So we are a little way in to the season now, and I thought I would take some time to explain how many points are required to progress through the Category and Points System used by British Cycling.
Everybody affiliated to British Cycling is categorized by there ability. The system starts at 4th Cat level, and then goes on through to 3rd, 2nd, 1st and Elite. Written below is how progression is made in Britain.
When first starting out, all riders will start as a 4th Category (Cat) Rider. This is the entry level of cycle racing in Britain, which is designed for riders to learn their skills before progressing on to race with the higher categories. 4th Category (Cat) Riders will all only race at a Regional level whilst in this category. 10 BC points will be required to progress on to the next category.
Once the 10 points have been obtained, a rider will not ride as a 4th Cat again. This means there is not a minimum number of points needed during 1 year for a Rider to retain a 3rd Cat license. This category is still a Regional level, so Riders will only be ranked with each other if they are based in the same region. 40 points whilst holding a 3rd Cat license must be obtained to progress to 2nd Cat.
2nd Cats are the highest ranked Riders in the region. Once holding a 2nd Cat license, riders will also be ranked nationally as well as regionally. The minimum Road Race distance is 80km for Riders within this category, 50 minutes is the minimum duration for a Circuit Race. 25 points are also required to retain this license for the following year, and 200 points whilst holding a 2nd Cat license are required to progress on to 1st Cat.
This is one of the biggest jumps in the system. Once a 1st Cat license is obtained, riders are now only racing at a national level. This means the minimum race distance will be 120km when racing on the road, and a Circuit Race would be a minimum of 60 minutes. In some cases the race distance is shortened a bit, however this will only tend to happen in the autumn or winter, there will also be less points on offer for the top placings. 100 points are required to retain a 1st Cat license for the following year. 300 points are required to progress on to gaining an Elite license.
The highest license available in British Cycling. This category will consist of the best Riders in the country. 300 points are required to both obtain and retain this license. Those progressing onto the International Levels will generally be picked from this category.
Hopefully this helps to explain the system for those not familiar with it. Further information can be found on the British Cycling website here