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New Rider / Racer Help


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#1 skatemo

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 03:09 PM

I'm considering doing a couple time trial races this spring, with one being the Tour of St. Louis race in March.  As someone that has never entered a bike race before, it's a little confusing as to how to register.  For instance, if I wanted to race Cat 3, can I just sign up under Cat 3, even if I don't have a Cat 3 ranking under USA cycling?  Again, I'm only talking about the time trial.  I can understand why local racers wouldn't want newbies racing Cat 3 events if someone has 0 experience...but, with the time trial, I don't see that being a huge issue (in terms of safety).  Heck, if I wanted to try Cat 1/2, could I even sign up for it?  Basically, since it's a time trial, I just want to race against the best, within reason.  I would rather get clobbered in the Cat 3 division than sign up for Cat 5 and be one of a handful of participants.  Thanks for any help you can provide.

#2 JasonZ

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 08:54 PM

My road/crit racing experience is next to nil. Off-road racing is my thing. There was one summer I wanted to do some Tuesday Nights at Carondelet to up my fitness for crushing souls on the singletrack though. No road/crit experience meant I had to buy a road license as a Cat 5. In order to be a Cat 4, I would've had to do ten Cat 5 races. Which never happened. The Cat 5 tuesday night race was super sketch compared to my experiences off-road. When I asked the folks I knew about upgrading before getting in those ten Cat 5 races, they all said it wasn't gonna happen. Even as a Cat 3 CX racer and a Cat 1 MTB racer. Those ten races had to be done to upgrade. Now I don't know from personal experience how the Time Trial races in the area work, but I'll bet there is a similar criteria to upgrading.

#3 skatemo

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 09:44 PM

Thanks.  Yeah, can't say I'm a fan of that type of system.  I understand the safety concern with regards to crit racing.  So, it makes sense that you need a certain qualification to compete in higher ranks.  But, it makes less sense, at least to me with time trials.  I sort of feel like you should be able to register however you want.  The problem I have is that when I pull up the online registration (for the tour of STL), it seems to allow me to pick whatever division I want.  Just wondering if that will be revised come race day (if I enter Cat 3 or higher).  I don't have a lot of experience on a bike, but I've been doing some elite level endurance racing in other sports and feel pretty confident about my ability to compete against the middle of the pack so to speak, which is why I was thinking Cat 3.

#4 JasonZ

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 11:40 PM

I would suggest you call/email the promoter and check.

#5 sseggebruch

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 11:32 AM

It's my understanding that for Time Trials, the category doesn't matter, in order to promote participation by those that may be more capable on the TT bike, due to triathlon experience, etc.. But you can email Mike Weiss, the race promoter at mike@bigshark.com and double check.. I know that the USAC National TT is ran as an "Open" category, not 1,2,etc...




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