Cyclocross Racing - how fast is a cross race?
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11-22-09, 08:19 PM
My race is up and coming and just want an idea of what to look out for - how fast are the races usually going? Specifically it is a U19/cat 4 race. Thanks. Looking for an answer in mph. Obviously it varies from race to race, but just an idea.
11-22-09, 08:34 PM
it really does vary due to terrain conditions and of course the racers, the bikes...
out of the box it was fast...for mine, after a few initial hairpin, off-camber turns folks were flying...maybe 20mph? me, i was probably 15...then the mud, the sand, the subliminal ascents...
speed is a big part of the forumula (of course, it's a race!), but so many other factors at play. speed at rolling is one...speed at hopping off and on.
try to hang in there, take mental notes...and above all, have fun. crossing the finish line was such a great feeling...and a relief:p
11-22-09, 08:46 PM
I really just don't want to DNF. I'm definitely not prepared, haha, but oh well.
I averaged 6.9 mph in a Master C race today and didn't get lapped. Lots of really, really sloppy mud. It seems to me I've generally heard around 12 mph averages announced for the lower categories and maybe 14 for the upper. Of course, average speed is very different from the typical speed, because it includes the slow turns, the barriers, the mud, etc.
11-23-09, 03:51 AM
yeah, andy, that is probably more accurate....now TOP speeds, i wonder.
11-23-09, 06:12 AM
Hmm.. okay. Also, UBU, dura ace derailleur on the way :D
11-23-09, 07:09 AM
It depends on terrain and conditions. I rode with a computer for the first couple of races, just to gauge the differences between courses. Speed data was pretty much useless, plus I lost the comp sometime during one of the crashes I had in the beginning of the season ;)
Don't worry about speed, sometimes you may hit the mid twenties, sometimes you will be crawling up a hill. Don't worry about DNFs because you aren't going to quit, right? If you have a mechanical, it is generally out of your control - don't think about that. You will do better than you think, but a goal of "not to DNF" will seem ridiculous after the race.
Here is a little bit of advise that I wish I had my first race:
On the line, setup on the outside. If someone gets called up in front of you, don't be shy, move your butt up as far as you can go. With about 20 seconds to gun apply pressure to your brakes, clip in, apply pressure to the clipped pedal at 2 '0 clock, bend your elbows, grit your teeth. When the gun goes, push yourself with your planted foot and push your arms out, stomp the pedal as hard as you can go, go around the mass confusion in the middle. Don't worry about clipping the other pedal if it doesn't happen at first, just pedal hard - imagine crazed rabies infected skunks are chasing you.
Every wheel on that first corner after your front wheel, is behind you, and must pass you, thus spend extra energy to get around you. You just have to hold on to your spot - pass if you can, if being passed LET THEM BY. On the last lap, even better the penultimate lap, push it as hard as you can and remember, there is no shame in sprinting for second to last.
11-23-09, 10:51 AM
Speed is totally irrelevant in cross other than "go as fast as you can". Going fast in cross is not like going fast on the road or a crit. One part is being able to go fast on straights, thats a given. But to be a fast cross racer, you have to be fast through the turns and technical sections w/o crashing.
Its quite evident when fast road guys do cross races. They can kill it on the straights but you can pass them back in the corners, especially when its muddy.
11-23-09, 11:14 AM
For me, about 165 beats per minute.
11-23-09, 03:31 PM
My saturday race was 191 max, 183 average for 1 hour. Power looked like a seismograph in an earthquake
11-23-09, 03:46 PM
yeah, it's true about the road guys on the flats and us mud/mtb guys handling the odd cambers...i found that i actually took corners better and gained often, especially when they were muddy, off-camber...but the straight aways showed i had neither speed or strength or endurance...
11-23-09, 04:11 PM
It's good to know I'm not the only one with super-high bpms (198 max, 185 avg)
11-23-09, 04:41 PM
I think fast enough to hurt is the answer. I've done 6 races so far this year as a noob and I'm really enjoying it. There's no learning like learning by crashing (on soft earth).
I spike the HR on the first climb and stay there for the rest of the race.
11-23-09, 09:00 PM
Take whatever speed you think you can hold and double that. It's intense.
11-23-09, 09:03 PM
I guess I'll have to dial it up to 400 watts! I better come out better than my friend who I got to sign up - he's riding a pogo stick full suspension mountain bike. No lockout. It's.. bouncy.
11-24-09, 06:52 AM
it took me just a few races to swear off computers in races; they caused me to leave the moment; speed, HR, power - i don't want it in race
don't focus on speed. focus on making your legs hurt, your lungs burn, & your vision blurred all while trying to maintain focus and occasionally grabbing the beer hand-ups.
11-24-09, 11:06 AM
that was my race from sunday (finishing on the tail end of 4b)...graph on the right shows you the speeds I hit.
The gps program isn't great for cross (it gets lost on really tight turns and as you can see some of the laps are offset from the others) but its kind of cool to be able to look back and see the whole race.
EDIT: note, I don't actually ride with a computer now...the phone is in a pocket (although it does have a computerlike display mode that tells you speed/distance type info)...
11-24-09, 12:41 PM
it took me just a few races to swear off computers in racesIt's nice to know elapsed time.
11-24-09, 04:30 PM
It's nice to know elapsed time.
I rely on the lap counter at the finish line. 40 minute races this season, and the winners have gone from low-30s to mid-40s (with me at least a half lap slower), so elapsed time doesn't really help.
11-24-09, 05:58 PM
It's nice to know elapsed time.
my nokia sports tracker method gets me elapsed time...I think it can even give me autolap times if I preride the course to set a base lap point
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