USAC Changing Upgrade Policy

Seems a bit better to me overall, more logical at least. Not sure about pack finishes for moving to 4>3. Is that a thing now?

Anyway, #themoreyouknow:


Oh. And no more Cat 5’s. Cat5 is ‘Novice’ now.

Well. That’s frustrating. Cat 4 is the new Cat 5. Feels like I wasted last season…

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I like their new “wins” policy - seems like it’ll move people “stuck” thru


Link without that Facebook tracking click ID garbage.


thanks, i didn’t even see it. OP is changed now.

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Nah - you got some good race experience.

When does this go into effect?


I think these are very positive changes. It’ll be interesting to see the new distribution of Licenced categories when the race directors of each region perform the mandatory upgrades.

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Holy crap, these are big changes and I’m confused. Here’s what it looks like to me for road.

  1. You can earn more points in crits and circuit races now. Looks like it’s a flat points structure.

  2. You get less points for stage race placement than before.

  3. There’s no mention of a limit of 20 points for an event like before.

  4. There’s no mention of only getting 10 cat 1 upgrade points in a masters racing. Does this mean I can just race masters from now on and get a cat 1 upgrade?

  5. No mention of limiting upgrade points from weekly series.

Can anyone comment on the above if it’s accurate?


These revisions came out today and the website has been updated Here I’ll get with our area director tomorrow and see if he has any more clarifications. I suspect the goal is to move people up as quickly as safely possible, so, getting to Cat 1 will be easier than before (a lot of races put 1/2/3 together anyway).


It’s even crazier for track.
Based on the plain-language reading as posted on the USAC site, you could theoretically upgrade to Cat 1 on the track without ever doing a mass start race (purely on sprint tourney points). That and completely removing field minimums could make for some very uh… interesting racing at masters nationals this year.

That seems to be accurate.
It really hurts stage races in terms of how useful they are for upgrading - my read is there’s zero upgrade points for a single stage win, ONLY points from final GC standing, which is why the language about capping points to 20 from a stage race isn’t needed anymore.

IDK but, this seems too easy IMO. I don’t think this is taking masters into account but we’ll see as I have more than the required for a mandatory upgrade.

My read is that the GC now follows the same points table as the stages, rather than having its own points table. I don’t see any verbiage excluding individual stages, only clarification on how GC points are given.


I am slightly happy with most of the changes, but this part is awful.

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Ah, you may be right. This makes way more sense.

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So if a gravel ride is sanctioned by USAC, does it offer upgrade points? For which discipline?

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As a Cat 5 (now Novice) racer, I don’t think anything is very different for me going into this season, right? Still need the same points requirement to get a Cat 4 upgrade and once I reach that category is where the changes come into play.

These two seem like the biggest potential changes to me on the road side.

I can’t imagine they are going to let you fill out a cat 1 upgrade with masters events, but there is no mention of it anywhere so it is either an oversight or they’ve changed course dramatically

The removal of the very deep point payout for 50+ person stage races (points went 20 deep in the old model) is significant primarily for 2->1 due to the lack of pure cat 2 stage race fields. This used to be a nice way to give TT specialists some opportunities at points, that same field size now only pays 9 deep, dramatic difference. If I remember correctly 9th place in a 50 person stage was used to be 11 points, it is now only 1. Ouch!

Even if there is still a limit on masters+series points of 10 (as there was previously) this still seems to make the 2->1 upgrade process easier since 11 person crits now pay points 6 deep. Not sure there are a ton of tiny crit fields, but more points for these events should mean more people are able to upgrade more quickly

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It looks like as a cat 5 you can choose to upgrade at any point voluntarily