The 2012 Cyclocross Category List can be found here. Thanks for your patience.
The list documents your 'cross category and the corresponding event you will race in. Some riders have a choice of category due to injury, etc. For example: cx 1/2 or 3 M i.e. either cat 1/2 or cat 3. We will be making realignments after the first couple races. Please note if you pick cx1/2 now and later drop to cx3 you will not take your points with you.
Please take the time to look at the list. It only takes a few seconds. Every racer in cyclocross must compete in the category/event assigned to them. If you miss your assigned event you cannot take part in a later event and unfortunately you will forfeit your registration fee too.
When pre-registering, please ensure you register for the correct Event: A, B, or C. The online system does not have the technology at this point to ensure that you have registered for the right category or event. If you are a cx4 rider but register as a cx3 racer (B Event) the system will let you, but you will NOT be allowed to race the B Event. If you make a mistake, it's no big deal, just ensure you show up early before the event you should be in and the commissaires will make an adjustment.
What if my name is not on the list?
If your name is not on the list, then it is 99% likely that you are a cx4 rider and will ride in the C Event. If you feel you should race in cx 1, 2 or 3 you may apply to the cyclocross committee by contacting gsewell at mts dot net. See below for an idea of how to judge what category may be appropriate for you.
If you are an out of town racer who races cyclocross in another jurisdiction we're pleased to have you racing with us and happy to add you into the appropriate event.
If you are a citizen's licence holder you have no choice, you must sign up for the C Event.
Why do I have to worry about a category instead of just A, B, or C race?
Your cross category denotes your ability level. Because of field sizes and limited number of officials and volunteers we combine some categories into Events. How we combine those groups will change in the future. Your category though will remain consistent. Category is also transferable to other locations. A cx3 rider in Manitoba should be similar to a cx3 rider in Portand or Ohio. If you go there and tell them you race B they'll have no idea what you're talking about.
What do I put on my MCA licence?
If you've already bought your race licence, don't worry about it now. You will race according to the above list.
If you have yet to buy your licence;
If the category list says this...
then enter this on your licence...
Cx 1/2 M
Cat 2 cross
Cx 1/2/3 W
Cat 3 cross, unless you're a national team member, then enter Cat 1 cross
Cx 3 M
Cat 3 cross
Cx 4 M
Cat 4 cross
Cx 4 W
Cat 4 cross
Note that if you travel out of province in most jurisdictions you will be expected to race according to the category listed on your licence.
What are the criteria for moving up?
Generally, the criteria for moving up are consistent top 5 overall finishes in your EVENT regardless of category or gender. For example, if you are a cx4 M or cx4 W rider you'll need consistent top 5 finishes in the overall C event in order to be considered for moving up.
Don't some people sandbag?
The jump from one category to another can be difficult. That is particularly true of cx 3 M to cx 1/2 M. Consider that the winner of a race has been going flat out for the duration of the race. To move up and be competitive that person would now have to go even faster than their maximum and do it for even longer; in the case of the A Event 50% longer than the B Event. That's simply impossible most of the time.
What's an appropriate category?
Cyclocross requires different fitness and skill sets from road and mountain bike riding. Bike handling skill is important, but one also needs power. If you are a mountain bike rider you need to consider do I chase people down on the flats and uphills or do I rely on making up ground on the technical single track? There are no long stretches of downhill or single track to make up time in cross. As a road rider can you push the pace and ride off the front of your category or do you rely on being in the pack to be competitive? Grass is heavy and slow. The pack gives a huge advantage on the road, not so in cross.
If you're as fast as the equivalent of the leading Comp men in MTB you're probably cx 3 M or cx 1/2/3 W. If not, you should start in cx4. If you regularly push the pace in the cat 4 road races and have some MTB skill you're probably a cx 3 man or cx 1/2/3 female. If not, you're cx 4.