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What do you practice at a practice race?

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What do you practice at a practice race?

Old 04-29-10, 05:33 PM
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What do you practice at a practice race?

There was some drama last night at our local weekly "crit practice", and it made me wonder what some of you guys get out of, or want to get out of, practice races. The issue arose because one team (it was my team but I don't think it matters) had 3 guys in a break from an early attack. There were I think 4 of us still in the field. I was cooked from my threshold workout in the morning, but others were capable of helping chase but did not. They did not do any overt blocking, not even really any efforts to disrupt any chase efforts, they just sat on wheels and didn't help chase. There was no organized effort really to bring them back, just a few guys (including jmechy) on ocassion putting in some big efforts with no help from anyone. It was also very windy and nobody seemed to want to work into the wind.

One guy from another team (who had maybe 4 or 5 teammates there himself) got very frustrated at the lack of effort to bring the chase back and especially at my team for our "tactics" and did a bonehead move abruptly swinging very wide before a turn which of course caused a lot of yelling. And a lot of susbequent drama on facebook.

So the question is, do you guys feel that "team tactics" have any kind of place in a practice race? Should we only be "practicing" out legs, or also our minds and teamwork?
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Old 04-29-10, 05:37 PM
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I haven't doen any practice crits yet, but from what I noticed at Bethel, good team tactics are almost as important in doing well in races as having strong riders, and I do think that they have a place in training crits. It will also help train other teams to work around these tactics, something they'll need to do in races.

Are you sure the other guys were capable of working? Maybe they were just as cooked as you.
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Old 04-29-10, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
Are you sure the other guys were capable of working? Maybe they were just as cooked as you.
I know that two of my teammates were.
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Old 04-29-10, 05:39 PM
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Seems like the perfect time to practice team tactics... when else could you?

So he wanted you to chase your own guys??
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Old 04-29-10, 05:40 PM
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I really don't know what 'crit practice' is, or why it's in quotes. If there's a race someone wants to win. If people aren't trying to win it isn't a race.
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Old 04-29-10, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
I really don't know what 'crit practice' is, or why it's in quotes.
It's an unsanctioned race on an open course.

Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
If there's a race someone wants to win. If people aren't trying to win it isn't a race.
My thoughts exactly.
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Old 04-29-10, 05:47 PM
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Practice crits should be "low key". Anyone that is getting bent out of shape over a practice crit result needs to re-examine their priorities. Anyone that gets upset that somebody does something dangerous in a practice crit has every right to feel that way. The only "upgrade points" available are the 10 starts for 5 to 4.

As for practicing "teamwork", that is up to you guys. I have no problem with it. I do have to say if your team dominates the field every week and do that same things every week it will get boring for everyone else.
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Old 04-29-10, 05:49 PM
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I don't post here an awful lot but with summer coming up I'll be in a practice series soon. For me I work on matching accelerations. I know that's pretty basic but there's nothing like doing it during competition.

I agree with gstein about there being no real such thing as practice once competition is introduced.....
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Old 04-29-10, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
As for practicing "teamwork", that is up to you guys. I have no problem with it. I do have to say if your team dominates the field every week and do that same things every week it will get boring for everyone else.
I wouldn't say that our team dominates the field every week, but I think there is no love lost between the teams...
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Old 04-29-10, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
I wouldn't say that our team dominates the field every week, but I think there is no love lost between the teams...
Rival teams with similar representation means "the gloves are off". Sounds like a fun series.
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Old 04-29-10, 06:12 PM
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if they wanted to chase, they should have.

but what do I know, I lose fingernails every week just trying to hold on
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Old 04-29-10, 06:20 PM
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Seems fair to me. I was accused of blocking on the run into the sprint on the River Ride a few weeks ago. I did have a teammate up the road, but in truth I was just gassed. But so what. Do what you do as long as it's safe.
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Old 04-29-10, 06:24 PM
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You guys sound like pcad talking about the Nyack ride.




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Old 04-29-10, 06:38 PM
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If your teammates want to practice bridging and chasing, sure they could go for it. If they didn't then the other team should have worked.

They have no business getting pissy...
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Old 04-29-10, 06:42 PM
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Negative racing wouldn't go over very well at our "crit practice". The #1 objective for us is a good workout. Some of the stronger guys will occasionally team up to attack and break away. The rest will try and work together to bring them back. There is a sprint at the end for no reason other than testing your legs after an hour of practice.

Negative racing would ruin the physical part of the workout and, I'm guessing, would result in quite a bit of yelling. Also, bonehead abrupt moves would not be tolerated for any reason.
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Old 04-29-10, 06:48 PM
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What do I do at a practice race?...Well, I practice racing, of course. What else would you practice at a practice race?

Just like in any sport...you play like you practice.

He's just pissed that he missed the break. Nothing more.
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Old 04-29-10, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by agoodale View Post
Negative racing wouldn't go over very well at our "crit practice". The #1 objective for us is a good workout. Some of the stronger guys will occasionally team up to attack and break away. The rest will try and work together to bring them back. There is a sprint at the end for no reason other than testing your legs after an hour of practice.

Negative racing would ruin the physical part of the workout and, I'm guessing, would result in quite a bit of yelling. Also, bonehead abrupt moves would not be tolerated for any reason.
Please define "negative racing"
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Old 04-29-10, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by agoodale View Post
Negative racing wouldn't go over very well at our "crit practice". The #1 objective for us is a good workout. Some of the stronger guys will occasionally team up to attack and break away. The rest will try and work together to bring them back. There is a sprint at the end for no reason other than testing your legs after an hour of practice.

Negative racing would ruin the physical part of the workout and, I'm guessing, would result in quite a bit of yelling. Also, bonehead abrupt moves would not be tolerated for any reason.
If the guys yelling wanted a workout, then they could chase as much as they want. Sitting in isn't negative racing.
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Old 04-29-10, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by agoodale View Post
Negative racing wouldn't go over very well at our "crit practice". The #1 objective for us is a good workout. Some of the stronger guys will occasionally team up to attack and break away. The rest will try and work together to bring them back. There is a sprint at the end for no reason other than testing your legs after an hour of practice.

Negative racing would ruin the physical part of the workout and, I'm guessing, would result in quite a bit of yelling. Also, bonehead abrupt moves would not be tolerated for any reason.
Um. If the goal is to get a good workout in, then the others could have chased harder. People have different goals for a 'practice race'. As tanhalt said, some of us practice racing others practice skills they aren't strong enough to practice in a 'real' race.

I attack all the time in practice crits. I try to get in breaks, etc. If I'm trying to win the race, I NEVER do that in a 'race'. I'm just not strong enough to, but I want to be. Hence, I practice.

Would I bridge to my own teammates? If I could do it by myself, yes. If I'm carrying half the field with me, then eff that.
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Old 04-29-10, 06:53 PM
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I'm thoroughly convinced that the majority of bike racers are drama queens...

I've never left a race pissed of at anyone but myself, either for trusting someone for doing something they said they would, or for not racing well enough to get something together.

In real races and 'practice' races, I've had racers (sometimes even idiot teammates) come up and yell at me for doing things a certain way. I wasn't doing anything dangerous, I was just doing what I'd wanted to do in the race, or what my coach had told me to do.

I have to bite my tongue to not laugh really hard at their face. We're just racing for fun. Most of these guys are 4's, and if they had any chance of turning pro then what I did wouldn't have mattered to them anyway.
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Old 04-29-10, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
If the guys yelling wanted a workout, then they could chase as much as they want. Sitting in isn't negative racing.
I suppose I didn't explain that well. What they were doing was interpreted as negative racing even though I agree they weren't doing that.

I thought what umd was asking was: would it be ok to practice those sort of tactics. I'm saying for our practice that it would not be ok.

Last edited by agoodale; 04-29-10 at 07:04 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-29-10, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by agoodale View Post
I suppose I didn't explain that well. What they were doing was interpreted as negative racing even though I agree they weren't doing that.

I thought was umd was asking was would it be ok to practice those sort of tactics. I was saying for our practice that it would not be ok.
Here's the thing...there was nothing preventing the ENTIRE REST OF THE FIELD INCLUDING HIS 3 OTHER TEAMMATES from getting on the front and trying to bring the break back. Nada. About the only thing that we did that may be misconstrued as "negative racing" is that if someone were to take a hard dig and try to bridge, one of us would mark that attack and either a) look for a free ride up to the break, or b) ensure that the rest of the pack sped up with the attack. Even so, I don't consider that "negative racing" in any sense. That's just practicing good team tactics. Plus, we got a good workout doing it too...at least I know that I did.

BTW, to me "negative racing" (as it's usually presented in lower categories) is chasing down any breaks no matter what...so actually, if we had contributed to the chase, THAT would actually have been "negative racing". Make sense?

Yeah, I agree..."man drama" in cycling is VERY prevalent...
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Old 04-29-10, 07:14 PM
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I think it should be summed up as, "Race your bike and stfu."

People need to let their results speak for them instead of running their mouths. The only thing I've ever done after a race is get yelled at, and 5 mins later the guy came back and apologized saying that he would have done exactly as I did if he had the sprint. I've walked up to guys that won and congratulated them for frustrating the hell outta me during a race. If you have a team that has representation and they keep attacking and getting into breaks to tire everyone else out, that's a great move by them.

It's a sport, people should show sportsmanship and camaraderie, not all this bs.
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Old 04-29-10, 07:16 PM
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The worst is people who sit at the back of the group and complain when the pace slows. STFU and get at the front if you want to push the pace.
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Old 04-29-10, 07:36 PM
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Yeah, what is it with team tactics being "negative racing"? Only according to whiners, I would think.

And some racers can be massive whiners. umd and his team didn't do anything they shouldn't have. Someone wants to win the damn race, right? If the team with representation in the break doesn't want to help chase (duh, why would they?), well, suck it up and chase yourself. Hey, it's a practice crit - practice bringing back breaks. Sounds good to me.
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