How to become "Pro"



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David Sommervil

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By John Lieswyn - From Racelisting today
____________________________________________________________________________
___

Please tell me how to become a professional road racer. How do you move up to pro status and compete
at different categories? I am a cat 5 racer and love it. I just want to know how to move up in
categories and fulfill my dream of becoming a professional. Thank you very much for all of your time
and good luck with your training and career!

Shaun K. Riebl New York

This is probably one of the most asked questions I get, although it's usually from Juniors and Cat
1's. Go to www.usacycling.org. Click on USCF rulebook. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader (most
everyone does) to view
it. Page 16 defines qualifying races, and the points you get for placings and experience in these
races. Moving up through the categories is accomplished by accumulating points and experience.
Once you are a Cat 1, then you can start worrying about how to become a pro! It takes anywhere
from six months (Tom Danielson) to more than 7 years (me!) of racing full time to garner the
reputation, resume, and eventually the contract. How did Tom Danielson do it so fast? He was
just a Cat 3 when somebody saw how amazing this guy could go uphill, and finagled his way into
the Pro1/2 field at Tour of the Gila, New Mexico. Not a huge race, but you don't get top 3 in a
Pro1/2 stage there without having some serious talent. He smoked a bunch of paid pros up the
climb to Mogollon and that was that. Another rare example of someone who seemingly circumvented
the years of hard work at the Cat 2 and then 1 level is Svein Tuft. In just a couple short
seasons this guy came out of nowhere to win a stage of the only UCI stage race in North America
(at the time), the Tour de Beauce. Paid contract assured!

Let's assume that you're now a Cat 1. There are a half dozen tier 3 pro teams in the USA, fielding
less than a hundred total pros. Of that number, I'm guessing about 40 are "really" pro in that they
are receiving a salary (not a stipend, but enough to pay a mortgage, buy a car, and pay health
insurance). If you just want the lifestyle, maybe you can be one of those "pros" who isn't getting a
real salary. You'd probably need savings, a patron (wife/parents), or super low living costs. How do
you go from Cat 1 to the top 40 in the US and a salary? Win NRC level races or do something like Tom
or Svein Tuft have done.

Hope this answers your question, and remember that you don't have to be Lance to have fun with the
sport. It's a lot of hard work but at the same time it's a very rewarding sport for those who have
an optimistic personality!

John Lieswyn

--
Its all clear to me now.....

David Sommerville http://davidsommerville.com [email protected] [email protected]
 
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Bill Lloyd

Guest
These days, also, being young (under 27) helps tremendously due to the way the Pro system works.

If you're a 24 year old Cat 2 and there are a bunch of 33 year old Cat 1's who want to go "pro"
you've bought yourself a ride on an up and coming Division 3 team :p

"David Sommerville" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> By John Lieswyn - From Racelisting today
>
____________________________________________________________________________
> ___
>
> Please tell me how to become a professional road racer. How do you move up to pro status and
> compete at different categories? I am a cat 5 racer and love it. I just want to know how to move
> up in categories and fulfill my dream of becoming a professional. Thank you very much for all of
> your time and good luck with your training and career!
>
> Shaun K. Riebl New York
>
>
> This is probably one of the most asked questions I get, although it's usually from Juniors and Cat
> 1's. Go to www.usacycling.org. Click on USCF rulebook. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader (most
> everyone does) to view
> it. Page 16 defines qualifying races, and the points you get for placings and experience in these
> races. Moving up through the categories is accomplished by accumulating points and experience.
> Once you are a Cat 1, then you can start worrying about how to become a pro! It takes anywhere
> from six months (Tom Danielson) to more than 7 years (me!) of racing full time to garner the
> reputation, resume, and eventually the contract. How
did
> Tom Danielson do it so fast? He was just a Cat 3 when somebody saw how amazing this guy could go
> uphill, and finagled his way into the Pro1/2
field
> at Tour of the Gila, New Mexico. Not a huge race, but you don't get top 3
in
> a Pro1/2 stage there without having some serious talent. He smoked a bunch of paid pros up the
> climb to Mogollon and that was that. Another rare example of someone who seemingly circumvented
> the years of hard work at
the
> Cat 2 and then 1 level is Svein Tuft. In just a couple short seasons this guy came out of nowhere
> to win a stage of the only UCI stage race in North America (at the time), the Tour de Beauce. Paid
> contract assured!
>
> Let's assume that you're now a Cat 1. There are a half dozen tier 3 pro teams in the USA, fielding
> less than a hundred total pros. Of that number, I'm guessing about 40 are "really" pro in that
> they are receiving a salary (not a stipend, but enough to pay a mortgage, buy a car, and pay
> health insurance). If you just want the lifestyle, maybe you can be one of those "pros" who isn't
> getting a real salary. You'd probably need savings, a patron (wife/parents), or super low living
> costs. How do you go from Cat 1 to the top 40 in the US and a salary? Win NRC level races or do
> something like Tom or Svein Tuft have done.
>
> Hope this answers your question, and remember that you don't have to be Lance to have fun with the
> sport. It's a lot of hard work but at the same time it's a very rewarding sport for those who have
> an optimistic personality!
>
> John Lieswyn
>
> --
> Its all clear to me now.....
>
> David Sommerville http://davidsommerville.com [email protected] [email protected]
 
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