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Old 01-16-03, 09:03 PM   #1
timtheroadbiker
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Race speed

What speed to cat 5 and juniors avg in races?
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Old 01-16-03, 09:50 PM   #2
Maurizio
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I'm a Junior (17) and a Cat 2.

Cat 5 races might average aroud 21 - 25 mph: Speed is dependant on whether the field is large or small, and if the course is hilly or not.

Junior races unflod unlike any categorized race. Although I'd say that the average junior in the 15 - 18 age group is a Cat 4, the levels of strength vary dramatically, from Cat 5 to Cat 2 (there were two Cat 1 juniors in the country last year, but as far as I know, they never did junior races).

Since a lot of the time fields are very small (less than 25) in Junior races, and most juniors don't like to do pulls at the front, the speed fluctuates DRAMATICALLY from 17 mph (when nobody feels like attacking), to brief periods at 30 mph (when the testosterone gets flowing and EVERYONE is attacking).

The average speed of a junior race is NEVER reflective of how difficult it actually was. Average speeds can be as low as 20 mph for a hillyish course. Very low speeds during portions of the race drag the average speeds way down. This phenomenon of fluctuating speeds in Junior races is not present however at the "big" junior races like Nationals and other times when the field is over 40 riders.

Assuming your a junior getting into racing, I would recommend (if possible) to do both the Junior Race AND the Categorized Race at a given venue. You'll improve much faster with all the racing miles, and upgrade faster too (it should be noted that Junior races count towards upgrade points untill you become a Cat 3).

- Maurizio
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Old 01-17-03, 06:56 AM   #3
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thanks, I was asking because yes i am a junior and I am geting into racing. Also I have my first road race in march.
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Old 01-29-03, 09:15 PM   #4
thomspins
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so i'm guessing this speed is reflective of riding while drafting and all? what average speeds should I be at riding solo for the different cat groups....
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Old 01-30-03, 11:38 AM   #5
roadbuzz
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A local racer/shop owners answer to that question was (paraphrasing): It doesn't matter how fast you are... it's harder to hold 21 solo that 27 in a group. What matters is are you fast enough when they drop the hammer.

Still not an answer, really. :confused:
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Old 02-03-03, 11:52 AM   #6
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AMEN roadbuzz!!! It's a lot easier to go 30 in a peloton than 20+ solo! I'm just now learning how to race myself, and one of the first things I learned is that drafting is essential! I can pull at 30 mph but not for an extended period of time, maybe a couple minutes max. Then I have to drop back and catch the wheel of the last rider and take a break.
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Old 02-05-03, 03:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by roadbuzz
A local racer/shop owners answer to that question was (paraphrasing): It doesn't matter how fast you are... it's harder to hold 21 solo that 27 in a group. What matters is are you fast enough when they drop the hammer.

Still not an answer, really. :confused:

You are right about dropping the hammer....that's why you need to do all that "above lactate threshold" interval training...that's where you drop or get dropped.
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Old 02-09-03, 10:38 PM   #8
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Last year was my first year racing as a junior, and unfortunatly my last. To be honest I found the junior races more difficult than the cat 4/5 races I did. This is because in the 4/5 races it is a pretty steady tempo, but in the junior races, although the over all speed is slower, there are many attacks that are completly random. I always found it hard to adjust to the random attacks so that made it harder for me. And thanks Maurizio I didn't know I can count my junior races towards my upgrades.

-Matt-
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