How does the level of racing differ in different regions of the US?

I would like to here from anyone who has raced in the same categories in multiple regions.
I assume a California Cat 3 is like a Mississippi Cat 1 in terms of pure speed.

New England and Northern California seem to be pretty similar to me. There do tend to be more pros at NorCal races, though – especially in the bigger events (like Sea Otter).

California is a big place. We have virtually zero road races in SoCal, but enough crits that I feel like I have to be careful not to accidentally jump into one. I am thinking Cat 3 RR in NorCal is Cat 1 RR in SoCal :joy:

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Hard to say. One thing is for sure; cat1 and cat1/2 races are way more positive and therefore tend to be harder than cat3, 4 and 5. Who shows up, the course, conditions and field size make every race a big fat ? Never mind sitting in vs. trying to win…

ive always been curious about this too for mtb. i raced moto in my 20s and there was a huge difference from indiana to all of the surrounding states. we were bad.

i think our mtb guys are good though. during early covid when races were cancelled we had a lot of out of staters come to race here and i think indiana guys held their own.

I live in Bloomington, and have raced road, crits, cyclocross, and gravel across the Midwest, Southeast, and a few times in the Northeast. In these disciplines, at least, the quality of the fields and talent here measure up favorably against anywhere else I’ve raced.

I’ve raced all over, although I spent my up and coming years in the middle strip of the country so I can’t compare lower cats between regions. Cat1/2 races are similar levels all over. There just aren’t that many Cat1s and many are willing to drive long distances or fly to get to races. In Cali, Texas, Tennessee and Florida the level is all the same with the smattering of occasional true professionals especially early in the season. There is significant overlap in the people attending p12 events across regions because of the willingness to travel.

I haven’t raced in the way way north so I don’t know how the weather affects them, but I’m guessing it’s not much.


Also thinking that maybe C1 CX in SoCal might be C3 CX in the north :man_shrugging:

Probably not a lot of Mississippi Cat 1s but I’d put Matt Govero up against anybody in Cali. Matthew Govero's Race History at


I’d imagine a big differentiator is depth of the field. Top % iles are probably similar, for the most part, with some outliers (Boulder, San Diego, etc.), but I’m sure the median racer looks a lot different in Topeka vs LA.

People like to pretend that certain regions are “faster” than others (i’m looking at you Cali). Having raced all over, its not true at all. Talent is talent and it transfers regardless of time zone.



Most of the guys I race against in any race that isn’t something super local are usually always the same. Guys from all over the country.

I have been told by riders from out of state that Chicago/Midwest riders tend to be more “aggressive” but what they mean by that is anyone’s guess.


I’d suspect that on the road at least, any regional differences that did exist have been reduced over the last few years as events have begun to disappear. Even for cat 3s and 4s it’s totally common to travel 5 to 8 hours for a race when events are scarce. As the post above alluded to, you see a lot of the same faces at most races, even in different parts of the country.


Matt also won a stage at the Vuelta al Ecuador a few weeks ago.

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