Race Licenses 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 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.

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 (23 & up) Cat 2 Expert Expert
Master (35 & up) Cat 1 Elite
  • Category upgrade requests can be made through applications submitted on CCN. Requests made by riders who fulfil the points or experience outlined under the discipline-specific criteria below will be reviewed and processed. All other upgrade requests will be reviewed by the upgrade committee. The upgrade committee will consist of the Member and Events Services Manager, the High Performance Manager and the provincial coach in the discipline related to the upgrade request. The committee may request a written letter of support from the riders’ NCCP certified coach and/or the rider undergo an in-person skills assessment.
  • Cycling BC will consider results obtained during a rolling 18-month period. In light of the absence of racing in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Cycling BC will consider results obtained during a rolling 24-month period. For example, in the case of a request submitted in January 2021, we will consider all results from 2020 as well as results from 2019.
  • Only results acquired during racing with a UCI Race license or Provincial Race License will be considered. Upgrade requests must be submitted through the CCN website. Incomplete upgrade request forms will not be processed.
  • Only Cycling BC members in good standing are eligible to upgrade. Suspended members, or those with outstanding balances on their account will be denied.

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

An athlete aged 35 years old must decide whether he/she will select Elite or Master as their UCI category for the entire season. This choice must be made each year at the time of application (UCI rule 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.

A master athlete may not change their UCI category as indicated on their license at any point during the season. However, unless competing in UCI events, our Cycling BC guidelines allow masters riders to choose what category they wish to compete in for all non-UCI events.

*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

Submit an upgrade request

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

    1.1.      Results-based upgrades

    • Upgrade Points will only be allocated to races which are officiated by licensed and 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 results-based upgrades but may be considered in applications for experienced-based upgrades and for review by the upgrade committee.
    • If the starting field size is less than double the number of positions awarded points in the lowest tier of point schedule (see table 1), points will be limited to half of the field, rounded down (i.e. in a race with 6 starters, points are awarded to top 3 finishers as follows: 5, 4, 3).
    • If gender categories are combined into one field for a race, points will be calculated separately for each gender race category based on the total combined field size.
    • 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.
    • For female-only race fields, the finishers will be assessed points based on the field size tiers in table #. At a minimum, the tier 3 (15-25 riders) points scale will be applied regardless of field size. Rule number 1.2.3 still applies.
    • Results from races where riders are segmented by age rather than license ability categories will be assessed half of the points detailed in the point schedule.
    • Upgrade points may be awarded for results in 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.
    • A maximum of half of the assessed upgrade points may be earned from results in individual time trial events. For example, a racer upgrading to Cat 2 with 25 points must have at least 13 points earned from results in mass start races.
    • Riders who have upgraded will start with a balance of zero points in their new category.
    • Series: Riders who are more than halfway through a series of 10 races or less may request a one-time waiver of mandatory upgrade.

     

     

    Table 1.1.       Upgrade Point Schedule for results-based upgrades

    Field Size of 41+ riders (Not including DNS) Field Size of 25-40 riders (Not Including DNS) Field Size of 15-25 riders (Not Including DNS) Field Size of less than 15 riders (Not Including DNS)
    1st place – 12 points 1st place – 10 points 1st place – 8 points 1st place – 5 points
    2nd place – 10 points 2nd place – 8 points 2nd place – 6 points 2nd place – 4 points
    3rd place – 8 points 3rd place – 6 points 3rd place – 5 points 3rd place – 3 points
    4th place – 7 points 4th place – 5 points 4th place – 4 points 4th place – 2 points
    5th place – 6 points 5th place – 4 points 5th place – 3 points 5th place – 1 point
    6th place – 5 points 6th place – 3 points
    7th place – 4 points 7th place – 2 points
    8th place – 3 points 8th place – 1 point
    9th place – 2 points 9th place – 1 point
    10th place – 1 point 10th place – 1 point
    • Results in the following events will receive double points:
      • BC Cup Series races
      • Provincial Championships
      • USAC sanctioned races (incl. Tour of Walla Walla, Tour De Bloom, etc.)
      • Races on Cycling Canada’s National calendar

     

    1.2.      Experience-based upgrades

    • Experience-based upgrades will be based on a predefined number of completed mass-start events including sanctioned races, grassroots races and mass participation road events where the starting field size is greater than 15.
    • Experience-based upgrades are eligible to riders moving from Cat 5 to Cat 4.
    • Event results must be made available for review by Cycling BC, either by means of public dissemination or sent to us directly.

    Table 1.2.       Category Development Pathway

    Results path Experience Path
    5 to 4  Mandatory: 20 points

     

    • Pass Learn to Ride course, or;
    • complete 3+ bunch start events
    4 to 3 Voluntary: 25 points  

     

    Mandatory: 35 points
    3 to 2 Voluntary: 25 points
    Mandatory: 40 points
    2 to 1 Voluntary: 30 points
    Mandatory: 40 points
    • As required by CC Trade Team, USAC Elite Teams, UCI continental Teams

    1.3.      2020-2021 Covid-19 Considerations

    Cycling BC recognizes that the Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging for all athletes. Young and developing athletes may have been disproportionally affected by the cancellation of races as they have not been able to refine and execute their skills and tactics in a competitive environment. In order to facilitate athletes’ progress along their development pathway and to alleviate “overcrowding” in the lower categories, Cycling BC will employ the following measures for the 2021 race season:

    • All racers with points held over from the 2019 season that meet the required point thresholds indicated in table 1.2 can apply to upgrade in advance of the 2021 season.
    • Racers with previous experience but without meeting the requirements as indicated in table 1.2 may request an upgrade through the following ways:
    • Participate in a Cycling BC organized Learn-to-Race skills assessment clinic during fall/winter 2020/21. During these clinics, Cycling BC coaching staff will evaluate a rider’s skill level to determine if the rider is eligible for an upgrade. Schedule TBD.
    • Request a review by the upgrade committee.
  • 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).

    • To move up a category, riders must have two wins or three top-five placings.
    • 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.

Submit an upgrade request