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  1. #1
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    My First Road Race

    I went into my first race full of high hopes, although I had done no road racing before I had just finished my first track racing season. I had gradually improved throughout the track season where by the end of it I was starting to win the B grade races that I compete in.

    The road race was 38km which was 2 laps of a windy flat course. I signed up for the B grade race and off we went.

    It was possibly the most painful experience of my life!!!

    In our race there was only 10 people, I hung onto the pack for about 3 quarters of the first lap and then going into a headwind I slowly lost contact. I went into time trial mode and decided to just pull out at the end of the first lap, I was so wasted. Fortunately for me another 2 riders had also been dropped, one of them caught up to me and we took turns taking pulls.

    I was still totally trashed and by the end of the first lap I couldnt hold his wheel and I was again by myself. For some reason I didnt pull out at the end of the first lap.... I continued on and after awhile I slowly recovered and almost caught up to the rider ahead of me by the finish line.

    So that was my first race, I finished 9th out of 10 riders. Having done that race though I am more determined then ever to become competitive.

    I have some questions, my race averaged about 40km/hr. How do you develop the power to stay with them? I know intervals will proberly do that but I am a little confused about how to do intervals to develop this "staying power".

    I am 21 years old and only 58kg, I noticed on my training rides that I seem to really suffer on flat windy roads but on rolling hills I seem to ride much better.

  2. #2
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    The main problem is probable that you have problems staying in the pack and are probably using too much energy. Make sure that you start in front of the pack and stay in front, you will feel that it is much easier that way. Also practive on your cornering, as you can lose a lot of speed taking your corners badly. As a track racer you shouldn't have that much problem with the speed as such.

    I'm a bit puzzled that as a 21year old you have problems maintaining an average of 40km/h in a race of 38km though, we used to ride at these speeds on 60km races at 15-16 years

    Niek

  3. #3
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    From what you say, I guess the headwind is what stuffed your race. When you start to get dropped into a headwind it is very hard to get back on and gradually the group pulls away as you slow by a few kph due to the headwind. I wouldn't worry too much. If you averaged 40kph than I would say you are a very strong rider that just needs a few more races to get use to the intensity. After a few weeks I would be surprised if you are still getting dropped.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replys,

    nferyn you mentioned that it is better to stay at the front, why is that? I would of thought you would be more sheltered in the pack.

    You are right about me having problems staying in the pack though, the other riders were more experienced then me and knew how to draft better. I had problems knowing where to position myself, particularly in the cross winds.

    I also noticed when I was in the paceline I would take my turn at the front but then I would always find it hard to catch back onto the end of the last rider. I found myself having to accelerate to get back on and this seemed to hurt me the worst. How can I improve my training so I can handle these constant accelerations?

    Could someone please give me some advice on how to do intervals to build power, I find it hard just grinding away at a high pace. I usually average 30km/hr on my training rides but races are of course much faster. I seem to be able to average this speed by myself over most distances, my longest training ride is currently 80km and I'm gradually building this up week by week.

    The problem with my track racing was that it didnt really prepare me for road racing because the races are really short, I think the longest track race I did was 15 laps of a 400m track.

    Thanks, all input much appreciated

  5. #5
    On Your Right ZackJones's Avatar
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    AimHigh: regarding crosswind positioning. You want to position yourself so that you are getting some blockage from the wind from a rider in front of you.

    Suppose the wind is coming at us directly from the right side. You'll want to position yourself on the left side of a rider. If it is coming at you from say a 45 degree angle from the right side you'll want to position yourself so that your front wheel is about even with the rider in front cranks.

    In a paceline pay attention to what the rider is wearing (such as his jersey color or tire color) who takes a pull just before you do. After you take your turn and are rotating to the back watch for the rider using your peripheral vision. As soon as you see him starting to overtake you that's the time to start positioning yourself on his rear wheel. What may be happening is you're letting him get by you completely before you start to move over and that's causing the gap you have to bridge.

    Good Luck with your racing!

    Zack
    "You never fail, you simply produce results. Learn from these" - Anonymous

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by AimHigh
    Thanks for the replys,

    nferyn you mentioned that it is better to stay at the front, why is that? I would of thought you would be more sheltered in the pack.
    ...
    Hi,

    I actually meant that you should be among the first 10-15 riders of the pack, not pulling the lead all the time ;-)

    If you have to corner in e.g. 30th position, it will be much harder to get your speed up again, while the riders in front didn't have to slow down that much in the first place
    This can be the difference between getting dropped or being able to maintain yourself in the pack without too much trouble

    Niek

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