Race Categories Explained

A race license confirms your racing credentials and participation rights as conditionally set forth through international (UCI) and national (Cycling Canada) race categories.

Races in British Columbia, and in other jurisdictions, will be employ different models for segmenting participants into different categories. Some races will feature exclusively age-based categories, others will be ability-based, and some will use a mix of both. Age categories and ability categories are mutually exclusive. Your racing age will determine your age category while your experience and competency, as demonstrated by your results history, will determine your ability category. Therefore, age categories will automatically be adjusted to reflect a racers change in age. However, ability categories can only be changed by Cycling BC (or another licensing authority) and this requires athletes to report their results in order to change categories.

Please note that if age-based categories and ability-based categories are offered at an event, athletes may have the option to enter different categories depending on their licensed categories. For example, if a road race has a “masters” category (aged 35+) as well as Cat 2, Cat 3 and Cat 4 races, an individual with a Masters Cat 3 license will have the option of racing in the masters field or the Cat 3 field.

 

SUBMIT AN UPGRADE REQUEST

Age Categories Road Ability Levels Mountain Bike Ability Levels BMX Ability Levels
Youth (U13, U15, U17) Cat 4 Novice Novice
U23 Cat 3 Sport Intermediate
Elite Cat 2 Expert Expert
Master Cat 1 Elite

Cycling BC will consider results obtained during a rolling 18 month period. For example, in a request submitted in January 2020, we will consider all results from 2019 as well as results from the latter half of 2018. Only results acquired from racing with a UCI licence or Provincial Race License, in UCI licence categories, will be considered. Upgrade requests must be submitted through the CCN website. Incomplete upgrade request forms will not be processed.

Athletes are required to race in their designated categories and will collect points as a result of top place finishes, as outlined below. Riders may only upgrade one category per race season. Exemptions will be considered by Cycling BC on a case-by-case basis.

Decisions concerning upgrade requests are final. However, in exceptional cases, appeals can be made by emailing membership@cyclingbc.net to request that your upgrade be reconsidered. All appeals must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from an NCCP-certified coach, supporting your upgrade request.

We are working with clubs and race organizers to provide more opportunities for BC riders to participate in races meeting the standards for UCI category upgrades. To this end, Cycling BC is pleased to announce the creation of a province-wide points system that will bring together all levels of events to support a cumulative ranking and upgrade system.

For youth riders wishing to request a temporary age-category upgrade, the athlete must submit the following to Cycling BC no less than 3 weeks prior to the event:

  • a letter of recommendation written by that athlete’s NCCP certified coach
  • a list of results obtained in road events sanctioned by a provincial or national sport organization during the 2018 or 2019 season
  • Non BC residents should submit a photocopy of their UCI license

Changes between Master and Elite are only possible at the time of annual license renewal. Mid‐season changes between Elite and Master are not possible.

An athlete aged 35 years old must decide whether he/she will compete in the Elite or Master category for the entire season. This choice must be made each year at the time of application (1.1.036). The UCI category corresponds to the rider’s choice to race in the Elite or Master category for national and international events*, regardless of age. The choice of Master status shall not be available for riders belonging to a UCI trade team.

*If an athlete aged 35 years old or over and wants to race in the Elite category for provincial events, but wants to race Master for national and international events, he/she must take a Master licence and ask the Provincial Association to produce an upgrade letter to participate in provincial events in the Elite category.

Note: Championship events are based on age group categories as defined by the UCI.

 

Note:  The national rider category code reads as follows: 
1st letter: discipline
2nd letter: gender
3-5th letters and/or numbers: National category
Last letter or number: ability
 UCI Category  National Category Category  Road  Track  CX  XC  DH  Enduro 
Youth  Under 13 women  RWU13 TWU13 CWU13 XWU13
Under 13 men  RMU13 TMU13 CMU13 XMU13
Under 15 women  RWU15 TWU15 CWU15 XWU15 DWU15
Under 15 men  RMU15 TMU15 CMU15 XMU15 DMU15
Under 17 women  RWU17 TWU17 CWU17 XWU17 DWU17 ENWU17
Under 17 men  RMU17 TMU17 CMU17 XMU17 DMU17 ENMU17
Junior Junior women  RWJ TWJ CWJ XWJ DWJ
Junior men  RMJ TMJ CMJ XMJ DMJ
Under 23  Under 23 women  RWU23 CWU23 XWU23
Under 23 men  RMU23 CMU23 XMU23
Elite  Elite women RWE TWE CWE XWE DWE ENWE
Elite men  RME TME CME XME DME ENME
Master  Master women 35-44  RWMA TWMA CWMA XWMA DWWA
Master women 45-54  RWMB TWMB CWMB XWMB DWWB
Master women 55-64  RWMC CWMC XWMC
Master women 65+  RWMD CWMD
Master men 35-44  RMMA TMMA CMMA XMMA DMMA
Master men 45-54  RMMB TMMB CMMB XMMB DMMB
Master men 55-64  RMMC TMMC CMMC XMMC DMMC
Master men 65+  RMMD TMMD CMMD XMMD
Ability codes: Cat 1 1 Elite No Code
Cat 2 2 Expert .E
Cat 3 3 Sport .S
Cat 4 4 Novice .N
BMX
UCI Category  National Category Category  BMX 20”  BMX 24” 
Challenge 20” 5 years female BW5
Female  6 years female  BW6
7 years female  BW7
8 years female  BW8
9 years female  BW9
10 years female  BW10
11 years female  BW11
12 years female  BW12
13 years female  BW13
14 years female  BW14
15 years female  BW15
16 years female  BW16
17-24 years female  BW17-24
25+ years female  BW25+
Male  5 years male BM5
6 years male BM6
7 years male BM7
8 years male BM8
9 years male  BM9
10 years male  BM10
11 years male BM11
12 years male  BM12
13 years male  BM13
14 years male  BM14
15 years male  BM15
16 years male  BM16
17-24 years male  BM17-24
25-29 years male BM25-29
30-34 years male  BM30-34
35+ years male  BM35+
Challenge Cruiser 24”  12 years & under female BCSW12
Female  13-14 years female  BCSW13-14
15-16 years female  BCSW15-16
17-29 years female  BCSW17-29
30-39 years female BCSW30-39
40+ years female  BCSW40+
Male  12 years & under male  BCSM12
13 & 14 years male  BCSM13-14
15 & 16 years male BCSM15-16
17-29 years male  BCSM17-29
30-34 years male  BCSM30-34
35-39 years male  BCSM35-39
40-44 years male  BCSM40-44
45-49 years male  BCSM45-49
50+ years male  BCSM50+
Championship Junior  Junior women  BWJ BCSWJ
Junior Men BMJ BCSMJ
Championship Elite  Elite women 19+  BWE BCSWE
Elite men 19+  BME BCSME
Masters men 30+  BMMCH30
Ability Codes: Expert  .E
Intermediate .I
Novice  .N
Note: The ability code is added after the National category code

Discipline-specific Upgrade Criteria

  • BMX

    20″ CATEGORIES

    Riders with BMX licenses can have ability categories for the 20” class as follows:

    Males:

    • Novice: Riders new to the sport; they have less than 10 race wins. One of the “Challenge” categories.
    • Intermediate: Riders with some experience; these riders have less than 25 wins as an intermediate. One of the “Challenge” categories.
    • Expert: Highly skilled amateur riders. One of the “Challenge” categories.

    Females:

    • Novice: Riders new to the sport; they have less than 25 race wins. One of the “Challenge” categories.
    • Expert: Highly skilled amateur riders. One of the “Challenge” categories.

     

    Within the 20” bicycle class, categories are determined first by the rider’s age group, and then by their ability category as described above. Riders must upgrade when they earn the number of race wins described in the lists above.

  • Cyclo-cross

    Upgrade credit is available only at BC Championship and Regional A-level events.

    • To move up a category, riders must have two wins or three top-five placings.
    • If there are fewer than five riders in a category, only the top two will receive upgrade credit.
    • Riders can only upgrade one category per race season
    • Upgrade credit can be considered from high-sanctioned out-of-province races at the discretion of Cycling BC. In order to be considered, out-of-province races must a possess a similar category format to that of Cycling BC Regional A or BC Championship races and have commissaires/officials.
  • Mountain Bike

    Upgrade credits are available only at BC Championship, BC Cup, and Regional A level events.

    • To move up a category, riders must have two wins or three top-five placings.
    • If there are fewer than five riders in a category, only the top two will receive upgrade credit.
    • Riders can only upgrade one category per race season.
    • Upgrade credits may be considered from high-sanctioned out-of-province races at the discretion of Cycling BC. Out-of-province races: In order to be considered, out-of-province races must a possess a similar category format to that of Cycling BC Regional A, BC Cup, or BC Championship level races and have commissaires/officials.
  • Road

    Upgrade points will be calculated starting in 2017. Points will not be retroactively applied to races prior to 2017.

    Only results from the current year are eligible for upgrade consideration once your licence has been issued.

    Category
    Points required
    Cat 4 to 3 25
    Cat 3 to 2 30
    Cat 2 to 1 35 pts + letter of recommendation from an NCCP-certified coach
    Sanction
    Level
    Races
    Points*
    AAA – National / International National Championships, Provincial Championships (championship categories only), UCI races, Superweek Elite 1/2 races Top 10 (20, 18, 16 … 2)
    AA – Provincial BC Cup Series Races, and equivalent USA Cycling Amateur Races (Tour de Bloom, Mutual of Enumclaw, etc.), collegiate races, Superweek 3/4 races Top 8 (10, 9, 8 … 3)
    A – Local Local sanctioned Races (Spring Classics, World Tuesday Night Championships) Top 5 (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
    Road race, criterium, and time trial events all earn equal points.
    • Points will only be allocated to races which are officiated by licensed, certified commissaires, and which are run with UCI ability categories. Results from self-seeded races do not count towards upgrades.
    • Results from Grassroots or Mass Participation events do not count towards upgrades.
    • If the starting field size is less than double the number of positions awarded points in the above table, points will be limited to half of the field, rounded down (ie. AA race, 11 starters, points awarded to top five finishers, as follows: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6).
    • If gender categories are combined into one field for a race, points will be calculated separately for each gender race category.
    • If ability categories are combined into one field for a race, points will be calculated for finishing position within the field; ability categories will not be separated out for upgrade points calculations.
    • Upgrade points may be awarded for results in high-sanctioned out-of-province races at the discretion of Cycling BC. In order to be considered, out-of-province races must possess a similar category format to that of the appropriate Cycling BC sanction level, and be officiated by licensed commissaires.

    It is acknowledged that some riders will serve as domestiques and ride in a more competitive race while others will chase points in a less competitive race. This does not impact the upgrade policy.

    Downgrade Policy:

    Enforced downgrades can occur if no points are collected within a 24-month period.

    A rider can choose to downgrade at the beginning of the season prior to purchasing their licence. Any rider requesting to downgrade will be subject to review and approval by Cycling BC.

  • Track

    Upgrade credit is available only at BC Championship and Regional A level events.

    Upgrade points from Cat 3 to 2 and Cat 2 to 1 are only available at BC Championship and Regional A level events

    Upgrade credit from Cat 4 are available in any race where more than 10 riders are in the field. However, results for these upgrades will be based only on Omnium Standings for that race (i.e. 1st in a Belgium Win & Out at the BVC’s Friday Night Race series will not count as one win, however an overall Omnium win at a Friday Night Race will count).

    • In order to be eligible to upgrade from Cat 4, a rider must show results from at least 2 different velodromes.
    • Riders can only upgrade one category per race season unless decided otherwise by Cycling BC under special circumstances. Riders who wish to upgrade more than one category in a season must apply to Cycling BC. The application should include a reference from an authorized NCCP coach/individual from the rider’s home velodrome and provide support (ie. results) as to why the additional upgrade is deserved.
    • All other categories require two wins or three top-five placings to move up one category.
    • Upgrade credit may be considered from high-sanctioned out-of-province races at the discretion of Cycling BC.  In order to be considered, out-of-province races must a possess a similar category format to that of Cycling BC Regional A or BC Championship level races and have commissaires/officials present.