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  1. #1
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    never raced. never even seen a bike race (except tv of course) figuring on a generaly flat, 25 mile cat 5 race, what kind of average speed would one need to keep in order to stay with the average pack. Please work with me here, i know there are 1000's of variables.... just give me some ideas, so i can start to set some basic goals.

    Thank you for your time,

    mike cavanaugh
    Last edited by mcavana; 10-18-04 at 07:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    You can do some searches... it's a fairly common question (if you can figure out what to search on....).

    Pulling numbers out of random bodily orifices, on flat terrain, riding solo, 25 miles, say average 20-23 mph. But that's more as a conditioning benchmark. The real make-or-break is, when the attack goes, can you go with it. Do your intervals.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gustaf's Avatar
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    Leading up to my first race I worried a lot about average speed - But then realized that it really doesnít matter. Like you said 1000ís of variables.

    For the sake of giving a number, I think anywhere between 22 Ė 25 is about right.

  4. #4
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcavana
    never raced. never even seen a bike race (except tv of course) figuring on a generaly flat, 25 mile cat 5 race, what kind of average speed would one need to keep in order to stay with the average pack. Please work with me here, i know there are 1000's of variables.... just give me some ideas, so i can start to set some basic goals.

    Thank you for your time,

    mike cavanaugh
    I've seen races that averaged close to 30mph, then others in the 22-23mph range. But as was already mentioned, it's being able to take it up another level if a break goes...

    Sugggestion is to get the Carmichael Criterium workout video/DVD as a basis for how to prepare for a race. It's being able to accelerate yet keep your HR from spiking...to see how you measure up, maybe try to ride with guys who race who can give you a feel for what you need to compete.

    CATV races can be odd, in that there are not a lot of tactics, bike handling skills in a pack are not very good, and many think that the only way to win a race is to ride all out for the entire distance.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  5. #5
    Lone Rider
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    I was in a few CAT5 races several years ago. They seem to be faster than the upper categories since the distances are usually much shorter. And they do seem to run wide open for the full race.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dereknc
    I was in a few CAT5 races several years ago. They seem to be faster than the upper categories since the distances are usually much shorter. And they do seem to run wide open for the full race.
    Thatís definitely true. A lot of bravado rather than tactics, which Iím definitely guilty of.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    No, it's not "1000s of variables" - just one - the ability to develop peak power that assures you remain in contact regardless of wind or incline.

    "average speed would one need to keep in order to stay with the average pack"
    Meaningless phrase, without knowing how hilly or windy.

    What this means, you may need the ability to average 23mph by yourself if you want to stay with the "front" on a hilly course.

    You may be able to finish "in the field" , even if you can only average 20mph by yourself -- as long as the race course is flat and not windy......

  8. #8
    Disgruntled Planner bpohl's Avatar
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    Well, the courses around here tend to be fairly flat (except for the last one I did), and our CAT V races usually average right around 23mph. It's really not hard to keep up... the main thing, like everyone prior has said, is being able to follow the breaks.
    Don't waste your breath to save your face when you have done your best.

  9. #9
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    Around here the speed for a cat 5 criterium is around 24-25 MPH. That is on the weekly, generally flat course. On the hillier courses the pace drops to a steady 24. Our Road races for Cat 5 generally tend to range in the 22-23 MPH range.

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    Focus on our top, sustainable speed. If you can hold 27 to 28 mph for a minute or more, you will never get dropped in a cat 5 race. If you can attack a short roller with 6% grade going up at 20 mph+, you will never get dropped in a cat 5 race. The first time I raced as a cat 5 I never get dropped.

  11. #11
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    I once asked a similar question to a veteran racer and got this answer: A racer is someone who can ride for several hours at 20+ mph. He is also someone who can take it up to just under 30 mph for a short period, and then go back to 20 mph to recover.

    One more thing, if you're going to race, try to get out of Cat 5 as quick as you can. There are ton of crashes due to the inexperience of the racers. If you win a Cat 5 race, see if you can move up. If you race a year at Cat 5, move up to Cat 4.

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