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Mixed Cat Racing

Old 05-24-10, 06:00 PM
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Mixed Cat Racing

I'm not sure yet but this may become a bit of a rant...

They revised the racing cats here over the last 2 years and now it is set up so that there are Elite cats and citizen cats.

The citizen cats are age grouped. The Elite cats are called E1, which is any National Team or Continental Team riders and a few others (based on results, I think) and E2 based on previous results and grouped by age. The E1 and E2 cats race together.

The E2 cats are 19~29, 30~39 and 40+. I am 46 and may be the oldest fart in the Elite cats. It used to be 40~45 but it changed this season (when I turned 46?).

Ok, details out of the way here's what's bugging me; 10 years ago there would be foreign (Int'l) riders at some of the bigger events but most events were the same draw of riders from across the country (small island with 20+ million people so you can go to every race). Now there are 2 Continental teams based here, a much stronger National Team program and a slew of riders from Hong Kong, Japan or Korea at pretty much any race. In short the level of racing has jumped considerably.

This was fine when I was fit and 40 but now the racing has gotten to the point where it can be about hanging on.

Most of the guys in my age group aren't racing anymore, they're just waiting to place. By this I mean they have to watch the real race and then suck wheel or wait for the finish climb to sort out our cat.

I just can't race this way. What's the point? I can't toe the line and not be involved in the racing.

It doesn't help that I just haven't found any fitness this year and probably won't. The work that I have done to help my team mates at races has cost me any hope of a podium spot in my own cat, which wouldn't be so bad if were weren't focused on team ranking for the season (currently 5th Nationally).

Other than getting fitter and changing the way I race I really don't know what to do. And worse it's taking all the joy out of racing for me.

It's been a really long time but this must be a lot what cat3 riders in P/1/2/3 races feel like.

No real point.

My wife isn't interested, my son is 3 and we don't have a dog...I had to tell somebody.
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Old 05-24-10, 06:40 PM
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(<-- I put in "hug")
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Old 05-24-10, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bostongarden
(<-- I put in "hug")
Thanks, I feel better already.

Lifesaver?
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Old 05-24-10, 06:59 PM
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Welcome to the mid-life crisis. Don't do anything stupid or expensive.
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Old 05-24-10, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mollusk
Welcome to the mid-life crisis. Don't do anything stupid or expensive.
If that was a motion on the floor, I'm not going to second that.
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Old 05-24-10, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mollusk
Welcome to the mid-life crisis. Don't do anything stupid or expensive.
I thought that was the definition of a mid-life crisis.
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Old 05-24-10, 08:09 PM
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Not quite the direction I thought this thread was gonna go...


I don't think the mid-life crises thing is an the mark, though. I still have the same wife, car and bike and no new tattoos.

I'm more frustrated with the tactics needed/used to do well by those in my cat presently.
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Old 05-24-10, 08:11 PM
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If you were slow and lacked talent, you would be racing in the age group "citizen" races. Would that be better?
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Old 05-24-10, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina
this must be a lot what cat3 riders in P/1/2/3 races feel like.

No real point.
I'm just getting into the cat3 world and i'm experiencing this. I've only raced twice in over a month because I don't want to drive 2-3 hours for a 45-60 minute cat3 crit and I know I will be dropped in the P/1/2/3 races. I need some more fitness or motivation fast.
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Old 05-24-10, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ericm979
If you were slow and lacked talent, you would be racing in the age group "citizen" races. Would that be better?
I'm not sure if you forgot the little sarcasm smiley or not.

If you did I don't have an option to race in the citizen cats. The upgrades are automatic.

If you didn't bite me.
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Old 05-24-10, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina
I'm not sure yet but this may become a bit of a rant...

They revised the racing cats here over the last 2 years and now it is set up so that there are Elite cats and citizen cats.

The citizen cats are age grouped. The Elite cats are called E1, which is any National Team or Continental Team riders and a few others (based on results, I think) and E2 based on previous results and grouped by age. The E1 and E2 cats race together.

The E2 cats are 19~29, 30~39 and 40+. I am 46 and may be the oldest fart in the Elite cats. It used to be 40~45 but it changed this season (when I turned 46?).

Ok, details out of the way here's what's bugging me; 10 years ago there would be foreign (Int'l) riders at some of the bigger events but most events were the same draw of riders from across the country (small island with 20+ million people so you can go to every race). Now there are 2 Continental teams based here, a much stronger National Team program and a slew of riders from Hong Kong, Japan or Korea at pretty much any race. In short the level of racing has jumped considerably.

This was fine when I was fit and 40 but now the racing has gotten to the point where it can be about hanging on.

Most of the guys in my age group aren't racing anymore, they're just waiting to place. By this I mean they have to watch the real race and then suck wheel or wait for the finish climb to sort out our cat.

I just can't race this way. What's the point? I can't toe the line and not be involved in the racing.

It doesn't help that I just haven't found any fitness this year and probably won't. The work that I have done to help my team mates at races has cost me any hope of a podium spot in my own cat, which wouldn't be so bad if were weren't focused on team ranking for the season (currently 5th Nationally).

Other than getting fitter and changing the way I race I really don't know what to do. And worse it's taking all the joy out of racing for me.

It's been a really long time but this must be a lot what cat3 riders in P/1/2/3 races feel like.

No real point.

My wife isn't interested, my son is 3 and we don't have a dog...I had to tell somebody
.
Me either.

If the level of racing has jumped, you need to go with it. I guess.
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Old 05-24-10, 10:17 PM
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We could trade. You could come here and do open cat age group racing. If you do well enough people will try to legislate you out of their age group, based on the premise that....you're too fast and age group racing isn't for fast people.

Apparently I've been sandbagging my birth certificate or something.

I read a lot of lousy form frustration here. Just putting that out there.

You're not going to get much, if any faster. Just a guess, but you've been doing this for a while and massive improvements aren't in the offing. You can get form back which will improve your outlook and disposition; if you default to being the super domestique for your team and destroy yourself along with a whole bunch of people half your age (or less), there's a great deal of inner satisfaction to be had from that. Especially if your team is winning. IMHO that's one of the best jobs in racing. No real pressure but the respect and fear of your peers.

Or lobby for a separate race.

And it isn't exactly like 3's in a 1/2/3 race BTW. Being near 50 isn't just not being fast enough for the P1 crowd. It's getting beaten over the head by the clock, and the clock always wins no matter how thick your skull is.
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Old 05-25-10, 12:42 AM
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Here we just have masters, junior and open races graded from A to G. Masters is 35+ (or is it 30+?) and you go up through the ranks - so a 45 year old will be racing against people of roughly the same level in masters of a broad range. You end up with the 70 year olds in the E-G grades racing - great to see!

They only combine the grades on special occassions - so if you can manage to sit in with the A or B grade as a C or D grade rider you can win just by hanging on (as happened to a friend in D grade masters).
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Old 05-25-10, 04:56 AM
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My local racing is all age group so I, a crappy cat 4 with 2 points have to race against ex-pros and Cat1s...

Looking forward to 2 mins in the bunch followed by a 1hr TT tonight...

Last edited by AlexTaylor; 05-25-10 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 05-25-10, 06:29 AM
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That's what I've felt like in every P123 race.

A. There are two dominant P12 teams, both with 8-10+ in every race with a handful of individuals capable of mixing it up. No way am I going to attempt to be part of the race when these two teams are usually slugging it out at the front and there's only two of us in the 3's.

2. I stay near the front and watch the dynamic... some of the 3's will try to mix it up chasing a break and when they crap out it's easy to see why they should be in the field. It completely screws up the organization (and pisses people off).

D. Our last RR was a perfect example. 20mi rectangular course with about a 6-8 mile straightaway in both directions. Strong tailwind down one of the straights. There were probably no less than 12 breakaway attempts, one of them on the 2nd lap looked like it was going to stick because there were about 10 guys in the break and they were probably 30 seconds up the road but still plainly in sight because of the long straightaway. We turn onto the straight with the tailwind and the ASV riders are bound and determined to pull it back. We freakin held between 37 and 39 for every bit of 6 miles. It hurt like hell and there was no choice but sit in and hold on. What made it worse is the people getting popped and having to close the gaps.

I tend to finish relatively well in mixed cat races, but that's not the point. There's usually no choice but to sit in and watch until the sprint.
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Old 05-25-10, 06:34 AM
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Get yourself a Hybrid, buy some stuff from that B-Dop guy, and enjoy the ride....... You're getting older - maybe time to sit back and enjoy the roses.... LOL
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Old 05-25-10, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina
I'm not sure if you forgot the little sarcasm smiley or not.

If you did I don't have an option to race in the citizen cats. The upgrades are automatic.

If you didn't bite me.
I didn't intend to be mean, but I am having a hard time feeling sorry for you. Most of us have to face our mediocrity immediately.

You got to ride at a high level for a long time. 46 is excellent. Now you get a new challenge, how to make it fun when you can't.
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Old 05-25-10, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ericm979
I didn't intend to be mean, but I am having a hard time feeling sorry for you. Most of us have to face our mediocrity immediately.

You got to ride at a high level for a long time. 46 is excellent. Now you get a new challenge, how to make it fun when you can't.
Ok. This I get.

Lambaste away.
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Old 05-25-10, 09:46 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina
I don't think the mid-life crises thing is an the mark, though. I still have the same wife, car and bike and no new tattoos.
I stopped playing basketball at 50. I just couldn't do the things I used to do and it was depressing. And my body hurt all the time. It was hard to stop playing because it was admitting to myself that I was old.

And I didn't play at a very high level. Sure, I played pick-up ball with former and current college players and even the occasional pro, but those guys were a lot better than me. I would imagine that it is much harder for those guys when they come to realize that their best days are behind them. Some just walk away. Bill Bradley totally quit playing hoops at 40 and I'm sure that at 40 he was still better than 99.99% of the people playing the game.
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Old 05-25-10, 10:11 AM
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Most of the p123 races I do are like this. I don't train for 80 mile races with the fastest guys in town so I hang in as long as I can and just watch. I probably won't even register for another p123 race again unless maybe it's an omnium with a TT since I can actually do those. Fortunately there are not a whole lot of p123 races or sometimes they offer a p123 and a 3/4 race.
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Old 05-25-10, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex
I read a lot of lousy form frustration here. Just putting that out there.
That's probably a huge part of it.

Plus the last race we did was basically a 10km hill climb. I hung in near the front for the first 4km or so and then popped when the real surges happened.

We have 2 stages races over rolling roads coming up next month and in August that are much better for me. Things may change.

Now I'm off to prepare for a TTT. More pain and humiliation...
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Old 05-26-10, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina

It's been a really long time but this must be a lot what cat3 riders in P/1/2/3 races feel like.

No real point.

Not necessarily - unless it's someone who considers themself a "career Cat 3." I am a Cat 3 in no big hurry to upgrade - it'll happen if I race well - but I dabble in 1/2/3 races occasionally for the experience and to get my @$$ kicked. Very different perspective, because I'm hoping to be able to do more than just sit in, but I at least have hope that I'm one of the guys getting faster, not older (if that makes sense). If I bridge one gap or catch a break for a 1/2 teammate, at least I can say I made an impact. Next time maybe it'll be two gaps... then three... and maybe a lead-out.

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Old 05-26-10, 11:02 AM
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If this guy can do it so can you.

https://www.usacycling.org/results/in...p?compid=41597
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Old 05-26-10, 11:11 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by wfrogge
Oh yeah...well here's my local kick ass masters racer...the Chuck Norris of Illinois Cycling:

https://www.usacycling.org/results/in...id=32742&all=1

Sick isn't it?
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Old 05-27-10, 05:11 AM
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mixed cat training?

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