Help me decide (what race catergory would you enter)

I know I should be able to decide for myself, but I need help

I used to to race MTB at a fairly competitive level in the UK at 20 years ago, did time trial for a bit but broke me as a human being

I’m 52, have a FTP of 255 and about 3.7Wkg, I’m T1 diabetic and recent years I have suffered from strong anxieties which stopped me leaving the house for long periods (hurrah for the TR and Zwift)

So my Therapist has me doing things that I want to do, so I entered a Gravel Race, I’m really excited about it, and it’s in two weeks today, the only problem is that it’s the National Championships, my intention is not to come last (it doesn’t matter if I do) , just entering it I am a better version of me, but I just got a e-mail that this weekend is my last chance to change category, do I want to change to masters and race in my age group (a different start time)

Masters group is 50-54, 2hr race , 16k loop

Open (all age groups and national jersey) 78KM , 16km loop, LAPPED RIDERS are pulled out

I’m stuck between them like a deer in the headlights

Is this your first race in 20 years? I’d start slow to go fast. Register in the age group and go from there. But that’s me.

(Unless your a ringer and then you know what to do)


Masters. Easy decision. You’re not there to compete at all. You’re there to enjoy yourself.


Lapped riders are only pulled out when the winner finishes according to the website. Even if there were 4.7W/kg riders out there they are not going to be 20% faster unless there is a lot of climbing (but since they are laps it cannot be more than 50% climbing but it’s probably less)

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@WombleHunter Probably masters but I don’t think there is a wrong choice if you have the right attitude. I am 50+ and while I do try to be in the right category I also just remember that I really am only racing against myself at this age.


Yeah, as soon as you frazed it like that, made me re-think it, yeah apart from 1 MTB races, probably my first competative race since 2007 (gulp) apart from Time Trials, cheers

Nicely put

Cheers guy, think just saying it to other people helped , thanks for the advice, like you all pointed out … masters makes sense, so I’ve requested a change to Masters (get to watch the first half of the fast boys as well that way)

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Race masters!

I Strava stalked one guy from the back of the lead group last year. 20.6mph on a mtb. 356w for over two hours :rofl::rofl:

I’m hoping he’s not racing 35-39 this year :grimacing: (he got that jersey last year).

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Yeah, Jason Boutell is local to the area and is a bit of a monster. He came 4th in UK Marathon MTB champs recently, doing 348W normalised for 4.5 hours.

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