USAC racing categories are designed to provide fair, safe and valuable competition among bicycle racers of similar skill and experience levels. Upgrading is the process by which a proficient bike racer moves from a less skilful and experienced to a more skilful and experienced USAC racing category.

The SCNCA receives and processes road, track and cyclo-cross upgrade requests from Category 5 through Category 2 racers who live in its catchment. Category 1 upgrade requests are received and managed by USAC staff in Colorado Springs.

The upgrade requirements are specific to each discipline. But common to all disciplines is the need to earn upgrade “points”.

Other matters general to all upgrade requests:

  • Only USAC sanctioned events qualify for upgrade points (although some international events sanctioned by UCI may qualify as well).
  • 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.
  • Mixed category races (say, a category 3/4 criterium) are scored either all together or by separate category – depending on how the race flyer reads (and results are uploaded and displayed on the USAC results webpage).
  • In mixed category races scored together, the higher category racers only count the racers of the same category or better for field size, but they count all racers who beat them to determine placing.

Road:

Only USAC sanctioned clinics (such as Beginning Racer Programs – BRP’s), USAC sanctioned team camps (with SCNCA approval), USAC sanctioned gran fondos and USAC sanctioned mass start races qualify for upgrade points and experience.

Please read USAC Rulebook Section 1e2 for the specific rules for road upgrades, but generally note:

  • Upgrade points are calculated using the tables listed in rule 1e2.
  • Only Category 2 and 3 racers can earn upgrade points from general classification (“GC”) placing in a Stage Race.
  • Road omniums (where each racer did not have to compete in all events) do not count as stage races for GC upgrade points.
  • Category 5 to 4: Finish 10 mass start races or combination of races and clinics worth 10 “starts”
  • 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.
  • 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.

Track:

Only USAC sanctioned track clinics, USAC sanctioned mass start omnium races and national championship mass start races qualify for upgrade points and experience.

Please read USAC Rulebook Section 1e4 for the specific rules for track upgrades, but generally note:

  • Upgrade points are calculated using the tables listed in rule 1e4.
  • Category 5 to 4: complete 4 race days (omniums) or equivalent USAC clinics.
  • Category 4 to 3: five race days and 20 points
  • Category 3 to 2: five race days and 25 points
  • Category 2 to 1: five race days and 30 points

Cyclo-cross

Only USAC sanctioned cyclo-cross clinics and USAC sanctioned mass-start cyclo-cross races qualify for upgrade points and experience.

Please see USAC Rulebook Section 1e6 for the specific rules for cyclo-cross upgrades, but generally note:

  • Upgrade points are calculated using the tables found in rule 1e6.
  • Category 5 to 4: Voluntary upgrade after 5 races. Experience in 10 races is a mandatory upgrade.
  • Category 4 to 3: Voluntary upgrade with 10 points. Fifteen points or two wins if the field had at least 30 competitors is a mandatory upgrade.
  • Category 3 to 2: Voluntary upgrade with 15 points. Twenty points or two wins if the field had at least 30 competitors is a mandatory upgrade.
  • Category 2 to 1: Voluntary upgrade with 20 points. Twenty-five points or two wins if the field had at least 40 competitors is a mandatory upgrade.

How to Properly Format a Résumé for an Upgrade Request

You apply for an upgrade by logging in to your USAC license account and selecting “Upgrade/Downgrade” under the Edit License Details menu.

When requesting an upgrade, please use the following format for posting your résumé in the comments box with your upgrade request:

Date Race Name Category Place Field Size Upgrade Points
3/28/16 LA Circuit 4 1 75 7
1/7/17 Team Camp 1
4/4/18 BRP + Criterium 4 2