Road categories and classifications

Road categories and classifications

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Road racing licence categories explained

All junior and senior licence holders, male or female are categorised by their ability. Riders of the same ability category continue to compete together in races irrespective of their age category, except in the case of age related events.

Licence points run until 30 November each year when they are reset to zero - any points gained from 1 December (eg in Winter Series crits) go onto the following year's licence.

Senior riders

4th category

A new junior or senior licence holder or any Junior or Senior licence holder who has not obtained 12 points in any one calendar year. Riders taking out a Day Licence are also treated as 4th Category riders.

3rd category

Any junior or senior licence holder who has gained 12 points during any one season whilst holding a 4th category licence. Note: Riders are never downgraded to 4th category once a 3rd category licence has been achieved.

2nd category

Any junior or senior licence holder who has gained 40 points during any one season whilst holding a 3rd category licence. To retain a 2nd category licence for the following season, a rider must obtain at least 25 points in events open to that category of rider.

1st category

Any junior or senior licence holder who has gained 200 points during any one season whilst holding a 2nd category licence. To retain a 1st category licence for the following season, a rider must obtain at least 100 points in events open to that category of rider.

Elite category

Any Senior licence holder who has gained 300 points during the previous season whilst holding an Elite or 1st category licence,

A rider who, at the 31 December of the previous year, was listed in the top 10 in the elite men's British Cycling Cross-country MTB Series rankings may also claim an elite licence.

Junior riders

On reaching the Junior age category, existing licence holders will be awarded initial ability categories as follows:

4th category

Any rider who has gained no Youth licence points in the previous year.

3rd category

Any rider who has gained Youth licence points in the previous year.

2nd category male

Any rider who has achieved:

  • Top 15 in the Youth A Boys in the previous year's National Circuit Race Series
  • Top 10 in the Youth A Boys in the previous year's Track Omnium Series
  • Top 3 in Any in the previous year's Road/Track Youth A Boys National Championship
  • Top 10 in Youth A Boys National Rankings in the previous season

2nd category female

Any rider who has achieved:

  • Top 5 in the Youth A Girls in the previous year's National Circuit Race Series
  • Top 10 in the Youth A Girls in the previous year's Track Omnium Series
  • Top 3 in any in the previous year's Road/Track Youth A Girls National Championship
  • Top 5 in Youth A Girls National Rankings in the previous season

Note: Junior riders are not eligible for Elite licences

Road Age Classifications

Event classification system

The event classification system for road and circuit racing was introduced in 2006. Aimed at increasing the opportunities to race and the relevance of the racing, the system breaks events down into two main categories: national and regional, and is linked to national, regional, club and team rankings. Road and circuit events, other than those exclusively for youth, juniors, women and masters, are classified as follows:

National A

Eligibility: Open to Senior male Elite, 1st and 2nd category riders with a Full Racing Licence. National A closed road circuit events shall also be open to 1st and 2nd category junior riders.

Distance/Time:

  • Single Day Event: minimum 130 km if terrain is demanding; maximum of 180 km on flatter terrain.
  • Road Stage of Stage Race: minimum 80 km.
  • Circuit Race: minimum time 60 minutes, and maximum 90 minutes.

Prize list: The main prize list shall be a minimum of £2,000. Prize money shall be paid to riders placed at least 1st to 20th.

Note: Only one National A event shall be held on any one day in the UK.

National B

Eligibility: open to senior male Elite, 1st 2nd & 3rd category riders, final year Junior male 1st, 2nd & 3rd category and Senior female Elite 1st and 2nd category riders with a Full Racing Licence. Where the minimum distance for a road race is not achieved, the race shall be open to all Junior male 1st, 2nd and 3rd category riders and all Junior female 1st and 2nd category riders. For National B closed circuit events, all 1st, 2nd and 3rd category Juniors are eligible to ride.

Distance/time:

  • Single Day Event: minimum 120 km (where the race is <120km, it will be dropped by 1 points band).
  • Circuit Race: minimum time 60 minutes.

Regional A

Eligibility: open to Senior and Junior male 2nd, 3rd and 4th category and Senior and Junior female riders of all categories with a Full Racing Licence or holders of a Day Licence.

Distance/Time:

  • Single Day Event: minimum 80 km.
  • Circuit Race: minimum time 50 minutes.

Regional B

Eligibility: open to Senior and Junior male 3rd and 4th category riders and Senior and Junior female riders of all categories with a Full Racing Licence or holders of a Day Licence.

Distance/Time:

  • Single Day Event: maximum 90 km.
  • Circuit Race: minimum time 40 minutes.

Regional C & Regional C+

Eligibility: open to Senior and Junior riders of all categories with a Full Racing Licence or holders of a Day Licence. Race to be run as a handicap or other appropriate format.

Race may also be restricted to certain categories only or holders of a Day Licence.
Where the race is NOT open to 4th Category riders (eg, E/1/2/3, E/1/2 etc) Day Licence holders are not permitted to compete

Distance/Time: The minimum time shall be 30 minutes, and the maximum 90 minutes

Notes: Where the circuit is too small to allow for a handicap event which meets the minimum time requirement, the organiser may choose to use an alternative format, provided that the chosen format reasonably caters for the widest possible range of ability. Time Trials shall be run as Regional C+ or Regional C events.

Go-Race

An introductory level of racing open to 4th category riders with a Full Racing Licence, British Cycling Provisional Licence holders and non-members.
Distance/Time:

  • The maximum time for a Go-Race event shall be 30 minutes

Youth, Junior, Women & Masters

Youth riders can only compete on Closed Circuits and the category is called simply "Youth Only". It is then split into age groups:

Youth A U16 born 2001 or 2002
Youth B U14 born 2003 or 2004
Youth C U12 born 2005 or 2006
Youth D U10 born 2007 or 2008
Youth E U8 born 2009 onwards

Junior riders are categorised in the same way as Seniors with the exception that there is no Elite category. With few exceptions, the only Junior-only events are the British Cycling National Junior Road Series; in other events, Juniors compete in any road or closed circuit event open to their category.
A Junior rider is anyone born in 1999 or 2000.

Races exclusively open to women come under the catch-all catgeory of "Women-only" and are further split by ability. The HSBC UK National Women's Road Series are open to Elite, 1st, 2nd and 3rd category riders. Other races can be open to all categories or split down in similar lines to Regional A (2nd, 3rd, 4th Category) and Regional B (3rd, 4th Category) respectively.

Categories

Points Band

(Road)

Points Band

(Closed Circuit)

Points Band

(weeknight closed circuit)

E/1/2/3 (national series) Band 2 Band 3 n/a
E/1/2/3 (other) Band 3 Band 4 Band 5
E/1/2/3/4 Band 3 Band 4 Band 5
2/3/4 Band 4 Band 5 Band 5
3/4 Band 4 Band 5 Band 5

Masters racing is generally done on ability rather than age category with riders competing in any road or closed circuit event open to their category although some circuits do run Masters specific events. They are split in 5 year age bands:

Masters A Age 30-34 born 1983 - 1987
Masters B Age 35-39 born 1978 - 1982
Masters C Age 40 - 44 born 1973 - 1977
Masters D Age 45 - 49 born 1968 - 1972
Masters E Age 50 - 54 born 1963 - 1967
Masters F Age 55 - 59 born 1958 - 1962
Masters G Age 60 - 64 born 1953 - 1957
Masters H Age 65 - 69 born 1948 - 1952
Masters I Age 70 - 74 born 1943 - 1947
Masters J+ Age 75+ born 1942 or earlier