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Best Races in the US: "get thee to Indiana!"

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Best Races in the US: "get thee to Indiana!"

Old 12-09-09, 08:56 PM
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slim_77
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Best Races in the US: "get thee to Indiana!"

So, I was talking with a guy on a very respected racing team about my past season. *snip-long conversation-snip* Basically, I need to "learn how to race."

The idea being that if one races in an environment with unfamiliar teams and racers one is forced to "race" smarter and with fewer preconceptions.

So, he literally said: "go race in Indiana."

This made sense to me: I know too well who to watch and what some team's plan will be. I think I can benefit from racing away from the Chicago area every now and again.

This got me thinking about where else I'd like to race. I mentioned this to a few teammates and they are interested...so now the question is where?

To the point: What is your favorite race in your region? Where is it (city-state)? Crit or RR? Single or multiple days? Stage race? USAC? Describe the conditions, the terrain, the things that make it one of your favorites.

Also, if possible include a link to a flier from last year, photos, maps, etc.

Ah, only 4.5 months to go...
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Old 12-09-09, 09:11 PM
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come on down. the more the merrier...I'm planning on racing my first season next year. I hope to learn to race too. I would agree that unfamiliarity is a good thing but so is familiarity.
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Old 12-09-09, 10:16 PM
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The few races I've done in Indiana were pretty good and nice and fast. From what I've seen, Zipp has a pretty big presence there. To boot, they've got the Marion Classic, which is now NRC.
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Old 12-09-09, 11:11 PM
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So you're saying you know what I'm going to do before I do it?

....although I wouldn't call going off the bck much of a plan on my part.
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Old 12-09-09, 11:27 PM
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For tactics 101 go race track. 3:1 learning curve over a regular race. After that go race a stage race for GC. Really easy to lose a stage race, really hard to win one. If you want one of the best head down to Gila in April. 5 days. Hard course. Harder competition. There's several good ones in Texas and Joe Martin in Arkansas is tough.
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Old 12-10-09, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
So you're saying you know what I'm going to do before I do it?

....although I wouldn't call going off the bck much of a plan on my part.
Don't sell yourself short. There is the strategy, planning, and gamesmanship of when to go off the back. These things can't be overlooked.
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Old 12-10-09, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonKarter21 View Post
The few races I've done in Indiana were pretty good and nice and fast. From what I've seen, Zipp has a pretty big presence there. To boot, they've got the Marion Classic, which is now NRC.
I almost went to the Marion classic last year, but family obligations prevented that...looks like a cool race.
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Old 12-10-09, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
For tactics 101 go race track. 3:1 learning curve over a regular race. After that go race a stage race for GC. Really easy to lose a stage race, really hard to win one. If you want one of the best head down to Gila in April. 5 days. Hard course. Harder competition. There's several good ones in Texas and Joe Martin in Arkansas is tough.
I never would have thought about track. Do you say that because one would race more often because the races are shorter? Or is there another dynamic.

Joe Martin is on the definitely maybe list. www.joemartinstagerace.com
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Old 12-10-09, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by slim_77 View Post
I almost went to the Marion classic last year, but family obligations prevented that...looks like a cool race.
Cool race. Not a cool course.
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Old 12-10-09, 07:28 AM
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do people actually go to indiana?

it always seemed to be a place to leave. like ohio.
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Old 12-10-09, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
do people actually go to indiana?

it always seemed to be a place to leave. like ohio.
that is how all of my european friends describe belgium.

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Old 12-10-09, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by fly:yes/land:no View Post
that is how all of my european friends describe belgium.

it's far from perfect, but its charming quirks far out way its negatives.
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Old 12-10-09, 08:07 AM
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maybe that is the distinction. in ohio, we certainly have quirks, although i wouldn't describe them as charming. on the plus side, our state flag RULES.
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Old 12-10-09, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
do people actually go to indiana?

it always seemed to be a place to leave. like ohio.

I moved back here from Wyoming.

You'd actually be surprised at the amount of tourism we get. Personally, I can't imagine why anyone would want to come to Indiana from somewhere else. Unless they like trees, cornfields, peaceful country roads, drivers that wave instead of flip you off, covered bridges, Amish people, etc. I still wouldn't pick Indiana as a destination. The UP of Michigan maybe, or even Kentucky.

Lots of racing here in Indiana, though. There seems to be bike racing in most towns surrounding mine.
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Old 12-10-09, 08:31 AM
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Gila is good, though it falls at a time of year that doesn't work for me (a few days before collegiate nats) so I haven't done it since I was a 3. It was fun then.
Not a huge fan of Joe Martin, though I've only done it once.
Cascade is kickass
Mt. Hood is fecking hard, though I think the non-elites do a shorter lamer version
If you want to go east Fitchburg is a great race, though the town itself is kind of depressing

I can't think of any crits worth traveling for. Definitely get on the track though, it's like an entire hour long crit condensed into 5-10 minutes, three times a night. Mistakes are not easily forgiven without the ability to shift, you HAVE to be smart.
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Old 12-10-09, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by slim_77 View Post
I never would have thought about track. Do you say that because one would race more often because the races are shorter? Or is there another dynamic.
Yes and yes. Depending on your cat and the race schedule you do at least 3 races a day in a pretty compressed time frame. They are done in an omnium format so you have to pay attention and strategize towards a cumulative goal for three events. The format for every event changes so you have to develop a knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, and finally events like the points races and others require you to think on your pedals and dose your efforts.

While track seems scary, the no brake factor is actually good; most poeple are pretty circumspect about jamming their wheels into places without that lever to get them out. And without brakes you learn how to do things other than just grab the brakes in tight situations.

Cavendish is the poster boy for track racing, Zabel was another great who did a lot of track events. Wiggins, Phinney...long list.
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Old 12-10-09, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
Gila is good, though it falls at a time of year that doesn't work for me (a few days before collegiate nats) so I haven't done it since I was a 3. It was fun then.
Not a huge fan of Joe Martin, though I've only done it once.
Cascade is kickass
Mt. Hood is fecking hard, though I think the non-elites do a shorter lamer version
If you want to go east Fitchburg is a great race, though the town itself is kind of depressing

I can't think of any crits worth traveling for. Definitely get on the track though, it's like an entire hour long crit condensed into 5-10 minutes, three times a night. Mistakes are not easily forgiven without the ability to shift, you HAVE to be smart.
Thanks for this.

And yeah, crits are hard to justify a long trip for...but several may tip the scale.
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Old 12-10-09, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
Yes and yes. Depending on your cat and the race schedule you do at least 3 races a day in a pretty compressed time frame. They are done in an omnium format so you have to pay attention and strategize towards a cumulative goal for three events. The format for every event changes so you have to develop a knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, and finally events like the points races and others require you to think on your pedals and dose your efforts.

While track seems scary, the no brake factor is actually good; most poeple are pretty circumspect about jamming their wheels into places without that lever to get them out. And without brakes you learn how to do things other than just grab the brakes in tight situations.

Cavendish is the poster boy for track racing, Zabel was another great who did a lot of track events. Wiggins, Phinney...long list.

hmmm, both Ze and Ex suggesting the track. I think there may be something to this.

very helpful. thanks.
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Old 12-10-09, 11:30 AM
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It should be noted that I suck almightily at track racing and tend to just go on 5 lap to go suicide missions for my teammates. But it still teaches you a lot.
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Old 12-10-09, 12:55 PM
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St. Louis... You're a short drive away; we've got a season with races every weekend, including a NRC race, road races and a ton of crits; and there is a good level of competition here.

Early season road races that would be worth your while include:
-Hillsboro Roubaix: http://web.me.com/iccc_stl/Hillsboro/Welcome.html
-Tour of Hermann (Omnium... awesome event): http://www.tourofhermann.com/
-Tour de. St. Genevieve (MO State RR Championship): http://tdstg.com/home
and
-Tour de Grove: This is the NRC race, but it's new this year and website isn't up yet. Listed as a circuit race, as it was a 3 mile loop last year.

Good Crits include:
-Gateway Cup (late in the season, but absolutely as good as they get... TOP NOTCH event. 4 races, 4 venues, over 4 days): http://www.gatewaycup.com/
-Tour of St. Louis (3 races, 3 venues, over 2 days): http://bigshark.com/page.cfm?pageID=611
-Amongst others. These are the most notable.
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Old 12-10-09, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by McTufferton View Post
St. Louis... You're a short drive away; we've got a season with races every weekend, including a NRC race, road races and a ton of crits; and there is a good level of competition here.

Early season road races that would be worth your while include:
-Hillsboro Roubaix: http://web.me.com/iccc_stl/Hillsboro/Welcome.html
Talk on CBR was that Hillsboro would be longer this year (60 miles for the 3's) which is kind of long for that early in the season. I remember this year hillsboro was one of my longest rides outside at that point in the season.

Also - hillsboro doesn't count because it's basically a Chicago race as well - almost all of us make the trip and you're racing against mostly the same guys.....hell I remember spending most of the race last year talking and catching up with guys I had raced with in the fall.
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Old 12-10-09, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
do people actually go to indiana?

it always seemed to be a place to leave. like ohio.
Having been born in Indianapolis, spending my early childhood in Bloomington, attending college at Purdue I'd have to say that I do in fact go to Indiana....mainly because that's where my folks live. Northern Indiana is like a desert wit corn in place of sand. Nothing but wide open nothingness where the winds howl.

Southern Indiana - while a little too close to kentucky as far as the gene pool is concerned, is simply beautiful. Wonderful riding and gorgeous scenery. Hills, etc. It's similar to Wisconsin in that way.

...but I have to agree with platy - Michigan.......midwest's garden of eden.
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Old 12-10-09, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Having been born in Indianapolis, spending my early childhood in Bloomington, attending college at Purdue I'd have to say that I do in fact go to Indiana....mainly because that's where my folks live. Northern Indiana is like a desert wit corn in place of sand. Nothing but wide open nothingness where the winds howl.

Southern Indiana - while a little too close to kentucky as far as the gene pool is concerned, is simply beautiful. Wonderful riding and gorgeous scenery. Hills, etc. It's similar to Wisconsin in that way.

...but I have to agree with platy -
Michigan.......midwest's garden of eden.
where botto was conceived, as a matter of fact.
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Old 12-10-09, 02:44 PM
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Are you like a stereotypical Michiganeer where you dress like a member of Kiss every Sunday while watching the Detroit Lions lose?
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Old 12-10-09, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
where botto was conceived, as a matter of fact.
Actual footage. Not for the quesy.

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