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  1. #1
    Senior Member agoodale's Avatar
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    Thinking about quitting team and racing unattached...

    I've enjoyed racing in SoCal with my local team for the last seven years. Lately though I think racing with the team has been holding me back from improving and getting better results. So, I'm thinking of quitting the team and racing unattached next year. Crazy?

    My reasoning goes like this:

    I'm a strong rider but not the "go to" guy for my team in any race. I'm also a good teammate. So, I block, chase down breaks, and bury myself for leadouts on the last lap. For that reason I end up with a bunch of DNFs or DFLs.

    Also, I can only race 2 weekends a month. My team (and SoCal in general) is full of guys who are formal national or state champs and race every weekend. I feel those guys deserve the support of the team since they are putting in the time.

    I get respect from the team for what I do but my personal results are becoming a little depressing. I figure that if I freelance for a year I can find out where I really stand and then rejoin a team later with some, hopefully, better results on my resume.

    Anyone else ever quit to go solo for awhile?

  2. #2
    illusoryly superior Ygduf's Avatar
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    why don't you show them this post and give them a chance to let you try and win every once in a while?

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  3. #3
    Banana Pancakes furiousferret's Avatar
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    I'm just a cat 5 but a lot of the master's I've spoken to have similar issues. If I were in that boat I would be frustrated as well. I'd at least talk to them and maybe they'll change your role for a few races. This is a total outsider's opinion but it seems like it would be in the best interest of unity to let a teammate get the lead role at least a race or two a year. I'm not sure if things like the SoCal Cup make that impossible or not.

    Or maybe you can go to Belgium where there is less competition

  4. #4
    Senior Member agoodale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
    why don't you show them this post and give them a chance to let you try and win every once in a while?
    Being honest with myself, right now I am only capable of a top 15, maybe top 10 finish. If I was riding just for myself I would be satisfied with that result and could then work on improving it. But I couldn't feel good about that result if I knew I had 2 or 3 other guys racing for me that day who could have finished better.

    They would do it for me but it would probably only be a one time thing.

  5. #5
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agoodale View Post
    Being honest with myself, right now I am only capable of a top 15, maybe top 10 finish. If I was riding just for myself I would be satisfied with that result and could then work on improving it. But I couldn't feel good about that result if I knew I had 2 or 3 other guys racing for me that day who could have finished better.

    They would do it for me but it would probably only be a one time thing.
    I've had RX (Cat 1) race for me (Cat 3) to win a race, and it worked. We even got a Cat 4 over the line in 2nd right behind me. IIRC, RX didn't even finish, but was cheering at the line once our break was established. I didn't feel bad that he didn't get a win that day, and the whole team celebrated, even though there were several who could have beaten me. At the same time, those guys all knew I'd bury myself for them, when appropriate.

    You are probably just on the wrong team, but discussing it with them seems more appropriate than discussing it with us. Usually at this point, posters are just looking to have their decision supported, but I think you should talk to them.

  6. #6
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    Teams have advantages and disadvantages. There have been times when I wanted to quit my team and race solo, largely because there was some internal BS going on at the time that I was tired of. Other times, it's fine.

    The truth is, if you are helping your team accomplish its goals, then you are a valuable member. A couple weeks ago, I gave everything I could to help a teammate and when we hit the last lap, I pulled off the front and sat up, completely exhausted. When I crossed the line a few minutes later, the official looked at me and said, "I wasn't sure you were ever going to make it." Oh, and my teammate won.

    But, if you are looking to improve as an individual and possibly upgrade, well, that's probably easier done on your own.
    Last edited by topflightpro; 03-24-14 at 01:56 PM.

  7. #7
    illusoryly superior Ygduf's Avatar
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    I posted about it in race results a week or three ago, but racing for my teammate and having him with the field sprint for 2nd was sweet. my facebook profile pic is me celebrating his win as I got caught about 25m from the line and fell from 2nd to 10th.


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  8. #8
    Senior Member agoodale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    You are probably just on the wrong team, but discussing it with them seems more appropriate than discussing it with us. Usually at this point, posters are just looking to have their decision supported, but I think you should talk to them.
    Quote Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
    But, if you are looking to improve as an individual and possibly upgrade, well, that's probably easier done on your own.
    Not so much wanting my decision supported. Just curious if anyone has gone through the situation before and if it worked out for them.

    It's now been about 4 seasons of me just helping out the team. At first I wasn't strong enough to get any results so I just pitched in where I could. Every year I could contribute more and more. The team has always appreciated it, and I enjoyed helping, so that is not the problem.

    But now I'm strong enough to start thinking about my own results. And, after being a workhorse so long, I've lost some confidence. I think I need an entire season on my own to work out where I stand then go back to a team (maybe not the same one).

  9. #9
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    quitter.

  10. #10
    Senior Member agoodale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    quitter.
    Now that's more like it. I'm all fired up now!

  11. #11
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I have had better results unattached, but I have had a much better time racing with a team.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  12. #12
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    I think you should dial up your guads to 400 watts and drope da hamma...










    In all seriousness and maybe I missed it but what are your long term goals and where do you see yourself on a team?

    And for what reasons?
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  13. #13
    cmh
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    Maybe you don't need to either quit the team or be the team leader for races, but once in a while be a wild card guy where you are essentially racing the same strategy as if you were unattached. That way you don't feel guilty having a team work for you, and you get a chance to contest the sprint, or get in a break on your own. Big, important races, you go back to being a team workhorse.

  14. #14
    Senior Member agoodale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkwaki View Post
    In all seriousness and maybe I missed it but what are your long term goals and where do you see yourself on a team?

    And for what reasons?
    Ideally I'd like to be on a team where, occasionally, I'm the go to guy or wildcard. The rest of the time I would happily work for others on the team.

    I just can't take the chances I want to take right now because if I fail I could screw up some good team results. I also have to pass on some great opportunities because we already have a man in the break, etc..., etc...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by agoodale View Post
    Ideally I'd like to be on a team where, occasionally, I'm the go to guy or wildcard. The rest of the time I would happily work for others on the team.

    I just can't take the chances I want to take right now because if I fail I could screw up some good team results. I also have to pass on some great opportunities because we already have a man in the break, etc..., etc...
    Well you're not a pro and neither are they, so just tell them you going to race place well every other race and see if what the reaction is.

  16. #16
    Senior Member agoodale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redhat4 View Post
    Well you're not a pro and neither are they...
    SoCal...where Masters squads have bigger budgets than most development Pro teams. This is serious business yo!

    Like I said, they'd be cool with helping me out once or twice. But I think I need more time than that to work things out for myself.

    If I want to bridge up to a break where we're already represented then I have to be careful who might tag along. If I'm unattached then I probably don't care too much.
    Last edited by agoodale; 03-24-14 at 04:11 PM.

  17. #17
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    well if you're on Sterling BMW then you should be happy winning every weekend, if you're not, then you've got some work to do to beat those guys haha.
    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

  18. #18
    Senior Member kleinboogie's Avatar
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    Maybe go for one of the off categories. They just reorganized the masters a bit so there should be something in there you can go solo or maybe grab a teammate or two to assist. GL

  19. #19
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    I agree with waterrockets, you are probably on the wrong team. Even if you like them. Having a small set of "go-to guys" is one way to race successfully as a team, but it is not the only way. And it can cause tension and frustration for exactly the same reasons that you're feeling frustrated. We have a Masters' team in the Nashville area that operates that way, a couple of my friends joined them for a season, only to discover that they didn't enjoy it. When you're a strong rider but the team "leaders" get grouchy at you for riding strong enough to win... that may be a more severe example than what you're experiencing, but the point is, it's frustrating.

    FWIW, I'm racing unattached this season, for unrelated reasons, and I'm actually really looking forward to it. It's a nice opportunity to get to know people in the local scene without declaring too early for a group of people I might turn out to not be that compatible with. I got lucky in Nashville, but not sure I would get so lucky again. In the meantime, I can do pretty much whatever I want in races, which is nice.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by agoodale View Post
    I've enjoyed racing in SoCal with my local team for the last seven years. Lately though I think racing with the team has been holding me back from improving and getting better results. So, I'm thinking of quitting the team and racing unattached next year. Crazy?

    My reasoning goes like this:

    I'm a strong rider but not the "go to" guy for my team in any race. I'm also a good teammate. So, I block, chase down breaks, and bury myself for leadouts on the last lap. For that reason I end up with a bunch of DNFs or DFLs.

    Also, I can only race 2 weekends a month. My team (and SoCal in general) is full of guys who are formal national or state champs and race every weekend. I feel those guys deserve the support of the team since they are putting in the time.

    I get respect from the team for what I do but my personal results are becoming a little depressing. I figure that if I freelance for a year I can find out where I really stand and then rejoin a team later with some, hopefully, better results on my resume.

    Anyone else ever quit to go solo for awhile?
    What category are you racing?

    Unless you're a 1/2, then there's no reason for you to sacrifice your race for a teammate.

  21. #21
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by needmoreair View Post
    What category are you racing?

    Unless you're a 1/2, then there's no reason for you to sacrifice your race for a teammate.
    +1

    that's how i'm approaching things as well. i consider myself stronger than at least 2/3 of the other cat-3s in my area, and i don't feel i should sacrifice my chances for anyone else, especially when i don't race that often, which means i need to maximize what i can get from every race. Conversely, i also don't feel like having others sacrificing their chances for me.

    This is different from when i raced collegiates as that was quite a bit more fun and enjoyable, and i truly enjoyed hanging out with my teammates outside of racing. Conversely, if i were to join a team now, i know no one except from a racing context, and it's just different.

  22. #22
    HMF
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    Quote Originally Posted by needmoreair View Post
    What category are you racing?

    Unless you're a 1/2, then there's no reason for you to sacrifice your race for a teammate.
    I would also like to know what category you're in, but I disagree that you should not sacrifice your race for a teammate if you're "just" in the 3's. That's what makes racing fun. It also shouldn't be so lop-sided. If you're tight with the guys you race with, I would think they should volunteer to ride for you once in a while, or suggest that "let's try to put agoodale in the break today", without being asked. When I had a good team it was basically round-robin every week. Guys with good legs would say as much, and if there were more than one we'd simple have multiple options. Also, no one was afraid to say "I really want it today", and when that person said so, the group would naturally want to ride for that person's convictions. That exact process is how it went down on this day:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwn1YbCAUEU

    On the other hand, once you know the strong riders in your region with solid teams, it becomes easier to race unattached...

  23. #23
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    as long as a cat-3 team isn't comping my entry fees, there's no reason for me to race with a team

    at the cat-2 level, there are so few local teams, it becomes difficult to free-lance in most races. that's when team work actually matters

  24. #24
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    I have not noticed much in the way of effective teamwork among U.S. amateurs, at least those lower than category 1. Every once in a while a cohesive effort may appear out of the chaos, but those efforts are usually transient at best.

    So frankly, I kind of doubt that your team would even notice if you stopped working for them and started working for yourself.

    <edit> If that's too hurtful for your tastes, then I'd suggest ignoring me and rereading HMF's post, which makes all the sense in the world.

  25. #25
    illusoryly superior Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    as long as a cat-3 team isn't comping my entry fees, there's no reason for me to race with a team

    at the cat-2 level, there are so few local teams, it becomes difficult to free-lance in most races. that's when team work actually matters
    there. not everywhere is there.

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