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First Race - Disaster

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Old 05-31-07, 08:53 PM
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EvilGoodGuy
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First Race - Disaster

I finished my first race, it did not go at all according to plan. We started off at a comfortable pace. I sat in near the back. For the first lap, I had no problem staying on. Within the second lap, I noticed a gap starting to form about 1/2 way to the front. It was about 2 bike lengths. I decided I'd close it down, so I sprinted from the back to the middle. Sat up and joined the group. Third lap, I decided to see how it was at the front. I sprinted up around the pack and immediately opened up about 200meters between myself and the group. I looked back a couple times to see if someone would close it down. Nope. I kept going...I stayed off the front for 4km, one other rider closed down the gap but I'd strung out the group. Immediately, other riders asked if I was in the wrong group. I should be in the "A" group. I stated several times, no I'm in the "B" group. I felt alittle weird, so I eased up and drifted toward the back. Immediately, a gap opened up 1/2 in the group. No one seemed to close it, so I tried again. I closed it down. As we entered one of the turns I was stuck out in no man's land without a wheel to suck. I shot off the back. I quickly, tried to close it down but couldn't. I tried to get back to the main group but was stuck about 200meters off the back, on the only small hill I could close to within 100meters but once on the flats the pack opened it up again. I stayed in limbo for 5 laps doing this again and again. With 2 laps left, I dropped out. It seemed pointless, I didn't want to fry my legs before my race on Sunday. Needless to say, plenty learned. I'll be back next week.

Edit: I wound up doing a 1hour warmup. Stupid. It was 30C, way too hot for a long warm up. Next time I'll drive out like everyone else. haha...
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Old 05-31-07, 09:06 PM
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recursive
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I stated several times, no I'm in the "B" group. I felt alittle weird, so I eased up and drifted toward the back.
Instead of easing up, you should have said: "Yes, I'm in the Bs and I'm dominating them. Prepare to be droped."
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Old 05-31-07, 09:20 PM
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I agree, I should have really pushed it down when I saw the group strung out. However, my original game plan was to sit in as much as possible to learn group riding skills. I did learn alot. I also know that crits aren't my strength. I need more hills.

Edit: In crits, you really have to pick your wheel. I noticed some riders were barely hanging on the back. It was easy to have a gap open between them and the pack. At that point, you have no choice but to close it down or be off the back too.
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Old 05-31-07, 09:22 PM
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Next time, try this... Try to stay in the top 10-15 cyclists but not at the very front. Good luck and report back with your results.

--Steve
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Old 05-31-07, 09:26 PM
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Help me here. How is this a disaster? It's your "first" race and you have loads of talent but lack knowledge about racing tactics. What did you expect?

In my experience I see 2 kinds of new riders. Ones with no talent and no clue about how to race, and ones with buckets of talent with no clue about how to race. Consider yourself lucky to have "the gift" of talent. It took me 5 years to get fit and to learn how to race and get my first win in the Cat 4s (because I have no talent), and I was pack fodder when I upgraded and raced against Masters Cats 1-3.

You should make this year a learning year, and make all the mistakes you can. Attack when you shouldn't, follow attacks when you shouldn't, pull when you shouldn't, and learn from all of it. Enjoy the journey. If you're riding away from people in your first race it won't be long before your winning, and upgrading.

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Old 05-31-07, 09:42 PM
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LT Intolerant - I guess the worst part was building it up in my mind about what I thought I could do. I imagined winning it. But in the end, I know it was a success. I did exactly what I wanted. I experimented with tactics, moving in the group, attacking, drafting, cornering...etc. Thanks for the encouragement. Your post is exactly what I needed to hear.
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Old 06-01-07, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by EvilGoodGuy
LT Intolerant - I guess the worst part was building it up in my mind about what I thought I could do. I imagined winning it. But in the end, I know it was a success. I did exactly what I wanted. I experimented with tactics, moving in the group, attacking, drafting, cornering...etc. Thanks for the encouragement. Your post is exactly what I needed to hear.
You might have won it had that person not gotten into your head. I read that "B group" comment and what you did and that was that.

"I felt weird so I eased up..."
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Old 06-01-07, 06:36 AM
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Yeah, you did well, and shouldn't have paid any attention to the comment. The race hadn't really picked up yet, which is easy to see in hindsight

Good job though. They'll only get better from here.

Originally Posted by zimbo
Next time, try this... Try to stay in the top 10-15 cyclists but not at the very front. Good luck and report back with your results.
+1 to this
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Old 06-01-07, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by LT Intolerant
In my experience I see 2 kinds of new riders. Ones with no talent and no clue about how to race, and ones with buckets of talent with no clue about how to race.
I think there's a 3rd bucket: little talent but some knowledge about how to race. I've raced motorcycles, cars, karts, and mountain bikes with reasonable degrees of success. In with the other cat 5 losers (and I mean that with love), I feel like I have an advantage in racecraft. It's obviously not the same thing when you are the motor but reading traffic, being comfortable in close quarters, positioning yourself ahead of time, line selection, etc., are all skills that cross over.

My best result to date (out of 4) was 5th out of 50. I was actually in a position to win it but didn't have the fitness to pull it off. A regular riding partner who kicks my butt came in 9th. He's stronger but I raced better that day.

Unfortunately, it's easier for him to become a better racer than it is for me to get more fit. He gets another chance tomorrow.
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Old 06-01-07, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mfennell
I think there's a 3rd bucket: little talent but some knowledge about how to race. I've raced motorcycles, cars, karts, and mountain bikes with reasonable degrees of success. In with the other cat 5 losers (and I mean that with love), I feel like I have an advantage in racecraft. It's obviously not the same thing when you are the motor but reading traffic, being comfortable in close quarters, positioning yourself ahead of time, line selection, etc., are all skills that cross over.

My best result to date (out of 4) was 5th out of 50. I was actually in a position to win it but didn't have the fitness to pull it off. A regular riding partner who kicks my butt came in 9th. He's stronger but I raced better that day.

Unfortunately, it's easier for him to become a better racer than it is for me to get more fit. He gets another chance tomorrow.
Interesting observation! I personally haven't run into this type of newbie in my experience but I could see where the experience gained in other types of racing would translate quite nicely to cycling, especially in on highly technical courses.

BTW you have the name to be a great rider. One of the top riders in SCal is an animal named Mark Fennell, a local genetic mutant who crushes mere mortals like me on weekends during intra-club rides, when he's not off at races crushing pro 1/2 s! His Blog is great reading too!

http://marcofanelli.blogspot.com/


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Old 06-01-07, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by LT Intolerant
BTW you have the name to be a great rider. One of the top riders in SCal is an animal named Mark Fennell, a local genetic mutant who crushes mere mortals like me on weekends during intra-club rides, when he's not off at races crushing pro 1/2 s! His Blog is great reading too!
Funny. When I was racing cars with the SCCA, people would occaisionally ask me if I was the famous rally car driver (who they clearly had never seen).
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Old 06-01-07, 04:29 PM
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So let me get this straight:

You intentionally backed out of the lead group?

In the words of Jamie Foxx in Jarhead, "Thou shalt not kill... F***. That. *****."
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