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Why do some people choose to sandbag?

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Why do some people choose to sandbag?

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Old 05-24-18, 11:50 AM
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Why do some people choose to sandbag?

Even after people start publicly calling them out? Why don't they want to embrace the challenge of racing against their fitness peers? Does winning in lower categories just mean that much to them? It's kind of a weird phenomenon. Happens in our area because mandatory upgrades are not enforced. Do you guys see much of this in your areas?

And in the cases I am thinking of, I don't think it has anything to do with purses/money.
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Old 05-24-18, 12:38 PM
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Shooting themselves in the foot. I think the worst offenders are age grouper triathletes at the pointy end of their trade that take up some bike races.

They'll time trial off the front of a 4/5 race for a W but learn zero skills in the race.

If they have plans on cat'ing up, they've learned nothing in the process once they do.

If I had that much a fitness advantage, I may get in to breaks and do some attacks to see what works and what doesn't. But I wouldn't TT the thing.
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Old 05-24-18, 01:05 PM
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It happens in all areas.

It's just easier to show up to a race you're confident you can win, rather than being challenged for that win.

Nothing you can do about it except upgrade and then you don't need to deal with them anymore. Even if they win every single race there are plenty of remaining points to grab.
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Old 05-24-18, 02:13 PM
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Because its fun to win, I think...I wouldn't know I've never won anything (well I was on a #1 ranked video game team in the world but that's different).

As a guy that doesn't win much, I think its important to move people on fast; its not uncommon for 3 guys with points to be on the podium, meaning the 4th,5th, and 6th guys are denied points and frustrated. In the SCNCA 4's, it always seems like we have enough racers with p12 talent to fill the podium and its rarely a race full of racers with Cat 4 talent. I may catch some flak for this, but IMO if you're sandbagging 4's and winning most of your races, chances are you will be competitive in the 3's and in many p12 races (ie not Dana Point, Manhattan, San Rafael, etc).
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Old 05-24-18, 02:34 PM
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I think there are situations where someone is just crushing it at the local level. In my case, in Dallas area, which is not the same thing as crushing it in Ames, Iowa. But then in the state-wide races, it's a bit of a crapshoot still for them. So for the local guys, it feels like sandbagging, but in the larger picture of the state, they may be a top 10 talent in the state, but no guarantees of a win because racing also has a very random element to it. Breaks, no breaks, for example.

I don't really care. But I have adopted the viewpoint that I'm better served by advancing to a higher level of racing if my legs will take me there. And my racing brain too of course.
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Old 05-24-18, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
I think there are situations where someone is just crushing it at the local level. In my case, in Dallas area, which is not the same thing as crushing it in Ames, Iowa. But then in the state-wide races, it's a bit of a crapshoot still for them. So for the local guys, it feels like sandbagging, but in the larger picture of the state, they may be a top 10 talent in the state, but no guarantees of a win because racing also has a very random element to it. Breaks, no breaks, for example.

I don't really care. But I have adopted the viewpoint that I'm better served by advancing to a higher level of racing if my legs will take me there. And my racing brain too of course.
I feel like I know exactly who you're talking about.

Anyways, my thoughts are this: if you wanna sandbag and ignore the mandatory upgrade in order to try to win the State RR or another major race before moving up then go ahead. Where my issue lies is with showing up and racing the local weeknight B race when you have the ability to podium in the A race.
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Old 05-27-18, 06:29 PM
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Remember that there's almost no mandatory upgrade thing. It only happened recently. Before, there wasn't a mandatory "forced upgrade". It was that if you asked for an upgrade you could not be denied.

No matter what the Masters races really don't count for anything, so you can get extremely good Cat 3 Masters out there, like literally world or national champions.

For the bulk of my Senior Cat 3 years I raced against multiple current national and world champion riders (crit, match sprint, scratch, etc, so very strong and skilled racers, not just a huge engine like a triathlete). I frequently lined up with 2-3-4 national champion jerseys in the field. Because they were Masters they just raced 3s, and they won a lot of races. I know the money was pretty good in some races - I remember one race where I got 4th, was pleased with the $90 I won, then discovered that the winner of that same Cat 3 race got $900. Second was $500, third $125. If I'd known that I'd have kept pedaling when I had a 20 second lead with 6 km to go instead of sitting up and waiting for the field for almost a lap so I could do a sprint.
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Old 05-27-18, 08:03 PM
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Danny Summerhill was riding for UHC last year (and many years), and is now riding for an amateur team. He showed up and won $1500 bucks at a crit yesterday against a field of amateurs. Now that's some serious sandbagging!

Also, the 3s race has this utterly stacked junior team. The kid that won Snake Alley yesterday (lapped everyone a couple of times) apparently has over 120 upgrade points, but because he's a junior (15 or 16), he doesn't have to upgrade to a 2. Ha.
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Old 05-27-18, 10:09 PM
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Some guys fall in this sweetspot, where they are very good for their level, and are frequently on the podium at the local level, but not quite dominant enough that anyone says anything or makes a fuss. I have a guy like that on my team. I think he could be a cat 2, but he'll likely be a master's cat 3 for life, and no one will mind. Part of racing is not dominating with your fitness, but doing well because of your skills and decision making. If you are winning off the front with solo attacks time and time again, what are you really getting out of that? It's like being a triathlete racing cat 5 for life.
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Old 05-28-18, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Danny Summerhill was riding for UHC last year (and many years), and is now riding for an amateur team. He showed up and won $1500 bucks at a crit yesterday against a field of amateurs. Now that's some serious sandbagging!
Assuming Holloway is still on that team, seems fitting. I mean winning the pro nats and then amateur nats after that should be banned or something..

That said, isnít Snake Alley always a big race with heavy-hitters always showing up?
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Old 05-28-18, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post


Assuming Holloway is still on that team, seems fitting. I mean winning the pro nats and then amateur nats after that should be banned or something..

That said, isnít Snake Alley always a big race with heavy-hitters always showing up?
Yeah, Holloway is still on it. He won yesterday.

Yeah, Snake alley is a bit of a monument tyoe, but it's still primarily amateurs. No pros this year or last year, but always some expros. His level is a bit higher than typical, though. He didn't exactly retire, just got fired.
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Old 06-04-18, 02:12 PM
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I've been in the UK (Scotland) now for coming on 3 years, and the amateur racing scene is ridiculous. Waiting lists for fields, loads or races, tons of junior participation, etc. Upgrade points are completely automated. If you hit your target in 12 months, you're automatically upgraded when you hit that target. There's no cat 5 (starts at 4), and you need 12 points to go from 4 to 3, so given the popularity of races and depth of talent, guys can go multiple years just to move from 4 to 3. You never fall back to 4, but for every other category you drop back down when you don't score enough points in 12 months. Your also don't retain any points year to year, so I had 27 of 40 for a cat 2 upgrade last year and lost them.

I spose as a cat 1 or 2, you could let yourself fall back to cat 2 or 3 for wins, but ironically the prize money isn't great.
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Old 06-04-18, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Yep View Post
I've been in the UK (Scotland) now for coming on 3 years, and the amateur racing scene is ridiculous. Waiting lists for fields, loads or races, tons of junior participation, etc. Upgrade points are completely automated. If you hit your target in 12 months, you're automatically upgraded when you hit that target. There's no cat 5 (starts at 4), and you need 12 points to go from 4 to 3, so given the popularity of races and depth of talent, guys can go multiple years just to move from 4 to 3. You never fall back to 4, but for every other category you drop back down when you don't score enough points in 12 months. Your also don't retain any points year to year, so I had 27 of 40 for a cat 2 upgrade last year and lost them.

I spose as a cat 1 or 2, you could let yourself fall back to cat 2 or 3 for wins, but ironically the prize money isn't great.
Out of curiosity, how much does reg cost a race overseas? I always see posts from Netherlands/France about 5(euro money sign) or less registration which just blows my mind. I guess American bureaucracy at it's finest keeps our race costs so high.
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Old 07-04-18, 10:56 AM
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I've put on about 15 races, there's A LOT of inefficiencies and variables involved. The campus races cost less due to police & ambulance being provided by university. On city courses, police & ambulance cost $87/hr+. Insurance rates vary depending upon location as well. City permits vary with what services they require. Sometimes you put up snow-fencing yourself with volunteers. Other times, they require you to use their unionized public-works employees. Meaning you're paying for twice as many people to do 1/2 the work @ 4x the cost. Then there's food, water, shade, etc. for all the workers throughout day. Total prize-list, aside from sponsor donated knick-knacks usually is big portion of budget as well. Being bigger more legitimate sport in Europe, I'm sure it's easier to get sponsorship money.

On the other extreme are 2 practice-crits per week in same area. Costs = $000

As for sandbaggers, here's a HUGE jump from 3 to P12 races. Probably as large a jump as from 6 to 3. Can't blame someone for not wanting to go from winning 10+ races/year to none.

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Old 07-04-18, 11:25 AM
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Is there enough money in the prize funds to make sandbagging worthwhile, from a purely profit motive?
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Old 07-04-18, 01:04 PM
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Sure, i was makimg close to $10k/yr in prize money racing 3. At P12, pretty much nothing. You really need to be on good team at P12 level to score. Although got more sponsorship.
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Old 07-04-18, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Sure, i was makimg close to $10k/yr in prize money racing 3.
How is that possible?

I race a decent amount of $5000 up to $12000 prize purse events that are p/1/2 or p/1 only, and pulling 10k a year in prize money is something I imagine only the very top guys are doing.

Where are you doing 3s races that pay out anywhere near that, and how many did you have to win? I mean, even nabbing 300 bucks for the win (which is more than most p/1/2 local races here pay out), you'd have to win...what, 34 of them?!
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Old 07-05-18, 01:52 AM
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Back when there were fewer cats, prize-money was much, much better. Not hard to find $1k for 1st in many races, $100-200 primes. Lots of mini stages races had big purses, Santa Barbara $20k, Casper Classic $50k, Big Bear. OMG, has it really been 30-years??? Ok, not all winnings, some sponsorship and contingencies in there too. It was such a dramatic difference going to P12 that I actually got bored with not placing. After I quit for about 10-yrs and came back, I made sure to only get up to 3 and stop. But drive and killer-instinct was gone, lower purses didn't help either and cost of equipment had skyrocketed.

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Old 07-05-18, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Back when there were fewer cats, prize-money was much, much better. Not hard to find $1k for 1st in many races, $100-200 primes. Lots of mini stages races had big purses, Santa Barbara $20k, Casper Classic $50k, Big Bear. OMG, has it really been 30-years??? Ok, not all winnings, some sponsorship and contingencies in there too. It was such a dramatic difference going to P12 that I actually got bored with not placing. After I quit for about 10-yrs and came back, I made sure to only get up to 3 and stop. But drive and killer-instinct was gone, lower purses didn't help either and cost of equipment had skyrocketed.
But you said 3s races. There were 3s races paying out 1k for 1st?

No way there were 3s races with 20-50k purses, either.
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Old 07-05-18, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
But you said 3s races. There were 3s races paying out 1k for 1st?

No way there were 3s races with 20-50k purses, either.
Cat3s around here mostly race for socks, water bottles, brewery gift cards, and homemade ceramic trophies. "Big" purses are $150-250/3-5 deep.
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Old 07-05-18, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Costco hot dogs View Post
Cat3s around here mostly race for socks, water bottles, brewery gift cards, and homemade ceramic trophies. "Big" purses are $150-250/3-5 deep.
Exactly. Which goes back to the original question about it being worth it from a financial standpoint.

Hell no. No cat 3 is making money doing this. Few cat 1s are probably coming out much ahead at the end of the year without taking gear and stipends in to account.

I know with gear and everything I was $3800 in the hole last year, and that was making 2k in prize money. Already 1700 in the hole this year with 1k in prize money, even with doing a lot less traveling and racing.
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Old 07-05-18, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Exactly. Which goes back to the original question about it being worth it from a financial standpoint.

Hell no. No cat 3 is making money doing this. Few cat 1s are probably coming out much ahead at the end of the year without taking gear and stipends in to account.

I know with gear and everything I was $3800 in the hole last year, and that was making 2k in prize money. Already 1700 in the hole this year with 1k in prize money, even with doing a lot less traveling and racing.
While I generally agree with the point, in fairness there was a lot more money and a lot more free stuff 20 years ago. I still call BS on making 10k. but I did know guys who wouldn't upgrade out of threes (actually downgraded to get back there), and they generally won all the time.
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Old 07-05-18, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
But you said 3s races. There were 3s races paying out 1k for 1st?

No way there were 3s races with 20-50k purses, either.
Maybe it's like cdr's East Coast sprint speeds.

On the East Coast, cat 3's rake in the dough! 40+ mph in cat 3 sprints, and $10k payouts. Seems legit.
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Old 07-05-18, 09:20 PM
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Highest prize I know of personally was $900 for first in a 3-4 race (I got 4th, got $90? 2nd was $500, 3rd was $250 so maybe I got $125). Race was Oyster Bay, 1992, maybe 1993. I sat up at 6 to go while i had a 20 second gap on the field, figured I'd do better in the sprint. Not sure that was the right move.

If you won the Cat 3-4 race overall at my race and won the last week in a biggish field you might have walked away with $300 on the last week, and maybe $100 a week for the prior 4-6 weeks. The winner of the 3-4s one year also won the Jr race and won the raffle. He walked away with $300? and a pair of race wheels on the last day alone. He later was part of the National Sprint Team. His numbers are a bit insane, like over 2000w peak and 1800w sustained for about 20s. He annihilated me in the sprints for the 3-4 races.

I don't understand the 40 mph thing but that's okay.
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Old 07-05-18, 09:52 PM
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Ha sorry.

The whole "East Coast" thing has come up a few times. The joke is that the cat 3 sprint speeds are (apparently) way higher on the East Coast than p1/2 sprint speeds over here, according to internet reports.
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