner.
    J

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by WesternMD
    I am certain low cell has noticed this at the WVMBA Sport races he is competing in. The series recommends upgrading with 5 top 5 finishes in a season. A decent rule if you are looking to improve and make progress and not be content with your current status. I am personally going to have to make the decision to move to expert next season and understand the dilemma. I will get my ass handed to me.

    If you can handle the distance and have the skills to get around the trail get out of beginner.
    J
    I have definately noticed that. Unfortunately I have no choice but to accept it though. What makes it even worse was this year they combined the 18-24 class and the 25-34 class. Sport 18 - 34 is a big ass class age wise. It's tough competing against 18 year olds. I am very happy to be getting top ten finishes.

    Until they decide to split up expert and pro in the WVMBA series I don't see anything changing.

  5. #5
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    I hear you.

    Just makes strong finishes more rewarding. The past times for the two age categories with virtually identical in spread. It seems to make sense. Old is not slow. Now you know you have to pass the guy ahead of you and not just catch him to ask him how old he is....
    This is my first year of racing and have done 3 of the WVMBA sport races (Mountwood, Big Bear, Davis) finished 2nd in all three and had my season interupted by a seperated shoulder. The 24 hrs of BB was my first race since and am hoping to be back in the game for the fall half of the point series. It would be nice if I could count on 4 or five of the other top finshers to move up for next season.
    I am undecided on making the trip to the Appalachian classic this weekend. Are you planning on racing? Should have all of the point series leaders there. A true test of metal. I am not 100% recovered yet but I managed a decent performance at Big Bear.
    Decisions.
    Davis will be a long race on the 10th of July.
    J

  6. #6
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    Sucks to hear about your shoulder. I did that two years ago. Fractured collar bone and grade two seperation.

    You have had much better results than I have. In Mountwood I finished 11th in a sprint finish with a buddy of mine. I finished Big Bear 9th, and I had to skip Davis. I pretty much have to do the race this weekend. Right now I am in sixth and I would like to stay there. The only way I can move up is if one of the top five's don't show up. Considering how much I have improved this year I consider 6th place a huge victory. Losing 45 pounds really has helped me.

    Very nice lap times at 24 hours of big bear by the way. Fifth place is an awesome finish.

  7. #7
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    Weight loss = secret speed weapon

    When a moderately fit fat guy drops a buch of weight the skinny guys better watch out.
    I was over 270 three years ago. Bit the bullet and made some changes. Got down to 210 at the begining of last year. Rode hard to 185. Still at 185 (which is slight at under 5'9") a year or so later but have made some improvements in performance while holding steady. I would like to drop 20 or so still but weight loss and racing are a tough combo.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leif
    When do you move up from Beginer class to Sport? I've riden in 6 races in the beginer class and the best place for me was 4th out of 22 rider's, usually i'm in the middle of the pack. I feel like a good rider, but on race day I get shown up.
    If you are racing beginner and are considering moving up to sport, you are probably ready. Depending on how many races you have left, you may consider waiting until the last 2 or 3 races and give it a shot. Assuming you're in a series, you overall series results probably would be hurt by racing a couple of races in the next category.

    Good luck.

    One other thing... If you race a couple sport races this year, you'll know how to train for the offseason.

  9. #9

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    I'm not in a series, but there is sbout 3-4 more races I can make. I thought it would be nice to place in the top three once before I move up. If I don't place this year I will move up next year regardless. I need to do more training, the longer distance at race speed is tough for me. Last race was a 22 mile loop and I blew up badly at the end. Most races I do are 10-16 miles.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leif
    Last race was a 22 mile loop and I blew up badly at the end. Most races I do are 10-16 miles.
    That's a long beginner race. Good luck either way.

  11. #11
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    I moved up after one race. I placed third (5 seconds out of 1st place). We (top 3 in the race) lapped everyone in the race (short track race). I didn't think it was right to stay in the class. Not trying to "toot my own horn", I just thought it was the right thing to do. Now the guy who won, was on a cyclocross bike - guess thats a topic for another time...
    Bikes are my time machines.

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