Provincial Championships are typically expected to be age based, which is currently thestandard with Canada Cycling/UCI. Generally speaking age categories are Youth (U17, U15 etc), Junior (17 & 18 year olds), Senior Elite (19-29), Master A (30-29), Master B (40-49), Master C (50-59).
However, as Manitoba is still trying to grow it’s competition base, Cycling Canada supports our province identifying a system that will grow participation at our Provincial Championships.
In Manitoba, our typical weekend/Cup races use ability based categories. For example, in Cyclocross we have the A, B & C races; in MTB the categories are Sport, Comp, Expert & Elite and in Road riders are separated into Cat 1/2/3, Cat 4 & Cat 5. Once physical maturity is reached there are few limitations to racing in your appropriate ability category. A 16 year old and a 50 year old can race together in the Expert or Cat 1/2/3 category for example.
Three years ago the MTB committee voted in favor of running the MTB Provincial Championships with ability based (rather than age based) categories. Thus racers competed in the same category they had been in all season, regardless of their age.
However, for athletes wishing to pursue National Championships it is important to note that MTB, Road and Cyclocross National Championships are age based.
In Manitoba, Road and Cyclocross Provincial Championship races are still age based despite various start groups being structured around ability (primarily for safety and athletic ability reasons). Here is a breakdown of the categories:
The UCI/ Age based National race categories for event class are as follows: (apologiesif I made any errors)Master 50+ & 60+ M/H (2 categories)Master 30-39 & 40 + W/F (2 categories)Master 40-49 M/HMaster 30-39 M/HU17 M/H & W/F (Challenge Races)U15, U13, M/H & W/F (Challenge Races)Junior U23 M/HWomen Youth (17-22) W/FElite (23+) W/FElite M/H
The Ability based race categories:Road Cat 1,2,3/Cyclo Cross Cat 1, 2Road Cat 4/Cyclo Cross Cat 3Road Cat 5/Cyclo Cross Cat 4MTB: sport, comp, expert and elite (male/ female, jr/ sr) total of up to 16 categories with3 places. 48 medals