The Georgia Cyclocross Series has its first race this year on Sunday, September 29, 2013. As with many things in life, some things change and some stay the same. In this post I'm going to address the new CX5 category and how it may affect you.
In the 2012 season, beginners and those who had not moved up to CX3 yet raced in the CX4 category during a 1:15PM, 30-minute race. The race was a split start with the under-35 CX4 group starting a minute before the 35+ CX4 Masters group. What this meant was that everybody on course was the same skill level. Points were tallied for the GACX Championship Series based on these two categories.
For the 2013 season, there are some changes being made to the events. There is a new 9:15AM start time, 30-minute race for the newly created CX5 category. Anyone new to the sport may compete in the CX5 category, but if you have raced in the GACX series in previous years, you should compete in CX4 or your current appropriate classification. There will be no points championship for the CX5 category. CX5 is a developmental, introductory level to cyclocross encouraging more participation and a "run what you brung" type of atmosphere. There is a mandatory upgrade to CX4 for riders after competing in ten CX5 races. A rider may voluntarily upgrade to CX4 prior to the 10-race limit.
The CX4 category is the one that is seeing the most shakeup from this new change. Since there will be fewer CX4 competitors this year with the addition of CX5, there will no longer be a split start race at 1:15PM. The 1:15PM race will strictly be a CX4 race. Any CX4 racer of any age may choose to participate in this 30 minute race. If you are 35+ and wish to compete in the Masters category, the official Masters race starts at 10AM. It is a 45-minute race and will consist of CX1, CX2, CX3, and CX4 competitors all over the age of 35.
I hope this has helped newcomers and existing CX4 racers understand the upcoming changes for the season. If you have further questions feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@jsnyng), and I'll do my best to help you out.