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Rating the Ride
Top Riders and Rating the Routes
(continued from previous page) events, representing their country on a national team. Performance indicators are top twenty national rankings from previous seasons events and current race results.
Similar profile as the 8.0 rider with top ten national rankings. May belong to a partial or fully sponsored professional racing team. This rider has years of top level national and international racing experience.
9.0 Professional Cyclists Typical Profile  
This level has the experience and race results to become sponsored, allowing cycling to be pursued as a full time profession. This level rider places in the top five nationally and frequently competes on an international basis. Often has Olympic level competitive experience.
This group of elite professional riders are the top 200 competitive cyclists in the world. The 9.5 cyclists' profile often has a history of competing as a junior, Olympic medals and international race titles, and has often been selected to represent their country on a national team. Like the level 10 rider, rankings are determined by computer points based on race results.
10 Elite professional Cyclists Typical Profile 
This group comprises the top 50 professional riders in the world in their discipline. Race results and computerized ranking systems are tabulated from seasonal events and major events such as world championships. Races and finish positions are weighted with a certain number of points assigned to the outcome each event. As in any sport, professional cyclists possess a high degree of bike handling skills that cross over into other cycling styles.
Rating the Ride; Cycling Course Ratings
 Up to now we have only been concerned with rating the cyclist. The I.C.R.S. also provides a way to rate the ride. Depending on the traffic hazards and difficulty of terrain, bike handling skills and experience now become much more important than the speed factor. Ideally the level of the ride or route will not exceed the ability level of the rider. A 2.0 cyclist, for example, needs to choose bicycle-friendlyroads that provide wide lanes, few obstacles and low traffic density. Some cities and counties have had the foresight to draw up maps indicating the preferred cycling routes. Local bike clubs are usually the best source of information. A recreational, intermediate-level 3.0 cyclist is obviously best suited to ride on an intermediate road or trail. It is most important for beginner and intermediate cyclists to know their ability levels and ride within their limitations.