Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Upgrade Procedures

So it seems that there have been some adjustments to the upgrade procedures for all you sandbaggers, uh, bike racers out there. Most interesting change to me is the correlation of your CX category to your road or MTB category. There's also the 4 to 3 upgrade based on experience. I'm in for 15+ races in the last calendar year so I could easily take that one, but I think I'll hold off for now until I see how road/MTB season is going. I had no results to indicate I don't belong in the 4's right now so I don't think anyone will be crying about me staying there. Now what I'd still like to see is that enforced automatic upgrade. A lot more time and energy for USAC to track, but shouldn't it be a fancy envelope in your mailbox with your new license/upgrade sticker when you hit it? Sandbaggers everywhere are cowering in anticipation...

11 comments:

Steve said...

WTF?? the new upgrade guidelines are the dumbest things ive ever seen. 7 points in 12 months to upgrade from cat 4-3? am i reading that right? I don't think this is going to work out very well. There will be too many people in Cat 1 and 2.

CCC said...

I heard GCD was moving to India to avoid 1/2/3 Master's....

Dmullen said...

cat 3 is the new cat 4

Steve said...

Yeah Mullen thats what i was thinking. Its gonna be rediculous. So dumb. I had to work to get my cat 3 upgrade, now all i takes is 5 races! i would've thought they'd do the opposite and make a cat 5 in 'cross. Spread people out more, now the 3 fields are just gonna be completely nuts with a huge range of skill. These races will fill up in no time. BTW Rich, I'm sandbagging my first race with you next year. This year my first race was gloucester....i wonder if by then everyone will have the 5 races they need to upgrade....

solobreak said...

I don't know man, I think the problem is they haven't been moving people up soon enough, and this will help. There are too many riders making a career out of Cat 5 and Cat 4. Cat 4 fields fill up the day they open, sometimes two races. They don't have enough Cat 3's to fill a field most of the time.

FWIW, before 1985 there was not Cat 4. You started out as a 3. So many of the masters you see around today never had to upgrade at all. When I started in 87 you were a cat 4, and it was (3) top threes, or (6) top sixes to be a Cat 3. I got my 3 top threes by July of my first year. But, you could still upgrade to a Cat 3 on experience back then anyway.

Then in the early 90's Cat 3 races filled up months ahead of time (and this was in the days of mail in reg). We had 175 rider fields at Fitchburg. They weren't making anybody a 2, and there were less than 100 Cat 1's in the entire country. Their solution was to star the 30+ master category, which to this day is kind of a joke. Eventually they smartened up and started making people Cat 2's.

Hopefully these latest moves will make it even better. Ideally, there should be enough cat 2's to fill a 100 rider field every week. Smaller races could mix them with the Cat 1s or the Cat 3's, but at bigger races there should be separate fields for the 2 and the 3's. The cat 4's should be the smallest field (other than 5), not the largest.

solobreak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
trackrich said...

I'm certainly one of the new guys here (only had my license for 2 full years, racing for about 3), but a problem I see is that there doesn't seem to be a forced upgrade. Everyone jokes about it, but as Solo said, guys hanging around in the 4's and even 3's forever because they can even when they're doing well is a problem. It makes it so that the people who want to move up have a harder time. Then again I could talk myself in a circle and say that if you're good enough, you'll get the points.

I was thinking about Steve's point earlier and maybe this is a good thing. If more guys can move up, it has potential to thin things out. I still think for cross at least that it won't happen unless people are pushed to do so. It seems to be a similar problem across road, cross, and MTB. Look up Root 66 results and see the names winning the season series... there are guys racing well below their ability.

I dunno... like I started out with, I'm hardly one to talk, but I can have an opinion (beauty of the web). I know I'll be searching for every point I can get and cashing them in as soon as I can. I'm likely to take the 5 race bait in CX as well if road/MTB goes well. Maybe I'll do the first race as a 4 and then go or maybe I won't bother. I have more issues with keeping my wheels down than with how many points I have.

solobreak said...

You hit the nail on the head. Points only work if the consistent high finishers get upgraded and move on.

The explosive growth of cross is another story. Maybe if they moved the B race back to last in the day like they used to have it, that would give some incentive to upgrade. Lots of people just like the plum 10 am start time. The A's get boned.

GCDavid said...

Uh oh. Based on this, I'm a 2 because of my two wins (did I mention they were back to back) as a 3.

I think the new standards are fine in that they allow people who have experience to move up. Also, you can't be a Cat 2 roadie and do Cat 4 CX races. I like the fact that I can FINALLY upgrade my road to a 4 and do Masters races. There wasn't any way I was going to hit the old requirements because road and tri season overlap.

In terms of making people upgrade, who do we expect to keep track of THAT? It should be theoretically easy enough to track rider points through the USAC website, but races are not always put into that system. Do we want Diane or someone to spend her time to plow through the results and pull riders aside at the start and make them upgrade? What would be the enforcement mechanism?

The best thing is to publicly humiliate/ostracize people, much like was done with Cort for his scandalous sand-bagging. People like him deserve it.

trackrich said...

I smell a business opportunity for Colin here... roadresults.com here we come. Either that or USAC hires him to be a licensed public source of humiliation and scorn :)

Enjoy those 2's GD :)

badbrad said...

hey did you get mt PM with all my GG info?

I sent you some stuff but im not positive it went through...