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?
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; 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 - USA Cycling-sanctioned rider camps and clinics that are approved by the Local Associations for upgrading will count as a maximum of three upgrade points when upgrading from category 4 to 3 3-2: 30 points 40 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade 2-1: 35 points 50 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade