Guide to SXC Race Categories (updated Jan 2015)
For all those folks thinking of coming along and trying their hand at Cross Country racing for the first time, or after a break away from the sport, here's a wee explanation of the different categories to help you know what to enter.
ELITE - these are the super fast guys and girls who hold and Elite race licence as issued by British Cycling. Always worth watching to check out their lines and how well they carry speed through the tough sections.
SPORT (male) - sport would be applicable to racers aged 19-29 who either don't have enough BC points to race Elite, or who simply don't feel like making the leap yet. A fast and competitive category, but a good feeder, entry route for newer competitors.
MASTERS – for 2015, in line with British Cycling, this category has been dropped. Former “Master” men can choose to enter either Sport or Elite/Expert depending on their ability and sense of challenge.
VETERAN (male) - this bunch can fly too! These are your 40-49 year olds, and as we all know, XC MTB'ing lends itself rather well to the more mature racer with more experience, stamina and endurance.
GRAND VETERAN (male) - moving up through the age rankings, these fine men and woman are aged 50-59 and still have some speed about them!
SUPER VETERAN (male) - don't let the greying hairs (if any!) through the helmet fool you, the 60+ year olds in this category provided some excellent competitive racing.
SENIOR (female) – for the 2015 season, we have combined all women’s senior categories (apart from Elite/Expert). We feel this will give a more exciting and competitive race. So, former Master, Sport, Vet and Grand Vet ladies should enter this one.
TASTER - for anyone! This would be two laps of the course and is a good testing ground for new riders who want to see how they'd get on before moving into their age-related category.
And our rising stars...
JUNIOR - young lads and ladies aged 17-19 years who will often be well paced with the elite. An excellent way for young riders to learn their trade.
YOUTH - 15-16 year olds who provide some big categories and good racing for all abilities with mini-battles all throughout the field.
JUVENILLE - for anyone between 12-14 years, an excellent progression up from U12 racing, with large, strong entry fields and plenty of support from the parents at the side of the track.
UNDER-12 - Does what it says on the tin! 8 to 12 year olds battle it out in three separate age groups, on a separate shorter lap safe from the big wheels of the adult categories.
If in doubt, check out the guidelines on birth dates - sounds more confusing than it is, as it's based upon what age you'll be that year, e.g If you'll turn 50 in September, even though you'll be 49 all race season, you should enter the Grand Vet category.