Friday, November 30, 2012

An Up And Down Week

At the beginning of this week I went to the USA Cycling website and upgraded from Cat 3 to Cat 2 for cross-country mountain bike racing.  Based on the success I had this year, it was not just the right thing to do, but also mandatory according to USA Cycling rules.  Knowing that in 2013 I will be doing longer races and facing more technical trails, I’m still unsure what my WORS ambitions should be.  I don’t expect to be on the podium.  Next season likely will be a year of learning, adjusting, and finishing in the middle of a big “Sport” field, all to set up a more competitive 2014.  I can live with that.

I’m not sure I can live with being forced to upgrade from Cat 4 to Cat 3 in cyclocross next year, but that’s what I will have to do if USA Cycling doesn’t amend the new guidelines it announced earlier today.  I’ve done 15 cyclocross races as a Cat 4 and I’ve never come close to winning even one of them.  In fact, I’ve never been on the podium.  But the new guidelines demand that I upgrade to Cat 3 based on my experience, not my results.  The one good thing about being a Cat 3 would be racing later in the day when the weather is warmer.  The reality, however, is that I’m not very likely to race at all if I have to compete against riders whose abilities so far exceed mine that I have no realistic prospect for success.

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