Masters racing and peloton behavior. Difference AG VS cat. ?

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LouisN
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by LouisN

I was questioning if there is a difference in peloton "behavior" between for example a cat.3 race and a masters 40 cat. ?

I looked at a few NE US races and the times seem roughly the same.
I understand the top 40+ guys will race cat.2, even pro-1.

We hear lots of comments about some categories that are dangerous because of beginner cyclists and all.
Is it the case from your experience ?

Probably looking at Battenkill for next year...they put it later in april :beerchug:

Louis :)

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boysa
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by boysa

Louis,

I'm going to send you a PM.
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

by Weenie


efeballi
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by efeballi

I've never raced in the Masters, but I have been a soigneur in many and came across countless stories of things happening in there. Here are my observations from the Turkish masters category vs. the juniors/elites(we have no category system):

The Masters category has both ultra-experienced old foxes and beginners to road racing. Their fitness isn't a major concern here, there are many runners and triathletes attending Masters events but they are inexperienced in road racing.

The old foxes, of which many are former racers, are playing tactics from the gun and they fiercely chase every break down. These guys also frequently ramp up the pace at no obvious reason so even if the avg speeds are the same, masters races are tougher than another category's race that happens to have the same avg.

Beginners tend to stay to the back of the bunch so they are not generally a big concern, but they can and they have taken down many riders especially in corners.

OTOH in the elites (cat racing in your example), people are generally around the same level so there's not a clash of ex-pros pushing 55 kph to chase down a break and newcomers swerving all over the road trying to keep up.

If you are switching to the Masters category, I would advise to stay close to the front of the pack, away from the newcomers and be ready for salvos of accelerations. Also if you're planning to launch an attack, forget it.

My two cents.


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boysa
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by boysa

Here in the US, it's a bit of the opposite. For one, all of the Masters races are limited to Cat 1-4, and quite often here in New England are only Cat 1-3. There are no novices or beginners.

I'll sum it up with a great quote from Kevin Metcalfe:

"As for Cat 3 vs masters, I would wager that masters can be quite a bit faster. I would guess that in a cat 3 race the top quality isn't as high, but the depth of that quality is good so somebody will always be willing to have a go. In the masters you've got some legitimate cat 1's in the group so the top end quality is much higher, but the depth of quality is less. So when the masters race is "on" it will be going really fast and there may be less places to hide, but it may be "on" less often. The masters race will probably be more tactical also. Cat 3's as a group generally haven't figured out the tactics yet. There tends to be a lot of chasing."

This describes things as I've found them quite perfectly.
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

kulivontot
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by kulivontot

In masters 40+ everybody dopes with T

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LouisN
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by LouisN

I plead guilty on Voltaren ;)

(what's "T" .... ?)

Louis :)

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boysa
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by boysa

Testosterone?
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

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Rick
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by Rick

I would corroborate everything effeballi and boysa said.
I don't know about the "doping with T" thing, but Master's racer's have the same doping rules as everyone else.

kulivontot
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by kulivontot

You mean don't check anybody ever because it's amateur racing rules?

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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

boysa wrote:I'll sum it up with a great quote from Kevin Metcalfe:

"As for Cat 3 vs masters, I would wager that masters can be quite a bit faster. I would guess that in a cat 3 race the top quality isn't as high, but the depth of that quality is good so somebody will always be willing to have a go. In the masters you've got some legitimate cat 1's in the group so the top end quality is much higher, but the depth of quality is less. So when the masters race is "on" it will be going really fast and there may be less places to hide, but it may be "on" less often. The masters race will probably be more tactical also. Cat 3's as a group generally haven't figured out the tactics yet. There tends to be a lot of chasing."

This describes things as I've found them quite perfectly.

That was my experience in my first Masters road race, just last month. They know who the hitters are, so will happily chase them down - to the detriment of their own race.

In this instance, they let one or two riders scamper free - being Masters 1, they clearly didn't know those boys were strong and as I'd just won the National (Masters 1) TT they lined out on my wheel. I haven't had a race that frustrating in a long time.

Crafty old b@stards! Now means finding new ways to try and win... as at elite levels, there's normally the aforementioned depth that forces a lot more selections and won't leave strong riders as heavily marked.

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TwiggyTN
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by TwiggyTN

Also, don't forget that Cat3's are all about chasing upgrade points to make their Cat2 dreams come true. This can effect how the finale plays out. Guys are not willing to sacrifice a top 5 to try and win outright in many cases.

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by Weenie


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boysa
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by boysa

Bingo! Spot on, Twiggy.

I just picked up my 2 upgrade. Now I can rest easy and really chase those victories. Haha! :wink:

But seriously, it does feel pretty darn good. Of course, I'm racing Masters anyway, so I don't think anyone cares when they beat me whether my license says 2 or 3.

I know what it says, though!! :beerchug:
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

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