Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-03-08, 01:46 PM   #1
LT Intolerant
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 525
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No Talent - Race Tactics??

I'm curious as to what other "no talent" riders would do in my situation. I'm your typical all-arounder w no real strength to speak of. I'm not a sprinter, my 5 min and 1 min power is low end Cat 3, and my FTP is 4.2 w/kg (average Cat 4).

I race against genetic mutants in M45+ events in and around SCal. So if you were me would you sit in and HOPE to get lucky and go with a wining move? Attack over and over again? Something else?

For example I raced a crit yesterday w multiple District and Nat champs in the field and its frustrating being a knife fight w a butter knife. I went for a prime (ended up 6th) and thought about attacking. Because I don't have stay-away TT abilities I shrank back into the pack, only to see the winning move go up the road. I should have attacked, even if I was later shelled from the move.

Sooo, what's worked for you other no-talent-types against the mutants. For the mutants out there under what circumstances do non-mutants cause you concern, or what rattles your cage (maybe nothing).

gene r
LT Intolerant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 01:55 PM   #2
Snuffleupagus
Aut Vincere Aut Mori
 
Snuffleupagus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Bikes: Irish Cycles Tir na Nog, Jack Kane Team Racing, Fuji Aloha 1.0, GT Karakoram, Motobecane Fly Team
Posts: 4,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
4.2w/kg isn't bad at all.

Race open 4s or 3s - if you're not exaggerating your numbers you'll do fine. Attack, a lot.
Snuffleupagus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 01:57 PM   #3
jrennie
Race to train
 
jrennie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: suffering on the back
Bikes:
Posts: 3,115
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well I would say you need to figure out if your field is dominated by sprinters then try to rally another guy or two to go on a flyer with you. I think this should be easier in the 45+ class since you will most likley see the same guys week in and week out to figure out the strengths and weakness of all.

do you mean 4.2 for 20 minute power or hour power? 4.2 for an hour is strong.
jrennie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 01:59 PM   #4
DrWJODonnell
Slow'n'Aero
 
DrWJODonnell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Driving the pace in the crosswind
Bikes:
Posts: 2,599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Get VERY good at maintaining position at all costs. There is an art to being in the top 10-15 riders and holding that position without sticking your nose out into the wind. Figure that out and you will have PLENTY of Energy to spare to do jump - whether for a break or for a sprint.

Next, know your opponents. Whether you use your newfound pack skills to jump on the wheel of a promising breakaway (and then sit in and do no work) or you sit on the wheel of a sprinter and come around (or try) at the very end, this will be your next best friend.

Have your team work for you. Any time your team helps you it takes a BIG load off of your shoulders. Let them chase breaks and sit in, or perhaps protect you.

You will find "average" to be just fine. Power numbers are meaningless without weight and CdA numbers so don't let them deter you from thinking you are good at something. There are people who will certainly be stronger and who can take more risks, and there are those who are weaker. Race intelligence will shift the balance into your favor (as well as of course a little luck...no one wins every race unless they are a sandbagger like Tom Boonen).
DrWJODonnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 01:59 PM   #5
wfrogge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 3,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dont use that w/kg chart to see how you compare to other racers.. 4.2w/kg is pretty damn good IMHO. Best advice? Learn how to sit in and not work.... dont waste matches during the ride.
wfrogge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 02:49 PM   #6
MDcatV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 6,760
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
an FTP of 4.2 is charted as mid Cat 2 according to http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/...profile_v4.gif.

Good advice from Dr. W.

OP - try different stuff, commit to it, and find what works. If nothing works, find what is most fun for you and do that.
MDcatV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 03:14 PM   #7
LT Intolerant
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 525
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My FTP (not 20 min power) is 4.2 w/kg. When I say this is mid Cat 4 its because there are sooo many riders that have higher FTPs. To be competitive in NCal or SCal in Hilly races you've gotta be pushing 4.5 w/kg based on my experience.

IMO the FTP #s in C Peaks are too low. I think the 5s, 1m & 5m #s are close to reality, but FTP #s are too low. BTW I totally agree that power #s are only a part of the story, ergo my question on tactics. I'm loathe to race open 4s becuase there are just too many crashes. There is a different vibe in the 45+ races. BTW the 4s races in SCal are fast too!


Great advice on trying different stuff, holding position (a weakness for sure), taking flyers, and not burning matches. What pissed me off was I sat in yesterday, didn't burn any matches, and finished the race wt. every burning a match! Once the break went up the road (2/3rds into the 40 min race), the pack just shut it down. We were pathetic! I looked at my power file after the race and saw that I averaged 80% of FTP for 40 mins. Honest to god I don't think I broke a sweat. My bad completely for not having the guts to give it a go and for not riding aggresively.
LT Intolerant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 03:55 PM   #8
carpediemracing
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Bikes: Tsunami Bikes
Posts: 14,695
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 112 Post(s)
I normally spend less than 60 seconds in the wind during an hour crit. I rarely try to maintain position in a field, except when I feel it's tactically sound to do so.

Based on some power chart, I am about a Cat 5 or worse for sustained power (I apparently rate pretty well as a sprinter though). I race Cat 3s and have entered just a couple M35 races. Although my training increased dramatically in the last month or two, the last 3-4-5 years I've been "about the same". I've managed a few wins, a number of top places, and also, conversely, got shelled within a few minutes of the start.

I don't know how races are here, but if you can sit in, use field dynamics to save energy, and only start racing towards the end of the race, you'll be able to accomplish something. A fresh "weak" racer can do pretty well against a more tired "strong" racer. Sort of the "Everyone can put out pro power, it's just a matter of how long - the pro can do it for a few hours, a Cat 5 can do it for a minute (or whatever)". So if you get to the end of a race relatively fresh, you'll have many more options open to you.

Curious, are there are a lot of racers who feel that they fit in this category of racer?

cdr
carpediemracing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 04:14 PM   #9
EventServices
Announcer
 
EventServices's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Detroit's North Side.
Bikes: Many
Posts: 5,077
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
In that last mile or so when everyone is looking around/hesitating for someone to attack, be that guy. But time to launch just milliseconds before everyone looks for it.
You may not win, but you'll probably place highly.
And you'll never be accused of being field fodder.

Also, stop watching your wattage. It sounds like it's dictating how you feel about yourself.

And nothing rattles my cage.
Or at least I can't hear it over my creaking bones.
EventServices is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 05:23 PM   #10
LT Intolerant
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 525
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
In that last mile or so when everyone is looking around/hesitating for someone to attack, be that guy. But time to launch just milliseconds before everyone looks for it.
You may not win, but you'll probably place highly.
And you'll never be accused of being field fodder.

Also, stop watching your wattage. It sounds like it's dictating how you feel about yourself.

And nothing rattles my cage.
Or at least I can't hear it over my creaking bones.
Thanks again for idea and advice (from the Ekimov school of how to steal a high placing). I've been racing on and off since '87, so wattage is just a guide for training, and an objective measure of current ability for me.

I do beleive that racing is about so much more than wattage, but I know the guys I am lining up against and I am under no delusions that I can outgun them at "their" specialty. I'm sure they feel like you do, namely they know how good they are and don't fear mortals like me. It's why I've got to somehow change the game.

Last, thanks for the good laugh regarding creaking bones. My clicking ankle and popping knee can relate!
LT Intolerant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 05:27 PM   #11
LT Intolerant
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 525
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
A fresh "weak" racer can do pretty well against a more tired "strong" racer.
Thanks CDR. What bugged me the most is I had that chance yesterday but didn't react. I saw it developing, but froze. The worst that could have happened is I would have been reeled in and spit out the back. That would have been more acceptable quite honestly.

In my earlier years I would have gone for it, but I've become more cautious over time. It's stupid really, because it gets me nowhere.
LT Intolerant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 05:53 PM   #12
Bob Dopolina 
Mr. Dopolina
 
Bob Dopolina's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Taiwan
Bikes: KUUPAS, Simpson VR
Posts: 9,968
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LT Intolerant View Post
In my earlier years I would have gone for it, but I've become more cautious over time. It's stupid really, because it gets me nowhere.
That's called discovering your mortality. Happened to me in my mid 20's. The startling realization, while screaming down a wet descent chasing back on once again, that a crash could really hurt and may leave a mark!

You need to get over that.

Here's what I would do in your case: First, pick one of your perceived weakness and train the heck out of it. Focus on it for a while and really work on improving it.

Second, pick 2 or 3 races that suit you strengths best and focus your season around those.

Third, use all other races as preparation for your selected races. Attack, sprint, jump until you're dead, follow moves, follow riders you think will be dangerous in your selected races try as much stuff as you can.

This will give you fitness, confidence, some knowledge about your opponents and a focus to your season. You might just have some fun, too.
Bob Dopolina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 06:03 PM   #13
LT Intolerant
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 525
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
That's called discovering your mortality. Happened to me in my mid 20's. The startling realization, while screaming down a wet descent chasing back on once again, that a crash could really hurt and may leave a mark!

You need to get over that.

Here's what I would do in your case: First, pick one of your perceived weakness and train the heck out of it. Focus on it for a while and really work on improving it.

Second, pick 2 or 3 races that suit you strengths best and focus your season around those.

Third, use all other races as preparation for your selected races. Attack, sprint, jump until you're dead, follow moves, follow riders you think will be dangerous in your selected races try as much stuff as you can.

This will give you fitness, confidence, some knowledge about your opponents and a focus to your season. You might just have some fun, too.
Thanks Bob, you nailed it, racing afraid sucks. Great advice.

Last edited by LT Intolerant; 02-03-08 at 07:36 PM.
LT Intolerant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 07:13 PM   #14
wfrogge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 3,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Racing afraid leads to accidents more than anything else
wfrogge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 07:20 PM   #15
Voodoo76
Blast from the Past
 
Voodoo76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Schertz TX
Bikes: Ridley Excal, CAAD10, Dolan PreCursa
Posts: 2,804
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
Get VERY good at maintaining position at all costs.
+1, I was gonna say learn to pick the right wheels, and there is no shame in 5th or 6th place. Too many riders have a win or bust mentality. Be in positition all the time and every now and then you luck out.
Voodoo76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 09:21 PM   #16
carpediemracing
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Bikes: Tsunami Bikes
Posts: 14,695
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 112 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
Get VERY good at maintaining position at all costs.
I agree with this in regards to the last bit of a race. There's a race I like in my home area, position is critical for the finale. Usually there are two races there - the crit and the state champs, not in that order though. One year I got 18th or so in the second of the two races. I was in decent position coming out of the last turn, let one guy go thinking he went too early, ended up boxing myself in, spent 200 meters looking to my left to try and get out, watched guys sprinting as fast as I was coasting (?!), and finally coasted across the line, never sprinting, for 18th. My friend, in a different race, couldn't get in good position before the sprint, did a massive sprint, passed some guys, and got... 18th.

I was told by my mentor that before I go for wins, just try and lead out the sprint. The idea is that I'd be up there, in contention, and get the feel for being up there. Sort of a detail on the botto "how to race" bit. After leading out a sprint or two I'd have an idea on how to be 3 or 4 spots behind the hot seat - and that's really where you want to be.

cdr
carpediemracing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 09:37 PM   #17
carpediemracing
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Bikes: Tsunami Bikes
Posts: 14,695
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 112 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LT Intolerant View Post
Thanks CDR. What bugged me the most is I had that chance yesterday but didn't react. I saw it developing, but froze. The worst that could have happened is I would have been reeled in and spit out the back. That would have been more acceptable quite honestly.
I've missed moves by being too smart too, but since I'm not a 'move' kind of guy, usually it's for the better.

For moves, I read somewhere that 10 seconds is a max gap a solo rider can jump across, and when you do it, you do it hard.

In the last five years I've jumped across a few gaps like that, even in unfit days, and suffered like a dog for a while after that. One year it led to a bronze in the states, but every single other time it led to getting caught a bunch of laps later.

At the same time, spending energy so flagrantly may not benefit you if the break comes back, and even if it doesn't, if it's only 2 or 3 racers, there's plenty left to fight for in the field. Not a winning attitude maybe but it's a realistic one for me.

It's tough to balance the zen-like instant gap reaction with the need to conserve some energy for the finish. I usually pick the conservation mode since I can't handle being in a break.

cdr
carpediemracing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 10:38 PM   #18
umd
Banned
 
umd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL2, Specialized Tarmac SL, Giant TCR Composite, Specialized StumpJumper Expert HT
Posts: 28,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Gene, what was your number, I'll try to find you in the pictures. Up against strong cat 1 guys like Fannell I could see how one could develop a pessimistic attitude. Here are their comments on the race...

Mark Fannell's comments:
"I got into a good breakaway in the Masters 45+ race but could only manage 4th in the end. Tom A., Chris Brown, and Mark Luke did a nice job of blocking and marking any attempts from guys in the field trying to bridge up.

Tom Anhalt's comments:
"In the following 45+ Masters race, the plan was to try to establish Mark Fennell in a break in the latter half of the race. So, after the halfway point, I took a flyer off the front with another racer and stayed out for just under 2 laps. As the field brought us back in, Marco counterattacked and jumped with a couple of others. There was then another small group that jumped and joined up with the breakaway. At that point, Mark Luke, Chris Brown, and myself patrolled the front of the main field and marked any efforts at trying to bring the break back. It stuck, and Marco finished 4th in a group that had some beefy sprinters in it. I ended up 23rd or so, my job done ;-)"
umd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 11:15 PM   #19
LT Intolerant
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 525
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by umd View Post
Gene, what was your number, I'll try to find you in the pictures. Up against strong cat 1 guys like Fannell I could see how one could develop a pessimistic attitude.
Thanks Steve for taking a look. I was 717. Your boys did a GREAT job controlling the race. I saw Mark L, Tom, and Chris at the front putting the brakes on the peloton when Marco got away. Textbook teamwork. The vibe at CR is soo different. I've been in a # of races where no one from the team talks in advance, and we all just end up racing for ourselves.

Quite honestly I'd be glad to sacrifice myself for a stronger teammate. If they do well at least I could take satisfaction in their achievement. That's not new BTW, it's been like that since day 1 at CR. Everyone racing as an individual.

Thanks agan if you come across any pics of me doggin' it at the back.
LT Intolerant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 11:18 PM   #20
bitingduck
Senior Member
 
bitingduck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 3,059
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LT Intolerant View Post
I do beleive that racing is about so much more than wattage, but I know the guys I am lining up against and I am under no delusions that I can outgun them at "their" specialty. I'm sure they feel like you do, namely they know how good they are and don't fear mortals like me. It's why I've got to somehow change the game.
Find some of those guys who you like to hang around with and start training with them and doing practice races. My racing improved a *lot* when I started training with riders like that-- you learn a lot about positioning and tactics that you won't get anywhere else. A lot of them will still beat you even when they're out of shape, and possibly slower than you, because they know how to race better-- learn from them.
__________________
Track - the other off-road
http://www.lavelodrome.org
bitingduck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-08, 11:39 PM   #21
umd
Banned
 
umd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL2, Specialized Tarmac SL, Giant TCR Composite, Specialized StumpJumper Expert HT
Posts: 28,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LT Intolerant View Post
Thanks Steve for taking a look. I was 717.
So it turns out we didn't take any pictures during the 45+ race... all we have are the finish pictures.

umd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-08, 01:45 AM   #22
LT Intolerant
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 525
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ha! Me freewheelin' it to thr finish. That's about as pathetic as I remember it being! I promise you this though, I won't race again unless I'm ready to go out on my shield. I want to be puking in the next pic you take. Thx Steve.
LT Intolerant is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:31 AM.