Friday, July 02, 2004


It's official, I have upgraded from a Category 5 road racer to Category 4. This isn't too much of an accomplishment since it is entirely based on how many events you start, not how you place. Going from 5 to 4 just means you have some experience under your belt. Now, making the next jump requires some actual results.

I think getting to category 3 is a reasonable goal for someone that has a full time job and other commitments. However, I'm not even sure I want to get there yet. I'd like to build up enough points to upgrade, but I'm not sure I'd go through with it (even if you have enough points you aren't necessarily required to move to the next level). Cat 3 races are quite a bit longer and I think being competitive in them would require even more training.

Anyway, if you're curious the rules for upgrading are as follows:

  • 5-4: Experience in 10 mass start races
  • 4-3: 20 points in any 12 month period; or experience in 25 qualifying races with a minimum of 10 top 10 finishes. 30 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade.
  • Need 25 points in any 12 month period. 60 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade.
  • Need 30 points any any 12 month period. 60 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade.

Note the key word above: qualifying. Not all races count toward upgrades. Naturally there are guidelines covering that, see below. The table below is only for men. I'm too lazy to type in the rules for women and juniors. If you're curious, check out the rulebook.

CategoryRoad RaceCritField SizeExperience
5 -> 415 mi10 mi1010 races
4 -> 325 mi20 mi3025 races
3 -> 250 mi20 mi50 
2 -> 180 mi35 mi60 

Finally, how many points are awarded for your finish? Here ya go:

CategoryRace TypePointsPlaces
4 -> 3RR or Crit7-5-4-3-2-11st -> 6th
3 -> 2SR/GC20-17-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-11st -> 15th
RR/SR10-8-6-5-4-3-2-11st -> 8th
RR10-7-5-3-2-11st -> 6th
Crit7-5-4-3-2-11st -> 6th
2 -> 1SR/GC20-17-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-11st -> 15th
RR/SR10-8-6-5-4-3-2-11st -> 8th
RR10-7-5-3-2-11st -> 6th
Crit7-5-4-3-2-11st -> 6th

  • RR -> Road race
  • SR -> Stage race
  • GC -> General classification (overall finishing position)
  • Crit -> Criterium

I don't particularly like the fact that your general classification in a stage race doesn't factor in to moving from cat 4 to 3. This means that when I go to stage races I shouldn't worry about any time trials or my overall position and just focus on doing well in the criteriums and road races. Unfortunately, some stage races force you to work hard in all events because you get tossed from the race if your finish time isn't within a certain percentage of the top finisher.

Exciting stuff, eh? :)


At 11:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's common in the NW peloton to use your GC placings in consideration for upgrading to 3. Use the 3 -> 2 chart and count those points.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Doug W said...

It's good to know that is considered... I guess those rules aren't set in stone. Thanks for the info!


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