Upgrades Hero 1140x500

Category upgrade information

Overview of Category Upgrades

Category Novice (Cat NOV) serves as the entry-level tier for newcomers to racing, offering shorter and less technical races aimed at ensuring enjoyment and skill development. As athletes progress through categories, races become longer and more challenging. USA Cycling offers various upgrade pathways tailored to different disciplines such as Road, Track, Cyclocross, and Mountain bike, with separate management for BMX categories by USA BMX.

Upgrades are earned by accumulating points in your current category. Once you have accumulated the required points for your next category upgrade, you will need to submit your request through your online USA Cycling account.

How Do I know When I'm Eligible to Upgrade My Category?

  1. Understand the Basics: Familiarizing yourself with Policy VIII will provide clarity on the criteria needed to progress in your discipline. Everyone begins in the Novice Category working their way to Category 1, the lower the category the more challenging the competition.
  2. Focus on Learning and Fitness: Instead of solely aiming for a higher placing, focus on building fitness and learning from experienced racers in your current category. This approach will better prepare you for success as you progress.
  3. Value of Experience: Don't underestimate the importance of race experience. The knowledge gained from participating in events is invaluable and complements the points earned towards your category upgrade.
  4. Accumulate Points: Earn points by participating in races within your current category.
  5. Check Eligibility: Once you've accumulated the required points for your next category upgrade, submit your upgrade request through your USA Cycling account.

By following these steps and maintaining a focus on learning and improvement, you'll be well-prepared to advance through the USA Cycling categories effectively.

How do I submit an upgrade request?

To submit your request: Log in to your USA Cycling account, navigate to the Licenses section, and click on Upgrade. Select the requested category and provide the necessary information, including race details and placings, to support your request.

The request will be sent to USA Cycling staff responsible for reviewing upgrades in your area. Please provide the information about your race experience and placings in the following manner.

  • Upgrade requests are processed in 3-5 business days, so please approach the timing of your upgrade request in a manner that reflects the importance of your upgrade being processed in a timely manner.

The information you must provide includes:

  • Name of event
  • Race/Event date
  • Type of event (Road/Track/Mountain Bike)
  • Category (or Categories of your field)
  • Number of participants
  • Placing (if applicable)
  • Points for the placings you've achieved per Policy VIII

If the administrator approves the upgrade, your account will be changed to reflect your new category, and a confirmation email will be sent.

Only races/events permitted by USA Cycling or foreign races permitted by a UCI-affiliated national federation will count for upgrading.

Updated 6/17/24

Rules Policies Hero 1440X500

Policy VIII: Race Category Upgrading/Downgrading