Road Category Upgrade Guidelines

  
  


Rider upgrades are handled electronically. You can request an upgrade online through your USA Cycling account. The request will be sent to the person responsible for your area and/or category. You will need to follow the instructions online and provide the information about your race experience and placings. The information you provide must include the race date, name, type of event, category, number of participants, and placing. If the administrator approves the upgrade, your account will be changed so that when you request a new license, the category will be changed. For road, track, and cyclo-cross category changes, Local Association representatives will also provide stickers for your license if you are not requesting a new one. Note that road, track, and cyclo-cross Category 1 upgrades require a license reissue.

All road upgrades to Category 1 can be forwarded to the rider’s Regional Coordinator. Please DO NOT send your license. Contact your Regional Coordinator via phone or email with questions or circumstances not addressed in the rule book.

Please note that only races permitted by USA Cycling will count for upgrading purposes. This includes upgrades based on experience or upgrades based on points. Club races, gran fondos, and other recreational rides do not count for upgrading.

Guidelines and Notes by Category

  • Category 5 to 4: Finish 10 mass start races.
  • Category 4 to 3: 20 points; or experience in 25 races with a minimum of 10 top-10 finishes with fields of 30 riders or more; or 20 pack finishes with fields over 50. 30 Points in 12 months is a mandatory upgrade.
    • USA Cycling-sanctioned rider camps and clinics that are approved by the Local Associations for upgrading will count as a maximum of three upgrade points when upgrading from category 4 to 3.
  • Category 3 to 2: 30 points; 40 points in 12 months is a mandatory* upgrade
  • Category 2 to 1: 35 points**; 50 points in 12 months is a mandatory* upgrade

*Junior riders are exempt from the mandatory upgrade rules on the road.
**For category 1 upgrades, only 10 of the points may be earned in races that are part of a training series or may be earned in masters races.

USA Cycling may add additional requirements for upgrading at their discretion. Any such changes shall be made available on the website.

USA Cycling sanctioned and approved rider education clinics (at least half day), will count as three qualifying races for category 5 to 4 upgrades up to a maximum of 5 qualifying races. It will also count as 3 upgrade points for a category 4 to 3 upgrade. Riders upgrading to cat 4 will receive two race-days credit for participating in a mentored-race experience, where the mentor is at least a cat 3 rider and has been approved by the Local Association.

Qualifying Distances Per Category

To qualify for upgrading points, races must meet distance standards. Races shorter than the minimum distance do not qualify for upgrading. However, if a road race is less than the road race minimum but above the criterium minimum, it will count for upgrading using the criterium points schedule.

Category

Class

RR

Criterium

5 – 4
Men
15 miles
10 mi/20 min
4 – 3
Men
25 mi
15 mi/30 min
 
Women
25 mi
15 mi/30 min
 
Junior
25 mi
15 mi/30 min
3 – 2
Men
50 mi
20 mi/40 min
 
Women
40 mi
15 mi/30 min
2 – 1
Men
80 mi
30 mi/60 min
 
Women
50 mi
20 mi/40 min

Points Tables

For the tables that follow, note that if the field contains mixed categories (e.g., cat 3-4), then the number of starters is the number of riders that are the same category or higher as the person requesting the upgrade (e.g., in a cat 3-4 combined field, all riders count for a 4-3 upgrade, but only the 3’s count for a 3-2 upgrade.

When categories are combined, such as in a 3-4 race, the finish place is always the raw finish across the finish line, not taking into account the category of the rider. In other words, the category 3 riders are not subtracted out so that the category 4 rider appears to have a higher finishing place. The only time a category is subtracted out for this purpose is if the prize lists were awarded separately for a combined field.


Points Awarded for Criteriums

 

Number of Starters

Placing
5-10
11-20
21-49
50+
1
3
4
5
7
2
2
3
4
5
3
1
2
3
4
4
 
1
2
3
5
 
 
1
2
6
 
 
 
1

Points Awarded for Road Races

 

Number of Starters

Placing
5-10
11-20
21-49
50+
1
3
7
8
10
2
2
5
6
8
3
1
4
5
7
4
 
3
4
6
5
 
2
3
5
6
 
1
2
4
7
 
 
1
3
8
 
 
 
2
9
 
 
 
1

Points Awarded for Stage Races (Cat 3-2 and Cat 2-1 Upgrades Only)*

 

Number of Starters

Placing
10-19
20-35
36-49
50+
1
5
7
10
20
2
3
5
8
18
3
2
3
6
16
4
1
2
5
14
5
 
1
4
12
6
 
 
3
10
7
 
 
2
9
8
 
 
1
8
9
 
 
 
7
10
 
 
 
6
11
 
 
 
5
12
 
 
 
4
13
 
 
 
3
14
 
 
 
2
15
 
 
 
1

* For points earned in stage races, general classification and stage places both count for points, but only up to a maximum of 20 points for a cat 1 upgrade or 15 points for a cat 2 upgrade from a single stage race.

Road Downgrades

A rider who wishes to downgrade may request a downgrade online. Such requests will be evaluated individually. In no case will a rider be allowed to downgrade to category 5. A rider will not be downgraded in the same year that he was upgraded.

For assistance, please contact Membership Services at membership@usacycling.org or call 719-434-4200.



This Article Published April 22, 2010 For more information contact:
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