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  1. #1
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    Crit Speed Question

    Total curiosity...I'm new to racing this year, so not much experience.

    Local crit last night, 0.8 mile 10-corner course with a short 200-meter 8% hill you go up (and down obviously) each lap. We did 19 laps. Average speed for our lead group of 6 guys was 23.6 mph. Question from my inexperience is, would this for you experienced guys be considered a moderate speed race? Fast? Slow? No real reason for asking other than wondering how it might compare to other races in other areas. I know it's relative. Cat 4-5 if it matters.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ShutUpLegs's Avatar
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    Always tough to determine based on speed because every race is different. This passed weekend my teammates who did the 4/5 crit average 26.2 mph and our Cat 3 race was 25.8 mph. 10 turns is a lot over that short distance! Would be interested to see that layout. Are they actually turns or more like swopping "turns". Sometime too, the more people the faster is can be.
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    I can't imagine there are 10 turns and an 8% hill in that small of a loop.

    My 4/5 crits average between 24.5 and 25.5mph on each lap, and the last lap is around 27 to 28mph, and this crit is a flat course. Cat 5 road race averages are around 24mph too.

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    Senior Member globecanvas's Avatar
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    My last 2 crits averaged 21 mph and 27 mph. Guess which one was harder?
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    Senior Member hack's Avatar
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    10 turns and a climb with descent (into a turn??) sounds like a technical course which should, especially in a 4/5 race, yield slower speeds. So, that avg speed with that climb seems pretty quick (can you compare with later 1/2/3 racers?). However, that avg speed may or may not correlate with the avg speed of your next race as the course, field, etc may be different. For what it's worth, I've done 4/5 races with speeds ranging from 21mph to 27mph. As above, depends on the course and field.
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    illusoryly superior Ygduf's Avatar
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    I would think and average speed of about 41kph for that course.

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    Banana Pancakes furiousferret's Avatar
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    It really varies. We have had them in the 21-22 range because everyone refuses to take a pull and lets a guy out in the front to rot, we've had others where one strong guy takes a massive pull and drags everyone along (26ish), and then others where strong guys trade pulls (26.5). Really its the surges that I worry about. When they start hitting 30+ at certain parts thats when gaps form and things get hairy.

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    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Based on my short career as a cat 5 racer, I don't think there really is a "typical" speed, unless you want to use a very wide (i.e. 20-35 mph) range.
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    Here's a picture of the course. There may be some folks here that are familiar with it, it's part of our local weekly crit series. Setup last night as a 10-turn course, sometimes it's 12. The start/finish is the little star which is at the top of the hill. Hill starts right at turn 10 and ends at the start/finish. Descent obviously starts there too. Lots of room into the turn at the bottom of the descent (plenty of room on all of them really) but they are pretty much all 90-degrees.


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    Senior Member ips0803's Avatar
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    You'll get a lot of "it varies" responses.

    That said, to do a course that short, with that number of turns and a climb, at 24 mph I'd say is pretty fast for a 4/5.

    That said if you guys were basically just team trialing in a pack of 12 its less so that the surging and reacting you'll see otherwise.

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    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    doesn't matter. even if your curious why does it matter? Maybe its fast and maybe it's slow.

  12. #12
    gmt Grumpy McTrumpy's Avatar
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    post a strava of it.

  13. #13
    These Guys Eat Oreos Creatre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AERO63 View Post
    Here's a picture of the course. There may be some folks here that are familiar with it, it's part of our local weekly crit series. Setup last night as a 10-turn course, sometimes it's 12. The start/finish is the little star which is at the top of the hill. Hill starts right at turn 10 and ends at the start/finish. Descent obviously starts there too. Lots of room into the turn at the bottom of the descent (plenty of room on all of them really) but they are pretty much all 90-degrees.

    I would get dropped so fast on that course. I probably wouldn't even make a lap. It could be 15mph and I'd probably get dropped. Turns suck if you suck at turns.
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    Thanks for the feedback. I know it doesn't matter at all whether it was fast or slow...after races I just always think to myself "well, I wonder if that was a fast race?" Then after the next one "I wonder if THAT was a fast race??" Haha...no way to know except wait until I have more of them under my belt really, I get that.

    In regards to the course, yes, a bunch of corners. It's a fun one if you like that sort of thing.

  15. #15
    Senior Member lsberrios1's Avatar
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    I could probably be the lead motorcycle marshal on that race! (on my 50cc) ... maybe you'd drop me either way . I don;t think you could have a lead motorbike or car on that course.

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    If more than a couple people put it on Strava you can do a Strava Flyby. This will give you (and others) an idea of how strung out the race got. More strung out means it was harder, relatively speaking, since less people were willing to go into the wind.

    23-24 mph on that course seems like a pretty good pace. On a course with a lot of turns I imagine it was strung out, making the overall race quicker. When the field is 8 wide at 20 mph it really knocks the avg speed down.

    It looks like a fun course, I'd race it if I could.
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    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
    I would think and average speed of about 41kph for that course.
    sounds about right!

    actually the real answer is speed doesn't matter. just go faster than the rest at the end.

  18. #18
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    ^^^^^

    It was definitely strung out and usually is from my limited experience with this course. There are a couple places where it bunches up a bit fairly often, like at the top of the hill going into turn 1 where guys have tried to pass on the hill but not quite made it around. It's a fun course. I could be totally wrong in thinking this way, but it seems to bring the strongest guys to the front more consistently than the other course they use for the weekly evening crits, that other course is flat with wide sweeping turns and always a big pack of riders.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    sounds about right!

    actually the real answer is speed doesn't matter. just go faster than the rest at the end.
    haha, yes sounds about right!

    Speaking of going faster than the rest at the end, maybe I can change gears a bit and ask a question. If you must laugh that's ok, I'm a lowly Cat-5 racer trying to learn here. The 6-man lead group in last night's race included myself and two of my teammates. We were on the front for more or less the entire race, the others guys weren't interested in working and I don't blame them, because in hindsight we were more than willing to do the work. We didn't win. We finished 2, 3, and 4 but had a guy who sat back there the entire time beat us. He did a good job, we didn't. (Still had a good time though for the record!)

    What is the best way to get off the front? (Or force someone else up there?) We'd slow the pace hoping someone would get antsy and go to the front, they wouldn't. We'd pick up the pace hoping to wear them down and get away, but that didn't work either. So in the end we just worked hard and got beat by someone smarter who didn't.

    What could we/I have done differently?

  20. #20
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    You towed him around. One of the things you could have done differently was attack, instead of just doing all the work. One of your team could have buried himself to get a potentially decisive gap, while the other two blocked. If he stays away, great. If he doesn't, now you two are the ones being towed up to him by the opposition, and having, relatively speaking, an armchair ride which leaves you in a position to counterattack once the junction is made. With three of you in a six-man break you have the opprtunity to work them over, instead of working for them.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member globecanvas's Avatar
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    There are whole novels written about how to drop deadwood in the break. I think both carpediemracing and shovelhd have posted exhaustively about this. With 3 teammates in the break you should definitely have been able to make the other guys work hard. The last of the 3 just needs to get in front of the bad guys and let the other 2 good guys get a gap, over and over. If they come around to close the gap they are working harder than you. If they don't come around, now it's a 2-man break with no bad guys.

    P.S. I would love to race on that course.
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  22. #22
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    to get off the front, pull off and coast. they'll eventually come around.

  23. #23
    Senior Member robabeatle's Avatar
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    haha

  24. #24
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    for realz.

    It depends on the situation as always. If you have more than 20 seconds then you can play cat and mouse. If they continue to suck wheel then continue to coast. Be ready for a counter. Watch for them getting antsy. Don't let it get down to 10 seconds. If they go, go with them. If not, attack, HARD.

    With three in the break you should have tag teamed them whether they were sucking wheel or not. You want the break to be just your team. Each team member attacks with the rest of the team at the back. When they catch, your next teammate has moved to the front and attacks. You latch on the back. Lather rinse repeat. If that doesn't work then gap them off. Have a teammate on the front with you in front of the wheelsuckers. You sit up. Let the gap open. Make them chase back on. Lather, etc.

  25. #25
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    As for crit speeds, it depends. I've been in pro races that averaged 27mph and M55+ that averaged 29.5mph. Why does it matter? If you're calibrating your RPE do it against power and HR not average speed.

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