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  1. #1
    squid
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    first race - last minute tips?

    I will be riding my first race on saturday. Does anyone have any last minute tips?

    My goals for this race are:
    primary - don't cause any crashes
    secondary - hang on at least for duration of the initial surge

    It is a 50 mile road race in a 4/5 field of about 75.

    Tips on warming up, lining up and the start would be especially appreciated.

    thanks

  2. #2
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Get to the line early, hide in the pack. Have fun.

  3. #3
    Glimmers of form esammuli's Avatar
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    For a 50 mile road race it probably won't make a damn bit of difference where you line up. 4/5 road races don't usually have a hard surge at the start.

  4. #4
    A Member kukusz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nafun View Post
    Tips on warming up, lining up and the start would be especially appreciated.
    Do some easy spinning combined with about 2-3 minutes of hard efforts with a couple of sprints before the race. 20-30 minutes total would be sufficient, as another poster pointed out that there probably won't be a big surge in the beginning and you'll get to warm up a little during the race.

  5. #5
    Glimmers of form esammuli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kukusz View Post
    Do some easy spinning combined with about 2-3 minutes of hard efforts with a couple of sprints before the race. 20-30 minutes total would be sufficient, as another poster pointed out that there probably won't be a big surge in the beginning and you'll get to warm up a little during the race.
    Definitely a good idea, especially for crits. Try to come to the line sweating. You should also consider throwing in a few hard efforts the day before the race. Not all out, but enough to get yourself heart rate up. It helps open up the legs and keep loose.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mike9903's Avatar
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    Stay at the front of the pack as much as humanly possible, if you end up pulling take a 30 second pull and get back in the draft.

    Hold your line and don't freak out if someone bumps you, it happens.

    If you feel good try to attack once or twice, most likely it will not stick in a 4/5 race but it sure does feel good.

    Have fun with it, if you go into it all stressed out it is going to affect your riding negatively.
    2011 Madone 6.9 SSL w/SRAM Red


    ”What goes through your head when you see the 1k to go sign?”

    “55 x 11″ - Matt Crane(Team Jelly Belly)

  7. #7
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Follow me.

  8. #8
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    damn I'm ready to do some racing, not just reading about it!

    Guess I'll go ride the trainer, again

  9. #9
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    Pedal fast. Let us know how it goes, and apologize to YMCA in advance for another Cat 5 report.
    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
    Damn.

  10. #10
    peloton surfing HillMut's Avatar
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    Don't adjust your bike tonight, or tomorrow before the race.

  11. #11
    Hanging On
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    Quote Originally Posted by esammuli View Post
    For a 50 mile road race it probably won't make a damn bit of difference where you line up. 4/5 road races don't usually have a hard surge at the start.
    My very first race, I lined up wherever I could find a spot, rolled out with what I thought was the main pack, felt pretty good and decided to move up toward the front and when I got there I saw the winning group recede into the distance. I tried to bridge up but I couldn't get anyone to work with me. Only one person came with me and just sucked my wheel instead of helping, the idiot. We never bridged. You never know when there is going to be an early surge.

    -soma5

  12. #12
    Senior Member Coyote2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soma5 View Post
    My very first race, I lined up wherever I could find a spot, rolled out with what I thought was the main pack, felt pretty good and decided to move up toward the front and when I got there I saw the winning group recede into the distance. I tried to bridge up but I couldn't get anyone to work with me. Only one person came with me and just sucked my wheel instead of helping, the idiot. We never bridged. You never know when there is going to be an early surge.

    -soma5
    Actually, I'm not sure that he was the idiot...But don't worry, I have made the same mistake.

  13. #13
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Good luck at Copperas!

  14. #14
    squid
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    Good luck at Copperas!
    Thanks.

    Are you going?

  15. #15
    cycle-dog spot DinoShepherd's Avatar
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    Probably too late, but figure out who the strong dudes are. At least figure out who the strong teams are.

    That will be a clue as to whether a break is worth chasing or not. If more than a couple of the strong dudes or strong teams are on a break, you better be there as well.

    Team tactics in the classic sense are basically nonexistant at this level. You won't have to worry about a strong team sending out flyers just to weaken the field. If someone goes away, they are trying to get away.

    -Z

  16. #16
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nafun View Post
    Thanks.

    Are you going?
    No, I'm just going to do a few local races. I don't have the time budget for a full race calendar. I'll probably do Pace Bend, one day of Lago, and Beltera. We'll what my wife's calendar thinks -- could be Walburg and Cele instead -- or maybe even Fayetteville. If I get three in by March, I'll be happy.

    I'll be at the Tuesday Nighter a lot though, and hopefully some Kenny Hill Crits. You?

    Have a great time, you're going to learn a lot! Be patient...

  17. #17
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    Don't pin your number through your bibs.

    Bob
    Be the Bike

  18. #18
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    click on the "search the forums" tab above and search for 1st race, any tips. You'll have enough threads to spend all day reading.

    Off the top of my head - for a 50 mi. RR.

    1 - make sure your equipment is in proper working order. Dont adjust positions or make changes, just make sure that your chain is lubed, brakes and shifting components are properly adjusted, that your tires are in good condition and properly inflated.

    2 - after ensuring that your equipment is in safe and proper working order, pack your race bag and car the night before. take your racing clothes, I dont know your weather forecast, but this time of year is variable so take some extra layers (arm warmers, knee/legwarmers, an extra pair of socks, cap, long and short finger gloves), a towel to use for changing privacy, shoes - dont forget your shoes, and nutrition )(something for the ride, warmup, on the bike, and post race - I'm a peanut butter and honey on wheat bread guy, but take what you eat in training - dont experiment now.)

    3 - Depending on how far you have to drive to the race, take 6 water bottles. 1 for the ride to the race, 1 to sip while registering, 1 for WU, 2 for race, and 1 for post race. Fill them with what you drink during training - dont experiment with something new!

    4 - get to the race a minimum of 1.5 hrs. prior to your start time so you can find out where to park, register, pin your # on, get dressed, change clothes, warm up, and be at the start line without any added stress that you can minimize (like running late).

    5 - line up wherever, starting position is the most over rated priority that folks on BF seem to have. I won a crit - a very technical one with a field of 125 - starting in the back and actually having to push the guy in front of me along to get moving as he couldnt get clipped in.

    6 - during race, ride predictably, courtiously (is that a word?) - there is time in your racing future for holding your ground and being a tool in the peloton, not in your early racing career, no sudden movements, and try to stay in the top 5 to 15 positions so you can monitor what's going on up front and at the same time staying out of the wind.

    7 - if your in the top 5 to 15 or so positions when the finish line is approaching, stay there until about 200M (should be a sign - look for it on prior laps through the start finish area). Then at 200M unleash hell on your sprint until you're through the line. Sprint with your head up so you can see what's happening in front of you.

    8 - if you arent in the top 5 to 15 or so, dont sprint at all, just ride holding your speed and line through the finish. Sprinting for 20th+ place is a good way to crash.

    Have fun. Racing is awesome.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2 View Post
    Actually, I'm not sure that he was the idiot...But don't worry, I have made the same mistake.
    Point taken. However, without help from him, our race was over. Finding myself out of contention so early was a great lesson for me in my first race. That's one mistake I never made again, although I made plenty of other, better ones...

    -soma5

  20. #20
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Sleep. If your race is on Saturday, Thursday night is the night you need to make sure you get a solid, restful sleep. Friday night you may be traveling or to stressed to get proper rest.

    As soon as you are finished racing Consume a simple sugar (I use a can of coke), get cleaned up and changed. Then eat again. Fruit and baked goods are easy. Don't hang around in your kit, chatting for hours. Get cleaned, fed, THEN socialize.

    During the race follow wheels, keep your head up and stay off the binders in the corners.

    I always ride the last km or a course a few times so I know it when it matters.

    Have fun and stay upright.

  21. #21
    Certifiable Bike "Expert"
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    Adopt a stance with the head erect, neither hanging down, nor looking up, nor twisted. Your forehead and the space between your eyes should not be wrinkled. Do not roll your eyes nor allow them to blink, but slightly narrow them. With your features composed, keep the line of your nose straight with a feeling of slightly flaring your nostrils. Hold the line of the rear of the neck straight: instil vigour into your hairline, and in the same way from the shoulders down through your entire body. Lower both shoulders and, without the buttocks jutting out, put strength into your legs from the knees to the tops of your toes.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  22. #22
    elitist jerk daytonian's Avatar
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    if it's hilly look for pack separation early. if it's flat and windy look for 2-3 man break late in race to stick. in the 5's it seems that after chasing (successfully) dozens of breaks down early in race the last 5-8 miles the pack always gets real lax and lets one or two go thinking they'll be reeled in easily. that's the one or two man break that gets away. unless you can tt off the front for 50 miles (or someone else has), be really aware the last 10 miles there is one or two guys ready to make one stick off the front.
    I feel like a soiled kleenex dropped in the gutter in the red-light district of Paris.

  23. #23
    ultimate cat heads up!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantoj View Post
    Adopt a stance with the head erect, neither hanging down, nor looking up, nor twisted. Your forehead and the space between your eyes should not be wrinkled. Do not roll your eyes nor allow them to blink, but slightly narrow them. With your features composed, keep the line of your nose straight with a feeling of slightly flaring your nostrils. Hold the line of the rear of the neck straight: instil vigour into your hairline, and in the same way from the shoulders down through your entire body. Lower both shoulders and, without the buttocks jutting out, put strength into your legs from the knees to the tops of your toes.
    wow. wowee.

  24. #24
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantoj View Post
    Adopt a stance with the head erect, neither hanging down, nor looking up, nor twisted. Your forehead and the space between your eyes should not be wrinkled. Do not roll your eyes nor allow them to blink, but slightly narrow them. With your features composed, keep the line of your nose straight with a feeling of slightly flaring your nostrils. Hold the line of the rear of the neck straight: instil vigour into your hairline, and in the same way from the shoulders down through your entire body. Lower both shoulders and, without the buttocks jutting out, put strength into your legs from the knees to the tops of your toes.
    Gold!
    Bring the pain.

  25. #25
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    Above all this gibberish... Have fun
    Please remember that all statements unless quoted, are strictly my opinion of what happened. That there are as many opinions as there are spectators attending. I just choose to publish mine on this forum. And would NEVER intend to purposely hurt or discredit any other cyclist.... With that said... HTFU!

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