ECCC Women's Road Categories
Emma Bast (Mt Holyoke), former Women's Intro racer and later 2009 USAC Collegiate D2 National Road Race Champion, relaxes with a little cyclocross. (photo: Carlos Sabillón)
Every ECCC road race features three women's races covering four categories. Basic information about these and progressing through them is available on the Categories and Upgrades pages. The following are additional women's-specific notes and guides.
- Women's A/B. The Women's A and B categories are run as a single field for veteran racers.
- Women's A is restricted; riders must earn enough upgrade points or have a USAC Category 3 license and request an upgrade via their usacycling.org account to enter the field.
- Women's B is open to any woman, however it is a very competitive field. Previous top quartile finishes in Women's C (i.e., top 10--15 results) are highly recommended before requesting an upgrade to this category.
- The categories are scored separately; i.e., the first B finisher wins the B race, regardless of how far back in the overall field they finish. Both combined and split results are published and usable for upgrade points.
- In criteriums there are 4 primes in this field. As with the finish, As and Bs are scored separately. Women's A racers earn double points on the first and last prime. Scoring remains four deep.
- Women's C. Intermediate riders should enter the Women's C field.
- Some race experience is recommended here, including experience riding in groups (pacelining, etc.).
- Women routinely finishing ahead of this pack should consider attempting the Women's B races.
- Women's D. Beginner riders with a small amount of experience should enter the Women's D field.
- New racers who are comfortable and have some experience riding in groups (pacelining, etc.) should feel free to try this category. D riders can drop down to Intros for a weekend if they want to receive some more coaching on mass-start racing.
- Women's Intro. Completely new racers and those unused to group riding should enter the Women's Intro field, which provides a safe and educational introduction to bicycle racing.
- ECCC Women's Intro races are also open to new non-collegiate racers (first time Cat 4 licensees)!
- Immediately before every Women's Intro mass start race (road race, circuit, or crit) is a half hour off-course clinic, with veteran racers conducting drills or talking about skills and tactics.
- The race is held in a coached format. Half of the race is controlled by the coaches, ensuring everyone gains some group riding experience and instruction. For the second half the field regroups, stops, and restarts for a full out race, with coaches remaining in the field only to provide tips and ensure safety.
Remember that all categories are restricted to full time students on a licensed collegiate club, except for Women's Intro.
Compiled by Maggie Sullivan (NU alumni), former women's coordinator.