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Upgrades from 4-3 using pack finishes causes problems in cat 4 pack dynamics?

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Upgrades from 4-3 using pack finishes causes problems in cat 4 pack dynamics?

Old 04-24-09, 09:02 AM
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Upgrades from 4-3 using pack finishes causes problems in cat 4 pack dynamics?

From another thread:

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.
Discuss please. I'm a n00b Cat 4.
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Old 04-24-09, 09:16 AM
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too many cat 4 bike handlers in cat 3 races. cat 3s are bad enough, I should know, I've been one for a while.

too many cat 4 tactics in cat 3 races, the "I'm a big field sprinter and wont do any 'work'" mentality makes for too much negative racing.
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Old 04-24-09, 09:16 AM
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You can upgrade with ten top ten finishes (with certain caveots). Thus, there's an incentive if you know you can likely finish top ten in a field sprint to sit in and not attack.

I'm really not sure it has a big effect on overall race dynamics.

I think the bigger effect is that most everyone in Cat4 wants to upgrade, so everyone wants individual results, and therefore teamwork is often lacking.

The biggest problem I've observed regards field sprints. With an absence of teamwork, and lead out trains, the pace in a Cat4 race often drops just before the field sprint, the guys at the front get swamped as the sprint starts, and there is one bunched cluster****.

Wheras if you had designated guys on teams keeping the pace high coming into the sprint, the field would be more spread out, and the sprints would be safer.

But it is what it is, and it's just another dynamic to anticipate, and consider in your own tactical decisions.
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Old 04-24-09, 09:29 AM
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It's weird but my personal goals are to keep upgrading to the best of my ability. I know I'm likely never the strongest in a given field, so eventually being Cat 2 "pack fodder" (for example), doesn't sound too bad.
Of course this might change if I can ever start getting good results. Time will tell.
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Old 04-24-09, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
The biggest problem I've observed regards field sprints. With an absence of teamwork, and lead out trains, the pace in a Cat4 race often drops just before the field sprint, the guys at the front get swamped as the sprint starts, and there is one bunched cluster****.
I dunno, around here it gets much faster in the last few laps of a crit or the last few miles of a road race.
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Old 04-24-09, 09:39 AM
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Okay, maybe saying it causes 'a lot' of problems was an overstatement, my biggest problem with it is the massive sprint at the end that involves everyone between 20th and 70th place so they can be sure their result will get recorded and the organizers won't give them a time gap between them and the pack. This is dangerous, silly, and being able to participate in that says nothing about your worthiness to be in cat 3 as far as I can tell.

That being said, people may still sprint for 60th place if these upgrade rules did not exist, I have seen stupider things in races.
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Old 04-24-09, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by TheJackMove View Post
Okay, maybe saying it causes 'a lot' of problems was an overstatement, my biggest problem with it is the massive sprint at the end that involves everyone between 20th and 70th place so they can be sure their result will get recorded and the organizers won't give them a time gap between them and the pack. This is dangerous, silly, and being able to participate in that says nothing about your worthiness to be in cat 3 as far as I can tell.

That being said, people may still sprint for 60th place if these upgrade rules did not exist, I have seen stupider things in races.
no one is assigning time gaps in mabra races (aside from maybe at jeff cup where they did so somewhat arbitrarily) and the upcoming ToWC, which is a stage race.
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Old 04-24-09, 09:52 AM
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negative racing = your tactics make it difficult for me to win
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Old 04-24-09, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
negative racing = your tactics make it difficult for me to win
wrong
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Old 04-24-09, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by TheJackMove View Post
, my biggest problem with it is the massive sprint at the end that involves everyone between 20th and 70th place so they can be sure their result will get recorded and the organizers won't give them a time gap between them and the pack.
AFAIK, there's no advantage to finishing 20 versus 70 when it comes to upgrading.

If you've got the 10 top 10's and the 25 races with pack finishes, or 20 pack finishes in fields over 50, then I doubt your district rep is going to go back and scour your records to see if there was a 2 second gap on the timing chip, in pack finish No 21.


If you roll in in contact with the lead group, to me, its a pack finish, and I'm betting most officials would view it the same.
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Old 04-24-09, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
wrong
actually dead on.
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Old 04-24-09, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
wrong
Could you name a way it's wrong? If not, I'll assume you don't know what you're talking about.
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Old 04-24-09, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
negative racing = your tactics make it difficult for me to win
Depends on the definition. When I hear negative racing I think of things like a whole team lining up shoulder to shoulder on the front and slowing down to 15mph so their team member can get an advantage, weaving like a fool in the pack to "shake the hatters off", pushing, pulling, etc.
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Old 04-24-09, 10:11 AM
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Usually when I hear "negative racing" it is in regards to chase-everything-keep-the-field-together-to-the-sprint mentality, as well as the just-sit-in-and-wait-for-the-sprint. Never let anything get away and there isn't much "racing" going on, just a big sprint at the end. I don't know if that's what it really means but that's how I've always heard it.
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Old 04-24-09, 10:11 AM
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Here's an example. We were at the Tour of Sommerville last year. There was a guy at the race who moved through the ranks really quick, and was poised to upgrade to 2. His racing style was to roll off the front and disappear. He could hold a ridiculous speed all day. But he has no top end. He tried to go repeatedly, but I had alerted my team to mark him and every time he went someone sat on him. He wasn't strong enough to drop any of us that way, but had we tried a break with him he'd certainly have gotten away solo by the end. Our goal was to force a field sprint, and we went first and third from it. He may have been the strongest guy out there, but it's not our job to ride his race.
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Old 04-24-09, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
Depends on the definition. When I hear negative racing I think of things like a whole team lining up shoulder to shoulder on the front and slowing down to 15mph so their team member can get an advantage, weaving like a fool in the pack to "shake the hatters off", pushing, pulling, etc.
What do you mean by pushing? As far as I know, negative racing basically means sitting in, not contributing to the pace, blocking for breaks, and basically not trying to go fast.
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Old 04-24-09, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
Depends on the definition. When I hear negative racing I think of things like a whole team lining up shoulder to shoulder on the front and slowing down to 15mph so their team member can get an advantage, weaving like a fool in the pack to "shake the hatters off", pushing, pulling, etc.
well, if that's what was meant yes that's bull****. I think it's more what UMD was saying. And the guys I hear using it are usually just pissed (and they're often fast guys)that guys won't let them ride their race. Check this out.....guys actually attack me the last two laps of a race so I can't sprint as strong, or they take the field sprint out of the equation. Negative racing ****ers.
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Old 04-24-09, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
no one is assigning time gaps in mabra races (aside from maybe at jeff cup where they did so somewhat arbitrarily) and the upcoming ToWC, which is a stage race.
You are right, of course. Perhaps this should be announced at the start line to help prevent such silliness at the end. Once again, it may or may not improve safety.

BTW, if they don't record where the pack ends, what is the point of saying 20 pack finishes to upgrade? Doesn't that really just mean getting a recorded result in 20 races?

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Old 04-24-09, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
Here's an example. We were at the Tour of Sommerville last year. There was a guy at the race who moved through the ranks really quick, and was poised to upgrade to 2. His racing style was to roll off the front and disappear. He could hold a ridiculous speed all day. But he has no top end. He tried to go repeatedly, but I had alerted my team to mark him and every time he went someone sat on him. He wasn't strong enough to drop any of us that way, but had we tried a break with him he'd certainly have gotten away solo by the end. Our goal was to force a field sprint, and we went first and third from it. He may have been the strongest guy out there, but it's not our job to ride his race.
example of negative racing, but it was your (team's) strategy and you DID get to call scoreboard

Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
well, if that's what was meant yes that's bull****. I think it's more what UMD was saying. And the guys I hear using it are usually just pissed (and they're often fast guys)that guys won't let them ride their race. Check this out.....guys actually attack me the last two laps of a race so I can't sprint as strong, or they take the field sprint out of the equation. Negative racing ****ers.
very well said
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Old 04-24-09, 10:24 AM
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Very informative thread! (At least to me.) Glad I asked/posed the question.
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Old 04-24-09, 10:28 AM
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around here most of the 4s do not want to upgrade to 3.
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Old 04-24-09, 10:29 AM
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Interesting question. My window for 20 points is closing -- unless I can string together a run of podiums and that just doesn't seem likely right now. But I've got 7 top tens. I'm the only 4 on my small team, so I've gone back to my unattached mindset of looking for the big teams and hopping on the train when it leaves the station. That might be considered negative racing, but I promise that once I get my upgrade I'll be perfectly happy just to be a worker bee for my teammates.

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Old 04-24-09, 10:37 AM
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I have a pretty good example of what could be considered "negative racing" from one perspective and "tactics" from another. Maybe a month ago I was in a 30+ 3/4 race with a teammate, who is a good sprinter. It was my first of 3 races for the day and my "strategy" for the race was to hold back for later. As the race went on I felt pretty good so I got in a few moves but was not in the break that got away. As the race was nearing the end, only a few, inlcuding myself, were motivated enough to try to bring the break back. I knew it would fry me but I spent I think 7 of the last 10 minutes working with about 3 other guys and we brough them back so that my teammate could sprint, and I think he ended up with 5th. I was somewhere near the back of the top 20.

Now, for the other perspective... I found this on the google wattage group the following day, from one of the guys in the break that I chased down for my teammate:

here's my 2 cents, some observations from my "euro" point
of view:
Preface: I am somewhat "good" rider at national level, 66 kg 179 cm,
at about 5 W/kg FTP right now - just to clarify that I am a "euro
size" rider.
I am out here in Southern California for a good 5 weeks of training/
racing, with only 2 more weeks left. I have done almost all of the
local races I could get in to, in the past 8 days alone 4 races. Due
to my foreign license and the chaos among USCF race commisaires, I had
the privilege to race all categories, from 1 to 4.

...snip....

Now back to the observations regarding domestic US (SoCal) racing with
some supporting data:
With my 1200 watts sprint, I have no any chance in a field sprint even
in cat4... I have realized it quite fast, so I started racing
aggressively, always in a break, from one break to another, chasing,
etc... This resulted in quite high average wattages:

...snip...

Quite a mess, but
anyway, no any success, no matter what, the field somewhat always
catches the breakaway..

...snip...

Next up is a cat 4 downtown crit, a field of 120 riders, in breakaway
3 times, first one lasted some 6 laps, peak 10 min at 340 W NP, whole
race 45 mins 315 W NP. The following day, 2 races back to back, first
one is cat 3-4, riders that look somewhat better than the simple cat4
and they do ride better as well - after a couple of laps in breakaway
again, lasted 4 laps, got 2nd in a prime only.. peak 10 mins at 330 W
NP, complete race 45 mins 298 W NP. 20th in final sprint, peak 1250
W...
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Old 04-24-09, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
Here's an example. We were at the Tour of Sommerville last year. There was a guy at the race who moved through the ranks really quick, and was poised to upgrade to 2. His racing style was to roll off the front and disappear. He could hold a ridiculous speed all day. But he has no top end. He tried to go repeatedly, but I had alerted my team to mark him and every time he went someone sat on him. He wasn't strong enough to drop any of us that way, but had we tried a break with him he'd certainly have gotten away solo by the end. Our goal was to force a field sprint, and we went first and third from it. He may have been the strongest guy out there, but it's not our job to ride his race.
Confused? Negative racing=team tactics? Or is one defensive by nature and the other more offensive by nature?
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Old 04-24-09, 10:54 AM
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^UMD: was this from simeon green?

he was in a race in my part of the world, againts teams who have riders I admire for their abilities, and had a very similar things to say regarding the racing "style". very interesting perspective.
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