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Old 09-04-07, 01:38 PM   #1
spessx
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Anyone here race MTBs? Need advice...

Hey guys,

I've already posted in the MTB forum without much luck. This forum seems to be better about giving new racers advice. I've been racing road this season and have had some good results in Cat 5. I've signed up for my first XC race. It's in two weeks and is on a flat and non-technical course. I feel like my fitness is good but I need help on race strategy.

Any suggestions you can offer would be appreciated.

-s
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Old 09-04-07, 01:44 PM   #2
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Hey guys,

I've already posted in the MTB forum without much luck. This forum seems to be better about giving new racers advice. I've been racing road this season and have had some good results in Cat 5. I've signed up for my first XC race. It's in two weeks and is on a flat and non-technical course. I feel like my fitness is good but I need help on race strategy.

Any suggestions you can offer would be appreciated.

-s
In a mountain bike race you pretty much start with a sprint and keep it for the duration of the race. There really isn't a whole lot to worry about as far as tactics. Just remember, if you want to win be among the first five into the woods after the start. However, if you aren't in condition to try to win it you need to be honest with yourself and take it a little easy at the start. If you go to hard and blow up you are going to be miserable and finishing towards the end.

Just to give you an idea of the intensity. In a road race I generally average high 140's, mid 150's for my heart rate. In a mountain bike race I average 167 - 172.
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Old 09-04-07, 01:46 PM   #3
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You get more of an adrennaline rush off of MTB'ing. I've done only one race but a bunch of rides, and it's very fun, but can also be dangerous. If you're in the Novice class, then do your best and don't dwell on the course 3ft in front of you, look 10 feet up and you should be fine. Just stay out of other people's ways and learn to be fearless. You'll also notice that your bike handling skills will become much better when MTB'ing.
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Old 09-04-07, 01:55 PM   #4
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OK, so sounds like I need to be warmed up and be ready for a sprint from the start.

Does the first person into the woods have an advantage?
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Old 09-04-07, 02:06 PM   #5
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Quickly try to identify those with poor handling skills and get in front of them. I found that out quickly, but fortunately not "the hard way" per se, in the two races I did years ago.
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Old 09-04-07, 02:38 PM   #6
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Does the first person into the woods have an advantage?
YES!
1) The first into a singletrack section is (usually) the first out
2) The front person doesn't have to breathe dirt for the entire duration of the race
3) Nobody to crash right in front of you (there are more falls in mtb racing)
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Old 09-04-07, 02:42 PM   #7
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YES!
1) The first into a singletrack section is (usually) the first out
2) The front person doesn't have to breathe dirt for the entire duration of the race
3) Nobody to crash right in front of you (there are more falls in mtb racing)
I'm getting into XC racing as well this fall, if I can find a bike that meets my needs.

Interesting piece of advice from a friend who races the Pro/Semi-Pro series around here:

"Just make sure you can bunny hop a body, dude. Ain't no one wants to get taken out running over another person.
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Old 09-04-07, 03:10 PM   #8
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i did a xc race last year out of the blue... never really been on a mtb before (or after). They are a hard pace for the whole time. i didnt wear a hrm, and its probably good i didnt know. I got third in novice, i've never placed that well in cat 5 crits or rr's.
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