Upgrades

This page serves as a summary of the upgrade guidelines set forth by the USAC in the USAC rulebook as well as some specific info on how NY racers should submit upgrade requests.   Any discrepancy between this page and the current USAC rulebook will default to the USAC Rulebook.

Rider upgrades are handled electronically. You can request an upgrade online through your USA Cycling account.

The most common issues riders have when requesting upgrades come from not understanding the requirements and how they vary by category for road, cross, and track.  Please review the USA Cycling Rule Book Chapter 1 on upgrade requirements.

Most importantly, when requesting an category upgrade through the USA Cycling website, please include sufficient relevant information:

Race name, date, distance, placing and number of starters in your current category or higher

For Category 3 and above requests, determine the number of upgrade points earned according to Chapter 1 of the USA Cycling Rulebook. If results are not available on the USA Cycling website, then please indicate where results may be reviewed.  When deciding whether a rider qualifies for an upgrade, an administrator will take into account points earned in qualifying events. In the case of a rider who is marginally qualified, the quality of the events and the level of competition may be taken into account.

Here are some excellent resources to help submit your upgrade:

 

NYSBRA-Specific Guidelines

(a) Upgrade credits through participation in rider education clinics

NYSBRA will use the following guidelines when giving upgrade credit for rider education clinics as follows.  Clinics must not advertise “upgrade credit” without prior approval of NYSBRA.  Clinics may apply for NYSBRA Mission Grants to off-set expenses. Clinics must be sanctioned with participants recorded by the sanctioning body upon successful completion of the clinic.  

1 race day towards Cat 4, 1 point towards Cat 3:

  • Minimum 2 hrs training time
  • Taught by a NYSBRA approved USAC licensed coach or instructor
  • Primarily classroom instruction with some on-bike drills

2 race days towards Cat 4, 2 points towards Cat 3:

  • Min 4 hrs training time
  • Taught by a NYSBRA approved USAC licensed coach
  • Course outline provided to NYSBRA in advance
  • Some classroom with mostly on-bike drills

3 race days towards Cat 4, 3 points towards Cat 3:

  • Min 8-hrs training time, possibly over multiple days
  • Taught by a NYSBRA approved USAC licensed coach
  • Course outline provided to NYSBRA in advance
  • Classroom instruction on riding techniques and race tactics (Sample Clinic Outline)
  • Extensive on-bike drills
  • Must include at least one training race with on-bike coaching (min distance 15 miles)

NOTES: 

  • Requirements for an approved Clinic Instructor include that the Instructor must be a USAC Licensed L2 or higher Coach.  Ideally, these Coaches also have the USAC Skills Instructor Certification.

(b) Upgrade credits through participation in a Mentored Race

NYSBRA will use the following guidelines when giving upgrade credit for a mentored race experience clinics as follows:

  • The mentored race is:
    • Permitted and Insured
    • Taught by a NYSBRA approved Clinic Instructor assisted by NYSBRA approved Race Mentors 
    • Pre-approved by NYSBRA for race day credit
    • A minimum distance of 15 miles
    • Has a minimum field size of 10 riders not including the instructor and mentors
    • Minimum of two hours of instruction
    • Should include some off-bike time to brief and debrief after race
    • All members of the training race must be engaged in the event for teaching purposes
    • A mentored race may not take place during a normal USAC sanctioned race
    • A mentored race may not take place as part of an unsanctioned event such as a club ride

 NOTES:

  • There should be a minimum of three Instructors and Mentors (one to ride with breakaway, one to ride peloton, one to ride with dropped riders). Ideally there should be a minimum ratio of at least three Instructor/Mentors per five students.
  • Requirements for an approved Race Mentor include that the mentor must be an active USAC Licensed Category 3 or higher racer and be an USAC Licensed L3 coach or higher.

(c) Appealing an Upgrade Decision

Racers objecting to denial of category change should review the reason provided and also review the requirements.  If they believe they do in fact meet the requirements, they should:
  1. First contact the NYSBRA Vice President
  2. If the NYSBRA VP is unable to resolve the issue, next contact the NYSBRA President
  3. If NYSBRA is unable to resolve, next contact their USA Cycling regional representative