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  1. #1
    Senior Member Yotsko's Avatar
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    Have I gotten what I needed out of the 5s?

    The search function works great, so I know this has been asked a lot...but am I ready to move to the 4s?

    I only asked because I haven't touched the podium in my 10 cat 5 races. I was off the back pretty quick in 3 of the 4 races I did last summer, but since I actually put in some time this year it's been a bit different. Here are the results I've got.

    Crit - 10 of 24, pack finish, got stuck behind someone and missed the winning break/leadout.
    Crit - 26 of 46, pack finish, worked my way up to the front 3 times - late to start line, stuck behind crash, and crashed myself
    Crit - dropped and pulled from course - 4/5 field and I was pretty fatigued from a 75 mile "local club bragging rights" event the day before
    Crit - 7 of 23, pack finish, did some stupid things and was out of position for the winning break/leadout
    RR - pack finish, attacked a few times and did a lot of work on the front, sat up for sketchy final sprint
    Crit - 6 of 25, pack finish, felt like crap but stayed out of the wind and in the top 5 the whole time, missed the winning break/leadout...AGAIN.

    I feel like I should've been contending for the win on each of these races this year, but I kept missing something. Should I stay in the 5s and figure out what I'm missing or move on up?
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    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    if you're losing in the 5s you'll be losing in the 4s, so it depends on what you want.

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    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    if you're losing in the 5s you'll be losing in the 4s, so it depends on what you want.
    +1 - I agree with gs on this one. Figure stuff out before you start trying to move up.
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    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    5 races finished out of the ten required.
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    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yotsko View Post
    I only asked because I haven't touched the podium in my 10 cat 5 races.
    Mollusk, this guy seems to have his required minimum.

    I prefer to see cat5's move up, as soon as they have 10 races.
    It is a category to test the waters and improve on a racers technical skillset.

    Even the average rider can race 4's after 10 events.

  6. #6
    Must Go Faster veloboy971's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yotsko View Post
    The search function works great, so I know this has been asked a lot...but am I ready to move to the 4s?

    I only asked because I haven't touched the podium in my 10 cat 5 races. I was off the back pretty quick in 3 of the 4 races I did last summer, but since I actually put in some time this year it's been a bit different. Here are the results I've got.

    Crit - 10 of 24, pack finish, got stuck behind someone and missed the winning break/leadout.
    Crit - 26 of 46, pack finish, worked my way up to the front 3 times - late to start line, stuck behind crash, and crashed myself
    Crit - dropped and pulled from course - 4/5 field and I was pretty fatigued from a 75 mile "local club bragging rights" event the day before
    Crit - 7 of 23, pack finish, did some stupid things and was out of position for the winning break/leadout
    RR - pack finish, attacked a few times and did a lot of work on the front, sat up for sketchy final sprint
    Crit - 6 of 25, pack finish, felt like crap but stayed out of the wind and in the top 5 the whole time, missed the winning break/leadout...AGAIN.

    I feel like I should've been contending for the win on each of these races this year, but I kept missing something. Should I stay in the 5s and figure out what I'm missing or move on up?
    Can't help with the missing the winning break part other than learn who's strong and who isn't and when the strong people go - go with them.

    In order of the bold-ed:
    1) crap happens to everyone
    2) get to the race site with enough time to check out the course if you haven't seen it before, do everything you need to do before getting on the bike, and spinning around - all with leaving time to get to the staging area/start line 5-10 minutes early so you 1) get a good position - which can mean everything if you're like me and have a hard time moving up in technical crits or without expending a ton of energy, 2) don't miss the start. I've been in several races where the officials clocks are clearly running faster than mine by several minutes.
    3) If you have a race that you care about don't go do a hammerfest that trashes you the day before.
    4) You explained your problem right there. Quit taking pride in doing work. If you're not doing something to better the race outcome for you or a teammate, don't let your face see the wind.

    Try this and see if it helps you. Another part of knowing what works and what doesn't is just experience. I never did very well in cat4/5 part because I didn't train as much as I do now and part I didn't really learn how to race until I got to cat 2.
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  7. #7
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    Come on in, the water's fine.
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    Damn.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    The 5-4 upgrade rules changed this year. It's now 10 finishes, not 10 starts. So you have at least one more race in the 5s.

  9. #9
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Going from 5 to 4 is not that big of deal, given that in most areas many races are combined 4/5 races. Get one more finish, and then upgrade, particularly if you feal comfortable moving around in the pack.

    The 4 to 3 upgrade, and more the 3 to 2 upgrade are where you're really stepping up and need to think about what you want.
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  10. #10
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
    I prefer to see cat5's move up, as soon as they have 10 races.
    It is a category to test the waters and improve on a racers technical skillset.

    Even the average rider can race 4's after 10 events.
    +1

  11. #11
    Senior Member crapweasel's Avatar
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    I didn't finish with the pack my entire time in Cat5. If you're in the pack learning and you aren't endangering anyone, it doesn't matter which cat you're in.

  12. #12
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    Have you done any 4/5 races? If so, how did you do in those? They are probably a better barometer for whether you are ready to move up than just 5 races.

  13. #13
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloboy971 View Post
    If you're not doing something to better the race outcome for you or a teammate, don't let your face see the wind.
    Advice that is at the core of why 4/5 races are often crash fests.

    A pull from time to time never hurt anyone. Just don't be on the front for extended periods.

  14. #14
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    TS, maybe it is the way you worded it, but you have an excuse or story for every race. I kid...I kid.

    Hey, as long as you don't cause any wrecks and aren't sketchy, go on up! It isn't that much different in the 4s. At least the casual riders will be weeded out in the 4s to an extent (partially). Many just never want to race and continue, or cat up. So there is a different type of person in the 4s. Despite what people say, there are sketchy bike handlers in all categories. Just because someone can lay down 300w for an hour, doesn't mean they know how to handle a bike well, have good reaction and foresight during rides/racing.

    Plus where we are, going from 4 to 3 is a significant jump. Often Cat 3s are lumped into the Pro 1/2 fields when size/time are an issue. Several times this year, Cat 3/4 have been combined. In Florida, it is a crazy mix at times.

    Like this weekend at the Ocala RR, Cat 4/5 are combined. I'm sure it will be an 80+ person field. Barrels of fun and carnage waiting to happen. One of the first RRs of the season had a field like that...the last 300M, it was a giant mess of about 75 people....I sat up and said, no thanks! Not worth the risk.
    Last edited by zigmeister; 06-11-12 at 02:00 PM.
    HTFU

  15. #15
    These Guys Eat Oreos Creatre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zigmeister View Post
    TS, maybe it is the way you worded it, but you have an excuse or story for every race. I kid...I kid.

    Hey, as long as you don't cause any wrecks and aren't sketchy, go on up! It isn't that much different in the 4s. At least the casual riders will be weeded out in the 4s to an extent (partially). Many just never want to race and continue, or cat up. So there is a different type of person in the 4s. Despite what people say, there are sketchy bike handlers in all categories. Just because someone can lay down 300w for an hour, doesn't mean they know how to handle a bike well, have good reaction and foresight during rides/racing.

    Plus where we are, going from 4 to 3 is a significant jump. Often Cat 3s are lumped into the Pro 1/2 fields when size/time are an issue. Several times this year, Cat 3/4 have been combined. In Florida, it is a crazy mix at times.

    Like this weekend at the Ocala RR, Cat 4/5 are combined. I'm sure it will be an 80+ person field. Barrels of fun and carnage waiting to happen. One of the first RRs of the season had a field like that...the last 300M, it was a giant mess of about 75 people....I sat up and said, no thanks! Not worth the risk.
    I thought there was a 75 person cap for 4/5 fields for just that reason?
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Yotsko's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I've got a 4/5 coming up next Tuesday, so assuming that goes alright I think I'll go ahead and upgrade. I'm a big fan of the options available to 4's...and then there's the better start times...

    FWIW, those weren't excuses with every result...really just the learning points I took away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creatre View Post
    I thought there was a 75 person cap for 4/5 fields for just that reason?
    You would think that right? But no, they even announced at the start..."I think we have about 83 riders today". Mmmkaaaay. That is what I said. It was a pretty flat course, only two little bumps, so the final turn onto the straight it was like 80 people in two lanes. I was mid pack and didn't plan well...so I said, I'm sitting this one out..no thanks. Still scratching my head about that one. The problem with this Sat/Sun, combined 4/5, it is likely going to be a big field again.

    Just checked the Reg, already 25 people paid for the Sat race. That usually means at least 50% still haven't regged that normally do during the week, or just show up and reg/pay. I sense more crazines...but really hope it is under 50-60 range.

    But, won't matter anyway, I can't climb a 50ft hill that goes 5%, so I'm surely off the back by mile 10 anyway, then it will be a nice tempo ride the rest of the day.
    Last edited by zigmeister; 06-12-12 at 01:42 PM.
    HTFU

  18. #18
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zigmeister View Post
    You would think that right? But no, they even announced at the start..."I think we have about 83 riders today". Mmmkaaaay. That is what I said. It was a pretty flat course, only two little bumps, so the final turn onto the straight it was like 80 people in two lanes. I was mid pack and didn't plan well...so I said, I'm sitting this one out..no thanks. Still scratching my head about that one. The problem with this Sat/Sun, combined 4/5, it is likely going to be a big field again.

    Just checked the Reg, already 25 people paid for the Sat race. That usually means at least 50% still haven't regged that normally do during the week, or just show up and reg/pay. I sense more crazines...but really hope it is under 50-60 range.

    But, won't matter anyway, I can't climb a 50ft hill that goes 5%, so I'm surely off the back by mile 10 anyway, then it will be a nice tempo ride the rest of the day.
    Is there really a difference between 75, 80, and 83 riders?

    Anyway, in a 4/5's crit usually only half the field (or less) is able to finish with the pack, so just stay up front until it thins out to avoid the carnage.

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    Have I gotten what I needed out of the 5's
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  20. #20
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zigmeister View Post
    Hey, as long as you don't cause any wrecks and aren't sketchy, go on up! It isn't that much different in the 4s.
    This. A 4 is just a 5 that paid for enough races. Actually you can get out of the 4's faster if you are a short timer on the way to the 1's and 2's because you can upgrade to 3 in fewer than 10 races.

    And I think that you might be right about Ocala this weekend with the 4/5 field. If it is all together at the end on Saturday it will be ugly. You won't get the whole road until the last 400 m, but the last 400m is mostly downhill. And it is a long straight finish with some rollers before that, so the odds of it finishing with a big bunch is very high.

    At least on Sunday there is a corner with very bumpy pavement not too far from the finish. I think that there will be a smaller chance of carnage on that sprint. In order to get through that corner at a good speed you will need to be able to pick your own line and not have it forced on you. In other words, you had better be in the first few going into the last corner on Sunday or forget a good placement.

    I'm doing 50+, though.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    Is there really a difference between 75, 80, and 83 riders?

    Anyway, in a 4/5's crit usually only half the field (or less) is able to finish with the pack, so just stay up front until it thins out to avoid the carnage.

    No, but there is a big difference between 40-50 and 80 when on a two lane road and they are enforcing the yellow line strictly. Even when it went 2 lanes the last 300-400m, it was a gigantic mess waiting to happen. As mollusk said, there is an little ass kicker climb a good 1-4-1/2 mile in length (forget the length) as you then crest the top and go to about a 200-300m downhill finish. That is where it usually falls apart and salvages a mass sprint and carnage on the Saturday RR course.

    I'm more concerned about the rest of the race when the pack is still together, if the yellow line is enforced...you get completely blocked in and frozen in the group. The only time you can get out of it typically is if it strings out for an attack/chase, a climb, or coming out of a corner. But those are times when the power it being laid down pretty good and moving up requires additional resources to burn.

    Once all together though in a bunch, that is when the madness ensues with number of riders.
    Last edited by zigmeister; 06-13-12 at 07:46 AM.
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  22. #22
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    I was always under the impression that cat 5 was created just so people could get their feet wet and either they decide they like bike racing or not and at the same time get a bit of experience. I never raced as a cat 5 but I'd guess it's not any easier than a cat 4 race. Cat 4 -3 upgrade is different, if you are getting dropped off the back in any race as a 4 then you have no chance as a 3. And then the jump from 3 - 2 is even more pronounced then that and means that you will have some serious dedication to training and so on.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member jsutkeepspining's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zigmeister View Post
    TS, maybe it is the way you worded it, but you have an excuse or story for every race. I kid...I kid.

    Hey, as long as you don't cause any wrecks and aren't sketchy, go on up! It isn't that much different in the 4s. At least the casual riders will be weeded out in the 4s to an extent (partially). Many just never want to race and continue, or cat up. So there is a different type of person in the 4s. Despite what people say, there are sketchy bike handlers in all categories. Just because someone can lay down 300w for an hour, doesn't mean they know how to handle a bike well, have good reaction and foresight during rides/racing.

    Plus where we are, going from 4 to 3 is a significant jump. Often Cat 3s are lumped into the Pro 1/2 fields when size/time are an issue. Several times this year, Cat 3/4 have been combined. In Florida, it is a crazy mix at times.

    Like this weekend at the Ocala RR, Cat 4/5 are combined. I'm sure it will be an 80+ person field. Barrels of fun and carnage waiting to happen. One of the first RRs of the season had a field like that...the last 300M, it was a giant mess of about 75 people....I sat up and said, no thanks! Not worth the risk.
    meh, im doing a lot better as a 3 racing with 1's and 2's then i did as a 4.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
    I was always under the impression that cat 5 was created just so people could get their feet wet and either they decide they like bike racing or not and at the same time get a bit of experience. I never raced as a cat 5 but I'd guess it's not any easier than a cat 4 race. Cat 4 -3 upgrade is different, if you are getting dropped off the back in any race as a 4 then you have no chance as a 3. And then the jump from 3 - 2 is even more pronounced then that and means that you will have some serious dedication to training and so on.
    Pretty much. That is they way I think Cat 5 racing should be. Just really a tester to see who is somewhat serious about sticking with it, getting experience and learning. It was one of the survey results from last year in FL they took to heart, not combining the Cat 4/5s if at all possible. If you have to combine, Cat 3/4s instead, because we just don't need another 15-20 less experienced riders and any potential for issues to be higher than they already are in our Cat.

    But, one race about a month ago, due to not enough registrations, of course, they can combine fields, because they also need minimums. Since Cat 4 and 5 were the last two races, they delayed the Cat 4 and ran them together, surprise! Double edge sword, I see the issues from the promoters side, and the racers side on this. It is one of the reasons I pick some races over others. If it is combined with 5s, I don't show. If it is solo or combined with 3s, then I will commit. But then there is the surprise combining you can't stop from happening...so what are you going to do? Cat up is the only solution to get to 3s. That is my goal by the end of next season hopefully. That way, worse case, you will only be combined with Cat 4s in a few races in the season, or Cat 1/2. Not 5s ever.
    HTFU

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    Is there really a difference between 75, 80, and 83 riders?
    There is. At 75 riders there is insurance. At 76 there is no USAC insurance coverage for anyone (promoter, riders, sponsors) because the race is no longer held under USAC rules. It's a legal free for all.

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