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  1. #1
    Dazed and Confused JAX_11's Avatar
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    Is it possible to be a sucessful racer in the USA only racing road races? (florida)

    Thinking since being in Florida presents alot more chances to race near year round with ample road races between Florida, Georgia and Alabama, if it would benefit some racers to focus on road races only? You could pretty much race close to 20-30 road races a year maybe more, so why even do crits when you can't seem to break through in them and they just arent that much fun. I race 50-50 road race and crits this year so far and can't break through in the crits where when i get into the road races all the guys beating me in crits I'm beating in the road races. when I line up at a Crit it looks like a tryout for college running backs position. seems everyone is big and have great short term power.I get in the road races with these same guys and they are off the back. Being I cant win or come close to winning in Cirts and seem to be in the mix for a podium in almost all the road races would it be smart to just focus on road races? Can you be a effective racer and develop yourself and get stronger by only doing road races or long circuit races? I know alot of you love crits and thats fine. I'd probally be more interested in them also If I had the 40-50 minute power these guy have. I just wander if next season I should cut out all crits and train specifically for road races.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SalsaPodio's Avatar
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    If you're looking to get stronger, just race every opportunity you have. No sense in targeting only road races. If you've been racing for a while and know your strengths and weaknesses, then I could see targeting only RRs.

    The first year I raced I loved crits and didn't really care for road races. The second year I loved road races. Now I like both pretty equally, although I seem to have better results in road races. So if you're just starting out you probably don't know what you like or are good at.
    Road: Cat 2|Cross: Cat 2

  3. #3
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    If you are on an active team, then you can sometimes help teammates in crits although you may not place well.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  4. #4
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    I don't really understand the question. If one is successful at road races, unless they're a pure climber or don't excel unless things are so long guys are cross eyed, they can call up the same skills in a crit that make them successful in RRs.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator
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    Road racing is really hard physiologically speaking, i.e. it forces fitness/ability to the front.

    Crits are really hard tactically speaking. Yes, it benefits a sprinter, but there are a lot of crits where a sprinter doesn't win. It allows smarter racers to finish well.

    A strong and savvy racer can win/place in both. If one type of race suits you better, it reflects on your traits as a cyclist.

    As an FYI I'm not a strong racer, but I'm more savvy than many others.

  6. #6
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SalsaPodio View Post
    If you're looking to get stronger, just race every opportunity you have. No sense in targeting only road races.
    this
    cat 1.

    blog

  7. #7
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    If you want our permission to quit riding crits in lieu of road races, please fill out a BF-33-456, and submit it with two copies of your racing results, and a current EWang or JPG of your MMP Chart along with a certified check or money order for $72.50. We'll convene the council of elders, review the paperwork, and submit it to a vote. Expect a written answer within 30 days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    I don't really understand the question. If one is successful at road races, unless they're a pure climber or don't excel unless things are so long guys are cross eyed, they can call up the same skills in a crit that make them successful in RRs.
    this

  9. #9
    Dazed and Confused JAX_11's Avatar
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    Thanx, I see what you are saying. I just hit my 1 year mark last week. I have did probally 45 races in the first year. After i get done racing crits i come home and ask myself over and over why i even train or race for days. After road races when I have been out there 2/3 hours I come home wanting to race again the next day. I just hate going to a crit and not having the sprinting ability and leg power that these guys that could play linebacker in college have. I cant put out the power these guys do for 40 minutes. My question was will I be at a disadvantage in training if I'm not racing crits and only doing road races? Will it hurt my road racing to not be in crits? I'd like to focus on road racing aspect and TT training. I feel in the long run my best finishes and best races will be in the long races.

  10. #10
    Dazed and Confused JAX_11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    If you want our permission to quit riding crits in lieu of road races, please fill out a BF-33-456, and submit it with two copies of your racing results, and a current EWang or JPG of your MMP Chart along with a certified check or money order for $72.50. We'll convene the council of elders, review the paperwork, and submit it to a vote. Expect a written answer within 30 days.
    Thats all it costs to quit racing crits, build a uber lightweight bike slap on some zipp 202s and concentrate on destroying the road races in cat4 soon to be 3 and 30+... Ill send you a check tomorrow.

  11. #11
    These Guys Eat Oreos Creatre's Avatar
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    I'm in a similar situation myself. I constantly have great results in road races. There are far more crits, but I can never seem to do well in them, and my weekend goes from 5hours+ of organized training to maybe 2 hours if I have a huge warmup/cooldown both days. It's hard to justify traveling to race, where you are almost guarenteed to lose training time, have no results, and have the high possibility to crash and ruin your season.

    My only chance with my power profile is to get in a breakaway or get away in the last 1k. But breakaways almost never happen in cat4 crits here unfortunately, and my 1k power is shunted by the fact I'm still iffy and lose time in the corners after clipping a pedal a year ago. I'm hoping to upgrade to a 3 off another RR then have some fun working in crits for a team, and maybe learning them a bit better and get some results one day.
    Category 2 | | Velogames BikeForums Leagues: 1st - 2012 Veulta, 1st - 2011 Vuelta, 2nd - 2013 Vuelta, 3rd - 2012 Giro, 4th - 2012 TdF

  12. #12
    coffee-stained punk hammy56's Avatar
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    what do you consider success? For me, finishing in the top 10 in the 4's = success. Not getting lapped by the 40+ field = success...but I keep going, and keep trying, because I want to be there. But Im 40 yrs old and have no illusions of being a "great' racer. Im in it for the fun and suffering. ymmv.

    my question is- what do you want to do? If you want to do better in the crits, train for them.

  13. #13
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I don't know about anyone else, but I race for more than the results in a specific race or type of race. And if I feel I've done the best I can do in a particular race, or on a particular course, I feel good about the result. I'm not going to only ride in races I think I can win. I'm focused on improving all around to reduce physical limitations, and on getting the smarts that will help me overcome those that remain. The only thing that pisses me off is knowing I could have done better than I did on that particular day, due to a mental lack of toughness, bad prep, etc.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  14. #14
    Senior Member johnybutts's Avatar
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    For me, a lot of the fun of road racing is the challenge figuring out how to win/place well. I've never had strong 5s or 1m numbers (nor FTP for that matter), but I have won sprints. The intrigue is in figuring out how to do it with each course and each field. If it's a crit or a RR doesn't make too much difference to me. Both are challenging and I'll obviously approach with different strategies, but the basic game is the same: figure out how to make something work.

  15. #15
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    I'm 5'10" and 141 pounds, and I'm a crit racer. I love them. Last year I did 31 crits and 6 road races.

    It's so easy to generalize about what makes a good crit racer. Sure the linebackers and rkwakis can do well, but there are a slew of little guys like me who also do well. Crit racing does favor tactics as CDR says, but I think what it favors more than anything are the ability to read a race, a good jump, a kilo effort, and a strong FTP. You don't have to have a world class sprint to win. If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it. I work very hard on my jump, sprint, and FTP to be able to do well. All of this training helps road racing, too.

    Even though you are a Cat4, you have a lot of racing under your belt. If you want to specialize, go ahead, but if you want to progress up the ladder in racing, then you'll eventually have to figure out how to do well in crits, as long as you're racing in this country. My advice to you is to forget about specialization, and spend some time to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Get with a higher category racer or two and develop a plan to address your weaknesses. From what I understand, you're on a strong team, so there should be someone to help you out. Be open minded. Listen and learn. Work hard on your weaknesses. Use training rides and races to test them out. In races, start to figure out who they guys are that get away and mark them. Get in a break and finish in the break. Do that a few times and I bet you'll change your mind about racing crits.

  16. #16
    Fly on the wall
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    I'm 5'10" and 141 pounds, and I'm a crit racer. I love them. Last year I did 31 crits and 6 road races.

    Even though you are a Cat4, you have a lot of racing under your belt. If you want to specialize, go ahead, but if you want to progress up the ladder in racing, then you'll eventually have to figure out how to do well in crits, as long as you're racing in this country. My advice to you is to forget about specialization, and spend some time to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Get with a higher category racer or two and develop a plan to address your weaknesses. From what I understand, you're on a strong team, so there should be someone to help you out. Be open minded. Listen and learn. Work hard on your weaknesses. Use training rides and races to test them out. In races, start to figure out who they guys are that get away and mark them. Get in a break and finish in the break. Do that a few times and I bet you'll change your mind about racing crits.
    +1

    Race crits, they are good for you. Show up next time and try not to do a damn thing until 5 to go. You strike me as the guy who pulls a lot.
    Nothing should come between you and your chamois -- lawkd

  17. #17
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Unless you're a pro, "success" means having fun. If you don't find crits fun you don't have to do them. But even if you suck at them like I do they're good for you. When I was starting out I did the weekly twilight crit series and I got a lot better at pack positioning and reading the race. Eventually I started enjoying them.

  18. #18
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    To define what success means for someone else is silly.

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    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    If you're not making money, you're doing it for fun.

  20. #20
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Winning is fun.

  21. #21
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    Winning is fun.
    Yes it is, but it isn't everything. I had just as much fun lapping the field twice as winning last weekend.

  22. #22
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Shrug. The standard of success for me is winning. Most "pros," unless they're UCI Euro pros don't make what a barrister makes. I don't know why anyone else does this, but I do it because I like to compete, and I compete to win.

  23. #23
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    I didn't say it wasn't the standard of success, I said it wasn't everything, to me. If I'm not having fun, I'm out. Off to Fredland.

  24. #24
    VeloSIRraptor
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.
    deliciously sig-able.
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.

  25. #25
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    I didn't say it wasn't the standard of success, I said it wasn't everything, to me. If I'm not having fun, I'm out. Off to Fredland.
    I wasn't really responding to you per se, but clarifying my original point.

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