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This year will be my third year, so I race cat 3 due having two years experience already. I upgraded to cat 3 after doing most of a season in the cat 4s which what some promoters like people to do in their first year. Some people wait till after their first season to upgrade to cat 3. Last year was a dud for me, with getting over a fractured elbow from a summer crit wich totally messed up my summer training for CX. I went to CX racing way behind in fitness and skills. I raced but did not feel good till mid January when the season had one or two races left for the season.

Cat 4s are for beginners, while cat 3s are people with experience and may be some results that need to fine tune their problems areas. As a cat 3 I was able to jump into the pro/cat 1-3 race but I knew I was not at the top guys level but did it as an extra workout like the rest of the cat 3s and just let the Pro/cat 1-2 guys go by when they lapped me. It is the same as cat 4 doing the cat 3/4. I would suggest you focus on the cat 4s and do the cat 3/4s as a extra workout/training ride if you the time or energy on race day. It will help out in the long run. Do most the season as cat 4 unless, you get some really good results, to learn the skills and experience as many different courses possible. Most of all, have fun doing CX.
 
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