Understanding the KHMTT Race Categories
The basic categories used by the KHMTT are:
- Men and Women Cat 5 (beginners)
- Men and Women Cat 4
- Men and Women Pro-1-2-3
- Men and Women Age Groups
- Men and Women Retro Cat 4/5
- Men and Women Retro Cat Pro-1-2-3
- Men and Women Single Speed
- Hand Cycles
If you are under 19 you would register in a men or women age group, such as Men 9-10.
Anyone over 18 may race in a special equipment category such as Retro, Single Speed, Tandem, Hand Cycles or Recumbent.
If you are between 19 and 39, you may race in a category (CAT Pro, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5). Your USAC license will show you what category you would race in. Normally a beginner would race in CAT 5 (beginner) category.
If you are 40 or older, you have the choice of racing in a CAT category or an age group (with a combination of age group and category).
Do I have to race in my own category? No. USAC rules specify that riders may choose to enter individual time trials in their proper category or any higher category, but not a lower category. That means if you are a CAT 3 racer, you may not race in a CAT 4 (lower) category. But if you are a CAT 4, you may race in a CAT 3 (higher) category.
Why would you do that? The KHMTT allows you as an option to race twice at a low cost. Each race must be in a separate category. So if you are 25 and a CAT 4, you could race once in that category and a second time in the P-1-2-3 category. For any age, your second race could be in the Retro, Single Speed, Tandem or Recumbent categories as well.
A lot of new racers prefer the Retro category as the equipment is limited, as no time trial equipment is allowed including aero bars, any rims deeper than 50mm, disk wheels, aero helmets, or flat tube frames. Or in other words, just a plain road bike. However, the other thing to look at in this category is that when it comes to age and ability, it’s a free for all. If you have the correct bike and equipment, you can race in this category, regardless of age. To make this category competitive, the KHMTT separates the RETRO category into three groups, Men Retro CAT 4/5, Men Retro CAT 1-2-3, and Women Retro.
So, what category should you race in? Most cyclists race in their “own” category. If you are new to the sport, you should race in the CAT 5 category.
To help you decide, the KHMTT website provides information about how many racers are currently registered in each category at https://khmtt.com/start-list/.