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: 


Well put. So many people in

Well put. So many people in CO drink way too much CO/ACA cool aid. Reading the comments on here is often scary. There is a whole big world out there in the other 49 states people and it may amaze some of you to hear they do it differently, and at times, better, in other states.

Agreed, I am highly in favor

Agreed, I am highly in favor of this. I'd go 40+/50+ instead of 55+ but other than that wouldn't change a thing.

Masters A/B is the precedent set by most of the other big regions. Most of them require 5s to race as 5s; you don't get to race Masters until you've upgraded to 4 at least.

This would sort out a lot of the problems with long racedays for criteriums. Promoters holding big TTs or who have the luxury of a circuit course and volunteer base capable of handling further splits are free to split things further if they wish, but I think this is ideal.

And yes, Cat 5 has been sorely needed for a long, long time in this region.

As one who races masters I

As one who races masters I think this is a great idea in general. It is hard to understand why the ACA has not explored this more serriously. My guess is a lot of the newer masters riders want to race in smaller fields and do not like this. there need to be some balance between 20 rider felds and 100 rider fields.

It has been suggested

I have seen a similar proposals to the ACA in previous years. It is a very efficient plan from a time management point of view. Also, the proposed plan is line with other regions.

Too bad no one is listening to a very good proposal

Experience, Ability, Age in that order...

Personally I don't care what age I race against, that's why it's 3rd on my list. There are 40 year old guys I can whup up on, and 65 year old guys I can't. What I do want is a competitive race with people that share my desire to finish safely, and have the skills to deliver on it (yes, accidents will happen and that's OK). Is it possible that there is an out of the box solution? Maybe some kind of advancement system that takes into account the number of events entered (by type since crits and TTs are completely different animals), finishing place (perhaps also time relative to winner in road races), and then didn't worry too much about the age part, or crafted the groups more broadly.