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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:12 pm 
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Hi Guys,

I have my first race next weekend as a CAT 4 rider. The course is a 3.5mile narrowish circuit and the race is 1 hour, there are 100 starters. I think it is going to carnage, 100 novice riders all trying to get to the front to avoid trouble and only room for 4 riders side by side! Any advice?

Cheers :?


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Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:12 pm 


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Location: The Netherlands
ATTACK.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:49 pm 
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You just need to sit in and stay as safe as possible. Wait for all the Freds to attack, get out there and realize how hard it is, and then blow. Last lap stay near the front and then sprint for all your worth. That's how most of the non-mountain Cat4 races I ever did went. Good luck and remember you are doing this to have fun.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:19 pm 
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Good advice. I rode today and went to early (reliability trial) and it ended up as a sprint but I was blown by then. And im sure I will have fun!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:41 am 
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Location: New York
Bring a 50 with you and flash it on the last lap.

:welcome: to crit racing :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:14 pm 
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Actually, in a crowded, twisty criterium, I would make sure to start in the front, and go absolutely balls out for the first few laps to make sure you can sail through the corners without braking and hold a good line.
Don't blow yourself up, but stay in the top 5 even if you feel like you are really on the edge. Just remember that no matter how hard it is at the front, it is going to be 10X harder in the back with all the braking and accelerating out of corners. Drafting is only a big advantage when there isn't constant breaking and accelerating.

Easy to say....hard to do.
But you will see that once you start slipping back, your life becomes hell and you are hanging on by your fingernails.

Edit: I see it is "narrow" but you didn't really specify how twisty it is. Sit in if you can safely and not have to brake/accelerate a lot. It is always better near the front though; and although everyone wants to be there, that is why they want to be there. ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:01 pm 
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Chatting to the guys from my club I think it's going to be ballistic from the word go. It has a 90 degree corner and a couple of gradual corners and no hills. I know what I can sustain HR wise for 1 hour and will have to hope the adrenaline carries me through !


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:20 pm 
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Get new genes. I, for one, wish I had chosen my parents more wisely.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:49 pm 
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Locally the number of crashes in novice races is completely horrendous. Guys who have absolutely no experience in bunch racing are able to buy a licence and turn up to start an open 80 rider race without any experience of even racing at club level. The result has been total carnage - not just bullshite macho carnage but genuine heart breaking, life changing carnage. Last weekend we had a rider paralyzed from the waist down in such a crash. So my friend here's my advice to you. If you haven't raced before I would suggest that you start your racing career in an event with considerably less riders and a much less technical parcours. That's unless you're absolutely sure you have the ability to complete the event without endangering yourself or the other riders around you.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:02 pm 
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You'd have to ask the other 79 riders the same question.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:27 pm 
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I really don't think all the riders want to go to the front in a road bike race. But a lot of them want a good spot so they will save some energy.

If you're not mentally prepared to start real hard and bring the engine to "red" for the first, let's say, 10-15 minutes, and still be comfortable to pilot the bike securely, then maybe you're not ready to fight for a front spot yet in narrow circuit races.

Or I'd suggest stay behind if you want to avoid crashes. Go up the shredded peloton (pelotons ?) progressively, as you gain confidence. And use this race as a new experience.

Don't use your HRM, or you'll stop after 5 minutes. In a race, your HR will easily be +10 from your best efforts.

Louis :)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:27 am 
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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
liam7020- that's why in most of the USA we have cat 5. Fields limited to 50 riders, you can upgrade to cat 4 after finishing 10 races. Many districts also have new racer schools, similar to the schools that they put new motorcycle racers through. They're to teach safe racing.

I started in the 80s, before cat 5, and there were a lot of crashes in cat 4.

What Louis said about the HRM. Turn it off or put a piece of tape over it.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:17 am 
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Yes, back in the pre-Cat 5 days, Cat 4 was known as Crash 4. There were many fewer crashes in Cat. 4 late in the season than early in the season. Mid to late season, Cat. 3 had more crashes than Cat. 4, as the fields had many aggressive racers trying to upgrade to Cat. 2 via placings in Cat. 3 races.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:56 am 
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In Italy we dont have the categories like that but by age only, but not as many crashes as it sounds when reading what you guys write. Bit scary.

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Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:56 am 


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:11 am 
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More hills in Italian races though micky, no?

That helps thin fields out.

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