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Old 07-06-14, 03:04 PM   #126
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Trust me, I do both 90% of the time I line up, and it's a blast.
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Old 07-06-14, 03:10 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
Honestly, getting dropped doesn't bother me. Like I told a junior on one of our group rides, no one cares if you get dropped, they just notice you aren't there at the end.

What concerns me as a 40 year old is the talent jump from the 4's to the Masters. I'll hit that road when I get there but I just do not see racing former National Champs, Pros, etc. all that fun. Nor does racing guys half my age in the 3's. I would be nice if they had more 35+ 3/4 races but they seem to be rare.
Don't knock it till you try it. Not the same thing exactly, but my experience with being able to enter 1/2/3 races and similarly find myself up against much faster guys was that it was WAY more fun than I expected. Racing at that level is more frenetic, aggressive and exciting. It helped that I was pretty fit my first year as a 3, so on a good day I could at least hang in there. In a hilly road race, yeah, I would get my doors blown off, but for crits and less-challenging road races, it was the most fun I've had in races where I didn't end up on the podium. That's a pretty short list.
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Old 07-06-14, 03:16 PM   #128
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Interesting read on this thread.

A big barrier for growing the sport is the Cat 5 to Cat 4 cost. Honestly 99% of the first time Cat 5 racers have no idea how hard even that will be and if it cost full fare at a race ($40-ish) it will not be a pleasant experience. How many never try again with that first time experience? These new guys are not racing for money, so make it possible for them to race cheaply. Then you might get the guys that come back for the second and third times and then some of them stick.

One thing that I have been pushing hard on my team are the opportunities for cheap races for the new guys so that they can get their 10 races in and cat up to 4 without a lot of cash out. There are have been some training crit series near where I live that are cheap and I strongly encourage the new guys on my team to take advantage of them. I wish that there were more and I have been conspiring with a former pro that I know to get something like that done locally. Could happen.

And I tried to make it a priority for my team to have experienced guys show up at these training crits and mentor, but that balloon was made of lead. Sigh.
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Old 07-06-14, 05:28 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Don't knock it till you try it. Not the same thing exactly, but my experience with being able to enter 1/2/3 races and similarly find myself up against much faster guys was that it was WAY more fun than I expected. Racing at that level is more frenetic, aggressive and exciting. It helped that I was pretty fit my first year as a 3, so on a good day I could at least hang in there. In a hilly road race, yeah, I would get my doors blown off, but for crits and less-challenging road races, it was the most fun I've had in races where I didn't end up on the podium. That's a pretty short list.
I love a long hard road race, but in all honesty the most fun I have on a bike is p123 crits.
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Old 07-06-14, 06:47 PM   #130
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Moyene: I disagree on the low hours thing. In cat4 races, you can probably get away with 4 hours (think of it this way. 4 rides, each an hour long. One 2x20 day, one 2x20 30 seconds on 30 seconds off, 1 5x5 @Vo2max, 1 tempo with sprints day). Now it would suck, and you would have to work hard, but it's totally possible, especially in the lower cats (heck one of the 1s here upgraded to a 1 on like 6-7 hours a week. Now he's riding closer to 20 to complete at national events, but that's different from racing local p/1/2 races)
Maybe if you are doing Crits, but if Green Mountain Stage Race and Killington Stage Race are part of the calendar, no way. Sure you might be able to hang in there and make the time cut but I seriously doubt that on 4 hours of training you will have enough to contest for the top 5-10 spots on GC, let alone win a stage as a bonus. Or for that matter go for the bonus prizes each stage.
When I meant competitive, I meant the full calendar all season, Crits, Road Races, TT's and Stage Races.
Finishing in the field versus in the top 10 are very different results which require more than 4 hours. If you have a very short season or perhaps just a handful of races, you could theoretically do OK before the demand would catch up to you.
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Old 07-06-14, 06:57 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
What concerns me as a 40 year old is the talent jump from the 4's to the Masters
Trust me, racing Masters or P123 is way, way more fun than racing 4s or 3s.

Racing in a high quality field is just a superior experience. Your goals might need to change, like from "try to win" to "try to hang on", but the race experience itself is so much better, more interesting, more exciting, etc.
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Old 07-06-14, 10:23 PM   #132
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I'm glad that you've all decided that crits are definitely easier!
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