Grading is about placing you with riders of similar strength and this can change race to race depending on entries. The handicappers use a number of sources of information, including recent race results in other club and VRS events. But the best source of information is you and your peers. They value and encourage feedback from riders regards grading and they do their best to make racing fair for everyone. That includes moving faster people out of lower grades so that slower or less experienced racers still get a good racing experience. Sometimes you might be moved a grade for one race to help even out field numbers.
Keep some perspective – this is not pro racing!
If you haven’t raced road races before or recently you are expected to use the same grading across all forms of club racing (criteriums and road races). If you have raced Northern Combine before, enter the same grade.
If you podium a number of times in a grade, or lap the field, you are too strong for that grade and can be expected to move up. You don’t necessarily have to wait until you win before moving up.
Do not expect to be competitive in a grade as soon as you move up. That’s where you learn. Getting a place should be a rare and sweet thing.
Add helpful comments when entering, such as where you raced, which grade, how you went and information about other riders of your level. Note that you are requesting a grade, this is provisional, so don’t expect you will always have your request granted.
Check the start-list close to race day to see if your grade has been changed from your requested entry grade; it is not up to the handicapper to inform you directly.
If you think the handicapper has got the grades seriously wrong for you or others, please inform them politely by email. Please do not try this at the registration desk. If your grade has been changed it is for good reason.
Post race, let us know in the feedback if you really think you or another rider were mis-graded. The more information the handicapper has, the better the grading can be. Keep it nice and remember everyone is a volunteer.