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criterium raceing skills(8 posts)

criterium raceing skillsAdam Steelman
Mar 14, 2001 4:17 PM
hi all I am gitting ready to do my first criterium race soon well this saturday. To tell you the truth I am scared. Two guys told me Sence it is my first I will crash and get hurt. So if you got any tips to help me out I would really like it.
Adam Steelman
JR. Racer
PoWER road racing teem
re: criterium raceing skillsAdam Steelman
Mar 14, 2001 4:24 PM
Just if any one is wondring I a going to the sham rock crit. This will be my first.
re: criterium raceing skillsJamier
Mar 15, 2001 6:07 AM

You not going to crash! Assuming the crit is a training crit, it will likely start with one or two controlled laps. This will allow you to warm up and get use to riding in close quarters and the start will be nice as relaxed. Once the controlled laps end, the pace will pick up. Try to stay up near the front, as you drift back into the pack, things get a little more "out of control". Every move you make should be smooth, not abrupt. Do not grab you brakes hard and if you see someone doing it, don't ride their wheel. You have to trust the guy in front of you and the guy behind you will be trusting you. Its all about trust! If someone in front of me slows, I generally try to just roll up along side of them rather than hold my position by braking. You do have to be careful though as they may dart to the side you are overtaking them on. But again, they should not be making sudden jerky moves. If you are rolling up on someone, just yell on you left or on your right. If you do find that the riders are way out of control and you can't keep the pace to stay at the front, drop to the back and just watch the race, see who the bad riders are. As the season goes on, people will become better riders.

Overall its not as scary as it seams, but it will take a few races to gut use to it. Since it is so early in the season, there is not point in going balls to the wall and crashing hard. Save that for an important race!

Good luck! and let us know how you do.

re: criterium raceing skillsAdam Steelman
Mar 15, 2001 10:57 AM
Thanks for the tips guys!! I will let all of you know how I did as soon as I get back from the race. Again thanks I fell much better about the crit. race now.
re: criterium raceing skillscaldwell-cougar
Mar 15, 2001 3:15 PM
ADAM: I suppose that I'll see you. I was reading on Ray's web site about it. If everything works out for the best, I'd be happy to stick with you.

If you see a Y-77 (can't miss it, it's gold) that's me.

-All the Best If I can't make it
re: criterium raceing skillsAdam Steelman
Mar 16, 2001 1:38 PM
I will look for you I will be in a red teem eastern moutain bike outfit or a black and yellow jersey see you there. And if I don't can you tell me how much P.S.I. I should put in.
Adam Steelman
re: criterium racing skillsNEIL
Mar 16, 2001 6:39 AM
To be a little nervous about a crit is normal, especially your first one. Since it's your first, don't be concerned about winning, just worry about getting used to it and gaining experience and staying upright. Relax. Just remember chances are that the guys around you will be at the same level. There won't be any pros in your race, no matter what some the other riders would have you believe.

It will start fast, be ready. Warm up good and long beforehand. Make sure you are sweating at the start line. You won't tire yourself out. The worst races I've had are when I didn't warm up enough and the start and it is a shock to my system and the pace is too high with cold legs. Stay towards the front, mabye 5 or 7 riders back. The further back in the pack you are the more crazy it will be. The attacks up front will result in a rubber band effect in back. It will be really hard to stay on in back if the pace is high. If you let a gap go, you'll be finishing by yourself.

After a lap or two, you'll get a feeling for who the stronger riders are, keep your eyes on them and react if they attack, or least be ready for it. Also watch out for riders that seem squirelly, guys that are not holding a line, and ones that seem skittish. They are accidents waiting to happen. Stay well away.

Turns can be hard in a pack if you're not used to it. If you are feeling crowded and cut off too short into a turn by the guy in front of you, yell, "inside", it'll let him know you are there and to give you room. You can also tap somebody on the hip. But, in a cat 4 or 5 race, keep in mind the guys might not know what that means. Watch out for sandy corners, cut them wide if they look dangerous.

Towards the end of the race, the pack will be smaller, as riders will have dropped off. On the last lap, do not lead. You want to be in 2nd or 3rd going into the last couple turns. Watch out for early attacks on the last lap. Guys that want to get away before the final sprint. You'll be tired by the end so gauge your energy left. You'll have to gauge the length of the final stretch to the line, but when you jump for the sprint, make sure you have a lot of room, swing to the outside and hit it hard, you don't want a trailer. Once you commit to the sprint, don't stop until the line. Be in the drops. You can't sprint with power from the hoods. Make sure you are not in too high of gear. You want to have some cadence to make a quick jump and then shift up during the sprint to increase the speed. Sprint all the way through to the line. There will be somebody on your wheel, if you let up, they'll go around you before the line. If you have a feeling somebody is going jump, when they do, jump on and try to overtake them at the line. You'll just have to feel out the circumstances.

Just have fun with it. Good luck.

re: criterium raceing skills I DID GREATADAM STEELMAN
Mar 17, 2001 12:50 PM
Well all thanks to all of your help I did realy good and had a ton of fun. I got 3rd place in the jr. race with the 15-16 and the 17-18 all put in one group. Useing your help I was able to race a smart race and avoid 2 bad crashes. Thanks again.