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Some questions about Cat 4/5 racing ...(7 posts)

Some questions about Cat 4/5 racing ...HouseMoney
Nov 6, 2003 5:19 AM
I guess I could've posted this in the Racing forum, but General gets more traffic ...

When Cat 4 & 5 are combined for races (as many seem to be), are the results also combined, i.e. is there one "podium" for the race, or are there then Cat 4 results separate from Cat 5 results?

For 1st season racing, should a newbie look to do itt's, Cat 4/5's, or a little of both? I did one citizen's race this year as well as many group rides (& one "A" training ride), so I'm "somewhat" familiar with riding fast in a group.

Is there a strategy for time trials, or do you just pretty much go as fast as you can for as far as you can?

re: Some questions about Cat 4/5 racing ...weiwentg
Nov 6, 2003 5:55 AM
jump right in and do everything as long as you don't burn out. I'd do the cat 4/5 races instead of the citizen's races; they're probably longer. our 4/5 races had only 1 podium. for the TTs, your strategy is right :)
In a 4/5 race, unlike some other blended fields, I havebill
Nov 6, 2003 6:27 AM
never seen placings set out separately. The only time I've seen separate placings is in age-graded fields and championship fields (for example, the Womens' Virginia RR ran one women's field, but the Cat 4 women had their own placings). This is probably mostly up to the promoter, except for championships, but I still don't think you'll ever see it in a 4/5 field, because, in our district, anyway, Cat 5's can't win any district points. They can win races, and collect their $30 or whatever, but their wins don't accumulate any points in the district points tallies.
I've seen both - check race detailsbimini
Nov 6, 2003 7:29 AM
I've seen both in combined fields. Most common is one podium in combined road races, but I have seen seperate Cat 3, Cat 4, Cat 5, Masters 40+, and Masters 50 + awards being presented from the same combined field in one large road race. This was a cash & prime award race for many of the categories.

It was also a very fast & flat course so it was madhouse. The peleton of hundreds of bikes stayed packed and the accordian effect was wild. Three major pileups and the ambulence drivers stayed busy.

Try all the racing types and focus on the type you enjoy. If you like aggressive intense action, crits fill the bill. If you like to go fast packed in a peleton, the road is great (my favorite). These can be quite intense at times too. If your the type that likes to go solo and test the clock, the the TTs are fine. (I have a personal problem in that I am cheap and can't see spending $20 for someone to hold a stop watch when I have a perfectly good cycling computer to tell me what I did 40K in).

Stratagy for a TT is to go at a constant effort (not speed). This effort should be just under your Lactic Threshold for the entire duration. (Maybe above when you see the finish line). Get aerobars and get use to them and find the proper aero position on the bike.
It's all goodhrv
Nov 6, 2003 8:26 AM
Try it all: tt's, crits, rr's. If you're asking podium questions, you're well on your way!

Yeah, for your first tt, go like heck, back off when you're legs start burning, and if you end up sprinting at the end, you didn't go hard enough during the race. Throw in some 5, 10, 15, maybe 30 minute efforts beforehand for training 'at time trial pace', or slightly below. Many, many more training details but don't sweat it for now. You'll find out real quick if you're a natural (23 - 25 mph) or not (17 - 21 mph). Take extra care to make sure you're rested before the event.

It's all goodMShaw
Nov 6, 2003 11:02 AM
I've heard from the TT guys that I know that if you don't see black spots at the end, you didn't go hard enough.

TTs can be ridden a few ways. One of the ways I was taught is that you porpoise over and under your lactic acid threshold the whole time. The other is to hold a steady effort right under the threshold. Either way, its about how fast you can get from A to B.

Crits are a different critter completely. Crits are about positioning and sprinting. As long as you stay towards the front (not ON the front: let some other sucker pull) and can sprint, you can do well at the 4/5 level. Generally the field won't let a breakaway go unless there's a few teams actually riding as a team. Most of the attempts I've ever seen are usually chased down by the entire pack.

If you race crits, at some point or another you will crash. Its the nature of the beast. The old advice of "if you can't afford to replace it, don't race it applies."

re: Some questions about Cat 4/5 racing ...R600DuraAce
Nov 6, 2003 8:21 PM
I once raced with a 4/5 combined field. Basically, the 5 finished a lap less than the 4. How's that since they were all in the same field??? Confusion. :-) That's rare I think. TT does not count towards your upgrade point.