Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Bikes: Tsunami Bikes
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 112 Post(s)
It sounds like you're going to race on a dedicated bike racing circuit? I know they have them in Holland but not sure about Switzerland.
I don't see anything about group riding in the list and that concerns me. A mass start race is 10% fitness, 90% experience, at least for someone that's fit (meaning not someone that just kicked a 20 year smoking habit, is 30+ on the BMI scale - a US thing, etc). You never see anyone that can't finish the distance. It's finishing it with the field that's the challenge.
B, C, D, and E will be a waste of time. There's nothing to be gained there that will make a difference if you're asking about your first race (later it may be different but not now). If you don't have any top speed then A will help. F helps if you take into account "G" below.
The unmentioned "G" is to go do rides with other racers and learn a bit about drafting and tactics. If you're already doing that then just focus on A for solo stuff.
Another unmentioned H would be to make sure your fit is pretty good. I imagine it is but you can give away a lot if it's not.
I bet, right now, in terms of fitness, you can do fine in a variety of Cat 5, 4, and 3 races (beginner to "working class racer", i.e where most people end up if they work, have a family, and train minimal hours). When I say "right now" I mean this moment, not even tomorrow morning. If you're sitting at the dinner table right now you could get up, change, get on a bike, and do fine in a normal (not super prestigious) Cat 5 or 4 or even 3 field, and your power/fitness will be fine to get you to the finish. The difference will be if you can utilize your fitness in a productive way.
To put things in perspective a really hard training solo ride on flat terrain for me nets me 18 mph; most are 14-16 mph. I have a hard time not being the first dropped on a hill. I typically place in the last couple riders in a 125 rider field. On the BMI scale I score a solid 27.6. You certainly wouldn't say about me, "Oh, watch out for that guy". But I know how to race in a group and therefore I'm competitive in Cat 3 and M45 crits.
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson