I do agree its geared towards endurance racing but to win at hellyer in the 3/4/5 you don't need that much aerobic work.
hellyer 3/4 and 4/5 average about 24mph... it's not that hard. do I have to share my embarrassing power profile? i do well in 3/4 races and im have a sprinter mentality. pray i don't get dropped and sprint when it's my chance.
cycling is already a niche sport, track cycling even more so. then sprint specialists that's pretty much non existent. people with the most physical potential have dreams of playing pro ball because that's where the money is. We'll never have the talent we need to be on the international level unless they become fully funded and get a pay check. this isn't the issue I'm talking about those.
3/4/5 10-15 lap scratch race on a 333m track averaging 23 mph with plenty of places to hide. im sure everyone on this board can do well.
now our 1/2s are averaging 29mph thats whole another animal.
fried chicken and waffles.
I am pretty sure all the talk about 30 mph 10 mile scratch races doesn't apply to racers trying to get out of the cat 3/4/5 groups. Like Impreza just said, the 3/4/5 races at Alpenrose and most other velodromes that I have seen are under 25 mph and under 5k for the most part. Add in a point a lap, win-n-out or other shorter race and you can place in the omnium without even starting the points race. At alpenrose there is just typically one event per omnium over 20 laps in the lower cats, and some nights there are zero races over 20 laps.
If you want to be even a regional level sprinter you need to be able to handle that.
As for growing the sport, adding the Friday night sprints is likely what got Alpenrose to be such a sprint dominant area. We have been kicking out top level master and national riders for a number of years now. Not sure who our next elite rider will be, but things seem to be going pretty fast at our drome for such a small group of riders.
Are there any other race promoters active on here other than myself?
I have been long on the fight against USAC, and we do as little with USAC as possible. Part of it helps that we have the slowest track in the country, part of it is I like to think of our track as some strange version of Fugazi. But it all boils down to the best racing happens when people have a natural push to get better, how they see best.
On our weekly racing we do it A,B, and C. It is self selecting, and not set for the night. Somebody like myself with do the A points races, and everything else in the Bs. A big power sprint type will do the A keirins, but spend most of their times in the C. People that are motivated by the drive to prove themselves against the top racers. There is little to no sandbagging around. Track upgrade requests go through me(since we are the only track in the USAC LA, and I am on our board) points are concidered, but more importantly the riders skills.
Track racing is small enough that the promotors should be able to help riders fit through the ranks, rather than a system that wasn't designed for track racing, and doesn't make any sense for us. Its the same way riders roll through stop signs. The laws weren't written for track racing, so we should find the way that is safe, and works for us.
Edit: Our top level state championships are the "Open", an honest to goodness true open catigory.
If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him
I like the A/B/C thing and if you look at the biggest bike sport in our state, cross, they use self selecting A/B/C categories as well. Although with cross they get a little snippy if you try to move around categories.
Last year we did a number of A/B/C races for our weekly series, and the Friday night sprint rounds are always A/B/C ... often down to F or more. I think you do need a universal system for those who like to travel, but that is such a small percentage of the riders that A/B/C makes so much more sense to me. I use to promote the Friday night series at Alpenrose over 10 years ago and it was A/B (not big enough for C most nights) ... race who you want to race. Although as the promoter I would not just let anyone race the A race, but we never had any issues and just had fun and raced.
I often wonder why track cycling has such small fields as compared to the other disciplines, but with a small velodrome we can't handle more than 100 racers an event anyways. Although it would be nice to keep a steady 50+ for each event.
The larger groups of 20-30+ riders drafting in the pack pulls you along fairly well so 27 should not be a major feat if you sit in and have some base fitness. On the shorter/steeper tracks there is more variation in speed and the attacks can come harder with the banking so it is harder.
The real question is what is the goal of upgrading if you cannot stay with the current group?
Just barely squeaking an upgrade through the backdoor is generally a mistake. If you upgrade all your races are going to be 3-10 lap unknown distance races when you get dropped which gets to be a miserable night and a long season waiting for the stray sprint only events. There might be the mercy case of a cat3->2 for national qualifiers but you should be getting some points in the shorter cat 3 events and know how to handle a bike well enough in a pack to deal with everyone else you will be racing against who have the experience and handling to go with the speed.
Also on this point, avg speed is not a great indicator especially for Cat 4, which tend to be a total crapshoot. In the first omnium this year, there was a cat 1/2 roadie who was just making the transition to track (they wanted him to do one omnium before granting him the auto-upgrade to 3). In the second one, same story with a Masters National crit champion. And there seems to be an endless supply of super fast juniors just starting to climb the ladder. So there is almost always firepower that can drop the majority of the field (making them second-guess why they can't even hang on to a cat 4 field).
On the other hand, that can often lead to slow avg speeds. In that first omnium, when the big dog broke away (eventually lapping field), no one wanted to work/chase. In fact, they all overcompensated, essentially paralyzing the field, so the average speed I imagine was very low. I suppose at some tracks it is more consistent, but in most of the cat 4 races I've watched in the last couple years at all 3 socal tracks, the circumstances have almost always favored sprinter types -- usually due to the short length of the races.
So, in response to others... yes, a regional sprinter could probably be competitive in the Cat3 field. BUT, said regional sprinter probably has to take a year off sprint training to get that upgrade assuming a reasonably competitive field. A heavy weight training and sprint training schedule is really not terribly conducive to getting results in mass start races.
Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
"If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter
Have any of you guys been Track & Field athletes?
Yes, way back in the day.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle
We ran 200s for everyone last night on our weekly teaining series. It was 90s and a 5mph wind on the finish. Fastest time was 12.9 is penrose the slowest track in the country like we say? Everyone drops a second if trsveling to Chicago or indy.
Also lowest turn out of the year with 48 riders. Still makes me feel pretty good as a promoter, even if we were under 50.
If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him
That's a pretty good turnout! How long did it take to go through all those 200s? I'd say you have a pretty good case for slowest track... what's the surface like?
Go here and look at DLV's monthly sprint nights (called "Tuesday Night Sprints"). They get turnouts in the high 20s and that's plenty of racing (and work) for one night: Results : Dick Lane Velodrome - Fixed Gear Bicycle Racing (East Point) Atlanta, GA
Are cameras frowned upon on the track? It seems like every crit I go to, there are a couple people with cameras on their bikes. On the track however, I haven't seen any at all. I want to get some footage of my races in hopes that I can take a look afterwards and learn something, but I don't want to be doing something I shouldn't be.
There may be a UCI rule against them, but I haven't seen anyone complain at my local tracks. Be sure to not have them on your helmet of course, but otherwise I know a few guys that run them front and back.