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Old 01-28-08, 04:19 PM   #1
kudude
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another CatV race report (Fremont early bird #4)

Apologies for the barrage of Cat 5 reports, but no one else is racing (or at least posting about it), so here goes:

The afternoon race had 47 entrants owing to the clouds and forecast rain, I think. They decided to split the field anyway. The crit is on a dead flat 1.4 mi course, but there was a bit of wind this time around. I lined up near the front, so was in the first group, now known as "Group 1". I was in with a bunch of my teammates, and a couple of teammates were in the group that was to start 1/2 a lap behind us "Group 2".

I worked to the front of the main group on the first lap, and somewhere near turn 1 on the second lap there was a small attack/breakaway. After drafting off a rather large (not fat, but just LARGE) triathlete with his LG aero helmet for awhile (he seemed happy to push the big ring into the wind), I pedaled hard through the corner and closed the gap up to the lead group. We'll call this group 1a. The pace was fast on the back, into the wind and of those 8 or so, three attacked again. I hopped on a wheel that was trying to catch up for a few hundred yards then pulled around to take my turn chasing the group. Coming around the turn, I suppose his wheel overlapped mine and there was a fair amount of contact. Miraculously he didn't go down, but I let off the gas for a few seconds. It was about this time that we caught group 2 (They must have started late/slow, because they hadn't finished their first lap yet). There was a big mixup here with intertwining races, etc, and here is where the cluster-f**kery began.

I soloed off the front of group 2 trying to catch 1a for WAAAAY too long and by the time I sat up to wait for the rest of my race, there was really only one pack besides 1a. To their credit the 8 guys in 1a kept the pace up and rode by themselves for the last 35 minutes of the race. kudos to them (I'm still a little steemed at myself for missing the chance to get with them).

The rest of the race was pretty tame, with the random people who didn't get away with 1a being pulled into the mess, along with passing cyclists who looked like they were out for a sunday spin who'd been dropped, lapped and kept going.

No one really knew which race they were in, and with whom. I attacked going into the last lap, the idea being to sacrifice myself and set up a sprint for teammates. They ended up winning (or getting 2nd, apparently someone was right next to him and the finish wasn't all that clearly marked), but not because of my attack. It was WEAK. I had NO juice left for it, but decided to try anyway, coming from about 10 back I passed the lead guy and that was about it. I had a good time and felt a lot better about racing in general, although I have no idea where I placed. Must have been 8+~10 guys in the pack who were in my race, plus a ah, who knows. I rode hard and didn't get dropped. That's it, not a very coherent report, but then again the race was far from coherent.

I heard a rumor that the mentoring sessions before the races counted towards the 10 mass starts we need for Cat 4, can anyone comment on this?
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Old 01-28-08, 04:28 PM   #2
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Apologies for the barrage of Cat 5 reports, but no one else is racing (or at least posting about it), so here goes:

The afternoon race had 47 entrants owing to the clouds and forecast rain, I think. They decided to split the field anyway. The crit is on a dead flat 1.4 mi course, but there was a bit of wind this time around. I lined up near the front, so was in the first group, now known as "Group 1". I was in with a bunch of my teammates, and a couple of teammates were in the group that was to start 1/2 a lap behind us "Group 2".

I worked to the front of the main group on the first lap, and somewhere near turn 1 on the second lap there was a small attack/breakaway. After drafting off a rather large (not fat, but just LARGE)
triathlete with his LG aero helmet for awhile (he seemed happy to push the big ring into the wind), I pedaled hard through the corner and closed the gap up to the lead group. We'll call this group 1a. The pace was fast on the back, into the wind and of those 8 or so, three attacked again. I hopped on a wheel that was trying to catch up for a few hundred yards then pulled around to take my turn chasing the group. Coming around the turn, I suppose his wheel overlapped mine and there was a fair amount of contact. Miraculously he didn't go down, but I let off the gas for a few seconds. It was about this time that we caught group 2 (They must have started late/slow, because they hadn't finished their first lap yet). There was a big mixup here with intertwining races, etc, and here is where the cluster-f**kery began.

I soloed off the front of group 2 trying to catch 1a for WAAAAY too long and by the time I sat up to wait for the rest of my race, there was really only one pack besides 1a. To their credit the 8 guys in 1a kept the pace up and rode by themselves for the last 35 minutes of the race. kudos to them (I'm still a little steemed at myself for missing the chance to get with them).

The rest of the race was pretty tame, with the random people who didn't get away with 1a being pulled into the mess, along with passing cyclists who looked like they were out for a sunday spin who'd been dropped, lapped and kept going.

No one really knew which race they were in, and with whom. I attacked going into the last lap, the idea being to sacrifice myself and set up a sprint for teammates. They ended up winning (or getting 2nd, apparently someone was right next to him and the finish wasn't all that clearly marked), but not because of my attack. It was WEAK. I had NO juice left for it, but decided to try anyway, coming from about 10 back I passed the lead guy and that was about it. I had a good time and felt a lot better about racing in general, although I have no idea where I placed. Must have been 8+~10 guys in the pack who were in my race, plus a ah, who knows. I rode hard and didn't get dropped. That's it, not a very coherent report, but then again the race was far from coherent.

I heard a rumor that the mentoring sessions before the races counted towards the 10 mass starts we need for Cat 4, can anyone comment on this?
Seriously?
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Old 01-28-08, 04:36 PM   #3
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Great work. Sucks to miss the break, but it's such a gamble. Usually those 4/5 packs will chase that sh*t down really quickly.

Sounds like you kept it smooth and adapted to the disorganization.

It should totally count toward the 10 races to cat up to 4.
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Old 01-28-08, 04:37 PM   #4
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Seriously?
seriously.
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Old 01-28-08, 04:46 PM   #5
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seriously.
Gotta love the 5's
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Old 01-28-08, 05:32 PM   #6
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I heard a rumor that the mentoring sessions before the races counted towards the 10 mass starts we need for Cat 4, can anyone comment on this?
Last I heard they did. You can check with Casey at NCNCA
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Old 01-28-08, 07:04 PM   #7
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I heard a rumor that the mentoring sessions before the races counted towards the 10 mass starts we need for Cat 4, can anyone comment on this?
They do. Do all 5 early birds, races and mentoring sessions and you can upgrade if you want.
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Old 01-28-08, 07:05 PM   #8
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Seriously?
That's not the worst of it. Mountain bikes are not unheard of at the Early Birds.
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Old 01-28-08, 11:31 PM   #9
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There was a woman on a mountain bike. She nearly hung with the pack.

Also, those guys out for the sunday spin? yeah. That was me this week. I pulled the pack for most of the first lap, dropped off, and no one let me in until the back of the pack, despite my attempts to force the issue several times. If it was one of you out there who kept boxing me out, then f*ck you. all in all it was a pretty miserable outing for me, but I still had fun.
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Old 01-29-08, 06:54 AM   #10
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If it was one of you out there who kept boxing me out, then f*ck you.

Sounds to me like you need more Cat5 rides if you don't know how to get back in.
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Old 01-29-08, 07:00 AM   #11
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No one will let you in, you just kind of have to push your way in. Just match speed and slowly drift into the pack. Something tells me that white knuckle rider next to you isn't comfortable close to other people and will let you in.
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Old 01-29-08, 11:10 AM   #12
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There was a woman on a mountain bike. She nearly hung with the pack.

Also, those guys out for the sunday spin? yeah. That was me this week. I pulled the pack for most of the first lap, dropped off, and no one let me in until the back of the pack, despite my attempts to force the issue several times. If it was one of you out there who kept boxing me out, then f*ck you. all in all it was a pretty miserable outing for me, but I still had fun.
What where you wearing, and why did you pull the pack on the first lap? Did none of the mentors help you get back in, because that's part of why they are there.
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Old 01-29-08, 02:57 PM   #13
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Also, those guys out for the sunday spin? yeah. That was me this week. I pulled the pack for most of the first lap, dropped off, and no one let me in until the back of the pack, despite my attempts to force the issue several times. If it was one of you out there who kept boxing me out, then f*ck you. all in all it was a pretty miserable outing for me, but I still had fun.
And in this thread ladies and gentlemen we have two classic examples of how to approach your cat. 5 races. And what's more, these polar opposites aren't just appearing here in this thread together, but, in fact, we out on the tarmac together. Truly excellent!
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Old 01-29-08, 08:19 PM   #14
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What where you wearing, and why did you pull the pack on the first lap? Did none of the mentors help you get back in, because that's part of why they are there.
I have to "+1" that. If you want to attack at the gun, and you can finish the race, then by all means go ahead. I think it's beyond lame to pull that sh*t and then pull into the slow lane after 3 laps. I had a guy do that last season, and when we caught up to him, I somehow found myself on his wheel as he was cashing in his chips on lap 4. I thought, 'oh great, I'll suck this really strong guy's wheel'. Wrong. Dropped.

How deflated are these people when they realize they aren't going to solo to victory from the gun?

p.s. This rant naturally doesn't apply if the above mentioned instigator is raising hell for his team.
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Old 01-30-08, 01:55 AM   #15
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It wasn't my intent to be that guy. You know the one who acts like a tool and rides too hard too early. But keep in mind it was my second race ever, and I had felt very strong at the one a couple of weeks ago. I was not nearly so strong on sunday, and I believe the field was somewhat stronger as well. A mentor did eventually let me in. The real problem was that the guy I was trying to force to let me in was up against the curb, so if I leaned on him or anything I would have sent him into the curb. But yeah. I need a lot more Cat5 races. And a lot more training. Also, I'm unattached. So no excuses for being ********.

I was wearing a black Castelli jersey, a blue helmet, and riding a red Trek.
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Old 01-30-08, 10:54 AM   #16
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It wasn't my intent to be that guy. You know the one who acts like a tool and rides too hard too early.
Nothing shameful about an early suicide pace, especially if you're up against organized teams and better riders who will beat you anyway. At least you get clean air for a little while.
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Old 01-30-08, 11:43 AM   #17
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Nothing shameful about an early suicide pace
Getting spit off the back on lap 2 would be, just in my book, something shameful
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Old 01-30-08, 01:56 PM   #18
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Getting spit off the back on lap 2 would be, just in my book, something shameful
No shame in trying.

Shameful is the guy wearing the pro team kit on the $5,000 bike with Zipps who's never entered a race in his life, but acts like he's Lance Armstrong on all the club rides.

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Old 01-30-08, 02:11 PM   #19
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I'm not too upset. If this kinda stuff still happens to me next year...maybe I'll start thinking I'm a failure. Right now I'm having fun and figuring out how this game works.
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Old 01-30-08, 02:25 PM   #20
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I didn't say it was a failure. Far from. It's just something that one should try to avoid.
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Old 01-30-08, 02:29 PM   #21
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I'm not too upset. If this kinda stuff still happens to me next year...maybe I'll start thinking I'm a failure. Right now I'm having fun and figuring out how this game works.
Don't worry, you'll be surprised how quickly you learn your way around in a pack.
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