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First race

Old 04-03-09, 04:42 PM
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First race

Getting some pre-race gitters. I have my first Cat 5 race tomorrow in philly (fairmount park). It is a 2 day event with a circuit race the first day and a crit the second.

needless to say I am getting nervous. Just went to Cadence in manayunk to pick up my number. There were lots of skinny cyclists around (it is a high end store with only road and TT bikes). My goals for the race are to hopefully finish in the pack on the circuit, and not get pulled too early on the crit . Seriously though it is a technical crit with 2 corners and a 12% hill. Since I live on the jersey side of the river the greatest incline I find is 6%. So we will see how poorly training on a 6% then racing a 12% section is.

When I am done tomorrow I will report back how the first race goes, I hope i don't crash....esp sinc ei am getting married latter this month .

PS I did a mtb race once and got 3rd from last (I did alot wrong in that race), but I have somehow got it into my head that I will be better at road racing, we will see if that is true tomorrow. As long as the average stays under 24 i think I will be able to hang, but the hill on the second day worries me. Any tips are welcome.
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Old 04-03-09, 08:24 PM
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If it's the crit with the hill, chances are good it's no big deal. Very possible it'll be short and your momentum will carry you over. Probably only need your big ring.

In crits--especially at the cat 5 level--positioning is everything, and I do mean everything. I haven't seen any studies, but I'd be willing to bet break-away victories in the 5's only work like 3-5% of the time. If the next Lance Armstrong isn't in the break, I wouldn't worry about it--let somebody else close the gap, because they probably will. In fact, they probably won't let anyone even get a gap!

During the race, stay in about 15--25th wheel or so. That'll be the sweet spot of the pack: the place where everybody's draft works together and even carries you along. Riding is easy here. However, you do have to work to stay there. Other riders will be passing you on the outsides, trying to get that sweet spot for themselves.

Watch out for corners. 5s have a tendency to do: fast on straights, brake before/through the corners, stand up & sprint coming out. It turns into 4-intervals per lap on a 4-corner course. Yours is 2, but still. The best way to avoid this is to be near the front. The accordion effect is nearly non-existent here. The farther back you are, the harder it is. So balance this out with the sweet spot.

With about 2-3 miles to go in the crit (# of laps depends on how long a course you have--usually the last 4 laps or so), you need to start working up to about 5-10th wheel. Everybody else will be trying to do the same. This makes it hard. If I could do this regularly, I'd be a cat 2 by now

Last lap, you want to be 5-10th wheel. Last corner, you want to be 2-4th wheel, depending on how far from the line. Farther away? 3rd or 4th wheel. Closer? 1st or 2nd wheel. Let somebody else start the sprint, you follow. As a 5, you probably don't have the strength to do a 250m sprint. Aim for coming around at about 150yds. (You'll want to figure out where this line is beforehand.)

Just remember, you're 5. Don't lose sleep. In the end, actual results don't matter for upgrades. Use it as a learning opportunity. Get to know who the other riders are, what they can and cannot do, etc... (Of course, I know your competitive urges will make you want to do the best you can.)

Good luck. Keep us posted.
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Old 04-03-09, 08:36 PM
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dude, best of luck. stay upright and when you start to sprint an put 3800 watts on the ground, try not to slow down the earths rotation enough so the poles flip.

im jealous, have fun. this is going to sound really lame, but youve already won, by just lining up. my first 5 is in a couple weeks and i plan on getting dropped in 6 of my 10 crash 5 races.

takes pics. post pics in the clyde race thread, which is sooooooooooo much less pretentious than the race forum. not to hijack this thread, but it looks like the clydes a far mellower crowd, not worrying about freddom and who can generate more watts in 5 seconds than a pickle?

i think it eouls be cool to have an informal national clyde team,

~chrtis

keep the rubber side down
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Old 04-04-09, 08:41 AM
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the nervousness was well founded...crashed 3min 20 seconds into the race i am fine bruises and scrapes aplenty all right side. Can't race tomorrow as the front wheel is being trued and the shifter re aligned and a general look over.

A guy infront of me kinda swerved and slowed either due to the wind or he was very consious of the yellow line rule. front wheel met his derailer/rear and i went down. wind at 28 mph with gusts 40+ the first 3 min worth of speed didn't feel to bad though I think I will try again next time
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Old 04-04-09, 08:54 AM
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Sorry to hear this. Glad you're reasonably okay. Remember to do some stretching and try to get in some easy spinning ASAP to keep the body loose... It always hurts more the day after.
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Old 04-04-09, 09:21 AM
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Yeah, I actually feel pretty good all things considered. I met a guy I rode an MS ride with and he ended up just off the main pack maybe 90seconds back. That reassured me fitness wise because I can keep up with him just fine. The pack riding is very cool, I like the closed off roads, I would suggest it to anyone who would like some fun and to do something "different" than the normal group rides.

I really wish I could find some training crits or something near here.
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Old 04-04-09, 09:26 AM
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Sorry to hear about the accident. Just curious what is a circuit race, how does it compare to a crit?
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Old 04-04-09, 10:03 AM
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A crit is a race on a course 2-miles or shorter. Racers go round it (usually) for a set amount of time (30, 45, 90-mins, etc...). Crits are usually fast from the very beginning and are on mostly flat courses.

A circuit race is on a longer course. Racers (usually) ride a specified number of laps (1, 2, 3...10, 15...etc). A circuit race is similar to what you'd see in the Tour de France on TV: somewhat easier at the beginning with attacks and vastness only coming in to play when there's climbs or other obstacles.
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Old 04-04-09, 10:19 AM
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Cool, thanks for the clarification. Instead of starting at one point and finishing at another you just do a bunch of specified loops. Seems like this type of race would be less hectic than a crit. I have never raced so I could be wrong.
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Old 04-04-09, 11:07 AM
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Yeah: considered usually less "hectic" or fewer crashes. Crit corners are repeated more times. Corners are a high-stress environment at 25mph :LOL:
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Old 04-04-09, 12:37 PM
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Nothing will raise the hair on your neck like 50 guys going like madmen around a corner at 25 mph lol.
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Old 04-04-09, 01:15 PM
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bummer dude, glad to hear youre not too boofed up and will try again. i figure if right at the gun you just break away from pack and stay away, youll avoid the crashes.
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Old 04-04-09, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by heckler
I really wish I could find some training crits or something near here.
Hmmm... South Jersey years ago was somewhat rural. Still the same? Maybe closer to Philly? Or somewhere in Delaware? Or are they too far away?

Closest training rides for me are Montrose (flat road race) or Rose Bowl Rides (3-mile circuit, 10 laps) in Pasadena--45 mine by car...each way.
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Old 04-04-09, 09:31 PM
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socal seems to be where all the riding is. i am near philly, but the south jersey community seems to be geared to the masters racers (literally the only race near me only has masters classes) most of the races seem to be out near lancaster or up north near NYC/north jersey.

This circuit was 2.2 miles so very short (for a circuit) and raced like a crit (time + laps) pretty flat. The crit i will miss tomorrow is 0.8 miles and described as technical. I drove it after todays debacle and it would be a killer. Very steep then down then corner then down then corner then up again...it would have been neat. Here are the pros in 06 doing the same crit course https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVACn7K7LKk

I might have to go out to lancaster later on in the season for another go. I will probably try my hand at XC again as well, it hurts much less when yo crash at 9mph in the dirt.
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