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Old 03-20-05, 05:45 PM   #1
caloso
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Oh well, that's racing.

On Saturday I entered the Land Park Criterium, Cat 5 men's race. This race is right in my back yard, a mile oval in the middle of a city park where I run my dog. In last year's race, I did pretty well. It was my first ever crit and I was right up there in front and had a top 10 finish. This year I knew my overall fitness was a bit lower but my sprinting has improved so I thought that if I hung around the front I might have a good shot at making the top 5.

This year the organizers added a couple of sharp turns to break up the field a bit: at the end of the back straight there was a sharp 110 degree left, then 45 degree rights around a traffic triangle, and another 90 or 100 degree right onto the home straight. Oh, and the weather was terrible: 10-15 mph wind from the south and a downpour.

There are a few teams with 4 or 5 guys, a whole bunch of unattached guys. I am unattached. I figure I can use the teams to my advantage if they're organized enough to run down any breaks. My strategy is to be near the front and maybe even push the pace a little to string things out.

It starts off pretty well and the pace isn't super fast, maybe 26mph with the tailwind and 20mph into the wind. On lap three I get near the front and I'm feeling pretty strong so I think I'll attack and see what happens. So I go as soon as it swings around into a tailwind and get about 100m off the front, so far so good, go through the sharp corners no problem and as we get into the headwind, I let off and allow myself to get caught. Okay, looks pretty good, I think I'm one of the stronger guys out here, no problem, I'll stay in the front 10 and see how it goes.

So now we're on lap four and into the sharp corners I'm near the front and all of a sudden the guy whose wheel I'm on takes a really sharp line and goes down right in front of me. I hit the brakes, lock up the wheels, and amazingly I'm still upright, except that now I'm 90 degrees to the road and I think I'm about to get T-boned. One guy slides into my leg, another bumps my fork, and I have to unclip.

I spin my front wheel and it won't turn but it's just that the brake is skewed. The wheel is still true so I open the brake lever and reclip in and go. Except now I'm 100m back and I have to chase. So I chase and I chase. I managed to catch individual riders here and there and finally after about 7 laps, I catch a group of about 7 or 8 guys and I think this is the second group. So I latch on, catch my breath and attack again, hoping I have enough legs and time to catch the lead group.

It never happens. As I come down the home straight with 4 laps to go, the ref points at me and says "You're done. Pull off, please!"

What a day. Got soaked, nearly in a wreck, and spent a half hour riding an individual TT, and I'm not even allowed to finish. Later, I tell my buddy who's a Cat 3, and he says, "Well, that sucked, but that's racing."
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Old 03-20-05, 06:00 PM   #2
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Truer words will never be spoken.

It's a phrase that has become the universal catch-all for the frustrating aspects of the sport, the fickle finger of fate that doesn't really care what you may have planned.

It's our way of letting everything roll off our back. There's never any malice involved in anything that happens to you. It's all random.

So you come back next week. All is forgiven.
Be assured that the good stuff far outweighs the bad.
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Old 03-20-05, 06:20 PM   #3
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That's too bad, but it seems to be a fact of life in that Cat 5's.

A few guys from our club were in your race. One got taken out on lap 2. Another managed to stay with the front group for the first 25 minutes. He was sitting in 3rd place when the rider in front of him went down and took him out. The 3rd was caught behind the lap 2 crash, never latched back on to the main group, and ended up getting pulled 2 laps from the end.

The guy who was with the lead group before crashing suffered some road rash and tore his new team kit but was otherwise OK. He was out today on the club's Sunday ride and looked pretty strong.
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Old 03-20-05, 06:35 PM   #4
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Great job on saving the bike! Good luck with your next race.
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Old 03-20-05, 08:32 PM   #5
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Say i was in that race too, i think i was in that second group you were talking about. Light blue, ucsd kit? hm which one were you??
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Old 03-21-05, 12:34 AM   #6
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Plain red longsleeve jersey on a silver Trek. Were you riding a blue Lemond?
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Old 03-21-05, 12:48 AM   #7
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i was gonna go to that race but i woke up and it was raining so i slept in instead.......
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Old 03-21-05, 01:49 AM   #8
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Ah, almost.. a blue Fuji. Hm well maybe we have the groups all messed up.. that race got kinda hectic. Did you go to the one on sunday in west sac?
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Old 03-21-05, 08:11 AM   #9
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As I come down the home straight with 4 laps to go, the ref points at me and says "You're done. Pull off, please!"

WHY?

you did such a good job catching up for nothing. Why did they stop you?
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Old 03-21-05, 08:22 AM   #10
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If you're far Off The Back (OTB) and losing ground each lap, the officials will pull you for a variety of reasons:
1. you will do no better if the field laps you.
2. you will confuse the final results if you mix in with a sprinting field.
3. you will pose a risk to the field when they pass you (i.e. if they catch you in a corner)

Remember that the officials must provide safety as much as they are able, and hey must provide clear and accurate 'scoring'. Dropped riders muck things up for the field.
So in as much as they'd like every rider to finish their race, there are legit reasons to pull them.
It doesn't sound fair, but it's for the best.


If you were gaining fast, they would have been more likely to leave you in. But in reality, you were probably losing a few seconds per lap or holding steady. In that case, they'll pull you.

Also, if it's a course that's difficult to marshal, they'll pull you so that you don't get hit by an unattentive spectator.

Lots of factors.
Don't get upset. Just become familiar with how it works.
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Old 03-21-05, 10:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EventServices
If you're far Off The Back (OTB) and losing ground each lap, the officials will pull you for a variety of reasons:
1. you will do no better if the field laps you.
2. you will confuse the final results if you mix in with a sprinting field.
3. you will pose a risk to the field when they pass you (i.e. if they catch you in a corner)

Remember that the officials must provide safety as much as they are able, and hey must provide clear and accurate 'scoring'. Dropped riders muck things up for the field.
So in as much as they'd like every rider to finish their race, there are legit reasons to pull them.
It doesn't sound fair, but it's for the best.


If you were gaining fast, they would have been more likely to leave you in. But in reality, you were probably losing a few seconds per lap or holding steady. In that case, they'll pull you.

Also, if it's a course that's difficult to marshal, they'll pull you so that you don't get hit by an unattentive spectator.

Lots of factors.
Don't get upset. Just become familiar with how it works.
Yup. Now that I think about it, I was losing distance on the front group. It's only a mile around so I would have been lapped eventually. I could sustain 23 or 24mph, but the group could do 29, so it was pretty futile on catching them.

I've been moping about this all weekend and now to suck it up. I raced hard, got a bit of bad luck, and well that's too bad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hawk00eyed
Ah, almost.. a blue Fuji. Hm well maybe we have the groups all messed up.. that race got kinda hectic. Did you go to the one on sunday in west sac?
Yeah, I think maybe I was all screwed up. I couldn't see with the rain and I didn't realize that there was more than one fall.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveE
That's too bad, but it seems to be a fact of life in that Cat 5's.

A few guys from our club were in your race. One got taken out on lap 2. Another managed to stay with the front group for the first 25 minutes. He was sitting in 3rd place when the rider in front of him went down and took him out. The 3rd was caught behind the lap 2 crash, never latched back on to the main group, and ended up getting pulled 2 laps from the end.

The guy who was with the lead group before crashing suffered some road rash and tore his new team kit but was otherwise OK. He was out today on the club's Sunday ride and looked pretty strong.

I'm glad to hear that he's okay. And that his bike was safe. That's the most important thing.
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Old 03-21-05, 11:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso
I'm glad to hear that he's okay. And that his bike was safe. That's the most important thing.
Yeah, he crashed his Airborne and was forced to ride his Serotta Ottrott on Sunday's ride.
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Old 03-22-05, 12:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divekrb
Any of you guys coming up to Reno in April for the crit and roadrace?
Nah, I think I'll be doing the Wente Vineyards RR that weekend.
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Old 03-22-05, 10:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Any of you guys coming up to Reno in April for the crit and roadrace?
I'd like to but family demands limit me to a one-hour radius of Sactown.
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