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I'm curious as to what others think about the basic racing categories in 'cross right now. I'm kind of a newbie, racing in Cat 4 races. I'm having fun, and I'm a loooong way from standing on any podiums. I don't care, BUT I've got some friends that I want to introduce to 'cross and unfortunately they'd be suffering far worse than I. They've raced MTB and are certainly not new to cycling, but I don't feel like I can invite them to a race knowing how they might do (get lapped).

Is the Cat 4 category full of sandbaggers? (there's PLENTY of ti bikes and riders in team skin suits...) Or should there be another, entry level, race class?

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Cat 4's full of sandbaggers. But Cat 3 is as well, and that's what forces the Cat 4 sandbaggers to stay in their current category. Ronald Reagan would call it Trickle-down sandbagging. You could have Cat 13 and there would still be some schmuck in there lapping the field.
yeah, no worries, tell them that is how it is and let them decide for themselves if they like it or not.

I suck, amd a beginner in every sense of the word. I have a kick ass bike waaaaay beyond my abilities and love every minute of the suffering. Other people's sandbagging, opinions, and attitudes are just wasted concern. Man go out (with your pals) and make the best of it. Work hard and who knows, maybe you have a cool result.

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