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Joining a race team/club? Trying to decide next season...

Old 08-02-13, 06:34 AM
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ovoleg
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Joining a race team/club? Trying to decide next season...

What do you guys look for when joining a racing club/team? Do you pick one that has all your cycling friends? Do you pick one that will help you win races? Do you pick one that helps develop your racing skills? Sponsorship deals?

Any pro's to riding unattached? Pros/Cons of a team/club?

Just trying to get a feel for things!

Cheers
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Old 08-02-13, 06:51 AM
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One thing that I have learned is that up until cat2ish the team strategy really doesn't play a big role. I had originally looked for a team that I thought would have a strong showing and we could do the whole "tour" thing and domestique, get a leadout etc etc. (boy was I wrong). As a mere cat4 take this for what its worth but I would:

1)look for a team that does a bunch or team rides preferably close to you.
2)Great communication/carpooling with races and who is going etc etc.

As far as friends go, you are joining a group of people that race bicycles...pretty easy to find more friends given that criteria.
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Old 08-02-13, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by thechemist
One thing that I have learned is that up until cat2ish the team strategy really doesn't play a big role. I had originally looked for a team that I thought would have a strong showing and we could do the whole "tour" thing and domestique, get a leadout etc etc. (boy was I wrong). As a mere cat4 take this for what its worth but I would:

1)look for a team that does a bunch or team rides preferably close to you.
2)Great communication/carpooling with races and who is going etc etc.

As far as friends go, you are joining a group of people that race bicycles...pretty easy to find more friends given that criteria.
I completely agree with both of his comments. Look mainly for a team with strong guys that will push you on training rides, but also guys that have race experience you can learn from. There's nothing worse than being on a team where you're the only one traveling to races or are the only one in a particular category.
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Old 08-02-13, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ttusomeone
I completely agree with both of his comments. Look mainly for a team with strong guys that will push you on training rides, but also guys that have race experience you can learn from. There's nothing worse than being on a team where you're the only one traveling to races or are the only one in a particular category.
Great post.
When I look at how we are structured we have a huge team with some 5s and 4s, a big group of 3s and a solid group of 2s and 1s. Like ttu said you need to layout your goals and find a team with like goals. You need to make sure of all of the above and find a team that can mentor you as you move up. Had I been racing this year one thing that we agreed upon was I would be road captain, though there were others that would have been stronger in many circumstances as the elder statesman I could lead/direct things based on my experience in both life and racing.
Chemist is racing for a team that is headed by a very experienced and devoted Cat 1 that coaches and has a wealth of knowledge. I have a friend who used to race for his team and stayed only because of their leader. As a Cat 4 you need to be a sponge and learn as much as you can. The best place to do this is from a teammate who has a ton of experience.
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Old 08-02-13, 08:21 AM
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There are hundreds of these threads in this forum. Do some research.

I race for a team where we only see each other at races. I race alone in my age group and race up with the team. What works best for you depends on many factors. What is most important to you? What could you do without? What are you willing to give up? If results is not on that list, then certain teams may not be right for you.
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Old 08-02-13, 08:26 AM
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there are plenty of things worse than going to a race alone. some of them involve tegaderm. some involve lawyers.

pick the team that makes you feel more like you are part of a family.
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Old 08-02-13, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by rkwaki
Great post.
When I look at how we are structured we have a huge team with some 5s and 4s, a big group of 3s and a solid group of 2s and 1s. Like ttu said you need to layout your goals and find a team with like goals. You need to make sure of all of the above and find a team that can mentor you as you move up. Had I been racing this year one thing that we agreed upon was I would be road captain, though there were others that would have been stronger in many circumstances as the elder statesman I could lead/direct things based on my experience in both life and racing.
Chemist is racing for a team that is headed by a very experienced and devoted Cat 1 that coaches and has a wealth of knowledge. I have a friend who used to race for his team and stayed only because of their leader. As a Cat 4 you need to be a sponge and learn as much as you can. The best place to do this is from a teammate who has a ton of experience.
i'm sure they acquiesced only after you threatened to eat their clif bars.

i keed
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Old 08-02-13, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by echappist
i'm sure they acquiesced only after you threatened to eat their clif bars.

i keed
What happened was they allocated their Powerbar dollars based on bodyweight and realized that I got four times as much $$$$ as everyone else...
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Old 08-02-13, 08:51 AM
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.
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Old 08-02-13, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf
.
Truth.
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Old 08-02-13, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ovoleg
Can someone tell me what I want out of a racing club/team?
The answer lies within.
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Old 08-02-13, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy
there are plenty of things worse than going to a race alone. some of them involve tegaderm. some involve lawyers.
You forgot cell mates.
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Old 08-02-13, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex
You forgot cell mates.
pretty sure he said lawyers.
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Old 08-02-13, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex
The answer lies within.
Now that's truth.
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Old 08-02-13, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf
pretty sure he said lawyers.
Lawyers are supposed to keep you from meeting cell mates.
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Old 08-02-13, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf
.
Lol. This is my plan for next year!

I moved to Norcal at the beginning of 2013 and have been looking around, but first needed to figure out who's who in the scene. Which teams actually show up and race? Which teams are universally hated?

In the 1/2's the team thing does play a larger role, and it really sucks being solo all the time.

Luckily I've started to make friends in the peloton, and some teams are even showing interest in me.. so for me the checkboxes are:

- do they race p/1/2's? (and not focus on masters)
- do they do well?
- do they seem to like me?
- are their kits not too silly looking?
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Old 08-02-13, 11:40 AM
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Pick the team whose kit matches your bike and/or has your favorite color.
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Attack in the feeling because it says I'll win absolutely.
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Old 08-02-13, 11:52 AM
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I'm trying to decide primarily based on whether or not I'd be moving soon/next year. I figure its common sense and mostly a matter if I like the kit and the people I am racing with. Just wanted to see what you guys thought and what you guys look for.

I'll probably end up living where I'm at for at least the next year.
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Old 08-02-13, 11:55 AM
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All the above posts are good, but one thing that I didn't want to get trapped into doing was always being a workhorse for the team. There's a local team that always has quite a few people in the field, but after talking with most of them they seem kind of pissed that they are always getting told what to do and who to ride for. This is low level racing and I know I wouldn't want to show up to a race only to be told to attack all race to wear out other teams then try to lead out someone else on the team for a cat 4 podium.
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Old 08-02-13, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by misterwaterfall
all the above posts are good, but one thing that i didn't want to get trapped into doing was always being a workhorse for the team. There's a local team that always has quite a few people in the field, but after talking with most of them they seem kind of pissed that they are always getting told what to do and who to ride for. This is low level racing and i know i wouldn't want to show up to a race only to be told to attack all race to wear out other teams then try to lead out someone else on the team for a cat 4 podium.
hsp?
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Old 08-02-13, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm
hsp?
and Apex
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Old 08-02-13, 12:03 PM
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Lol yeah, not surprising.

Recycled (my team) was always good about this - since we were so unorganized there was rarely ever a plan or someone to ride for.. but in general people were open to riding 'for' someone, and that someone changed depending on the race and who was best for it. But most of the time we just adapted to situations and figured things out as we went along, instead of adhering to some silly 'plan'.

The two times I won Ballard it was with help from team mates, and they were more than happy to sacrifice their race for the team's gain (and my win).

Unfortunately from what I can tell, RCR is showing up to road races less and less.. we're basically a cross team these days. =[
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Old 08-02-13, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm
- are their kits not too silly looking?
It's funny - I'm looking to change teams after this season and there's one team I'm interested in. Everything is great about them except for their kits.
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Old 08-02-13, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ttusomeone
It's funny - I'm looking to change teams after this season and there's one team I'm interested in. Everything is great about them except for their kits.
Grolby's old team? We will see you all the way in Cali...bwhahahahaha
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Old 08-02-13, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by thechemist
Grolby's old team? We will see you all the way in Cali...bwhahahahaha
Haha - yes they are one of the ones I'm considering. They seem like a great group who do a lot of rides and other activities together and will have a large Cat 3 showing...but those bright kits...
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