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Old 04-03-12, 06:33 AM   #1
plantrob
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Pennsylvania masters

Went out on a limb this weekend and requested an upgrade to cat 4 based on my 7 races to date - and was approved . That suddenly gives me a wealth of choices for upcoming races - instead of only qualifying for the cat 5 race, I can choose between Cat 4/5, Cat 3/4, or masters. I'm considering this race: https://www.bikereg.com/Net/15528 . Not interested in the Cat 4/5 race (I want the wall ), so it's between 3/4 and masters 40+. Between the two, the masters race distance (12 km shorter) is a better match with my current/expected fitness level - but am I going to regret choosing it? I've read all the comments about masters fields being brutal, was wondering if there's regional variations or pretty much to be expected anywhere.
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Old 04-03-12, 07:29 AM   #2
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...Between the two, the masters race distance (12 km shorter) is a better match with my current/expected fitness level - but am I going to regret choosing it? I've read all the comments about masters fields being brutal, was wondering if there's regional variations or pretty much to be expected anywhere.
Pretty much everywhere. A cat 1 is a cat 1. The distance won't be what gets you: it'll be the pace over that distance. Very much different than a cat 5 race: tactics, skills, fitness level. Everything.
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Old 04-03-12, 08:25 AM   #3
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^with 7 races under your belt, you should be doing the 4/5.

but between the 3/4 and the 40+, definitely the 3/4. unless you won all of your cat 5 races by soloing away and finishing minutes ahead of the field, you'll get destroyed in the 40+, and probably will in the 3/4 as well.

i've done this race multiple times and will be there this year in the P12. i have team mates that could be in the P12 but opt for the 40+. that race will be fast from the start. it's a demanding race. the wall destroys legs, but the shallow grade over the top of it with the wind from the left is what destroys souls.
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Old 04-03-12, 08:47 AM   #4
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Sshhhh... MDcatV.

Don't listen to him plantrob. Do the Masters race. You'll be fine.

Report back.
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Old 04-03-12, 09:33 AM   #5
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Sounds like MDcatV is genuinely trying to scare me (probably with good reason), while wanders is sadistically hoping for an interesting report of shame and defeat in the Race Report Threat
I have a few weeks to think it over. One of my team mates (admittedly the strongest one) is racing the masters, which won't make much of a difference if I'm off the back in a jiffy...
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Old 04-03-12, 09:38 AM   #6
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^i'm not trying to scare you or to be a dick, just providing my opinion given that i've been doing this a while, have done that specific race, know the folks that'll be at the pointy end of the 40+, mentor new racers, and know the difference between the abilities of the new racers and the masters racers.
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Old 04-03-12, 10:03 AM   #7
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Ha. If you have to ask don't do the masters.
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Old 04-03-12, 10:34 AM   #8
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The fact that you are considering the master race, since it is shorter and better suites your fitness, says you likely have no business being in that field. You are basically going from cat5 to trying to mix it up with 1 & 2's If you want to try that out, try it on somewhere where there is not a course feature that is going to be decisive. You are likely wasting your time by driving there and getting popped on the first lap.

Also, I looked at the start times, so you could try the 40+ and if you get popped, then do the 4/5 if it does not fill up. If you go that route, I would just pre reg for both.

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Old 04-03-12, 11:19 AM   #9
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MDcatV, that wasn't a dig in your direction - just my interpretation of the message you were sending (which is appreciated). I wasn't so sure of wanders' intentions

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The fact that you are considering the master race, since it is shorter and better suites your fitness, says you likely have no business being in that field.
If the masters is indeed going to be so much more intense than the 3/4, then it does sound like the 3/4, even at the extra distance, may be the better choice. I would rather race 84k (masters) than 40k (4/5) - just wasn't sure about that extra 12k (3/4), which takes me beyond my training ride distances.

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Also, I looked at the start times, so you could try the 40+ and if you get popped, then do the 4/5 if it does not fill up. If you go that route, I would just pre reg for both.
That's a good thought - thanks.
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Old 04-03-12, 12:14 PM   #10
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Took a look at last year's results. The 3/4 race was a bit faster than the masters 40+ race - at least judging by the time/lap of the winners:

masters 40+: 19:12/lap (8 laps)
cat 3/4: 18:38/lap (9 laps)
P1234: 17:53/lap (10 laps)

As they say - past results do not guarantee future performance; but they choose to start the masters after the cat 3/4, which would suggest that the organizers believe the 3/4 will be faster. Of course average speed doesn't paint the whole picture...
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Old 04-03-12, 12:54 PM   #11
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My second race ever was a Masters race. I had just finished my first race- a 4/5 on banked .5 mile track. I asked the race official if I could race even though I was only a cat 5.

He let me.

It was a combined field of 30+ and 40+ with the 40ers having red dots on their numbers. The 40+ paid 3 deep and I only saw 3 other red dots beside myself. I took a look at this one guy who appear to be in his 60's and thought to myself "Alright! All I have to do is follow this old goat around for 45 minutes, sprint past him at the end and I'm in the money."

After I got lapped for the seventh time, I quit counting.
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Old 04-03-12, 01:16 PM   #12
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Wanders - lol.

i remember the 1st masters crit i ever did, real crit, not industrial park crit. i was a 4. about 5 laps in i was the last guy in the shrinking thin line of racers that was the race. when ramon benitez and others lapped me, i rode off the course, up the garage ramp to my car, put my bike in the trunk, took my shoes off, and drove home. i've come a long ways.

plantrob - if you do the 40+, pic of Ramon is below. All you'll have to do is follow him and sprint around him at the end.

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Old 04-03-12, 01:22 PM   #13
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Wanders - lol.

i remember the 1st masters crit i ever did, real crit, not industrial park crit. i was a 4. about 5 laps in i was the last guy in the shrinking thin line of racers that was the race. when ramon benitez and others lapped me, i rode off the course, up the garage ramp to my car, put my bike in the trunk, took my shoes off, and drove home. i've come a long ways.

plantrob - if you do the 40+, pic of Ramon is below. All you'll have to do is follow him and sprint around him at the end.

Sounds pretty straightforward. I'm going to try that with gsteinb next time.
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Old 04-03-12, 01:25 PM   #14
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Ha. If you have to ask don't do the masters.
+1

Don't let the "masters" title fool you. They are still very much 3/4 racers.
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Old 04-03-12, 01:29 PM   #15
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Plantrop,

I'm a 52 year old Cat 3. I race both my category and Masters ( sometimes doubling up, sometimes picking the one that fits my schedule)

A 3/4 race is definitely going to be easier than Masters 40+.

The Master's race is essentially a P 1/2/3 race, with guys a few years older.
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Old 04-03-12, 01:38 PM   #16
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Lol.

Ramon Benitz was the number one ranked masters rider in the country.
That list is a who's who in NE masters racing.

Masters racing is far more tactical meaning overall time may be slower but there will be decisive moments where your day is done.


Quote:
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Took a look at last year's results. The 3/4 race was a bit faster than the masters 40+ race - at least judging by the time/lap of the winners:

masters 40+: 19:12/lap (8 laps)
cat 3/4: 18:38/lap (9 laps)
P1234: 17:53/lap (10 laps)

As they say - past results do not guarantee future performance; but they choose to start the masters after the cat 3/4, which would suggest that the organizers believe the 3/4 will be faster. Of course average speed doesn't paint the whole picture...
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Old 04-03-12, 01:41 PM   #17
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Sounds pretty straightforward. I'm going to try that with gsteinb next time.
I'm usually with Ramon.
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Old 04-03-12, 01:58 PM   #18
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i from a personal standpoint, i would like to read the race report if you do decide to do the master's race.
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Old 04-03-12, 02:07 PM   #19
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One more resume item: Dave Taylor was the number one ranked cat 2 road racer in the country in 2010. In 2009 he, I, and one other storied masters RRer were the break at the tour of high bridge.
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Old 04-03-12, 02:13 PM   #20
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Another thing to remember is that the higher cat races (road races) usually start off at a much slower docile pace and then all hell will break loose so looking at average pace is very misleading. The first half may be at 21 mph then its go time with a finish of 26+ - makes the average look like a 23.5 but that would be very misleading. Did a crit a while back and most of the race was at a 24 (highly technical crit) - when I bridged the gap to the leaders I jumped at 30+ then went 28 lap after lap (corner crit i think) - ig difference between the two paces if you want to be a contender.
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Old 04-03-12, 02:16 PM   #21
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i from a personal standpoint, i would like to read the race report if you do decide to do the master's race.
OK, I'll commit to reporting on the results, whatever race I decide on entering and however humiliating the result
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Old 04-03-12, 03:06 PM   #22
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I'm usually with Ramon.
We both beat him at Thater. Certainly the highlight of my career.

OP, one thing. Don't be fooled by what a Master declares as their category. Many of them used to be pros, 1's, and 2's, and downgraded to Cat3. They race Masters to race, and race Cat3 to win. They will crush 20 year old souls.
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Old 04-03-12, 06:17 PM   #23
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And if you go masters you also get to meet Ramon and other masters racers "rubber band treatment," which you will enjoy thoroughly. Racing is also about learning and all of those guys have things to teach us up and comers, go get your race on, win some lose some rinse and repeat.
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Old 04-03-12, 08:06 PM   #24
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Yesterday I was chatting some on an easy team ride with a new and pretty talented Cat 5 on our team. He was telling me how he won a race. It involved the Cat 5 field and a Masters 60+ field that started separately, but the officials screwed up and the fields eventually merged. He was smart enough to latch onto Dave Viney's wheel when DV finally decided that he had had enough. Eventually he couldn't hold his wheel any longer, but by that time he was so far in front of his Cat 5 race that he could limp home for the victory.
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Old 04-04-12, 08:54 AM   #25
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Here's another data point, not that you need it. A 40+ teammate of mine, who races P/1/2, M35+ and M40+, but focuses locally on the M40+ season championship, is a sprinter who can crank out 1600w.
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