Originally Posted by normalnorm
I am a clydesdale(215-225lbs) that would like to try a road race. I do pretty good on the local club rides, but i know racing is a whole different game...Any other clydesdales out there that race competively?
me now: 6'4", 280 lbs.
me then (racing): 6'4", 250 lbs.
I used to race from 1992--1997 and am possibly eyeing a "comeback" maybe later this year. It is a whole other ball game...you're right.
As for tips/advice...whole books have been written on this. But for clydesdales...?
For us clydes, our weight/size is both a help and hindrance. Help on the downhills and flats (with groups). Hinder on climbs or when solo (wind).
During club rides, if you can stay with a group on flat roads doing 25mph for an extended period (say 20-30 minutes or more) with little trouble, you should have no problem racing. When riding solo, you should be able to do 10-miles (hilly or flat) around 25 minutes.
Psychologically, be prepared: almost everyone gets dropped from the leading group in their first race, clydesdale or not. Don't let this discourage you. You'll learn from it and get better for next time.
I would recommend starting with road races and/or time trials. Stay away from criteriums unless you're particularly fast with a high cadence. Also, you might want to find a flat race for your first one.
Before that, though, make sure you're training well. Speed is the name of the game. Try to find a local race club as opposed to a recreational club. Ride with both: rec club for distance and base miles, race club for speed and power.
Make sure you can also orchestrate/direct an effective paceline. One of the peculiarities of racing at lower levels is that the beginner racers don't work well together. If you do get dropped, you can organize a group to help get back to the leaders. If you're not dropped, you can organize the group to escape from everyone else.
There's lots more if you'd like. But, good luck, God bless.