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Old 09-10-07, 09:13 AM   #1
Master Cylinder
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Is it true that bike racing doesn't really start unti one is a Cat-2?

I received the following quote in the weekend race report from a local club.

[SIZE="3It takes a special person to take the (bike racing) challenge to see if one can
compete beyond that hill or stop sign and put it all on the line
literally. But as everybody knows who enters the culture of racing,
racing doesn't really start until one is a Cat-2.

SIZE]

Is it generally accepted that bike racing doesn't really start until one is a Cat-2?

Thanx,
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Old 09-10-07, 09:14 AM   #2
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i guess that kinda makes sense.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:19 AM   #3
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My guess is that they are referring to team tactics. Though I am just guessing
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Old 09-10-07, 09:26 AM   #4
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Hell, I've only been in 3 Cat5 races.... but I sure feel like they were "real" races.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:33 AM   #5
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No.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:39 AM   #6
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No
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Old 09-10-07, 09:42 AM   #7
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Yeah, that's total crap. If you pay an entry fee and someone watches you cross the duct-tape and posts results, that's real racing. I think how much you learn about racing spikes pretty heavily when you're a point-earning Cat 3. The learning continues as a Cat 2, all the way up through Lance's 7th Tour win.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:44 AM   #8
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Yeah, that's total crap. If you pay an entry fee and someone watches you cross the duct-tape and posts results, that's real racing. I think how much you learn about racing spikes pretty heavily when you're a point-earning Cat 3. The learning continues as a Cat 2, all the way up through Lance's 7th Tour win.
Well said.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:47 AM   #9
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I think it's human nature for those in the upper echelons to think and act like that. Everyone thinks that the category they're in at the time is where it really begins and everyone below that is just toying around. i.e. the 1s are saying "the real racing doesn't start until you're a 1". And the Pros are saying, "the real racing doesn't start until you're a Pro." It's all BS, but it's also all true.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:49 AM   #10
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two guys sprinting for a city limit sign makes a race
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Old 09-10-07, 09:57 AM   #11
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I do think that getting to Cat 2 is sort of a dividing line. When you get to Cat 2, (and are doing mostly Pro 1-2 races) unless you're incredibly gifted, you can't be successful without team tactics, and a real focus on bike racing as your principle avocation.

Racing Cat 3, Masters, and below is still real racing, but it doesn't have to be quite the same committment.
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Old 09-10-07, 10:11 AM   #12
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two guys sprinting for a city limit sign makes a race
maybe, but it would be a boring one.
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Old 09-10-07, 10:18 AM   #13
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maybe, but it would be a boring one.
Unless you're 1 of the 2 guys racing for the sign.

I felt that racing starts in training rides before 1 even enters a race. Granted, I don't remember too many tactical Cat 5 races, but there were definitely some organized teams and team tactics in Cat 4 and Cat 3.

The difference is that a strong rider can still often break away and win solo in a Cat 4 or Cat 3 race. It's just way way harder to do well in Cat 1-2 without the help of a team.
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Old 09-10-07, 10:51 AM   #14
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I've heard this before from other sources. I believe they're referring to the lack of use of team tactics in the lower categories. I also think fitness has something to do with it too. It seems like a lot of guys in the 4's and 5's are only good for a couple of hard efforts before getting shelled. Therefore, not many attempts at breakaways are made and guys just tend to sit in and wait for the final sprint....not realizing that with a bit more effort, they could possibly breakaway and have to only sprint against 5-10 riders versus 30+.
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Old 09-10-07, 10:51 AM   #15
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Unless you're 1 of the 2 guys racing for the sign.

I felt that racing starts in training rides before 1 even enters a race. Granted, I don't remember too many tactical Cat 5 races, but there were definitely some organized teams and team tactics in Cat 4 and Cat 3.

The difference is that a strong rider can still often break away and win solo in a Cat 4 or Cat 3 race. It's just way way harder to do well in Cat 1-2 without the help of a team.
Thats why I love collegiate cycling, there are team tactics even at the B and C level. Riders are actually willing to sacrifice and work for a team leader in pursuit of a common goal.
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Old 09-10-07, 10:55 AM   #16
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Thats why I love collegiate cycling, there are team tactics even at the B and C level. Riders are actually willing to sacrifice and work for a team leader in pursuit of a common goal.

Everyone from USC jumping and chasing down the first guy from UCLA to try to go up the road does not qualify as team tactics.
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Old 09-10-07, 11:20 AM   #17
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That is a load of crapola. Consider any local 10K run, or even a tri--- they are loaded with "participants." To be in a bike race that even has categories, the bar is already set quite high. It is not an event for the casual "participant." It is not a particularly inclusive environment--- even at cat 5.

Tell whoever wrote that, "real racing doesn't exist in the US" or "real racing is only for pros"---


---it is a bunch of elitist garbage in an already elitist sport. No wonder so many people are afraid to start racing.
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Old 09-10-07, 12:13 PM   #18
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That is not the dumbest thing I've read here (see any of DocRay's posts) but it's close.
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Old 09-10-07, 12:24 PM   #19
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I've seen some amazing races at the Cat 4 level. I've seen some astounding team tactics at the Cat 3 level.
So in the spirit of Jeff Foxworty, I offer to change this thread to "... you might be in a bike race."

If you used 4 safety pins. . .

If you waited at the starting line for someone to say "Riders Ready" . . .

If you had to wait in line for a volunteer sitting at a folding table to to take your money . . .
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Old 09-10-07, 12:37 PM   #20
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---it is a bunch of elitist garbage in an already elitist sport. No wonder so many people are afraid to start racing.

Bike racing is an elitist sport? It grew out of newspaper sales and the blue-collar factory blues. How does that qualify as elitist?
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Old 09-10-07, 12:42 PM   #21
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Bike racing is an elitist sport? It grew out of newspaper sales and the blue-collar factory blues. How does that qualify as elitist?
The Titanic was once on the cutting edge of trans-Atlantic travel. Things change, but your oblivion may preclude you from taking notice. I'm trying to keep my tone elitist in keeping with modern American amateur bicycle racing. How am I doing so far?
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Old 09-10-07, 02:09 PM   #22
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Knock yourself out. Show up in your tube socks, vintage beer cooler helmet, and 1974 Varsity. Let us know how well you are received.

I know far more people who have "participated" in a marathon or a tri than race bikes. Last I checked, you didn't need a license to run a marathon... you might need to "qualify" to run the Boston marathon, or whatever... but somehow, thousands of people qualify.

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Bike racing is an elitist sport? It grew out of newspaper sales and the blue-collar factory blues. How does that qualify as elitist?
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Old 09-10-07, 02:40 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent View Post
Everyone from USC jumping and chasing down the first guy from UCLA to try to go up the road does not qualify as team tactics.
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Old 09-10-07, 02:52 PM   #24
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Knock yourself out. Show up in your tube socks, vintage beer cooler helmet, and 1974 Varsity. Let us know how well you are received.

I know far more people who have "participated" in a marathon or a tri than race bikes. Last I checked, you didn't need a license to run a marathon... you might need to "qualify" to run the Boston marathon, or whatever... but somehow, thousands of people qualify.

You could also buy a license and do 2 or 3 races for the price of "admission" to a marathon. And I'd like to see how you'd put thousands of people on a crit or road course. Two different sports.
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Old 09-10-07, 02:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Cylinder View Post
I received the following quote in the weekend race report from a local club.

[SIZE="3It takes a special person to take the (bike racing) challenge to see if one can
compete beyond that hill or stop sign and put it all on the line
literally. But as everybody knows who enters the culture of racing,
racing doesn't really start until one is a Cat-2.

SIZE]

Is it generally accepted that bike racing doesn't really start until one is a Cat-2?

Thanx,
i read the quote as saying: you don't know if you have what it takes (i.e. put it all on the line) until you get to cat 2 and race at that level.

which, of course, makes sense because you can't really use other top riders as a benchmark unless you're actually racing in the same field.

anyone can get to cat 4 and a lot of people make it to cat 3. cat 2 seems like the first real barrier that seperates those with real talent and those without.
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