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I have heard mention before of racing cyclists in the US being, say, a Category 2 racer. What are these categories and how are they decided?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Usually, it is the USA Cycling racing categories that people are referring to.

Road Upgrades
Guidelines and Notes by Category:

5-4:   Experience in 10 mass start races.
         Local Associations may also establish policies where  upgrade
         credit is given for taking asanctioned rider education clinic.

4-3:   20 points in any 12-month period; or experience in 25 races with
        a minimum of 10 top ten finishes with
        fields of 30 riders or more, or 20
        pack finishes with fields over 50. 30
        points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade

3-2:   25 points in any 12-month period
         40 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade

2-1:   30 points in any 12-month period
         50 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade
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And how does one acquire the points needed to upgrade? – Anthony K Oct 28 '10 at 23:27
It's at the bottom of the page: You get points for placing, but it's adjusted for field sizes (so you can't get 7 pts for winning a crit against 4 other guys!). – Jay Oct 29 '10 at 0:18

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