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Hi, thanks to the Padre debate, I figured I would ask....

38 yr old who regularly gets my butt kicked with my friends when I ride, BUT I did enter two cyclocross races this year (on my 29er). I came in 6th and 9th out of about 15 riders. I got my american cycling registration #. I think that automatically makes me a intermediate or class 4 right?

-john v
 

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jvossman said:
Hi, thanks to the Padre debate, I figured I would ask....

38 yr old who regularly gets my butt kicked with my friends when I ride, BUT I did enter two cyclocross races this year (on my 29er). I came in 6th and 9th out of about 15 riders. I got my american cycling registration #. I think that automatically makes me a intermediate or class 4 right?

-john v
See here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=89727&highlight=class+race

Obviously, it's a touchy subject. Winners of beginner and sport classes are always considered sandbaggers by the rest of the class. If you're in doubt, race up a class or you may feel sheepish for doing well. Instead you can take pleasure in a beating from the best.

Without a point/class system like the roadies MTB racers need more mass start events with call ups or long start climbs to separate strong riders. It doesn't work with short courses, but it makes the most interesting results.
 

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I guess sport would be better

My short answer is "Sport" "4" or "intermediate" would probably be best.

But the long answer is that it's hard to say. I never won a beginner class race but way back in '95 (I'm 36 now) I won a sport class race and passed almost all of the experts that started ahead of us (same distance, kinda weird huh?). I continued to race sport for a couple of more years placing in the top 5 but not winning. I guess there were bigger sandbaggers than me there! Then I made the jump to expert-we have a comp class around here but mostly it was just "sport II", the serious guys were in expert and the races were longer. Now I figure I'd rather be lapped in expert than race in sport (sometimes it happens in 'cross!) but I can always think back to "the day" where I really put the wood to 'em. People have said on this topic that it's a great feeling winning a race and I totally agree. The contrary point is that unfortunately, we can't all be winners-only one can "win" the race. Some of us have to be pack fodder. My favorite comment is that I can still win as long as the field is weak enough. If we all compete in beginner until we win, where does a "real" beginner go? "I've got my 5 year old aluminum front suspension shimano STX bike and I want to give it a go but maybe this (the beginner class) isn't where I am supposed to be-these guys have dual suspension and shaved legs!"

I can think of a couple of things-road racers are moved up and down depending on results and that makes sense. Organizers could also make the "beginner" race on easier terrain and shorter, hoping to get the more experienced riders to move up to sport. But it's tough, making it "fair" for everybody.
 

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You are beginning racing correct? If you find yourself killing the field by like 10 min. or so, back off some and enter sport next time.
 

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Here in Holland we have several classes for riders with a license, and only one for the other, called "fun". IMI it's cool to win a fun race, or score a handful of top-10's, but if you want to keep doing races, you belong better in sports. Unfortunately in sports where I race, there's a few kids that hardly ever go to school, and live like pro's, and actually lap as fast as top-10 Elite's, of which 3 are Olympians, one a CX pro, and a few really good semi-pro's. So sports winners here are like semi-pro's, but they like winning so much they normally stay stuck too long. If I could beat them, I wouldn't complain. I've scored a few top-10's in sports from time to time, and I've promised myself to go back to Elite when I win one. That doesn't seem to be going to happen this season though, and next year I already qualify for Masters (29+). We'll see, I want to get more of my potential out of me, I feel like a blind man in an Olympians body, I *feel* there's much more in me than first quarter sports.
 
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