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50ft. Queenie
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After reading the other recent posts on masters category..i started to wonder. Please dont take this as a negative hit on those who do race in the master's cat, but why is there that category at all? All the other categorys are based on ability, not age.

If you are a 40yr old cat3, why not just race with the 3's?
Most of the guys that do well in the masters, have no problem doing welll in the 1/2 races.
Same thing in 'cross. A guy who does top5 in the masters, will also do well in the A's.
 

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A lot has to do with the duration of the races, if you are a 40 year old Cat 2 but due to time commitments you cant train the hours needed to race the long durations of the Pro1,2 races with young guys who do nothing but ride their bikes. Most masters races are 60-70 miles, the speed is high, but the duration is shorter.
 

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Why are there Cat5, Cat4, and Cat3 races? Wouldn't you think that people would learn faster if they raced against the best? If people got their tender ego's crushed and just quit after a few races, it would just show that they would never have made it to the top, anyway.
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Just a question. Not a negative hit, or anything like that.
 

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You've got it ass-backwards :) The proper question is why are there categories? In most (all?) of Europe you're either a junior, an U23, an elite with contract, an elite without contract or a masters rider. If you're not fast enough to race you don't, you do gran fondos or something like that. Masters categories just recognize that there is an inevitable decline with age, and that a 40 year old who wants to race is unlikely to be able to contribute to an elite race the way he used to.
 

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huh?

Dwayne Barry said:
You've got it ass-backwards :) The proper question is why are there categories? In most (all?) of Europe you're either a junior, an U23, an elite with contract, an elite without contract or a masters rider. If you're not fast enough to race you don't, you do gran fondos or something like that. Masters categories just recognize that there is an inevitable decline with age, and that a 40 year old who wants to race is unlikely to be able to contribute to an elite race the way he used to.
not knowing most European race scheduled, I can tell you the Danish system is very similar to the american, several classes below elite.
Not sure but think it is the same in germany.
 

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50ft. Queenie
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
flying wombat said:
A lot has to do with the duration of the races, if you are a 40 year old Cat 2 but due to time commitments you cant train the hours needed to race the long durations of the Pro1,2 races with young guys who do nothing but ride their bikes. Most masters races are 60-70 miles, the speed is high, but the duration is shorter.
yeah, i guess that makes sense. thanks ;)
 

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Two slightly different things.

All the other categorys are based on ability, not age.
I don't think there's a Masters category in the USCF category system that classifies riders by ability from 1 to 5. The Masters "category" is more of race organization division. The USCF may have a rule prescribing how old you have to race as a Master - I'm too lazy to look it up right now.
 

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classiquesklassieker
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den bakker said:
not knowing most European race scheduled, I can tell you the Danish system is very similar to the american, several classes below elite.
Not sure but think it is the same in germany.
Guys, Europe is not one singular entity. In France and Switzerland, it's just like what Dwayne Barry said. I think it's the same in Spain and Italy, if I recall correctly. Den Bakker may be correct about Denmark, but not about other European countries.
 

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argylesocks said:
After reading the other recent posts on masters category..i started to wonder. Please dont take this as a negative hit on those who do race in the master's cat, but why is there that category at all? All the other categorys are based on ability, .

What do you mean by "that category?" Where I race there are 4 masters categories, A, B, C, and D. each one based on ability.
 

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argylesocks said:
After reading the other recent posts on masters category..i started to wonder. Please dont take this as a negative hit on those who do race in the master's cat, but why is there that category at all? All the other categorys are based on ability, not age.

If you are a 40yr old cat3, why not just race with the 3's?
Most of the guys that do well in the masters, have no problem doing welll in the 1/2 races.
Same thing in 'cross. A guy who does top5 in the masters, will also do well in the A's.
One reason but not the only is that most promoters in the US cannot depend upon race sponsors to ensure a profit so they have to have field sizes big enough that they don't go into the red. Check out the demographics here for the biggest district in the US.
http://www.sonic.net/~caseyk/demographics.html
 

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50ft. Queenie
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
mattv2099 said:
What do you mean by "that category?" Where I race there are 4 masters categories, A, B, C, and D. each one based on ability.

masters A, B, C, D??? ok, that really addresses my original question. why not just race in the regular categories?

never heard of ability breakdown of masters cats.
 

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Egotism.

Everyone wants to win a prize. Instead of riding Cat 4 or 3 and working with developing riders, they want to have their own category. It has killed development, IMHO. So many resources go to masters racing (they spend money) at the expense of junior and espoir racing.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
Why are there Cat5, Cat4, and Cat3 races? Wouldn't you think that people would learn faster if they raced against the best?
Agree. Europe has the best riders, or at least the deepest talent pool. Because there are only two categories: Elite with Contract (pros) and Elite without contract. Everything else is a 'cyclosportif'.
 

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Spunout said:
So many resources go to masters racing (they spend money) at the expense of junior and espoir racing.
What resources would that be? On the ACA side I see plenty being spent on Juniors and nothing for Masters. As for USCF, I don't see much being spent for anyone. Regarding promoters, they have no resources to spend; they're independent contractors serving the needs of their customers.
 

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argylesocks said:
masters A, B, C, D??? ok, that really addresses my original question. why not just race in the regular categories?

never heard of ability breakdown of masters cats.
Well, a lot of people road race around here. I heard that the first 'training road race' last year had almost 500 people show up. You've got to pre register well in advance for all the really good races because categories fill up quick! If you are a master and cat 4 fills up well then you can still probably get into masters c or d. BTW, I live and race in western Washington. It's very competitive up here.

Even in cyclocross there are a plethora of masters categories up here. Masters A, Masters B 35+, Masters B 45+, Masters C 35+, Masters C 45+.

here are the BARR categories

Men Cat 1-2
Men Cat 3
Men Cat 4-5
Masters Men A (35+ Cat 1-2)
Masters Men B (35+ Cat 3 or *45+ Cat 2)
Masters Men C (35+ Cat 4-5 or *45+ Cat 3)
Masters Men D (50+)
Masters Women A (35+ Cat 1-2-3)
Masters Women B (50+ Cat 4 or 50+ Cat 1-2-3)
Women Cat 1-2-3
Women Cat 4
 

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Sanity

I can't speak for others but I will tell you why I race master 90% of the time instead of cat. 3. Its sanity. Where I race there are probobably 50 regular masters racers and about 30-40 show up regularily. Some guys win more than others but different guys win with pretty good frequency. Of the 50 guys that show up 45 of them are good guys and safe bike handlers, they excercise good judgment, races are won by a combination of strength and tactics, not by sweeping or flicking some guy in a corner.

We know and respect each other. All of us have jobs and most have families. If I guy wants a wheel, I give it to him with the knowledge he will do the same. Incidents are few and far between, and when they occur there is a quick consensus (ie 20 guys agree you screwed up... well you screwed up).

In cat. racing (even in 1,2, 3 events) there are guys who while they may be fantastic bike handlers, use incredibly poor judgment over and over. There are also unpredictable dudes without any skill what-so-ever who are really physically strong . On average I see more near misses/out right crashes in a single cat. 3 race, than I do all year racing Masters.

In short Masters races are more fun, even though average speeds are higher and the racing harder than Cat. 3 races (this is certainly true in the Mid Atlantic and probably true everywhere). No Cat. 3 race I did last year had a group stay away, while most Masters races had a small break either stick or get caught just before the line.

I also believe my personal reasoning must resonate with others since Master's racing seems to be growing faster than any other part of the sport.

jhr
 

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Field Limits

argylesocks said:
After reading the other recent posts on masters category..i started to wonder. Please dont take this as a negative hit on those who do race in the master's cat, but why is there that category at all? All the other categorys are based on ability, not age.

If you are a 40yr old cat3, why not just race with the 3's?
Most of the guys that do well in the masters, have no problem doing welll in the 1/2 races.
Same thing in 'cross. A guy who does top5 in the masters, will also do well in the A's.
I think that it sometimes has a lot to do with field limits. Sometimes the only way to prevent turning people away or having a field of 150+ cat IV's is to break it into two groups. Having a masters Cat IV and a regular Cat IV is a sensible (though perhaps not the best) way to split it up and get everyone on the road.
 

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Here in Minnesota, we have Masters Open 35+ (mostly Cat. 1/2/3 riders) and a Masters 30+ 4/5 categories. I think the categories are justified mostly by critical mass, i.e. splitting things up into reasonably sized fields.

I did mostly Masters 30+ 4/5 events and some Open 4/5 events. My experience is that they were very close in speed, possibly the Masters 30+ 4/5 was a bit faster at times. I think they were about the same as far as the skiddishness and squirrelliness (young guys can be squirrelly, but old guys don't always have great reaction time :D ). I did one Masters Open 35+ crit and got spanked.

This categorization split-up kept fields around 50 riders, which was a good thing IMHO. Most of all I'm looking for a good racing experience, where I can be in the mix of things. This is the #1 reason why I want to race road, and it's what makes road racing so different from doing MTB races, triathalons, and 10Ks etc. Getting spit out the back all of the time is no fun, and will certainly drive people away.

There are going to Cat. 4 riders that never will (or want to) move up. There are going to be Cat 5 riders that want to do nothing but move up. That's all good. Throwing in all sorts of schwag and prizes to Cat 4/5 "winners" is a counterproductive, sandbagger producing exercise. At Cat 4/5 it should be all about the race experience or all about getting upgrade points. If anything splitting categories out helps the situation, because as far as I know if I get a top-ten in Masters 4/5, where I might not have in a combined field, then I get my upgrade points anyway. Encouraging upgrading is a good thing too.

I don't get the egotism comment. What kill things is when people are trying to capitalize on prizes. The prize should be the race. Every 20-something racer I know wants to move up, looks for a team that will pay their way as much as possible, and is looking to get some payback. They usually don't have any expendable income. I don't see a whole lot of rider development coming from them. On the other hand, Masters racers typically have money to throw at racing. So let them.
 

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AlexCad5 said:
For a race organizer the Masters 35+ is bread and butter.
I think most of the folks who keep asking *why* don't do a whole lot of promoting of races or clinics or reading responses they don't agree with here. :)
 
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