Wednesday, August 30, 2006 -- New cyclo-cross categories

So, it looks like USA cycling has decided to reform their cross categories from the traditional A, B & C... This is going to wreak havoc on those of us that race cross as our primary discipline (or those of us that race fixed road (no cat), single speed mountain (again no cat), and geared cross... What's a boy to do?

The new breakdown looks something like this:
Cat 1 CX = Cat 1 road and pro MTB
Cat 2 CX = Cat 2 road and semi-pro MTB
Cat 3 CX = Cat 3 road and expert MTB
Cat 4 CX = Cat 4 or 5 road, and beginner or sport MTB

Which would put me as either a Cat 3 or 4... (I used to race expert mountain, but never made it past cat 4 on the road and now race the 'freak' categories.

More info: attached - "change was made to acknowledge the tremendous growth and specialization in cyclo-cross, and the fact that road categories are often not indicative of CX ability. Given this possible discrepancy, if you feel that your USCF road or NORBA XC category did not translate "

1 comment:

sprocket said...

Been giving this some thought...

Unfortunately, there is a bigger can of worms - especially for those of us who's primary racing season is cross (&/or race the fringe cats the rest of the year). Example - I race fixed gear on the road, single speed mountain and am a Cat B cross racer... what does that equal to this year? I guess as long as I can maintain the cat that I raced last year (B = 3 with the new cat) all will be fine. However, I do fear that some of the cats will be so full of people that folks will be turned off or frustrated...

All in all, I think that it is actually a good idea to follow USCF - It appears that the Seattle cross series is doing it (and I know alot of us race up there and vice versa). There have been quite a few good proposals on how we might translate the new cats to the old. This one is the best in my opinion:

Cat 1/2 CX (currently A)
Cat 3 CX (currently B)
Cat 4 CX (Currently C)
Cat 5 (Beginner) CX (Not currently a USCF category)

We would also still have the masters, juniors and single speed categories where applicable. This would translate pretty close to what we have already. The only big change I would suggest is to allow self selection for those with previous cross experience -or have obviously proven themselves in other disciplines (ie Expert mtn bike + cat 3 road would probably not = Cat 5).