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Old 02-19-06, 11:22 AM   #1
EURO
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Season so far

I've been riding in an all-cats winter series here in London to get some form for when the racing gets harder in the middle of the season. Also widely recognised as a good place to pick up points if one of your aims is to go up a category in the season. I've entered three races and come top 6 in all of them. This isn't really much of a surprise to me as I rode at that kind of level for the few races I did last year.

Later in the year I'll be aiming to take part in two races a week. Generally one mid-week on a circuit, with road races at the weekend. I've also been invited to ride in a stage race in southern France in May, and I'll be hopefully taking part in a couple more British stage races, as well as go for good times in the Marmotte, the Ardechoise (long version), the Megeve-Mont Blanc and Dragon Ride cyclosportifs.

The aim for the year is to enter BCF second category status, and from there on just see how high I can get in the rankings this year.

FYI - I'm not trying to 'show off', and I'm not interested in being patted on the back or anything - In fact, this thread wasnt really my idea. 55/Rad mentioned that you guys might give me some 'feedback'.

So feel free to give me some 'feedback' on my season so far and my future plans.
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Old 02-19-06, 11:28 AM   #2
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EURO, keep up the training. Keep the positive results coming. Sounds like your 2006 is off to a good start for putting in the base for a strong season.

Cheers.

(PS... you know how folks are out here... perhaps you might want to qualify the statement of "top 6 in all of them" just in case this means 'in your Category." If it's top 6 in the whole race, then kudos to you!)
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Old 02-19-06, 11:32 AM   #3
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Admireable-racing at any level is not that easy, sounds like you have it thought out so best of luck.
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Old 02-19-06, 11:34 AM   #4
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What tactics during all three races have worked for you the best? Is there somthing you wish to do differently tactic wise between now and Spring? Have you tried for any primes or had the chance?
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Old 02-19-06, 12:00 PM   #5
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What tactics during all three races have worked for you the best?
These races take place on a windy 1km circuit, with a slight uphill sprint. I'm not a strong 'rouleur' (flat rider or time trialist), and I'm riding conservatively in the early season - so I've been deliberately staying in the bunch and doing pretty well in the sprints (I think I was 5th out of the bunch in the first race). I'm light, with a pretty good explosion of speed, so I find the sprint pretty easy. In terms of smaller-scale tactics, I'm holding a position in the front of the bunch by picking an experienced rider and holding his back wheel - it's pretty much equivalent to what pros do with a proper leadout train, or McEwen does with other riders. If you don't hold a specific wheel, it's much harder to keep tabs on your relative position within the group. If that gives me the title 'mr limpet', then all the best, because Pettachi is somewhat of a limpet until the last 200m!!


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Is there somthing you wish to do differently tactic wise between now and Spring?
Later in the season I can start riding less conservatively. I'll be entering some hilly races where I'll probably end up trying to ride in breaks, with the possibility when my form is much better, of making late lone attacks, using my explosive abilities to get clear of a tired group. We'll see. I take it race by race anyway.


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Have you tried for any primes or had the chance?
Primes are not typical in British road racing. If they were, and they didn't hold any national ranking points, I'd probably not bother.


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PS... you know how folks are out here... perhaps you might want to qualify the statement of "top 6 in all of them" just in case this means 'in your Category." If it's top 6 in the whole race, then kudos to you!
OK - British rules this season state that 3rd Cats are not able to be scored in comparison to Elite riders. For this reason, while the races are run in a big group from Elites (Tony Gibb, Magnus Backstedt's Madison partner and a world silver medalist on the track) down to 4th cats who've never raced before, the scoring is divided up between Elites, 1sts and 2nds, with the 3/4th and Juniors scored separately. When I state my placings, I'm refering to my placings within my category, not on the road. 17th-20th place on the road (in a 60-man race) is still pretty good, given many of the people behind me will be higher categories than me.

This is actually a great system, because I'm riding at the pace of the pros and semi-pros who win the races outright, but I'm scored in comparison to my peers.
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Old 02-19-06, 12:12 PM   #6
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Informative post EURO. Sounds like you have a good plan for the season. Glad to see that your new bike and you are getting along well on the track as well. She is a fine looking machine, and obviously fast under you. Personally, I'm not a racer nor will I ever have the desire to be one, but it is a lot of fun reading about fellow BF members both near and far. Good luck in the spring.
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Old 02-19-06, 12:48 PM   #7
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sounds like you're off to a good start. i'd worry less about placing right now, and just push yourself to stick with the big boys (if you can, and if they're there as you mention). that's what i did when i was a cat 3 racing in pro, 1, 2, 3 races. i even managed to get some results that way

if you've got the time, and the dosh, then maybe it's an idea to head over to belgium for a long weekend, if not a week or two, and try the racing there. when i did it (about 10 years ago) it comprised of one field - like what you're doing now - of about 120-150 riders. hard, hard, hard. i struggled, but when i went home, i was flying.

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Old 02-19-06, 01:19 PM   #8
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What's the weather like in the early season (now) compared to later? You guys racing in a lot rain at this time of the year?

I'd really like to hear how the stage race goes, that sounds like a real blast. Good luck to you, keep your skin off the pavement!
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Old 02-19-06, 02:16 PM   #9
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What's the weather like in the early season (now) compared to later?
I've avoided the wet so far, but today, for example it's been 6C 42F and raining. Some of the early races in this season took place in freezing temps. Later on it can get as hot as 30 or more centigrade, but you have to be prepared to ride in the rain or miss out. Some of the best opportunies come from bad weather and a smaller field.
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Old 02-19-06, 02:44 PM   #10
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Sounds like a great solid year. Inspirational. Good luck, I'll keep tabs on your posts.
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Old 02-20-06, 10:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by EURO
If you don't hold a specific wheel, it's much harder to keep tabs on your relative position within the group. If that gives me the title 'mr limpet', then all the best, because Pettachi is somewhat of a limpet until the last 200m!!
I would say a full-time limpet is the guy who hangs on the back of the pack for the first 9/10 of the race, then gets in position for the sprint, then sprints with the fast pack. I take my turn at leading, but I'm not one to push the pace until the race is almost over. And following guys in the final sprint is ok, too. You risk getting stuck behind them though.
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Old 02-20-06, 12:04 PM   #12
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Sounds like you're doing pretty good then.
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Old 02-20-06, 01:36 PM   #13
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Well, you definitely didn't pick the easiest cyclosportive. Riding circuits in a pack probably won't get you ready for the Marmotte and L'Ardechoise where you are pretty much on your own for 5000m and 4000m of vertical climbing. What type of climbing can you do in England to get ready for those two races?
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Old 02-20-06, 02:24 PM   #14
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Riding circuits in a pack probably won't get you ready for the Marmotte and L'Ardechoise where you are pretty much on your own for 5000m and 4000m of vertical climbing. What type of climbing can you do in England to get ready for those two races?
Not much - I did pretty well last year with no specific hill training. It's just a long, protracted effort, right? Just happens to be uphill. J

This year - my week in the alps with the Megeve and Ardechoise, plus the Dragon Ride in Wales are my hill training. The Marmotte is just a fun event for me - the day before I'll ride the Alpe and try to get under the hour.
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Old 02-21-06, 10:11 AM   #15
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Sounds like your off to a good start. What are your goals?
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Old 02-22-06, 04:39 PM   #16
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Sounds like your off to a good start. What are your goals?
um....

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The aim for the year is to enter BCF second category status, and from there on just see how high I can get in the rankings this year.
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