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 01-19-11, 06:13 PM   #1
Gios78
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Bikes:
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hmmm, which category to race

4/5 or 3/4 or 4

Upgraded to 4 this season even though I had an injury plagued first season as a 5 last year. I currently ride with some really strong 3's and 4's. Lately, I've been finding myself at the front of the group and a lot of times setting a pace that drops all of the 4's I ride with.

Honestly, I don't really care about winning a lot of races I just want to get stronger, become more aware of tactics, and become a better rider in the pack.
In TX we have a crap load of early road races this time of year and I'm trying to figure out which category I should race in.

Thanks.
Gios78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-11, 06:18 PM   #2
hammy56
coffee-stained punk
 
hammy56's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 6,630
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
if you want to get stronger, logic might say do the 3/4...

or race the 4's and presumably get to the 3's...
hammy56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-11, 06:19 PM   #3
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: teh Jersey
Bikes:
Posts: 19,947
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
whichever category they have at the race you're going to, or more than one if you're able.
gsteinb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-11, 06:29 PM   #4
wanders
going roundy round
 
wanders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: High Point, NC
Bikes:
Posts: 6,081
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gios78 View Post
4/5 or 3/4 or 4
all of the above.
wanders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-11, 06:44 PM   #5
Debusama
Senior Member
 
Debusama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Spokane, Washington
Bikes: Elephant custom road bike, 08 Redline D440, Motobecane Fantom cross Uno.
Posts: 683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do they do things differently in TX? Every race I’ve been to either has a 4/5 field, a 3/4 field leaving the cat 5s to their own field, or a different pack for each category. Are there races where you have a choice? If so, I go for the Cat 4 only. This way you don't have to share the road with the first-time racers, but you don't have your ass handed to you cat 3 guys.
Debusama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-11, 06:53 PM   #6
nacler22
Tilting at Windmills
 
nacler22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Les Bois
Bikes: More please
Posts: 690
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Cat3 if you are enlightened and want to learn.

Cat4 if you want to win more than learn.

Cat4/5 if you want to "serve up the pain".
nacler22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-11, 07:00 PM   #7
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
Posts: 34,105
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 246 Post(s)
Depends on the race.
caloso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-11, 07:32 PM   #8
mattm
**** that
 
mattm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CALI
Bikes:
Posts: 13,889
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 209 Post(s)
Anything but the 4/5's.

And as others have said, more than one race in a day if you can handle it.
__________________
cat 1.

blog
mattm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-11, 08:01 PM   #9
Snap
old & slow
 
Snap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Bikes:
Posts: 269
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd go where I had teammates.

But bouncing around between different cats makes it hard to know who the players are.

Last edited by Snap; 01-19-11 at 09:07 PM.
Snap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-11, 08:53 PM   #10
bostongarden
meow
 
bostongarden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hint: check out my BF name
Bikes: 2011 Cannondale Super Six, Dura Ace 7800, 2007 Cannondale System Six Dura Ace 7800, 1992 Bridgestone RB-1, MB-2, MB-3, MB-5
Posts: 5,825
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
At your stage and this point in season, try a 3/4 and see what you think.
bostongarden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-11, 08:56 PM   #11
Creatre
These Guys Eat Oreos
 
Creatre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Atlanta, GA
Bikes: Yes
Posts: 3,422
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do the 3/4 and the 4. No reason you can't do two races the same day.
Creatre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-11, 08:58 PM   #12
carpediemracing
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Bikes: Tsunami Bikes
Posts: 14,699
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 112 Post(s)
3-4s, 4s, 4-5s in that order. Skip the last race if that's your second. In other words just do one race, skip the 4-5s unless the 4-5s happen AFTER the 4s. You want to do the harder race first, then the easier one.

Target race first, then the training race.

3-4s because the best riders (meaning combination strength and tactics) will be at the front. If you're there, you're there. If you're not... you're not part of that "best" group. Around here, although it's not as true for the past few years, the top 3s were national level (sandbagging) masters riders. I'd line up in a Cat 3 race with 2 or 3 current national crit champions sometimes. No I wasn't up there in those races.

If you can place in a 3-4 race then you're well on your way to being a 3. Tighter riding, much more aggressive in the last laps before a field sprint, and some good sprinters that keep you honest. Around here a fast 3-4 crit will be close to but not quite 27 mph avg.

The 4s next because that's what you are. If you're good you'll be destroying them, but 4s race much more conservative overall. Around here it's 1-2 mph slower - 24 mph is about where they get comfy for a crit. 26 is fast. If you're doing a 4 race and a 3-4 race, do the 4s to win.

4-5s last because you'll be riding with a mix of different riders. Some new, some strong but clueless riders, and some like you. Smaller field (limited to 75 according to USAC).

A rough basis on how you did if the race ends in a field sprint (it's my own acid test):
- close to the front - within a couple places of winning, maybe 10 feet from the winner - if I coast past the winner in the next 50 meters I could have won. I should have gone earlier, I could have done better.
- close to the front or even a win - but riders pass me in the 50 meters after the line. Best sprint I could do. Can't get much better than that. I accept that as a "great sprint" on my part.
- not anywhere near the front (more than 5 places, 20 feet). I didn't belong in that sprint. If I'm not 6th or better I (and you and whoever) might as well just sat up in the sprint. This is bike racing, it ain't a running race. 10th place is 4 places away from being anything better than a spore on a piece of mold (or something like that). Often if I place 10th I'm flying by people and trying to get into that nice top 6 area. But a lot of times I launch too late or from too far back.
Note these are field sprints. For a 5 mile climb to the finish in a road race disregard

The only time I'll sprint for top 20 is if there are 20 MONEY paying spots (Tour of Somerville, any race I did in Tour of Michigan, or any race in Belgium I did in lol) or there's a crash and I am hoping that I might break top 10 (Harlem). In my case I sat up in Somerville once I saw about 20 guys pass me (got 37th). In Harlem I did a little solo sprint to the line for 14th after a huge stack up at 200m to go - I missed seeing a lot of riders I guess.

cdr
carpediemracing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-11, 09:39 PM   #13
breathing
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Elkhart, IN
Bikes: Guru Maestro
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not trying to steal the thread but I must ask...CDR...what is the "Tour of Michigan"? I'm hoping this is a real race and still running, its hard to find stage races around here.
breathing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-11, 10:40 PM   #14
Jancouver
Senior Member
 
Jancouver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 1,104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
@cdr Since I will be racing Cat 4 and some 35+ races this year I did look in to that and I have to say that in most cases, the good/harder races start after the lower categories...at least here in CA.

So for example, the Red Trolley I will do (at least signed up for) 4/5 then 4 then 35+

See ya there
Jancouver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-11, 04:57 AM   #15
pjcampbell
fair weather cyclist
 
pjcampbell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Green Mountains
Bikes: Colnago c50
Posts: 1,337
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
3/4
pjcampbell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-11, 05:37 AM   #16
MDcatV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 6,760
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
4 and 4/5 as a new 4 the 3/4 will likely be over ur head
MDcatV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-11, 07:32 AM   #17
WCroadie
Senior Member
 
WCroadie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chester County, PA
Bikes: 2010 Trek Madone 5.5 CAAD9
Posts: 2,353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you're that strong, do the 4's, get upgrade points and upgrade to a 3.
WCroadie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-11, 07:35 AM   #18
WCroadie
Senior Member
 
WCroadie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chester County, PA
Bikes: 2010 Trek Madone 5.5 CAAD9
Posts: 2,353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jancouver View Post
@cdr Since I will be racing Cat 4 and some 35+ races this year I did look in to that and I have to say that in most cases, the good/harder races start after the lower categories...at least here in CA.

So for example, the Red Trolley I will do (at least signed up for) 4/5 then 4 then 35+

See ya there
If the 35+ guys out there are anywhere near as strong as the ones here, be prepared to get completely shelled in the 35+ especially if it's your 3rd race of the day. In these parts, a lot of the "mature" 1's and 2's use the 35+ as a warmup and those races are super fast. Good luck.
WCroadie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-11, 08:11 AM   #19
Racer Ex 
Resident Alien
 
Racer Ex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Location, location.
Bikes:
Posts: 12,618
Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by WCroadie View Post
If the 35+ guys out there are anywhere near as strong as the ones here, be prepared to get completely shelled in the 35+ especially if it's your 3rd race of the day. In these parts, a lot of the "mature" 1's and 2's use the 35+ as a warmup and those races are super fast. Good luck.
35+ open guys in SoCal are notoriously slow.
Racer Ex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-11, 08:19 AM   #20
carpediemracing
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Bikes: Tsunami Bikes
Posts: 14,699
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 112 Post(s)
Tour of Michigan is gone. 1991-1992 were the last years of 8 crits (25 mi for Cat 3s) in 10 days. Awesome. In 1993 they started throwing mtb races in there and we stopped going. Faded away shortly after that.

35+ is basically 1-2s. Someone, maybe UMD, had a clip of the M35s at Trolley last year. They looked like they were on motorcycles compared to the 3s.

Let's put it this way - I skipped doing Masters for 10 years because they're usually harder than the 3s.

I'm dreading the Red Trolley based on my lack of training overall (3 hours in the last two weeks, no volume whatsoever prior to that), lack of bike at this moment (it's on its way), and the fact I leave next Wed AM.
carpediemracing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-11, 08:19 AM   #21
carpediemracing
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Bikes: Tsunami Bikes
Posts: 14,699
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 112 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
35+ open guys in SoCal are notoriously slow.
carpediemracing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-11, 09:45 AM   #22
Homebrew01
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales
Posts: 20,033
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 271 Post(s)
For criteriums, I try to do 2 races. One in which I will be competitive, and one that will be more of a challenge.
If it's a RR, then it might be a tougher choice, based on the categories available, type of course, your strengths etc...
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike
Homebrew01 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-11, 09:52 AM   #23
GirlAnachronism
Bulldozer
 
GirlAnachronism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NYC
Bikes:
Posts: 2,846
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattm View Post
And as others have said, more than one race in a day if you can handle it.
I dunno, I'd be careful with this one. I've heard that racing more than once a week leads to certain death.
GirlAnachronism is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-11, 10:55 AM   #24
waterrockets 
Making a kilometer blurry
 
waterrockets's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Austin (near TX)
Bikes: rkwaki's porn collection
Posts: 26,130
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
+3.1425927
waterrockets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-11, 11:02 AM   #25
Fat Boy
Wheelsuck
 
Fat Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 6,158
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
35+ open guys in SoCal are notoriously slow.
Blue hair and white knuckles
Fat Boy 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 05:17 AM.