That’s pretty much the question. Or perhaps open cat races are common but I’m missing them somehow?
Got blasted again in A cat today. Time put me middle of B. That’s pretty much every race for me, yet I’m required to enter A. So frustrating. The couple open cat races I’ve entered were much more enjoyable than the usual/ongoing cat insanity. How do we get more of them?
I don’t know what kind of race it was, exactly. The only choice was E cat.
The race was… 12/4/20 [Team CLS Racing - Hills n Holly S5] (I wonder when I’ll be able to post links/photos and such)
Sure, time-wise I finished in the same position as I would have with the “regular” cat structure, but it felt more like in real life. Repeatedly finishing last in a cat I’m forced to join is demoralizing. What’s worse is that nearly half of B cat finishes ahead of me almost invariably.
Perhaps another way of posing the question… what’s the point of the cat system and what would it be like without it? Improved, in my opinion.
I don’t mean to be the classic internet pedant, but I used to race IRL. To me, mass start has meant that all riders in a category start at the same time. In contrast, in a time trial, you start one by one. At least, that’s the context where I’ve heard mass start used. I do get your point.
Interestingly, USA cycling uses the phrase “staggered mass start” to describe starts in road races, criteriums, and cyclocross races where each category starts together. Presumably this is because Gran Fondos where you all start together can also be considered a mass start event.
Back to the original post. IRL road racing has not generally done an all categories mass start. However, gravel racing has. I don’t run competitively, but my understanding is that a lot of road running races do this, although they probably call the pros to the front. One reason not to have an all-cat mass start is so that you don’t interfere with the race dynamics of another category. However, you can certainly have a good race with all categories mixed.
I like all the categories mixed because it looks like when I resume incorporating a race day as part of my training, I will probably be the lowest of the B’s.
At least I will be able to ride with the C’s although I will be identified as a B.