Last year I raced Cat1 in my age group. I chose to race my age group instead of Cat1 SS open because the big guns, and most regular attendees from 2008 were going to challenge the Open/Pro class so I figured I wouldn't have anyone to race against (although racing Rob and James would have left me chasing for third).
In 2009 the participation in the Cat1 SS was better than I expected, some races were still pretty thin, but others there was a nice little field. But I had started in my age group so I was going to finish in it.
Fast forward to 2010 do I continue racing my age group, or do I race SS?
I was competitive last year, but on some of the flatter courses, and ironically the ski resort courses, I felt at a disadvantage to the geared riders I was competing with. I always just looked at it as "it is what it is", but never the less getting passed on a fireroad leading to the finish is still frustrating.
Another factor is I'm riding for someone, so I feel a responsibility to get results. Sure, there is a certain satisfaction doing the best you can do, against the toughest competition, but if your best is more likely to give you a higher placing in one class isn't that better for your sponsor?
Let's be clear about this, Singular has helped me out, but it's not like a full ride. I consider it more like getting a partial scholarship to play on the college squash team; "Sure we want you on the team kid, but it's Squash, what do you expect?". Still I feel responsible to represent the best I can.
That's not to say that the Cat1 SS open isn't tough competition; cross referencing the results, I would have done well, but there would still be a fight for the podium. Even so, the CAt 40-49 was generally faster.
One advantage of racing my age is I'm racing against other geezers (some very fast geezers) and not some young hot shot.
So, Cat1 40-49 or Cat1 SS Open?