Only races permitted by USA Cycling or foreign races permitted by a UCI affiliated National Federation will count for upgrading (1E1(b)). This means that results from events without USA Cycling permits—such as most races at Pacific Raceways, Seward Park on Thursday nights, and (with a couple of exceptions) in Oregon—may not be used for points toward a category upgrade. If, however, you feel that your placings in these events support your upgrade request, you may list them in the race results you submit with your upgrade request. Cat 2 riders should also note that, for cat 1 road upgrades, only 10 points may be earned in masters races or training races (1E2(a***)).
Checklist for Road and Cyclocross Category Upgrades
Information on the upgrade process and how to calculate your points begins on page 15 of Chapter 1 of the USA Cycling rulebook, found here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/imm-usac-uat-bucket-16e9mh4tuo6kc/documents/Rules-Policies/2018_Chapter1_GeneralRegulations.pdf
1. When you think you've earned enough points to upgrade, tabulate the points you've earned in the last 36 months, or your previous category upgrade, whichever is most recent (category 5 riders simply need finishes in 10 qualifying mass-start road events). Points vary depending on race type and field size.
2. Log in to your USA Cycling account, click on the Edit License Details link in the Domestic Race License banner, and then click on the Upgrade/Downgrade link corresponding to the race discipline/category you wish to change.
3. On the Upgrade/Downgrade page that appears, click on the category you wish to change to in the specific discipline and provide detailed information in the text box to justify your request. For each event in which you've earned upgrade points, please include: name and date of the race, type of event, category, field size (estimated number of starters—show only those in your category if it's a combined field), your placing, and the number of points you earned at this event.
4. After you submit your request, it will be forwarded to a local or regional coordinator (depending on category) for consideration. As soon as it is approved (or denied), you will be notified by email. Allow up to 7 days for processing your request.
5. When your upgrade is approved/denied, you will receive an automated response. If your category change request has been approved, it's recommended that you take a screen shot of the Print Authorization to Ride page under the License Information section of your legacy USA Cycling account. Be sure to capture your name, new category, and current membership status. You can present the photo as your license at race registration even where cell coverage is poor or when the USAC site is slow to load.
Answers to Some FAQs
Riders cannot earn upgrade points in time trials or in events outside the particular cycling discipline the upgrade is requested for (that is, mountain bike results don't count toward a road upgrade). Riders may earn a few road upgrade points at weekly series races if the events are permitted by USA Cycling. The higher the category, however, the less reliance there should be on results from these races (that is, they are great experience for upgrading from cat 5 to cat 4 but a rider should not hope to become a cat 2 or cat 1 based mostly on results at weekly training races).
Riders may earn upgrade points from combined-category races. But, for example, in a combined cat 4-5 field, the field size for a cat 4 rider is only all the other cat 4s in the race, not all riders (no points for beating riders in lower categories).
Riders may earn upgrade points from masters or juniors races, although there are limits to the number of points, especially for riders upgrading to cat 1 (see rule 1E2(a***)). Final GC placings in stage races count only for upgrades to categories 2 and 1, and riders are limited in the number of points they may earn from any given race (see rulebook). Note that an omnium does not qualify as a stage race; a stage race is defined as an event where a rider must complete one stage in order to start the next.
More Questions about Upgrades?
If you have other questions about upgrading, how to count your upgrade points, etc., see the Contact page for the email address of the WSBA representative who processes category changes for your discipline (road, track, cyclocross).