Racing in 2021, things seem 🔥🔥🔥

So I’m just a couple of crit races into 2021, and I’m noticing that things are both pretty sketch and super fast. I’m a cat 4, with upgrade points towards 3 from 2019. 19 was my first year on a bike and racing both, so my sample size is super low, but 21 so far seems crazy! Both races I’ve been in have had someone go down super hard, which I only saw once all year in 19. Also I just did the same crit I did early in 19, and the pace was almost 2 mph faster. 27+ avg for cat 4, ha. I know lockdown and all that, but I’m also wondering if the USAC cat 5 changes have something to do with it too, e.g. more cat 3/4 fields bc the 5s have to be separate. This is New England, so wondering if you all from other areas are seeing the same thing.

I read something the other day that made a lot of sense… Someone said a lot of people were coming off 2019 with either enough points to go from 4 to 3 or very close to enough. And instead of that happening in 2020 a lot of those people just continued to train and get stronger. So those people are still a 4 currently with fitness of a high 3 or more.

I have done about 6 races so far here in Colorado as SM4 and there are 3-5 guys that are obviously in this situation sit on the front of a 45 mile Road Race and then just drop everyone like they are nothing hahah.


Yeah I think the guy who won the 50 min 3/4 crit this weekend did an np of near 400 and he wasn’t a huge guy!

This makes a lot of sense and also explains why the 123 fields are languishing less than half full while the 4/5s are selling out!

I wish I was having this issue! The first road race/crit on the schedule in Michigan isn’t until mid June.

In a similar boat in terms of racing timing an categories. I’ve done a couple races this year and they have been definitely faster with some sketchiness).

I’m a diesel engine with literally no surge/sprint coming out of covid, so I’m always on the front trying to make breakways and make the race harder for everyone (so I always have a higher power than the rest of the field). At the 4/5 road race in Hincapie at Donaldson last week, I did 306NP for the whole race (1:28, 36 miles), including 340NP for 10’ in a break before we got brought back (I’m just under 160lbs, so well north of 4w/kg). And all that was good for was pack fodder and getting swamped in the last 200m.

So part of the reason cat 4 races are hard is that you have idiots like me that can’t get a result to save their lives, but use their fitness to try and push the pace. Especially with indoor training during covid, seems like there’s even more folks in the same boat.


Not sure if that’s normal for your area, but the USAC changes have had no effect around me. All the 4/5 races just changed to 4/Novice. Which doesn’t make sense if they’re trying to create an actual Novice category. And the 4/Novice has been maxing out at our local limits of 50 due to Covid. Could easily do a separate Novice I would think.

But I agree it’s been fast. My last 4/Novice Crit had an average of 26mph and a max of 32mph, on a pan flat course.


Ha I’m close to your numbers and guilty of the same thing myself. It’s true that there’s a lot more to racing than fitness, a sprint helps a lot…

Seems like ours have all been a separate novice and the. 3/4 combined. Which means that those of us chasing 3 upgrades are against those chasing 2. Maybe that will change as more races get added

Wells Ave?

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Grattan starts this coming Wednesday

Unfortunately I’m in Ann Arbor so that’s a bit too far for a weekday night. But hopefully the Waterford series follows suit soon.

Oh yeah, we’re you there? I was the non aero tall guy on the knockoff bianchi (celeste looking allez sprint)

C U there bb

I’m not meant to race. Finally signed up for some events this year and got an email that to race without a mask you need to be fully vaccinated for 14 days, which leaves me with getting the J&J vaccine which is at the bottom of the list for me.

Guess I’ll just go ride my bike and drink coffee instead 🤷

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I’d give this a like, but yeah that stinks. I’m lucky to have been able to be fully vaxed for a bit now, but we don’t seem to have those regulations here in NE.

I mean coffee and biking doesn’t seem so bad! Also as noted the races are feeling kind of sketch right now tbh, so perhaps in a month or two things will even out a bit.

The best vaccine you can get is the one you can get fastest. If you can get the J&J now, get it. Added bonus - you can then race.


I’m not going to rush and get something subpar do a meaningless race. When I get it, it’ll most likely be MRNA or PFE.

I know this is way off topic - but why do you think the JNJ vaccine is subpar?

Doing the race is just the side benefit, the real benefit is getting vaccinated…even accepting that the J&J is subpar (which it really isn’t), it still provides protection for you now vs. no protection while you wait for a “better” vaccine.

No one has been hospitalized or died after getting any of the vaccines…get whatever shot you can get as soon as s you can get it. That is how we can move past this nightmare faster.


Yeah at the risk of taking this waaaay off topic, I kind of understand the vaccine choice thing though. I got mrna, and since my family are all super anti-vax people it’s nice to know I’m somewhat more protected from getting sick myself when around all the deniers. That mixed with the miniscule risk of blood clotting and the fact I’m in an age group that’s almost certain to get mild covid and I really wanted the mrna personally.

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