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.  While this is not continually maintained, we do put forth an effort to keep it current.  Any discrepancy between this page and the current USAC rulebook will default to the USAC Rulebook

Video Guideline for Upgrades from Category 5 to 4:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ9BjIeFt9w

Video Guideline for Upgrades to Category 1, 2 and 3:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo5-hcibCMc

When requesting an category upgrade through the USA Cycling website, please include sufficient relevant information:
Race name, date, distance, placing and number of starters your current category or higher
For Category 3 and above requests, determine the number of upgrade points earned according to Chapter 1 of USA Cycling Rulebook. If results are not available on the USA Cycling website, then please indicate where results may be reviewed.

Road

(a) Upgrade Guidelines and Notes by Category:

Category 5 – 4: Acquire 10 points by a combination of the following*:
  • 2 points – complete all three sections of a Beginner Racer Program (BRP) clinic.
  • 1 point – finish a massed start race
  • 1 point – complete a USA Cycling-approved education clinic
  • 1 point – participate in a mentored race experience where the mentor is at least a cat 3 rider and has been approved by the Local Association
Category 4 – 3: 20 upgrade points; or experience in 25 qualifying races with a minimum of 10 top ten finishes with fields of 30 riders or more, or 20 pack finishes with fields over 50.  30 upgrade points within 12 months is a mandatory** upgrade.
Category 3 – 2: 30 upgrade points.   40 upgrade points within 12 months is a mandatory** upgrade.
Category 2 – 1: 35 upgrade points***  50 upgrade points within 12 months is a mandatory** upgrade.
* Rider clinics and camps can be used to only a maximum of 5 points, except that a rider may obtain all 10 upgrade points from the USA Cycling BRP
** Juniors are exempt from mandatory upgrades.
*** For category 1 upgrades, only 10 of the points may be earned in races that are part of a weekly series or may be earned in master’s races; only 15 of the points may be earned in collegiate races.

(b) Upgrade credits through participation in USA Cycling Sanctioned and approved rider education clinics

 NYSBRA will use the following guidelines when giving upgrade credit as per USAC rule 1D2 for rider education clinics as follows.  Clinics must not advertise “clinic credit” without prior approval of NYSBRA.  Clinics may apply for NYSBRA Mission Grants to off-set expenses. Clinics must be permitted by USAC with participants uploaded to USAC database 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 outline available)
  • Extensive on-bike drills
  • Must include at least one training race with on-bike coaching (min distance 15 miles)

NOTES: 

  1. Participation in USAC Sanctioned Training events may count for up to 5 of the 10 races required for Cat 4 to 5 upgrades provided the event promoter reports attendance to NYSBRA@gmail.com.  GranFondo events do not count towards upgrades.
  2. Cyclocross Races do not count toward Road Upgrades.
  3. Racers granted downgrades are subject to later review and if found to be accumulating upgrade points, will be automatically re-instated to previous category.
  4. Riders upgrading to Cat 4 will receive 2 race day credits for participating in a mentored race experience where the mentor is at least a cat 3 rider approved by local association.
  5. When deciding whether a rider qualifies for an upgrade, an administrator will take into account points earned in qualifying events per the table above. 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.

For the tables that follow, note that if the field contains mixed categories (i.e. cat 3-4), then the number of starters is the number of riders that are the same category or higher as the person requesting the upgrade (i.e. in a cat 3-4 combined field, all riders count for a 4 to 3 upgrade, but only the threes count for a 3 to 2 upgrade.) The placing is the rider’s placing across the line. In a mixed category field, the riders in a higher category are not subtracted out (i.e. in a combined cat 3-4 race, if a category 4 rider is 6th across the line but is the 2nd cat 4, that rider gets 6th place points and not 2nd place points.)

(c) Qualifying Distances for each category

To qualify for upgrading points, races must meet distance standards. Races shorter than the minimum distance do not qualify for upgrading. However, if a road race is less than the road race minimum but above the criterium minimum, then it will count for upgrading using the criterium points schedule.
Category Class Road Race Criterium and Circuit
5 – 4 Men 15 mi 10mi/20min
4 – 3 All 25 mi 15mi/30min
3 – 2 Men 50 mi 20mi/40min
3 – 2 Women 40 mi 15mi/30min
2 – 1 Men 80 mi 30mi/60min
2 – 1 Women 50 mi 20mi/40min

(d) Points awarded for Criteriums and Circuit Races

Number of Starters 5-10 11-20 21-50 50+
Placing 1st 3 4 5 7
Placing 2nd 2 3 4 5
Placing 3rd 1 2 3 4
Placing 4th 1 2 3
Placing 5th 1 2
Placing 6th 1

(e) Points awarded for Road Races

Number of Starters 5-10 11-20 21-50 50+
Placing 1st 3 7 8 10
Placing 2nd 2 5 6 8
Placing 3rd 1 4 5 7
Placing 4th 3 4 6
Placing 5th 2 3 5
Placing 6th 1 2 4
Placing 7th 1 3
Placing 8th 2
Placing 9th 1

(f) Points awarded for Stage Races (Cat 3 to 2 and Cat 2 to 1 upgrades only)*

Number of Starters 10-19 20-35 36-49 50+
Placing 1st 5 7 10 20
Placing 2nd 3 5 8 18
Placing 3rd 2 3 6 16
Placing 4th 1 2 5 14
Placing 5th 1 4 12
Placing 6th 3 10
Placing 7th 2 9
Placing 8th 1 8
Placing 9th 7
Placing 10th 6
Placing 11th 5
Placing 12th 4
Placing 13th 3
Placing 14th 2
Placing 15th 1
* For points earned in stage races, GC and stage places both count for points, but only up to a maximum of 20 points for a Category 1 upgrade or 15 points for a Category 2 upgrade from a single stage race.

(g) Road Downgrades

A rider who wishes to downgrade may request a downgrade online. Such request will be evaluated individually. In no case will a rider be allowed to downgrade to category 5.
Note: Racers granted downgrades are subject to later review and if found to be accumulating upgrade points, will be automatically re-instated to previous category.

(h) Appealing a denial

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. Next contact the NYSBRA President
  3. Next contact their USA Cycling regional representative.

 

Cyclocross

Cyclocross categories are upgraded similarly to road upgrades using the system below:

(a) Requirements for upgrading via points:

Category 5-4: Experience in 10 races is a mandatory upgrade.
Category 4-3: Voluntary upgrade with 10 points.  15 points or 2 wins in fields over 30 racers is a mandatory upgrade.
Category 3-2: Voluntary upgrade with 15 points.  20 points or 2 wins in fields over 30 racers is a mandatory upgrade.
Category 2-1: Voluntary upgrade with 20 points.  25 points or 2 wins in fields over 40 racers is a mandatory upgrade.
Juniors exempt from mandatory upgrade.

(b) Points awarded for Cyclocross Races

Number of Starters 5-10 11-20 21-50 50+
Placing 1st 3 4 5 7
Placing 2nd 2 3 4 5
Placing 3rd 1 2 3 4
Placing 4th 1 2 3
Placing 5th 1 2
Placing 6th 1

(c) Cyclocross Conversion

Cyclocross categories may also be upgraded by conversion from a rider’s earned road or cross country category. If during the season, a rider upgrades his or her Road category or XC category, the cyclocross category can be upgraded to match the road or XC category shown below by request of the rider or by request of the administrator.  A rider must also have demonstrated ability in a Cyclocross race.

Road Category MTB XC Category CX Category
Pro/1 Pro 1
2 1 3
3 2 4
4 or 5 3 4

(d) CX Downgrades

Done as per Road except that when USAC introduced the new CX Cat 5 category c.2013, all CX Cat 4 current license holders (the previous lowest category) were “grandfathered” as CX Cat 4 even if they had never raced CX.  Any grandfathered CX Cat 4 may request a downgrade to CX Cat 5 if they have raced CX less than 10 times.  Make the request through your USAC on-line account.

(e) Appealing a denial

See the “Appealing a denial” section under road

Track Upgrades

(a) Track upgrades and downgrades are made through the local associations and Regional Coordinators. All track upgrades are processed using the following criteria:

Category 5 – 4: Complete a Velodrome Class or 4 race days.
Category 4 – 3: 5 race days and 20 points
Category 3 – 2: 5 race days and 25 points
Category 2 – 1: 5 race days and 30 points
Upgrade Points:
National championships, Category A, B, or C track races will be 7,5,3,2,1 upgrade points for each event.
For all other events, upgrade points are 5,3,2,1 and are based on an omnium of the events races.
Attendance at a USA Cycling Sanctioned and approved rider education clinics(at least half day) will count as three qualifying race for category 5 to 4 upgrade, up to a maximum of 5 qualifying races.  It will also count as 4 upgrade points for a category 4 to 3 upgrade and 3 upgrade points for a category 3 to 2 upgrade.

(b) Additional Considerations:

1. Ten person field minimum for category 3-5 and 20 person field minimum for upgrade to category 1.
2. Fifty percent of Upgrading points and number of times raced will be carried over to the next year. Points do not carry over to the next category.
3. When upgrading to a Cat. 1, points earned need to be from more than one velodrome.
4. A race day is defined as one full day of racing. A race day can include a number of events such as a kilometer, sprints or time trial, but it only counts as one race day.
5. Women and Juniors earn one point for every five race days when upgrading from Cat. 4 through Cat. 2.
6. Races exempt from upgrading are Youth races and races of more than two categories (i.e.: “A” and “B” races).
With the approval of a USAC licensed coach, riders who are Pro or category 1 on the road may be upgraded to category 2 on the track and riders who are category 2 on the road may be upgraded to category 3 on the track without first having to begin at category 5.

(c) Track Downgrades:

A rider may be downgraded by an administrator for the following reasons: unsafe riding; lack of ability to compete in current category; or lack of placing within current category.

(d) Appealing a denial

See the “Appealing a denial” section under road