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Help me decide second race, cat 5 or masters 40

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Help me decide second race, cat 5 or masters 40

Old 03-14-11, 07:02 AM
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Help me decide second race, cat 5 or masters 40

I finished my first Cat5 race yesterday at Tall Chief in Tulsa. I came in 9th out of 61 and felt really good. Was in good position on last turn for final sprint and gave it my best. I will be going to Hell's Kitchen next Sunday in AR and I am trying to decide to enter the CAT5 or 40+ Masters( I am 43yr). Should I get a few more CAT 5's under my belt or go for a bit more distance? I need to also train for the back to back centuries sub 5 hours(Sat/Sun) in June for the Tulsa Tough and prior to racing last weekend my weekend rides have been 40-60 miles. These Cat5 road races are only 20-25 miles so far. The team I am riding with has several 5's I can ride with but only 1-2 masters.
Thanks for your input.
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Old 03-14-11, 07:10 AM
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Do the race organizers allow cat 5s in the masters race? A lot of times, masters races are 4 and up. I would recommend sticking with the 5s until you feel more comfortable with pack dynamics. The masters races tend to be faster, but also a lot tighter. I know that for a lot of 5s, the biggest difficulty making the transition to higher categories isn't necessarily the speed but how close the riders are to each other. As CDR and others have pointed out many times, one of the most important things about racing in the 5s is learning how to race in a pack, so it makes sense to get as much education there are possible.
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Old 03-14-11, 07:19 AM
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Race 5s. Open masters will be faster.
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Old 03-14-11, 07:24 AM
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Race the 5's.
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Old 03-14-11, 07:26 AM
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+1

Keep in mind that Masters should be thought of as "Cat 1-2 race for guys over the age of -blank-, with a bunch of Cat 3-4 and maybe 5s who fill in the prize money fund". The good Masters will be comfortable in extremely close quarter racing, expect those around them to be likewise comfortable, launch attacks at unbelievable speeds, and make huge efforts when they feel like it. As a long time Cat 3 who prefers field sprints I had a hard time in Masters 35+ races.

Cat 5s are there mainly due to inexperience, not due to a fitness/strength thing. Yesterday the stack of the Cat 5s was caused by someone swerving around a tiny pothole just as the sprint opened up. Concussion, hospital, broken bikes, etc, all because of a totally unnecessary swerve.

If the comment above seems puzzling then it indicates some need to learn more, whether in the 5s or elsewhere.

Ironically I'd mentioned in the March 6th clinic not to swerve for minor potholes, and at Bethel there are no potholes worthy of swerving. Unfortunately someone thought their wheels were more important than their fellow riders' health.

Some of the clinic notes:
https://bethelspringseries.com/clinic-a
https://bethelspringseries.com/clinic-a-review
https://bethelspringseries.com/clinic-b

It sounds like you're really strong as far as riding goes. Think about the experience you have in a group, how comfortable you feel following wheels (I suggest in controlled, small-group situations, to follow about 6" for every 10 mph, so at 20 mph it's a foot gap to the next rider in front), if you still instinctively swerve around obstacles (instead of letting the bike roll over/through them), etc, then make a decision.
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Old 03-14-11, 07:37 AM
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Thanks to all. I am comfortable riding in packs and do know several of the masters guys as I ride with them socially on weekends. I am well aware that the masters races are faster and probably more competitive. I just wish the Cat 5 races were longer. I will stay Cat 5 and gain more experinece, just redline the heart rate to get a strong workout.
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Old 03-14-11, 08:15 AM
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5s. i have did a few 30+ masters last year as a five. i hung out at the back of an early season one and was spit out of the back of two others. they dont mess around. later.
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Old 03-14-11, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by aham23
5s. i have did a few 30+ masters last year as a five. i hung out at the back of an early season one and was spit out of the back of two others. they dont mess around. later.
Yep, 5s. There's a race series here that combines the masters mens and womens open fields. It hurts.
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Old 03-14-11, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by keepamonte
Thanks to all. I am comfortable riding in packs and do know several of the masters guys as I ride with them socially on weekends. I am well aware that the masters races are faster and probably more competitive. I just wish the Cat 5 races were longer. I will stay Cat 5 and gain more experinece, just redline the heart rate to get a strong workout.
Another vote for putting your 10 races in in Cat 5.

You can still do the Cat 5 race, and train for your longer events coming up.

Do an hour warm up for your race, that will get 15 miles or more. Then ride for an hour and a half after your race, and get 25-30 miles there.

That will end up being 65-70miles for the day. That distance plus the race intensity will be good training for your longer events.
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Old 03-14-11, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Another vote for putting your 10 races in in Cat 5.

You can still do the Cat 5 race, and train for your longer events coming up.

Do an hour warm up for your race, that will get 15 miles or more. Then ride for an hour and a half after your race, and get 25-30 miles there.

That will end up being 65-70miles for the day. That distance plus the race intensity will be good training for your longer events.
Great idea!
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Old 03-14-11, 08:52 AM
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What merlin said. I do that quite frequently, especially early in the season. After the crit on Saturday we did a few more hours, which, combined with the warm up, gave me 4 hours for the day. Same thing Sunday. If you are with teammates that can also be a good time to discuss the race, hang out, go for some coffee, etc.
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Old 03-14-11, 09:38 AM
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Heck...half the team rode 40 miles to the race this weekend before racing. Just to get the extra time/miles in.
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Old 03-14-11, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing
Keep in mind that Masters should be thought of as "Cat 1-2 race for guys over the age of -blank-, with a bunch of Cat 3-4 and maybe 5s who fill in the prize money fund".
This is so funny. Because it's so true!

Out here we have alot of Master's racers who are former who's-who of early European & world cycling. Boy, do they beat up on us. I remember one race where the field came in for like 5th place or something. I thought, "I didn't even know there was a break up the road!"

Course, when I then turn around and do my 3's race, they're all moving in slow motion. I just wish I wasn't, too.
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Old 03-14-11, 04:26 PM
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The 40's at Hells Kitchen would be perfect for you if you were the simulated victim in a search and rescue drill.

As your 2nd race? Not so much:

"March 16th, 2008 - One of the most difficult road racing events in a four state area. Held South of Fayetteville in Hogeye, AR this 20 miles course offers no flat roads. Large rollers lead to a to a one km climb at the seven mile mark and then it’s to the now famous Hell’s Kitchen climb. This beast attacks your legs with its 3 km distance, 15% grade and pea gravel surface. This is the end of the race for a lot of racers and saps all strength even from the most gifted climbers. Never expect a bunch sprint in this event!"


You ought to consider Fayette TX this weekend, stage race would fit your bill.

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Old 03-14-11, 04:32 PM
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The guys at the front of that Masters field will have 100's of thousands of miles in their legs. As aham23 said, they don't mess around. Do the Cat 5 race.
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Old 03-14-11, 04:44 PM
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Do the 5's.

The Masters 40+ would be safer, though. Masters racers know how to race and handle their bikes. And the likelihood of being OTB is much higher.
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Old 03-14-11, 04:54 PM
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race the masters, humility will do you good, and those guys tend to be a lot less squirrely than the 5s, since they all have jobs/families to get home to after the race. Then when you finally grab a spot on the podium (or just finish with the pack) it'll be that much more awesome.
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Old 03-14-11, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by pjn0629
race the masters, humility will do you good, and those guys tend to be a lot less squirrely than the 5s, since they all have jobs/families to get home to after the race. Then when you finally grab a spot on the podium (or just finish with the pack) it'll be that much more awesome.
This may be true in a masters 1/2/3 or Open field, but the masters 4/5's fields I raced in were a total ****-show... fwiw

buncha friggin doctors & lawyers that have been watching lance all summer and not training or doing group rides.. they may have jobs and kids to return to, but that doesn't mean they know how to handle a bike! those were some of the scariest races I've ever done.
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Old 03-14-11, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by mollusk
Do the 5's.

The Masters 40+ would be safer, though. Masters racers know how to race and handle their bikes. And the likelihood of being OTB is much higher.
Yeah, safer because the fields aren't full of a bunch of Cat 5s like the OP (no offense)!

People often say that about the masters fields being safer, but that hasn't been my experience in the open masters races in Prospect Park--I've seen plenty of sketchy moves and crashes. Then again, that course is particularly crashy, so I'm not sure how much you can extrapolate from that.
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Old 03-15-11, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by GirlAnachronism
Yeah, safer because the fields aren't full of a bunch of Cat 5s like the OP (no offense)!

People often say that about the masters fields being safer, but that hasn't been my experience in the open masters races in Prospect Park--I've seen plenty of sketchy moves and crashes. Then again, that course is particularly crashy, so I'm not sure how much you can extrapolate from that.
Finally, I'm not the only one saying this!
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Old 03-15-11, 03:30 PM
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Open cat masters are safer because you end up OTB riding alone.

It's crit racing. Best not to over-think it.
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Old 03-15-11, 03:49 PM
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I've noticed some Cat4/5 Masters races (usually 35+) around here. That seems more doable for us old people.
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Old 03-15-11, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by crapweasel
I've noticed some Cat4/5 Masters races (usually 35+) around here. That seems more doable for us old people.
Yes, but they are no less crashtacular than a non-age graded race.
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Old 03-15-11, 08:27 PM
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Ok gents I have entered the cat 5 road race. Thanks for all the responses.
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Old 03-16-11, 08:12 AM
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Last year, one of the local races offered a 30+ Masters race. My wife said, "why don't you do it?" I just laughed.

After the race, I pointed out the final results to her - noting just the column listing rider categories. It looked something like this: 1,1,1,1, 2, 1,1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 1,1, 2, 1, 1,1,1, 2, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1 ,3, 2.

And around here, we have a former masters world champion frequently in the 40+ races.
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