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Old 08-15-06, 10:58 PM   #1
CTAF
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thinking about doing a cat 5

I'm thinking about doing a cat 5 crit in a few months but was curious to see what an average speed fora cat 5 is on a flat course. I know this can vary from place to place but can anyone give me a ballpark figure?
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Old 08-15-06, 11:58 PM   #2
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Only one I remember was around 22. It was on a slow side.
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Old 08-16-06, 12:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by CTAF
I'm thinking about doing a cat 5 crit in a few months but was curious to see what an average speed fora cat 5 is on a flat course. I know this can vary from place to place but can anyone give me a ballpark figure?
22-25mph. I don't speak from personal experience, but that is what I deducted from my search on the same subject a few days ago.

Bryan
(also interested in racing and learning all I can)
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Old 08-16-06, 06:09 AM   #4
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In the flat Crit in my area the Cat 5 race usually averages 24 - 26 for 30 minutes. Obviously if there are any hills, or the race is any longer average speeds will be lower.

Someone else will probabaly chime in with this, but obviously you are not actually going the average speed very much , need to keep up with repeated 30 MPH bursts, etc., etc., etc.
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Old 08-16-06, 06:22 AM   #5
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In the flat Crit in my area the Cat 5 race usually averages 24 - 26 for 30 minutes. Obviously if there are any hills, or the race is any longer average speeds will be lower.

Someone else will probabaly chime in with this, but obviously you are not actually going the average speed very much , need to keep up with repeated 30 MPH bursts, etc., etc., etc.
+1. The average speed is really worthless in terms of deciding whether you're ready or able to race a crit. Most folks (myself included) when they start out try to figure out "well, I can ride at a 19mph pace by myself, so I should be able to do 22-25 in a paceline" and that's really not it.

A crit will always be faster than you think, and it will involve a LOT more sprinting than most rec riders are used to. Also, your speed doesn't do you much good if you can't handle your bike in a pack that's not playing nice.

I don't want to scare you away, but I think it's important to recognize that of all the things I should have been concerning myself with before I did my first race (in which I got shot OTB in a big way) my average speed was by far the least important. Sprinting, pulling a paceline, covering gaps, getting comfy in a pack that's bumping elbows/shoulders--THAT's what you want to make sure you're working at before you race.
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Old 08-16-06, 08:40 AM   #6
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All good info here, I am new to racing myself, 3 races so far. If you can handle your bike pretty well and are comfortable riding in a big pack, go for it. You just have to do it and see what it's like. I still have a lot to learn. Did my first crit last weekend and was blown OTB after a few laps. This will most likely happen to you as well.

It can be humbling riding the course away from the pack with all the people watching but I hung in there and passed several others and did not get lapped. I used it as a valuable learning experince, if it happens do the same.

Go for it, good luck.
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Old 08-16-06, 09:21 AM   #7
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Typical Cat 5 crit. Attack from the gun. Accelerate to 28-30 mph. Brake for turn, accelerate back to 28-30. repeat.After a couple of laps, pace settles to 22-23. Someone attacks, everbody chases at close to 30mph. Repeat a few times. Pace then slows to 17mph, and stays there for a while, till the lap cards come out and it takes off again.

So average speed doesn't tell you a lot. It's more about the ability to go very hard for a short burst, recover and repeat. Thus in your training don't worry about your average speed. Work on doing some short intense intervals with limited rest in between.
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Old 08-16-06, 09:25 AM   #8
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At a flatland race I did back in April my friend, one other guy, and myself sat on the front of a 4/5 group and took turns pulling at 32-36 mph for about 8 miles.

We dropped ONE (1) person in the process.

You'll be fine.
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Old 08-16-06, 10:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Typical Cat 5 crit. Attack from the gun. Accelerate to 28-30 mph. Brake for turn, accelerate back to 28-30. repeat.After a couple of laps, pace settles to 22-23. Someone attacks, everbody chases at close to 30mph. Repeat a few times. Pace then slows to 17mph, and stays there for a while, till the lap cards come out and it takes off again.

So average speed doesn't tell you a lot. It's more about the ability to go very hard for a short burst, recover and repeat. Thus in your training don't worry about your average speed. Work on doing some short intense intervals with limited rest in between.
+1 and +1Dr. Pete. Your ability to be a part of the pack dynamic is very important. If you try to pull the pack, you will last 1/2 lap, if you sit at the back, the accordion effect will peal you off in no time. If you go with the flow, you will do surprisingly little work.

Being able to get your head out of the wheel of the guy in front of you and look up to see what the front of the pack is doing so you can anticipate what will happen and react is a skill that takes a while and only comes from practice.
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Old 08-16-06, 10:51 AM   #10
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It really depends on the course... and the field, and the corners, etc...

Criteriums are about recovery... and anarobic ability. It is not too hard to go 25 MPH in the center of a large peloton, and the speed never really gets about 28 ish around here (33+ in the field sprint). Every lap you will have to accelerate at least twice, and the repeated accels are what drop people... not the pace!

The only way you will know if you can survive a crit is to go race one!
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Old 08-17-06, 10:31 AM   #11
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Thanks guys. This has helped me a lot too.
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