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: 


I don't know if this is such a good thing

We are getting to the point of diluting out races with too many categories. Promoters are now faced with the choice of which races to put on in order to get the most riders/revenue. This will sacrifice one of two things. They will need to: a) shorten race duration in order to accommodate all categories. b) put on races where they believe the best numbers are and eliminate others.
How are promoters going to fit all these categories it a race day?

RR's are different

Totally useless example, a RR is different. Look at his flyer he is running 9 different groups at once during the morning period. You cannot do that with a crit, or a circuit race. Verses doing it at a RR like Roubaix does not really increase his cost or length of race day. Compare that to say Hugo where they need to have a police car per field I think. In 2011 they went back more to the old way and had to consolidate a bunch of categories, they literally had too many small fields. Hugo is an example where more cats cost more $.

Crits are different as you cannot run 9 fields at once.

We have too many masters categories in CO, it is funny. How about we go to masters A, B, C, and D. When you look at the 37 different categories we run they could easily be broken down into a lot fewer groups if we just did it by ability/speed, not the arbitrary ages we use now. Too many masters guys/gals seem to prefer to race against small fields.

amen, I've been saying this

amen, I've been saying this for years.

hopefully the cat 5 addition will eliminate the need for all the masters special categories - they were originally created because the masters were "afraid of crashing" with the sr men.

I say just cut it to Masters A/B and be done with it, like they do pretty much everywhere else in the country including California.

For crits, they will be retaining the blue/yellow designation which will split crit days between masters and seniors cats anyhow. So the 37 flavors of masters event thing may not change rapidly, but I'd imagine there will be external promoter pressure to change especially for larger / regional events.