UPGRADING

Upgrading is the process by which a rider moves into a higher racing category. In order to upgrade riders must meet certain requirements as listed below. Only mass start road races that meet the minimum field size and distance requirements count towards upgrading. Time Trials, Mountan Bike races, club training rides, and Cyclocross races don’t count towards road race upgrades. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Please note that only points/experience earned at races sanctioned by USA Cycling or at a foreign race sanctioned by a UCI affiliated federation will count towards a rider’s upgrade.
  • We do not process upgrades at a race.
  • If you want to upgrade for a race on Sunday, submit your request no later than the previous Monday
  • We do not consider triathlon experience as a way to move to a higher category when applying for your first license.
  • If you have not raced in several years, it is your decision if you you want to come back in the same category or if you would feel more comfortable downgrading one category. Once you downgrade, you will be required to earn the necessary upgrade points to get back to your original category.
  • Upgrade points are calculated using the tables listed below. SoCal Cup points are not the same and have no bearing on your upgrade. Points that USA Cycling calculates you have earned in races and are found on the “Results” tab on your account page…are not upgrade points.
  • There are no GC points for an Omnium race
  • Only Cat 2s and Cat 3s can earn GC points from a Stage Race.
  • Points or races used for an upgrade cannot be used for subsequent upgrades. Once you upgrade, you start with zero points/races towards your next upgrade level.


How to Properly Format a Résumé for an Upgrade Request
When requesting an upgrade, please use the following format for posting your résumé with your upgrade request:

Date Race Name Category Place Field Size Upgrade Points
3/28/16 LA Circuit Elite 4 1 75 7

How to upgrade up to Cat 4, Cat 3, Cat 2 or Cat 1 on the Road or Cross:
All upgrade requests are processed using the on-line system at http://www.usacycling.org.  Please do not email your upgrade request to anyone at the SCNCA.  Go to your account page on the USAC web site and click on the upgrade/downgrade link near the bottom of the page across from your license Info. Be sure to include all relevant information in the section where you enter your resume info (race name, date and year, category, placing, and field size).

When you log into your account, simply select the “License” tab

 

That will take you to the details about your license. Click on the “Upgrade/Downgrade” link.

 

That will take you to the “Upgrade/Downgrade” page. Select the category you wish to upgrade to and put in your resume in the comments box.

 

When you are finished, click on the “Upgrade/Downgrade” box and your request will be sent to the SCNCA for approval. You should hear back within three days. If you are unclear of the field size, just put down a question mark and we will find it. Please understand that we confirm all race finishes and entries in your resume. Please do not email the SCNCA with your upgrade request. You will be directed to submit your request on-line and you will have wasted a couple of days.

Calculating Upgrade Points
This may seem a little confusing, but it is actually pretty simple to understand. There just a few things you need to know:

  • Don’t worry about distances and time. Almost every race in SoCal exceeds the minimums

  • Based on your field size and placing, calculate your points total. Keep in mind that if you are a Cat 4 and using results from a Cat 4/5 race with 75 riders, you can only count the number of Cat 4s in determining the field size for your points. On the other hand, if you did a Cat 3/4 race, you can count the entire field.

 

Guidelines and Notes by Category

  • Category 5 to 4: Finish 10 mass start races.
  • Category 4 to 3: 20 points; or experience in 25 races with a minimum of 10 top-10 finishes with fields of 30 riders or more; or 20 pack finishes with fields over 50. 30 Points in 12 months is a mandatory upgrade.
    • USA Cycling-sanctioned rider camps and clinics that are approved by the Local Associations for upgrading will count as a maximum of three upgrade points when upgrading from category 4 to 3.
  • Category 3 to 2: 30 points; 40 points in 12 months is a mandatory* upgrade
  • Category 2 to 1: 35 points**; 50 points in 12 months is a mandatory* upgrade

*Junior riders are exempt from the mandatory upgrade rules on the road.
**For category 1 upgrades, only 10 of the points may be earned in races that are part of a training series or may be earned in masters races.

USA Cycling may add additional requirements for upgrading at their discretion. Any such changes shall be made available on the website.

USA Cycling sanctioned and approved rider education clinics (at least half day), will count as three qualifying races for category 5 to 4 upgrades up to a maximum of 5 qualifying races. It will also count as 3 upgrade points for a category 4 to 3 upgrade. Riders upgrading to cat 4 will receive two race-days credit for participating in a mentored-race experience, where the mentor is at least a cat 3 rider and has been approved by the Local Association.

Qualifying Distances Per 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, it will count for upgrading using the criterium points schedule.

Category Class RR Criterium
5 – 4 Men 15 miles 10 mi/20 min
4 – 3 Men 25 mi 15 mi/30 min
Women 25 mi 15 mi/30 min
Junior 25 mi 15 mi/30 min
3 – 2 Men 50 mi 20 mi/40 min
Women 40 mi 15 mi/30 min
2 – 1 Men 80 mi 30 mi/60 min
Women 50 mi 20 mi/40 min

 

Points Tables

For the tables that follow, note that if the field contains mixed categories (e.g., 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 (e.g., in a cat 3-4 combined field, all riders count for a 4-3 upgrade, but only the 3’s count for a 3-2 upgrade.

When categories are combined, such as in a 3-4 race, the finish place is always the raw finish across the finish line, not taking into account the category of the rider. In other words, the category 3 riders are not subtracted out so that the category 4 rider appears to have a higher finishing place. The only time a category is subtracted out for this purpose is if the prize lists were awarded separately for a combined field.

 

Points Awarded for Criteriums

Number of Starters

Placing
5-10
11-20
21-49
50+
1
3
4
5
7
2
2
3
4
5
3
1
2
3
4
4
1
2
3
5
1
2
6
1

 

Points Awarded for Road Races

Number of Starters

Placing
5-10
11-20
21-49
50+
1
3
7
8
10
2
2
5
6
8
3
1
4
5
7
4
3
4
6
5
2
3
5
6
1
2
4
7
1
3
8
2
9
1

 

Points Awarded for Stage Races (Cat 3-2 and Cat 2-1 Upgrades Only)*

Number of Starters

Placing
10-19
20-35
36-49
50+
1
5
7
10
20
2
3
5
8
18
3
2
3
6
16
4
1
2
5
14
5
1
4
12
6
3
10
7
2
9
8
1
8
9
7
10
6
11
5
12
4
13
3
14
2
15
1

 

* For points earned in stage races, general classification and stage places both count for points, but only up to a maximum of 20 points for a cat 1 upgrade or 15 points for a cat 2 upgrade from a single stage race.