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Old 04-16-18, 09:18 AM   #1
therhodeo
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Is this race worth even attempting?

So I'm a cat 5. Obviously done <10 races. Pretty decent shape this year so far but no racing yet. Tomorrow night there is a new practice road race locally. Really more of a circuit with 5 times around a 5 mile loop. The 2 big catches for me that make me hesitate. My group would be 3/4/5 and there are up to 20-30mph south winds in the forecast. So on one hand 3's could make it a steadier race, on the other hand crosswind and tail wind sections could be just that much harder.
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Old 04-16-18, 09:48 AM   #2
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Getting crushed is how you get faster, so yeah. Chances are if you can't stay with the group a few others can't either and you can work together, if not than just treat it like a time trial.
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Old 04-16-18, 10:05 AM   #3
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Yeah if you think you can hang on long enough to learn and get pushed physically, definitely do it. Racing up a category is an opportunity that should be taken advantage of.
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Old 04-16-18, 10:07 AM   #4
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I was afraid this was the advice I'd get...
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Old 04-16-18, 11:29 AM   #5
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Always race. It's the best way to get better at racing.
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Old 04-16-18, 11:44 AM   #6
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Do it. You learn a lot when you're in over your head. Just make it a goal to stay with the group as long as you can. If you get dropped, you get dropped. Form a chase group with the other refugees or TT it if you're alone. You'll still get a good training ride out of it.
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Old 04-16-18, 12:59 PM   #7
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20-30mph south winds in the forecast. So on one hand 3's could make it a steadier race, on the other hand crosswind and tail wind sections could be just that much harder.
That is a pretty brisk wind.

The tailwinds will be unique. But, the headwinds may well give you a motivation not to get dropped.

Do you feel you could safely negotiate parts of the course at 50 MPH?
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Old 04-16-18, 01:11 PM   #8
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there are up to 20-30mph south winds in the forecast.
Windy conditions are an integral part of racing, and learning that Echelon is not an expensive French restaurant downtown part of the education in tactics.

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Old 04-16-18, 01:15 PM   #9
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learning that Echelon is not an expensive French restaurant downtown part of the education in tactics.
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Old 04-16-18, 01:39 PM   #10
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That is a pretty brisk wind.

The tailwinds will be unique. But, the headwinds may well give you a motivation not to get dropped.

Do you feel you could safely negotiate parts of the course at 50 MPH?
Riding when its stupidly windy is just part of life here. Yeah I should be fine I would think.
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Old 04-16-18, 02:35 PM   #11
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So I'm a cat 5. Obviously done <10 races. Pretty decent shape this year so far but no racing yet. Tomorrow night there is a new practice road race locally. Really more of a circuit with 5 times around a 5 mile loop. The 2 big catches for me that make me hesitate. My group would be 3/4/5 and there are up to 20-30mph south winds in the forecast. So on one hand 3's could make it a steadier race, on the other hand crosswind and tail wind sections could be just that much harder.
You're a cat 5. You need to learn more about racing. The best way to do that is to race. Don't worry about winning, worry about learning how to ride safe, how to work the pack, and building your fitness up.

As someone else said, if you do get dropped (and you probably will), take the opportunity to work with other stragglers. Riding for 30 minutes with someone else learning how to ride a wheel, work with someone else, etc will do far more to make you a better racer than simply going into TT mode and trying to chase a pack you're not going to catch.

If it's a training race, you might be able to simply hop off and then hop back on the pack when they come around.

Do the race.
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Old 04-16-18, 07:07 PM   #12
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So I'm a cat 5. Obviously done <10 races. Pretty decent shape this year so far but no racing yet. Tomorrow night there is a new practice road race locally. Really more of a circuit with 5 times around a 5 mile loop. The 2 big catches for me that make me hesitate. My group would be 3/4/5 and there are up to 20-30mph south winds in the forecast. So on one hand 3's could make it a steadier race, on the other hand crosswind and tail wind sections could be just that much harder.
*edit as a Cat 3 /edit I always viewed the faster races (123 or P123) as motorpace workouts. Sit in, revel in the occasional insane speeds, and see how long you can hang. Although you should focus on a mile or two at a time, your goal should be to make it "another mile". Don't sit up until you absolutely have to, usually for safety sake or your legs simply won't work anymore.

If windy then avoid a tall front wheel. Tall rear wheel should be okay, in any wind.

Tailwind means no draft so be careful of gaps. When it turns to headwind it can be difficult to close even the smallest gaps.
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Old 04-16-18, 07:32 PM   #13
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I always viewed the faster races (123 or P123) as motorpace workouts. Sit in, revel in the occasional insane speeds, and see how long you can hang.
Where are you racing that they allow cat 5s in P123 races?
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Old 04-16-18, 08:17 PM   #14
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Where are you racing that they allow cat 5s in P123 races?
Sorry, for me as a 3 some of the 123 races were super fast.
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Old 04-16-18, 10:41 PM   #15
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talk about it here, don't do it, talk about it more here, and then do your first race 2 years later. And then talk about your races here endlessly.
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Old 04-16-18, 10:57 PM   #16
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talk about it here, don't do it, talk about it more here, and then do your first race 2 years later. And then talk about your races here endlessly.
now that is well played.
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Old 04-17-18, 06:20 AM   #17
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Do it!

I'm a new cat 5 also. I was hesitant about going to the local hammer or "P" ride. But, in my first race I got 20th of 40 because I was too scared to try things worried I would blow up and head back to the car early.

In that group ride, I intentionally set out to find the limit. Best place to do so. You have a map on your computer and a phone in your pocket, just roll back easy if you drop off.

I ended up attacking in the first 1/3 of the ride to only stay away with a former Cat 2/3 guy who ended up dropping me and soloing the rest of the way. I hung on in the group afterwards and we dropped quite a few riders.

But, now I know! Super valuable lesson. I do the same on our local A+ segment hunting ride. I go after a couple hill sprints in a row then try to hang on. Trying to figure out what I can get away with, for my body.

One bit of advice: don't be the guy on the front who tries to "get" the group by flying through a stop sign in front of a car knowing the next 4 guys behind you will not make the car. That's **** and dangerous.
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Old 04-17-18, 07:34 AM   #18
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talk about it here, don't do it, talk about it more here, and then do your first race 2 years later. And then talk about your races here endlessly.
I've raced, and done reasonably well for my experience level but not in a group with 3's.
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Old 04-17-18, 07:39 AM   #19
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*edit as a Cat 3 /edit I always viewed the faster races (123 or P123) as motorpace workouts. Sit in, revel in the occasional insane speeds, and see how long you can hang. Although you should focus on a mile or two at a time, your goal should be to make it "another mile". Don't sit up until you absolutely have to, usually for safety sake or your legs simply won't work anymore.

If windy then avoid a tall front wheel. Tall rear wheel should be okay, in any wind.

Tailwind means no draft so be careful of gaps. When it turns to headwind it can be difficult to close even the smallest gaps.
6800 wheels are my only option there so no worries on high profiles. I'm much less worried about the headwind sections for sure. I've never got popped out of the group in a headwind section. Never really in a tailwind either. Cross is a bit tougher though but I'm in way way better shape than the last time I got spit out in an echelon situation.
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Old 04-17-18, 08:36 AM   #20
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Just try not to overlap wheels in the crosswinds, it can be hard to predict when the person in front of you gets pushed around by a gust. Beyond that don't overthink it, go in willing to push yourself and I'm sure you'll have a rad ol' time.
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Old 04-17-18, 09:57 AM   #21
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I've raced, and done reasonably well for my experience level but not in a group with 3's.
My comment was an inside joke making fun of myself. If you are a strong cat 5, you probably have the legs to sit in a B 3/4 crit. You would be able to tell this if you do hammerfest group rides with cat 3s in your area.
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Old 04-17-18, 01:56 PM   #22
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I like wind - unlike hills, you can get shelter from the wind if you know how. Know the wind direction and plan out where you want to be ahead of the race. I've noticed even upper categories sometimes take a lap to figure out the wind, so if you figure it out ahead of time you have a one lap easy advantage. I like to mentally go over all the turns and where I need to be relative to the wind ahead of time.

In a headwind turning right, be on the right side before turning, and turn into the right of the group, watch the group and how they start slowly moving right after they realize the wind - but you have your shelter and can use it to move up before the group slides over.

Turning into a tailwind don't get caught off guard when the pack suddenly sprints up to 32 mph. Watch ahead and start accelerating right away, even through the turn, even if the other around you aren't. Gradually increase speed around them. Usually they will suddenly realize and surge ahead and you can just slot nicely into their draft without the surge. Stronger guys almost love to waste energy. I'm here watching every watt and every pedal stroke and every inch of draft, while the strong guys do all sorts of random little wasteful surges. A watt saved is a watt earned.

Turning into a headwind is easy, just be sure there is no gap through the turn. Rest up as the front guys fight the wind riding 17 mph. Almost guarantee no one will get free in that headwind unless the pack is already shattering. It's too easy to follow a wheel. But if the pack is already leaving gaps turning into that wind, you bet the front guys will try and get those gaps to widen.

Tailwind turn to cross wind can be tough - you are already working harder in the tailwind, moving very fast and it's hard to move up at those speeds. You may find yourself guttered with a strung out pack. Luckily your laps are only 5 miles, so you'll only have a couple minutes of crosswind at a time. I always like to be well rested going into the crosswind.

If you are guttered near the back in the crosswind and have the legs, it may be worth following the next guy that moves up in the wind. It pays to be near the front or even ON the front in a crosswind - you can echelon, you have time to drift back in the gutter without losing contact, you often get a big bunch trying to be near the front. Fighting the bunch is less energy than sitting in the gutter behind a guy that's blowing up.
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Old 04-20-18, 03:55 PM   #23
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Always race. It's the best way to get better at racing.
"racing is my training"
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Old 04-20-18, 04:15 PM   #24
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So, was the race a couple of days ago?

How did it go?

A new Lance Armstrong?
Or... dropped?
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Old 04-24-18, 06:46 AM   #25
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So, was the race a couple of days ago?

How did it go?

A new Lance Armstrong?
Or... dropped?
I too would like details/updates.
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