2012 Race Category Changes

Coffee Talk Tuesday has returned and we can't think of a topic more sensitive than racing category changes and the ACA has some new ones in 2012. The letter below is pretty brief and to the point so no summary is needed.

From the ACA

Hello Colorado racing community,

We are making a couple of significant changes to the race categories for the 2012 season. This change is being made so that we can offer consistent categories for our athletes and promoters.

The first major change is the introduction of the Category 5 category. This category is designed for athletes new to the sport of competitive cycling. Many of our race directors and clubs have asked to include this category, and with our new partnership with USAC, this is a natural addition to our race days. Please note that Category 5 is not age-specific, is not part of the Cup competitions, and is not a State Championship category.

Because of the introduction of Category 5, we are eliminating the ‘Open’ categories in both Senior and Master racing. Races will defined by specific categories (example: Senior Men Open becomes Senior Men Pro 1-2, Senior Women Open becomes Senior Women Pro 1-2, Senior Men 35+ Open becomes Senior Men 35+ 1-2, Senior Men 45+ Open becomes Senior Men 45+ 1, 2,3, etc.)

An additional change to our categories lies in our Senior Men 35+. In the past, we have offered Senior Men 35+ Open, Senior Men 35+ Cat 3, and Senior Men 35+ Cat 4 races. In 2012, the relevant categories will be Senior Men 35+ 1-2, Senior Men 35+ 3, and Senior Men 35+ Cat 4. The ACA created 35+ Cat 3 two years ago, but gave the athletes the choice as to which category in which to race. This change is being made to help standardize our categories and race fields on race day, so that our 35+ fields use the same category system as our Seniors. Essentially, racers now must race the specific category that is printed on their racing license. Please note that at many of our events, 35+ 1-2 and 35+ Cat 3 will be combined on race day, but separated for results and the overall points competition.

This change affects a number of 35+ racers who are licensed as Category 3 but enjoyed racing in what was previously the Open category. If you or your teammates are in this position, you may:
1- Contact Yvonne asap with your resume and desire to upgrade before the season starts.
2- Earn enough points to upgrade from 35+ Cat 3 to 35+ Cat 2.

It is the ACA’s goal to create fair, safe, competitive and fun racing for all of our categories, and at the same time, to create a balanced race day that is manageable and profitable for our race directors.

Please direct questions regarding these category changes to Chris McGee at 303-458-5538 or

News Item: 


Only CO upgrades are valid

While I agree that there is a difference between the quality of SM3 and M35+, they both meet the criteria for upgrading, both per USAC and the former ACA. Should CO not recognize upgrades if a racer is from a less competitive part of the country? Welcome to Colorado. We understand you got your cat 3 upgrade in Idaho but we don't think that is good enough, you are only allowed to race cat 4 here.

No Cat 4s in any formerly open Master's cat?

According to the press release, it looks like all the formerly "open" masters categories will prohibit 4s from racing (and some will prohibit 3s).

"Senior Men 45+ Open becomes Senior Men 45+ 1, 2,3, etc." NOTE the "etc" in this statement.

So a man who is over 45 and a 4 may only race Senior 4s?

Is that true for 55+ and 65+ as well - if you never upgraded to a 3, then you can't race with the old guys?

Will these rules apply to women's masters fields, too - so women 4 over 35 cannot race with other older ladies?

what are you even talking

what are you even talking about? nowhere did they indicate that 35+4 or 45+4 were going away. They simply eliminated the "open" designation from the 35+ and 45+ fields because those agegroups already have merit splits.

reading comprehension. get some.

No need to get testy on this.

No need to get testy on this. That's not my question at all. Clearly, as before, there will be 35+4 and 45+4.

Reread the release:
"we are eliminating the ‘Open’ categories in both Senior and Master racing. Races will defined by specific categories."

It goes on to say "Senior Men 45+ Open becomes Senior Men 45+ 1, 2,3, etc."

The "etc" in that statement implies that the same will be true for other masters categories:
Men 55+ will become Men 55+1,2,3
Men 65+ will become Men 65+1,2,3
Women 35+ will become Women 35+1,2,3
Women 45+ will become Women 45+1,2,3
Women 55+ will become Women 55+1,2,3
Women 65+ will become Women 65+1,2,3

Currently we don't have Age+4 categories for any of these age groups (e.g. we don't have a Men 55+4 or Women 45+4).

If we continue not to have such categories (which would be silly to create IMO), then that means a category 4 guy 55 & older and cat 4 woman 35 & older would be required to race in the SENIOR 4 category, not masters.

My question is whether or not this is the correct interpretation of the two statements quoted above. Will a cat 4 man who is 65+ be allowed to race with 65+ open men?