Upgrade points at non sanction races

Does anyone have experience using non USAC sanctioned races for upgrade points? If so, can you give any detail on how it works or how it worked for you? Policy VIII says it is possible, but doesn’t give much more in the way of details. Here is the policy for reference:

1.2 Non-Sanctioned Events.

Events not complying with rule 1E1(b), mentioned above, may be allowed with written agreement with USA Cycling may be taken into consideration for upgrading.

I’m specifically wondering about the Reno Wheelman stuff, like the Air Center crits, among others.


It all depends on your local official who’s in charge of upgrading, in addition to, I’d assume, what category you’re upgrading from/to, and what events they were.

For example, our local official has taken results from different non-USAC races that I’ve done when upgrading from 5>4 and from 4>3. I did submit a few non-USAC results when I completed my 3>2 upgrade, but I also had the results to be able to upgrade without them, and was asked by the official when I planned on upgrading.

I know the move from 2>1 is a bit more strict as far as the requirements, so I’d have to imagine if I were to try and submit only one or two USAC results and then a handful of non-USAC results, I’d get told that it wasn’t going to cut it.

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@TheCyclissimo thanks…that’s helpful.

Just doubling down on what @TheCyclissimo said above, and I don’t have experience with your local official, but…

Road upgrades from 5->2 are done by your local USAC representative. Upgrades from 2->1 are handled through Colorado and they are extremely strict compared to most local reps.

Your best bet to find out on what will and won’t be counted is to ask other local racers who have upgraded with the same local official that will be handling your upgrade. This means people in your same racing region.

I live on the border of two different regions and the two officials have extremely different approaches in how strictly the rules are enforced - one is fairly lenient and if you’ve gotten a bunch of races will upgrade you regardless of actual points while the other will look up event distance, starters (and their category at the time of the race), and apply the rules by the letter of the law (similar to how Colorado handles things). This extends to non-sanctioned events and whether they will count them or not (I didn’t have any of these, but what I’ve heard is that it is primarily based on the reputation of the event)

So basically - you need to talk to people in your race region to find out.

FWIW - the 2->1 upgrade has a much stricter interpretation than any of the local officials that I’m aware of, but they are understanding about some of the rules. Specifically there is some flexibility for distance on road races (I assume because there aren’t a ton of 80+ mile road races in most regions) and starters at your category (for instance if there are 55 starters in a P123 field but 6 of them are cat 3s, they’ll usually still count it as a 50 person field for the purpose of a 2->1 upgrade even though technically they don’t have to)

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Note that, while this hasn’t happened yet, it appears USAC intends to make some changes to the category system and upgrade policy, including:

  • Upgrade decisions will be handled by USAC instead of the Local Associations
  • Name change for Cat 5 / MTB Cat 3
  • Allowing at-will upgrades between some categories
  • Simplifying the points structured for voluntary and mandatory upgrades in higher categories

So, who’s to say how it will work?

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Oof, this could surely never lead to any issues…

USAC really needs to just automate things as much as possible, especially at the lower level. As a 5, if I race 10 races, they should be registered on my results, meaning that I can just go in and click a button to upgrade which can pull my results and approve or deny me from there.

I think even at the 4>3 level this could be done with a different set of requirements:

  • Have you completed at least 25 races/?
  • Have you completed 10 top 10’s?
  • Do you have between 16-20 points?

Something along those lines, you could make it more sophisticated (as their requirements are slightly more complex) but it’s a start. If you fit X amount of the requirements, submit your upgrade and get approved. If a rider hits 30+ points in a season, flag them and auto-upgrade them.

Local officials can then be the ones who need to (perhaps) downgrade someone based on race behavior or dangerous riding (the rider would then be flagged in the system and not allowed to upgrade until X is resolved).

The current system is just so convoluted and inconsistent, not to mention how confusing it can be for newer racers to understand how points work and the proper requirements to earn them.

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Good ideas, and info. Should be able to upgrade pretty quick. Thanks