What Category Should I Race?

CX Folks:

This is a general introduction to the categories and upgrades so you are aware of how we do things and some of the changes. Upgrades will come in two varieties: mandatory and voluntary. You can see in each class what the upgrade rules are. Remember, it is not GACX’s responsibility to make sure you know the USAC rules. Of course, an educated CXer is a fun-loving CXer so we will do our best to make sure you are up to date. In the past we have had many a racer show up to registration not knowing what to do or what the rules are. Stay educated because “forewarned is forearmed.”


–We also probably should point out that series points are not USAC upgrade points.We will keep up on USAC points in the results reporting this year.

–Mens CX4 are required to buy a license this year.

–One day licenses can be purchased onsite and are valid for a single day of racing. One-day licenses may only be used for races open to the lowest category of racer for that discipline (Single Speed, CX 4 women and CX 5 men)


Here we go…

Masters 35+ CX4/5: This is a beginner senior mens category for cyclocross racers. This race lasts 30 minutes. This category is intended to be less competitive than the normal CX4 and CX5 fields and as such sandbagging will not be tolerated.

Single-Speed: This is an open race accepting all categories. There is a series competition and the race lasts 30 minutes. There is a one cog or ring rule for this category.

Elite Masters 40+/50+/60+: This is an age group race that includes CX 1/2/3 racers and lasts for 45 minutes. There is a staggered start of a minute between the 40+ and 50+. There is an overall series points competition between the age groups only. There is no category points series, meaning no CX categories will be scored within the age groups.

Juniors: There are two junior categories (10-14 and 15-18). The junior races will be 30 minutes. There is a series points competition for the juniors in each class.

Women CX 4/5: This is the beginner category for women in cyclocross. The race will last 30 minutes. This category does have a series points competition. CX 4/5 women have to upgrade as they gain experience in 10 qualifying races or 10 points in 12 months.

Mens CX 5: This is a beginner mens category for cyclocross racers. A newly licenses racer who has never raced CX before will start as a CX 5. Women start as CX 4. The CX 5 race will be 30 minutes. Series points will be kept for CX5 this year but remember, there is an automatic upgrade at 10 races. The CX 5 category is comparable to the road 4/5 and MTB 3.

Women CX 1/2/3: This is a category race consisting of 3 classes scored together. The race is 45 minutes. There is a cash purse equal to the men in this category. There is a series competition for the Women CX 1/2/3 as well as a separate overall series competition for Women CX3

Men CX 4: This is a category race comparable to a road 3 or a MTB 2. This race lasts 45 minutes. A mandatory upgrade occurs if they earn 15 points in 12 months if fields are greater than 30 racers. there is a series competition for CX 4.

Men CX 3: This is a category race lasting 60 minutes. There is a series competition for the CX 3. CX 3 has a mandatory upgrade to CX 2 if 20 points are accumulated in 12 months or mandatory after 2 wins if the fields in both races were over 30 racers. The CX 3 racer can volunteer for an upgrade after 15 points accrued.

Men CX 1/2: This is a category race that includes 3 classes together. The race is 60 minutes. There is a series competition for this field and there is a cash payout equal to the women.

Note: A category 2 rider can elect to be upgraded to category 1 after totaling 20 points. A category 2 rider will face mandatory upgrade after accruing 25 points or two wins in a 40-rider field. Juniors riders are exempt from the mandatory upgrades beginning at category 4.

CX magazine published a nice synopsis of the rule changes and can be found here.

Lastly, thank you for your input. I would add that if you enjoy cyclocross, ask a promoter if you could volunteer especially after the races end and clean up is often a matter of fighting darkness.

Best of luck to everyone!