UMB team guidelines for
advancing to a more difficult race category
[Draft for discussion purposes]
racers are encouraged to race in a category where they're competitive with other
racers in that category. That means a slower racer should enjoy the chance to do
well in comparison to his co-racers (not finishing in last place every time),
and a strong racer should have a significant chance of being beaten by those
against whom he's competing. A UMB racer should strongly consider moving up to a
more difficult race category if he or she meets each of the following three
(1) You are dominating
your current category, or are capable of racing within the top 1/2 of the next
Before moving up, you should have completed
enough races that your need to advance to a higher category is obvious. This
will vary with the individual rider. If your first Beginner-class race finds you
20 minutes ahead of the 2nd-place finisher, and your lap time would put you in
the top 1/3 of the Sport class, one race is enough. Move up. Most riders will
need 5 or 6 races to evaluate their status. The following are some objective
ways to measure your readiness to move up.
Guideline A, Intermountain Cup rules: "A
Beginner rider should advance
to Sport and a Sport rider to Expert after placing in the top 5 in 5 races with
a field size of 20 or more."
Guideline B, winning margins over current competition: You should move up
if, in a category where there are 5 or more racers at each race, you
consistently finish 1st or 2nd, with a winning margin of 10% or more over the
3rd-place rider. If you can usually win without giving it your best, it's time
to move up.
Guideline C, racing times relative to the higher category: You should
move up if, over the course of several races, your time per lap (when multiplied
by the number of laps for the next higher category) would consistently put you
in the top half of the higher category. If your racing speed says you belong in
the higher category, sign up for it.
(2) There is an obvious
higher category to which you can -- and would be expected to -- progress.
Obviously, a racer who's consistently blowing
away the competition should move to the next category: Beginner to Sport, Sport
to Expert. Where there isn't an obvious "next step" to a higher
category, racers may continue to compete in their current category despite
multiple podium finishes. Examples would be Clydesdale, Men 50-plus. However,
racers are encouraged to improve and challenge themselves, and ICup rules allow
you to compete in any more difficult category. For example, a highly-successful
competitor in Women 35-plus could move to Expert Women. A Clydesdale could move
to an age-specific class that requires longer distances, for example Sport
35-39. If you're consistently dominating your category and meet other criteria
for advancing, strongly consider selecting a more difficult category, even if
it's not the obvious "next step."
(3) Moving up is reasonable, given your
abilities and resources, and considering your overall season plan.
Before moving up, you should be sure you're physically capable of doing the
longer distance without risk to your health. You should also have the ability
(time, resources, dedication) to train for the higher performance level required
of the new category. If you're anticipating an event or a change in your life
that would impact your race-fitness, for example orthopedic surgery or
pregnancy, you would likely be better off NOT moving up. A rider is NOT expected
to give up a season championship in order to move up: Toward the end of the
season, if you're in contention for your first-ever season championship within
your category, but moving up would eliminate your chances of a season podium
finish, you could reasonably delay moving up until the next season.