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  1. #1
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    What a difference a season makes... guess it's time to cat up!

    For some reason, after tonight's training race I'm in a reflecting kind of mood. Tonight, for some reason, I felt really good.

    The start was clean, and I pulled for some of the first lap. Legs felt good. A couple laps into it, the pace up front went up and I chased, finding myself in a fun but short-lived 3-man breakaway. We got caught, but hey.

    A couple laps later, another breakaway goes off and I'm behind a guy who looks like a total newb, and I'd never seen him before. The gap gets a little bigger, and finally I say "you gonna cover that gap?" The silence told me no, and now I knew I was stuck with it. Friggin' newb, I thought... and kinda chuckled to myself. I kicked it in and pulled hard at the front of the pack and chased down the breakaway.

    I sat in for a couple more laps, and on the bell lap I found myself 2nd behind what I hoped would be my leadout man. I followed him along the right edge of the road--bad idea. He blew up on the final climb and the pack was already coming around us--I was totally boxed in. 200m from the finish I'm about 20-30m from the back of a pack of 10 contesting the sprint, and for a few seconds I whip out a big sprint before the futility of it all became apparent. Win some, lose some.

    Now I won't claim to be a seasoned racer, or the fastest guy out there, but I think back to May when I rode my first race (this same training crit), and I really felt like I had a handle on the race, and where I was spit out the back 4 laps into my first race I'm now sitting at the front of the pack, taking pulls, attacking, and chasing down breakaways. It's a great feeling.

    I haven't won a 5 race, but I've managed some good top 10's and finished mid-field in a tough RR. Guess it's time to cat up and go back to getting completely smoked. I need one more mass start by my count... I'm planning to work my a$$ off in the off-season to put up some decent results in the 4's, but we'll see how strong I come out in the spring....

    Thanks to all of you for the advice and encouragement along the way!
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  2. #2
    Elitist Jackass Smoothie104's Avatar
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    Doc, don't you want to win one first? Once you move up it gets a lot harder, Sounds like you are fit enough. Try to win that last mass start!!
    "You should already be aware that riding with people who steer with their elbows, stick food to the top tube of their frames and ride around in dick togs is not a great idea." -- Classic1

  3. #3
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    I would win at least one before upgrading. Well at least thats my goal along with getting to 10 races. Apparently Collegiate ones don't count towards upgrade.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  4. #4
    NorCal Climbing Freak
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    Quote Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
    I would win at least one before upgrading. Well at least thats my goal along with getting to 10 races. Apparently Collegiate ones don't count towards upgrade.
    I used collegiate races almost exclusively to upgrade from 5 to 4. Experience is experience.

    Have you tried and been shot down?

  5. #5
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grebletie
    I used collegiate races almost exclusively to upgrade from 5 to 4. Experience is experience.

    Have you tried and been shot down?
    I talked to Official at one of the races, and got inconclusive answer. Basically it was "depends who looks at the application".
    Last edited by UmneyDurak; 08-10-06 at 01:16 AM.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Duke of Kent's Avatar
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    Yeah I used collegiate races for my upgrade as well. If you tell them its from 5 to 4, which you do on the online form just by clicking next to where it says "4", they probably won't care at all. They just want to see that you've been in 10 races.

    I've never actually raced a 5s race...
    "If a non personal post makes you feel as if you've been attacked, maybe the problem IS you."

  7. #7
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Sounds like a plan--guess I'll hang out till I win a race. It would be nice, after all, to taste victory before I start getting stomped in the 4's...
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPete
    Sounds like a plan--guess I'll hang out till I win a race. It would be nice, after all, to taste victory before I start getting stomped in the 4's...
    First, congrats on the progress. Hard work does pay off.

    Second, on the topic of not upgrading until you win a race....I have a different take on that. I think that the time to upgrade is when you are able to consistently be competitive, fitness-wise and tactic-wise, in the category you are in. Being "competitive" means consistent top 10 finishes, not necessarily winning.

    Actually, winning is a very hard thing to do, regardless of your abilities. There's a guy on my team who is an awesome racer. He started off last year as a Cat. 5 and won the State Championships as a 4 by the end of the year. He cat'd. up to 3 this year and is in the top 5 in the State. He's about to cat up to a 2.
    From 5-to-2 in 2 seasons!

    The interesting thing about this guy is that he nearly always finishes top 5, mostly top 3, but has actually only won 1 race.

    If I were you, I'd think about that when deciding whether to upgrade or not. You certainly don't want to be one of those guys accused of being a sandbagger. Only you, yourself, really know whether you're "ready" for the upgrade.

    Just my .02

    Bob

  9. #9
    Wher'd u Get That Jacket? flythebike's Avatar
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    You can't just pull a win out of your a$$ because you are strong. You have to have the right tactic and the race has to go your way (luck).

    Once you get that win, you know you have everybody's number, and it changes you. Your self-confidence is different. The next race you line up and you can think that it is possible for you to beat every single one of these guys.

    It is good to be strong enough to be competitive immeditately at the next level once you move up. That way your ego doesn't get too bruised out of the gate in the new cat.

    Last year I won a cat four race, upgraded to 3, and then won my next mass-start, a cat 3-4 race. I had the whole winter to ponder that, so I spent absolutely zero time being overawed by it all, came out and had the points to be a 2 after just 7 more races.

    But if I had catted up immediately I would have gotten beat down and discouraged, so I have stayed a three and will send in my upgrade after my last race this year, and I'm trying a few 1/2/3 races or Masters 30+ (which are harder than 3). My squad has an elite team so I get to train with them over the winter and get stronger, and I hope I can come out of the gate next spring and be competitive right quick. I really think it is a good idea for you to hang out and give yourself the winter to train up.

    What you will find in the fours is that if the field is 100 guys, there are 50 guys who can't really keep up, 40 guys who are pack fill, and 10 guys who are good enough to win. You'll find out quickly which one you are.

    Lastly, at that level your rate of progression should be fairly rapid. Someone pointed out to me that for me to make gains now is going to be rather harder than it was for me a year ago. That is ok, I am committed to doing the training. Make sure that is the case for you as you work your way up.
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  10. #10
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    Man,

    One of these days I wanna come watch one of your races. I'll even bring out my big *** (Canon 10D with da big white lens) so you can have some photos for your race report.

    That is if you don't mind of course

    -D

  11. #11
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derath
    Man,

    One of these days I wanna come watch one of your races. I'll even bring out my big *** (Canon 10D with da big white lens) so you can have some photos for your race report.

    That is if you don't mind of course

    -D
    Not at all! The Greenbelt Park races go every Wednesday, starting at 6pm. It's good fun.

    I'll also be racing in the Back-to-School Crit in Baltimore on the 27th. Fairly open course, 2 sweepers and 2 90-degree turns. Never done it before, though. Should be fun.

    It's funny--I've had family come to my last couple of races, and all of them have commented on how hard it is to actually get a picture of ONE racer going by. Peloton shots are pretty easy, but to target one guy takes serious skill. Makes me really appreciate Graham Watson.

    Anyway, the next couple training races I'll be playing with my diet--I think I'm overfueling for relatively short races, which is why I think I've gained 10lb this season, so who knows what'll happen with my results, but the Back to School Crit will be my last "A" race.

    I decided to get a subscription to TrainingPeaks Athlete Edition for the off-season, and plan to use one of Friel's road base period programs in the spring. In the mean time, I'm using the Virtual Coach to plan my workouts. Once I got used to the somewhat cumbersome user interface, it's working really well.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Lex
    There's a guy on my team who is an awesome racer. He started off last year as a Cat. 5 and won the State Championships as a 4 by the end of the year. He cat'd. up to 3 this year and is in the top 5 in the State. He's about to cat up to a 2.
    From 5-to-2 in 2 seasons!

    The interesting thing about this guy is that he nearly always finishes top 5, mostly top 3, but has actually only won 1 race.

    Bob
    The problem with never actually winning a race, is you dont actually learn how to win a race. The guy who was in the top 5 or 3 in so many races probably could've won one or more of those races, but he just didn't know he could!

  13. #13
    Wher'd u Get That Jacket? flythebike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Head Trip
    The problem with never actually winning a race, is you dont actually learn how to win a race. The guy who was in the top 5 or 3 in so many races probably could've won one or more of those races, but he just didn't know he could!
    Exactly.
    WeBlog: http://flythebike.blogspot.com
    "Then know, that I have little wealth to lose. A man I am, crossed with adversity; My riches are these poor habiliments, Of which if you should here disfurnish me, You take the sum and substance that I have." Shakespeare: The Two Gentlemen of Verona
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  14. #14
    I'm fine. Cromulent's Avatar
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    Nice work, Dr. Pete. I'd cat up if I were you, but the 5s and 4s race together here, so it's not like I'd be racing with brand new guys at a brand new level.

    Nice work.

  15. #15
    Gios my baby hiromian's Avatar
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    Good on ya DrPete.

    Please don't upgrade just yet. We were neck and neck in our respective entries into racing. I have no intention to upgrade yet and all my finnishes but 1 were top 10. I only have 6 local crit races and they do not even count towards upgrade points. Train this winter as you say and smoke the field early next season and then upgrade. I will if you will

    Nice report by the way. I like reading your reports.
    "Aiyah...Oh no"

  16. #16
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    OK, OK... I guess I can wait. Besides, it'd be fun to see what some serious training in the off-season will do. Might even get to crush a soul or two in the style of Der Jan.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  17. #17
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    congrats on your progression doc!

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