USAC announces update to Women’s Cat 5 eligibility; SW4 racers may downgrade to SW5

Photo Credit: Dejan Smaic
Photo Credit: Dejan Smaic

Recently,  reported on a new “beginners” category established for women racers.

USA Cycling  and the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado introduced a Senior Women’s Category 5 class to be included in 2017. In an email message from the USAC Vice President of Event Services dated Tuesday, January 31st, the organization announced an option for Senior Women Category 4 racers to downgrade to Cat 5.

In the message from Joan Hanscom to USAC Race Directors, she wrote, “In addition to Cat 5 being assigned to all new female members, we are also allowing current Cat 4 women to downgrade to the new Cat 5 if they choose.”

A follow up message from BRAC clarified this downgrade option will apply to any new women’s Road, Track and Cyclocross racer “who has just started and who does not yet have the requisite experience to be a Cat 4.”

“While many may think this was unnecessary due to the lower numbers of beginning riders, I think this was a good idea because it 1) treats the women like the men and, 2) cleans up the discrepancy where a category 4 rider may be a rank beginner or may be where an experienced rider stays her whole career, which occasionally causes problems with rule interpretation in women’s categories.”

-Shawn Farrell, BRAC Executive Director

Due to current USAC database maintenance, any Colorado SW4 racer who meets the above criteria should contact Yvonne van Gent at BRAC via email to initiate the downgrade process. Yvonne’s email address is

Follow to stay informed about the development of Senior Women’s Category 5 and additional recent updates to the race day categories and schedules.

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