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EthanTheBikeMan 07-01-13 08:58 PM

First Criterium Tips?
On July 9th I will be doing my first criterium race and my first race in general. I need some tips on strategies, and just what the race might be like and what to expect. I am a 16 year old male and about 180 lbs. I will be riding a 1988 Cannondale "Black Lightning." I am a pretty strong rider, I successfully rode Trail Ridge Road on my first try last month at a starting elevation of about 8,000ft to a summit of about 12,000ft. I live at 900ft above sea level. So what I want to know is "do I stand a chance?" or will the peleton drop me on the first lap? There isn't very much climbing in the race and it is a 1 km lap for 30 min. Any advice on racing will help! Thank you in advance!

Lew. 07-02-13 12:31 AM

I'm not trying to come across as a complete a-hole, but look on the #33 , there are plenty of topics about this, and even a stickied thread about first time racers ( ).
Try using the (advanced) search function too. :)

Good luck and I hope you enjoy your Crit!

Edit: linked thread.

chocho13 07-04-13 08:13 PM

Just try not to crash and don't expect too much on your first race. If you finish well congrats, if you win congrats but anyway it turns out it will be a fun and good experience.

For some tips i suggest you...
-Keep your line while racing-you dont want to wobble all over the place
-Try to stay away from guys that doesn't keep their line
-Try to draft off riders the most you can,dont expose yourself to the wind too much
-SHOW UP EARLY** it will make registration more smooth and will give you time to check your bike and you can get a good spot on
the line
-Dont expect to win, go in with a realistic open mind of what the outcome might be
-IF you are in a good position on the final lap and youve got enough energy to sprint try to sprint 100m from the line and always take some rider as a leadout so you wont burn yourself out (even if they are not your teammate :p )
-BUT most importantly have fun,enjoy it and learn from it.

getaklug 07-06-13 03:05 PM

First Criterium Tips?
They say you should be happy if you finish your first race. I crashed in my first race, but finished, so do better than I and don't crash. Be comfortable in a group before you go race.

rm -rf 07-06-13 04:22 PM

Do you know about Junior gearing limits? There's a limit on the fastest gear combination. It's checked by measuring the distance of a "rollout", rolling the bike backward for one pedal revolution.

See this thread.

chocho13 07-06-13 04:26 PM

Yeah dont forget about Junior gearing, you should be fine with a 52/14 Combination of gears. 52 meaning the number of teeth of the biggest chainring and 14 meaning the number of teeth on the smallest sprocket in the back. I have a 52/15 combo cuz im too poor to buy a decent cassette plus my bike is a 7 speed,6 speed because i blocked out a gear. Which you can do too. If you realize you don't pass the limit block out one gear.

Check these out:

Homebrew01 07-12-13 01:16 PM

How did it go ?

EthanTheBikeMan 07-14-13 06:11 PM

Thank you everyone for all the tips! My gearing was too big so I had to adjust my derailleur, and other than that everything went really well. I ended up placing 2nd overall and first in my age category. Yesterday (the 13th) I was in another crit. but riding in category 5. All I can say is those guys go fast, I can't imagine what Category 1 is like! For the first 3 laps I was able to keep up with the peleton but eventually I was lapped once but still did not come in last place, which surprised me, I ended up having three riders place bellow me!

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