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Redlands Classic USCF Crit Race Report

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Redlands Classic USCF Crit Race Report

Old 04-03-05, 12:57 PM
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my58vw
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Cold + Crash fest = Redlands Crit

Redlands criterium is known as one of the hardest if not the hardest in the United States and it has lived up to its reputation. The race was at 8:00 am but with the time change it was like 7 am. At the start of the race it was very cold for us in California, about 54 degrees. I came prepared for the cold but my body did not. I got to the race at 6:45 and did a good hour spinning warmup, sweat and all but my legs would not loosen up or feel warm. My trainer was also acting up which was bothering me. My stomach was also very upset for some reason and the weather in general was bothering me also.

We had 5 riders from Citrus Valley Velo (Healthnet) on the startline but I got stuck in the back because I arrived late from the warmup lap. The race course is just nasty to say the least. The roads are bad and the corners rediculously sharp in places. On the start of the race the front straightaway is almost 1/3 mile of decievinly long climbing. You then get to the nastiest crit corner I have ever seen. You literally do a 130 degree turn with a point in the center, at nearly 26 MPH+. I can say in all the races I saw (including the pro race yesterday) most of the crashes happen here. After that this is another very sharp right then another sharp right into a chicane thing that is very narrow and dangerous. Out of that leads into another very fast and narrow right to the startline and up the hill again.

At the wistle I took off and rode towards the back with a few people from our team. The pace was fast, into the first corner. The first corner was not too bad until we hit the end where all the bad pavement is. At that point I was rather comfortable where I was, not breathing too hard but my legs still were not warmed up very much and I was feeling sluggish. The first time up the full hill I knew that I would not last long, I was having trouble in the big ring up the hill and just was not feeling good at all.

We hit the second lap and all the sudden in the first corner (the nasty one) a guy from our team misjudged the corner and nearly lost control right in front of me. That slowed both of us down and put a small gap between us and the field. Togther we were able to get back on. Before I knew it though he was nowhere to be found, he must have been dropped. Fast forward 4 laps now to lap 6, about 12 minutes in. My lack of climbing power is not getting apparent as I am fading about halfway up the hill, but I am able to get back. This was my last lap...

In the chicane a rider got caught between the railing and the peloton and went down. He took down six other riders at the same time. Slightly off the back I missed the initial crash but was going so fast that I had to take evasive manuviours to avoid falling. I had to unclip and then slide sideways to avoid falling. By that time the pack had a 50 second lead and I had no chance to catch them. By the time I got to the start line I got pulled along with about 4 other riders. What made me mad was I think we could have caught the group but the rule was if you go 1 minute down you get pulled... stupid rule


I guy who crashed broke both chainstays and the seat stay on his colognado and was knocked out cold on the track. He had to be rushed to the ER. Our team took the second spot and fifth, not bad but it could have been better... oh well... that is racing!

Funny thing is one the sun came up I felt great... now if the race could have been 2 hours later... oh well! Regarding the circumstaces I felt that I did better than before but it was just a nasty race. There is always next time... it does feel good to not be the first one dropped though...

In a few months I will be up to speed. It is coming , now my aerobic system is getting better but my power is lacking again...
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Old 04-03-05, 02:59 PM
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Sounds like you did really well. Thats just bad luck, and luck is an important aspect in racing - especially crits. to me it sounds like you would have at least stayed with the pack until the end. I know you were feeling the pace hard, but I have a feeling you wouldn't have gotten dropped without the crash.
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Old 04-03-05, 04:16 PM
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With some maore training I think you are right. Today I think I would have gotten dropped at some point, that is how nasty I was feeling, but I gave it my best effort. I will keep on plugging away at it and see how it really goes...

A guy from Riverside Bicycle Club put it in perspective today. They came out and watched the race.

Late last summer (September) you started riding that MTB and could barily hold 13 MPH and were in the granny gear on every climb (a 34-28). You are now faster than 90 percent of the people in the group, you have nothing to be ashamed about, you have progressed so fast. Next year you can win the race, don't worry about it.

Sometimes we loose perspective on where we have come from...

The anouncer also said something intersting...

There are sure a big spread of people in this cat 5 field, some riders are real strong and some are real beginners... that is so true. He also said that many of the cat 4's are in the first year of racing... that can not be true here in Calfornia. How can someone be first year Cat4 if their has not been 10 races this year. Most people in the cat 4 field are second and third year... oh well
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Old 04-03-05, 05:11 PM
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sucks for the guy who went to the ER, A colnago in a cat 5 crit.....
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Old 04-03-05, 05:14 PM
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Your opening statment leads one to believe that you crashed. I'm glad to hear that you didn't. I hope you have better luck at your next race.
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Old 04-03-05, 05:21 PM
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That sucks about getting pulled, d*** the bad luck. I think you could have stayed on the pack, better luck at the next one.
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Old 04-03-05, 05:39 PM
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The president of the race teams young daughter (at 13) has a record equiped colonago in juniors with spinergy wheels in juniors... not unheard of...

As I said I do not know how long I could have held in even with the crash, I was rather shot right before the crash but I kept on pushing. The backstretch was absolutly a blast, 3 sharp corners at speed, now that is what crits are about!
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Old 04-03-05, 07:02 PM
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Two broken chain stays, I'm guessing it was a Fiber ride.

Steel is real, and you won't break 2 chain stays !!!
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Old 04-03-05, 09:55 PM
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OH god..... Shut up about the god damned steel already. I KNEW somebody would come in and start that crap as soon as I read that.
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Old 04-03-05, 10:44 PM
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Steel may be real but so is every other material out there... if it was not real do you think we could ride the bike?

No STEEL is real comments please...
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Old 04-04-05, 02:59 AM
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Regarding your comment about first year riders in the Cat. 4's, a rider I coach had never race before February 2004 and was a Category 3 by July 2004. Two guys that go into the bike shop that I frequent in Claremont have both upgraded to Category 4 after just starting to race this year. The ten race requirement is required if you are not getting upgrade points by placing. I don't race Category 4, but I have raced 16 times this year since February 5. Only two of those races were time trials and there was a Category 5 race available at every race I have done. It does require some driving and being able to race on Saturdays.
I actually saw you after you had dropped out of Ontario last week and I was going to introduce myself but I was busy getting prepared for my race which followed the race you had entered. When you meet with the person that is going to coach you, I suggest that you have them or someone do a professional bike fit. When I saw you ride by your saddle height looked a little low and this could be inhibiting you in your search for power. You may have already been fitted and I could be wrong but from a quick glance when I saw you ride by, your saddle looked too low.
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Old 04-04-05, 08:55 AM
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my58vw, have you ever finished a crit?

Just wondering.
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Old 04-04-05, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
The president of the race teams young daughter (at 13) has a record equiped colonago in juniors with spinergy wheels in juniors... not unheard of...
I think Smoothie may have been wondering about the wisdom of riding such a nice bike in the crashfest sometimes known as a Cat 5 criterium.
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Old 04-04-05, 09:06 AM
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my58vw, have you ever finished a crit?

Just wondering.
Actually not with the pack but yes I have, La Circuit and the first one I did, the last few I got pulled after getting laped. I would and could have finished every one of the crits that I entered if I would not have been pulled. It is not that I am going out and quiting, I am getting dropped and forced out.


Regarding your comment about first year riders in the Cat. 4's, a rider I coach had never race before February 2004 and was a Category 3 by July 2004. Two guys that go into the bike shop that I frequent in Claremont have both upgraded to Category 4 after just starting to race this year. The ten race requirement is required if you are not getting upgrade points by placing. I don't race Category 4, but I have raced 16 times this year since February 5. Only two of those races were time trials and there was a Category 5 race available at every race I have done. It does require some driving and being able to race on Saturdays.
I actually saw you after you had dropped out of Ontario last week and I was going to introduce myself but I was busy getting prepared for my race which followed the race you had entered. When you meet with the person that is going to coach you, I suggest that you have them or someone do a professional bike fit. When I saw you ride by your saddle height looked a little low and this could be inhibiting you in your search for power. You may have already been fitted and I could be wrong but from a quick glance when I saw you ride by, your saddle looked too low.
And that the bike is too small... I am getting my bike fit at the same time and that will be addressed at that time. I think that saddle may be too low along with a few other issues. I am sure that there are cat 4 riders first year. Many people I know have not nearly riden 10 races by now in the season, those who do IMO only race more than the average. The comment I heard was MOST cat 4 riders at this time of the year are in their first year of racing.

I am impressed though that some one can go from 5 all the way to 3 in 6 months. That individual must have been quite strong in the first place to pull off that feat in that time.


*
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Old 04-04-05, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
Cold + Crash fest = Redlands Crit

Redlands criterium is known as one of the hardest if not the hardest in the United States and it has lived up to its reputation.
What level and according to who? You might want to try the Twilight Criterium first!
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Old 04-04-05, 01:28 PM
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I raced Redlands 7 or 8 times and never had any problems.. The key for a tight course is stay in the top 1/3 of the field.. Once a field gets strung out due to hard corners or crashes, you are doomed at the back of the field.. I saw more crashes at a course called the Ziggarat which was 3 lanes wide with sweeping turns than some tighter courses.. Sometimes crashes are just bad luck with some inexperience as key factors..

The course is what it is, it may be wide with sweeping corners or have some wicked corners.. Everyone has to navigate the same course.. It sounds like you did not ditch the cyclocomputer like you said you were going to.. Being comfortable at speed takes time and more racing.. You will get there soon.. Sounds like your training is going well but you need to have some rest days with all the training you are doing.. If you don't recover your improvement will take longer.. I don't think you are racing too much, you are just not getting enough recovery time.. Hope you do better next time..
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Old 04-04-05, 03:37 PM
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I only looked at the computer once then turned it off, I needed all my attention on the corners and not the computer. It seemed like every race I saw had at least 3 crashes on Sunday. I did not look at it again until after the race when I saw the average.

The redlands race was actually quite enjoyable. I really thought the corners were not that hard, I had not trouble navigating them but some people seemed to.

I think you are right, I need more recovery time as I am learning. I should be able to get more recovery time in the next few weeks. As you know there are tons of races in So Cal, it is just a matter of finding the ones I have to do and the ones I can skip.

You are right about the training, it will be interesting to see how I am feeling after a week of easy riding... I am getting faster and hanging in longer at every race, with another 12 - 15 races this year I think I will be doing well.. .

Thanks for the reply
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Old 04-04-05, 04:38 PM
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Before your next Crit, sit on the sidelines of the start finish with your bike ready to race at least 10 minutes before they call you to the line. When they call you up, jump in. Starting posistion is key on a tight course.
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Old 04-04-05, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMan
What level and according to who? You might want to try the Twilight Criterium first!
Word!
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Old 04-07-05, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Olyroller
Steel is real, and you won't break 2 chain stays !!!
1 is enough.
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Old 04-07-05, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
I am getting faster and hanging in longer at every race, with another 12 - 15 races this year I think I will be doing well...
I think so too! Reading about your racing experiences is fun; keep it going!
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Old 04-07-05, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Pack Fodder
Before your next Crit, sit on the sidelines of the start finish with your bike ready to race at least 10 minutes before they call you to the line. When they call you up, jump in. Starting posistion is key on a tight course.
actually, the tricky thing to do is this:

ride the warm up lap really slowly, then roll through the start line to start another lap. they will, of course, call you back, so instead of doing another lap, just turn around, go back to the start...and line up at the front. Tricky? yes. effective? yes

sitting at the starting line will only make you cold and confortable, and your legs will forget what hard work feels like. its best to keep moving and pause for the least amount of time possible.
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