"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

racing success ?

Old 04-24-09, 08:05 AM
  #1  
MDcatV
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,840
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
racing success ?

Friday discussion: What do you consider a "successful race"?

Background:

I've always raced fairly aggressively, often detrimentally to my results. With rare exceptions my wins/podium results have been when I've sat in, stayed up near the front, and sprinted.

Last season, I was very results oriented, so I did the sit in and sprint strategy. I ended up getting caught behind crashes, hitting the floor myself, and also getting several podium finishes, but honestly didnt really enjoy racing. I got injured (crash related), missed the meat of the season, and didnt even come close to winning the BAR (finished 5th or 7th, or somewhere therabouts, dont remember).

This year, I've decided eff results, I'm redefining "success" and racing very aggressively. I've thoroughly enjoyed myself, have yet to come close to getting a result, and honestly dont really care.

A former coach called me up and told me she thinks I'm racing to my weaknesses instead of my strengths. I told her that I'm trying to redifine my strengths, and enjoying the heck out of racing my bike.

So, I've redefined success for me to mean: 1) I'm enjoying myself; 2) I've initiated action/helped team mates; 3) been in a solid breakaway (one that contained big motors, not the stupid ones); and lastly, as gravy, gotten good results. Oh yeah, ALWAYS <goes without saying> went home with all my skin.

Does this make sense or an I just employing some wussy sports psychology approach to bike racing?
MDcatV is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 08:06 AM
  #2  
SushiJoe
Knowing's half the battle
 
SushiJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 6,119

Bikes: 2009 Cannondale CAAD9 BB30, SRAM Red, Fulcrum Racing 3s

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
racing success?
Outside of a winning a team triathlon? Nadda.
__________________
2009 CAAD9 BB30 Team Issue
MY BLOG.
SushiJoe is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 08:12 AM
  #3  
bdcheung
Carpe Diem
 
bdcheung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: MABRA
Posts: 13,149

Bikes: 2007 CAAD9; 2014 CAADX; PedalForce CG1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm successful if I've given 100%.
__________________
"When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!
bdcheung is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 08:14 AM
  #4  
ljrichar
bf is my facebook.
 
ljrichar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 1,156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You are not making a living doing this. If it's not fun in some way, it's not worth doing IMO. I think your definition is a great one.

For me, I'm getting ready to upgrade to 4's. I'd be happy getting top 10's in 4's crits, sticking w/ the pack in 3/4 races & maybe get a podium spot in at least 1 road race but won't cry if I don't.
ljrichar is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 08:15 AM
  #5  
johnybutts
Senior Member
 
johnybutts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 3,316

Bikes: Type of horse.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
right now success for me is not getting dropped. If I can stay in the next couple races i'll redefine to getting in breaks or positioning in the top 10 for the last lap.
johnybutts is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 08:19 AM
  #6  
Doggus
half man - half sheep
 
Doggus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Allen (Dallas), TX
Posts: 2,454
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
This year, I've decided eff results, I'm redefining "success" and racing very aggressively. I've thoroughly enjoyed myself, have yet to come close to getting a result, and honestly dont really care.

Does this make sense or an I just employing some wussy sports psychology approach to bike racing?
Not sure what level you race at, but as a 4, I know I can place better by being a wuss and sitting in the pack like 98% of the rest of the fodder. There are a handful who can/will attack and go up the road to try and make something happen. This will usually blow up in your face like it did for me last weekend getting caught at the line - but one time, you may hit the ball out of the friggin park.

All depends on points too. I need one more point - I will sit in to get it. Right now I'm just playing around trying to hit another grand slam. I have till June to roll the dice.
Doggus is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 08:23 AM
  #7  
merlinextraligh
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 30,331

Bikes: Wilier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Co-Motion Robusta; Schwinn Paramount; Motobecane Phantom Cross; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Calfee Dragonfly Tandem

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 869 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
Friday discussion: What do you consider a "successful race"?
This gets back to the upgrade issue. If you're not looking to upgrade, then I see nothing wrong with your new approach, if you're having fun.

I've found myself racing conservatively to ensure top ten finishes for upgrade purposes, sometimes at the expense of a shot at winning.
__________________
You could fall off a cliff and die.
You could get lost and die.
You could hit a tree and die.
OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.
merlinextraligh is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 08:27 AM
  #8  
umd
Banned
 
umd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 28,387

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL2, Specialized Tarmac SL, Giant TCR Composite, Specialized StumpJumper Expert HT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I generall played it pretty safe in the 4s. Success was anything that furthered my goal of upgrading, or helped a teammate. In the first race of the season I was coming into a situation that I knew was a weakness (a downhill group sprint in a narrow lane) so I just went super hard about a mile out and strung it out and led my teammates out to 2nd and 3rd, and came in last myself (of the lead group). That was a success. Once my upgrade was secure, I decided to "play" a little more agressively including an attack from the gun that was pretty much doomed but I had fun trying. Now in the 3s I'm not strong enough yet to race aggressively, and I define success as not getting dropped... Maybe next year I'll be a factor.
umd is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 08:32 AM
  #9  
Hocam
Ho-Jahm
 
Hocam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Manchester, NH
Posts: 4,228
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Having fun is definitely up there. My first two races (~45 minute crits) I raced pretty aggressively, ran out of gas, and had nothing for the last few laps. They were still tons of fun, but nothing close to a win. My last crit I was only at a front for a short time, no breakaways, and botched the sprint for 5th. It was also still fun and exciting, especially feeling strong at the end instead of shelled from attacking.

So I guess mixing it up is fun. You definitely shouldn't expect to do well in every race, I like the idea of picking A races where placing is important, and C and B races which are largely for fun.

I have a 63 mile hilly road race Sunday, and I have no idea how I'll do so there's no real way to define sucess even though this is my spring "A" race. I guess I'll decide that about 40 miles in and go from there.
Hocam is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 08:38 AM
  #10  
cedricbosch
W.W.DZ.D?
 
cedricbosch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,979
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm successful if I'm on the podium. Effort or difficult in getting there has nothing to do with it. But winning a very hard race makes it a little more rewarding.
cedricbosch is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 08:41 AM
  #11  
MDcatV
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,840
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Doggus View Post
Not sure what level you race
All depends on points too. I need one more point - I will sit in to get it. Right now I'm just playing around trying to hit another grand slam. I have till June to roll the dice.
me = cat 3, perpetually have 15 to 20 upgrade points, 38 y.o. and prefer racing 35+ better than category 3. would be nice to upgrade to cat 2 if for no other reason because I think it sounds cool.
MDcatV is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 08:43 AM
  #12  
kudude
slow up hills
 
kudude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 4,931

Bikes: Giant TCR, Redline CX, Ritchey Breakaway, Spec S-works epic

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
RR that isn't pan flat (there aren't any here): finishing in the pack is success. The one where this happened, it was also a success not to be in the cluster**** of a downhill sprint crash

Crit: sitting in is boring, unless it's not flat. Then I don't want to get dropped. If it is flat, bridging up to groups, attacking for a prime, something like that.
kudude is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 08:52 AM
  #13  
TheJackMove
Insert witty phrase here
 
TheJackMove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Right now I consider it a success if someone hands me money or a prize at the end of the race (so far that has only happened to me 4 times), or if the same happens for a teammate and I helped contribute to him getting there. I am also all about staying at the front and practicing making moves this year, even if it means I die before the finish. The upgrade points will follow, I hope.

I think the whole upgrade from 4->3 using pack finishes causes a lot problems in cat 4 pack dynamics though.
TheJackMove is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 08:53 AM
  #14  
MDcatV
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,840
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by TheJackMove View Post
I think the whole upgrade from 4->3 using pack finishes causes a lot problems in cat 4 pack dynamics though.
I think it causes more problems in the cat 3 dynamics, but that's another thread topic.
MDcatV is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 09:00 AM
  #15  
SushiJoe
Knowing's half the battle
 
SushiJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 6,119

Bikes: 2009 Cannondale CAAD9 BB30, SRAM Red, Fulcrum Racing 3s

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by TheJackMove View Post
I think the whole upgrade from 4->3 using pack finishes causes a lot problems in cat 4 pack dynamics though.
How's that? Just curious. I'm a n00b Cat 4.
__________________
2009 CAAD9 BB30 Team Issue
MY BLOG.
SushiJoe is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 09:03 AM
  #16  
procrit
carbon is too light
 
procrit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 950

Bikes: Cannondale Road / Orbea TT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If I get upgrade points and don't crash, it was successful.
procrit is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 09:05 AM
  #17  
ZeCanon
Writin' stuff
 
ZeCanon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,782
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I almost always race with a decent sized team, either collegiate or my "trade" team, so success for me is defined by the job I set out to do. Sometimes the job is to win (like most of the time on my collegiate team), sometimes its to break stuff up early, or make some crazy 4k out attack. Whatever my job is, if I do it I feel successful.
ZeCanon is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 09:11 AM
  #18  
substructure
RustyTainte
 
substructure's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: 28012
Posts: 12,343

Bikes: zilch

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If I do what our head guy says and I accomplish the task at hand, I had a successful race.
substructure is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 09:50 AM
  #19  
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Posts: 9,632
Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 235 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Racing success is racing my bike. I haven't come close to winning the three races I've done so far this season, but I've raced hard in every single one. This is not about "trying your best," or "A for effort" or any of that silliness; that's a given. No special prizes are awarded for making an effort. You can try your best and still not be racing. In any case, in all of these races it has turned out that racing was beyond the strength I had on that day. Winning, placing or helping a teammate win or place counts as a much greater success in my book (and indeed, in that second crit I tried to mark attacks and control the field for my teammate in the break, who got 2nd), but racing like you mean it is a good start. Of course, this is a handy definition of success for someone who hasn't won a race (though I have podiumed), and may or may not ever be consistently near the top of the finishing order, but if I won't be winning a lot, I still need to have a reason to race, right?
grolby is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 09:57 AM
  #20  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20,729
Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 531 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 3 Posts
My role is to win races. If I'm not winning races, the guys on my team aren't going to be successful. There are guys on the team who were once great racers, and now they're happy to be role players and to work for the good of the team. They have families, and jobs, and in some cases have just gotten older and lost the enthusiasm for putting that extra bit of work in to ride with the top guys. As someone said, we're not getting paid for this, and even the guys that do get paid poorly. You have to race out of love for it. How you define that love, and what fulfills it, is up to you.
gsteinb is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 10:02 AM
  #21  
Brian Ratliff
Senior Member
 
Brian Ratliff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Near Portland, OR
Posts: 10,113

Bikes: Three road bikes. Two track bikes.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Winning the race or helping a teammate win a race. All else is not necessarily failure (failure is getting dropped with no extenuating circumstances; close to it's relative of just sitting in the field and not getting results myself and doing nothing to help a teammate), but it does indicate a weakness in some aspect of my or my team's racing that needs to be addressed.
__________________
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

Last edited by Brian Ratliff; 04-24-09 at 10:06 AM.
Brian Ratliff is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 10:05 AM
  #22  
wfrogge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Racing very aggressively is always good... If you are racing smart too. Example, dont burn a match just to burn a match.

If the race is for training then ignore this advice
wfrogge is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 10:06 AM
  #23  
*new*guy
ambassador of good will
 
*new*guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NOVA
Posts: 2,019

Bikes: many.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm with you on this but it's something new to me. I've found that these last few races I've felt much more satisfied with myself after the race if I have put myself out in the wind... tried to get with the moves that are going up the road... put in *big* work towards being actively involved in the race. Sitting in and watching the other racers try to make things happen? nah. I get it now. The results will come.
*new*guy is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 10:37 AM
  #24  
cmh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,602
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 6 Posts
Good thread. This is something that I have redefined a couple times and I am doing so again. As a Cat 4, I was able to be aggresive and still podium most every race in the final sprint and win one as well. As a Cat 3, if I was aggressive, I usually didn't have enough at the finish for more than a top 10, if that. So I split the races between sitting in and going for the win in a sprint, and trying to get in a break or help team mates. Now as a Cat 2 I started the season with the intent to sit in and go for a sprint finish. After 3 finishes in the low teens I need to decide if as a Cat 2 I am still a 'sprinter' and should try to sit in and wait for the finish. It could get old after a while, but maybe I'll crack the top 10 or have a stellar day with everything going perfect and get top 5? I don't believe I can win a P12 weekend sprint finish so maybe it would be more fun to mix it up in breaks even if it means going off the back. I'll probably do a bit of both - success as a 'sprinter' would be a top 10, success otherwise is to be active, get in a break that lasts awhile and just have fun.
cmh is offline  
Old 04-24-09, 11:26 AM
  #25  
Apus^2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Looking for my right leg muscles.
Posts: 1,202

Bikes: 2000 Cannondale CAAD3 Triple 105/Ultegra

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
When my team does well--right now two of my teammates are 1&2 in the cat 3 GA Cup Series (with one severely dominating the series). A good race for me is one that helps them extend the lead--that usually means I'm patrolling the front (trying to establish breaks without dangerous riders, pulling back dangerous riders, etc). It makes for a fun race for me for the first 90%.

Then I limp back at the end of the race while a couple others shepherd them into the finish. This weekend we have some non-GA cup races. I get to have some real fun. 15 minute gut wrenching intervals!
Apus^2 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.