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Choosing a Club to join? ALL CAT1's or ALL CAT 5's?(13 posts)

Choosing a Club to join? ALL CAT1's or ALL CAT 5's?skip work to ride
Nov 4, 2001 9:59 AM
I am trying to narrow the choices down on a club to join in my area. I have been racing MTB for 3 years so I know somethings about the basics. I admit that there is a lot to learn when i start the road season. I will be a CAT 5, so I am starting at the bottome of barrel. But I would like to be with experienced riders who can share advice and point-out my faux-paus.

I have clubs in my area with mostly CAT 3-4-5, and other teams with CAT 1-5. The difference being that the CAT 1-5 Teams are heavy with 1-2-3's. I looked at this season's results and the teams with more Cat1-2-3's had very little racers in the 4-5 if any?

So for someone starting out is it better to race with a diverse team or one that has a lot of riders in your category?
Never take it the easiest way.Cyclorocket
Nov 4, 2001 11:03 AM
You have a goal : go 1-5
You race just becuz : go 3-5

Having better racers will make you progress faster, and you learn from their experience, meaby even go 4 or 3 if nobody in 4-5. XC is not RR, still you already have a good part of the physical needs (I suspect, else do has much miles you can on the trainer this winter)

Taking the lead is fun but, when it's easy : it's a boring habit. RR is kicking your ass all the way in course (yes it hurts in the last miles)

I hope you won't get a bad crash when downhilling !

-Guillaume
re: Choosing a Club to join? ALL CAT1's or ALL CAT 5's?climbo
Nov 5, 2001 6:05 AM
what level do you race in MTB? I wouldn't join a club with all 1-2-3's if I were you (unless you think you can hit the road and kick butt first time). Get to know a few clubs first and then pick one. Some clubs focus on Cat 3's so they have a strong team, others have a definite 1-2-Pro type feel about them. Remember, 1-2's are very, very good road riders, they race against pro's. It would be great to ride with them but not if you get dropped every training ride and don't learn anything.
re: Choosing a Club to join? ALL CAT1's or ALL CAT 5's?brider
Nov 5, 2001 10:59 AM
There's more to consider here. While the Cat 1-2-3's may be good riders, you won't be able to race with them for a while. You will definitely become a stronger rider with these guys, but you won't necessarily learn race tactics, especially team tactics, if you don't have a good contingent to race with. THAT will determine your race results more than strength once you get to Cat 4. So, I'd say go with a team that has more Cat 4s (usually the 4s and 5s race together, at least in this area) and work well as a team, and then you can jump to another team when you get to Cat 3 or 2.
Pick based on your racing AND training needstriangleforge
Nov 21, 2001 10:33 AM
I agree completely that you should look for a team that will have sufficient folks you enjoy racing with -- which means you'll want a good contingent of fellow 4's & 5's, or if you're "of a certain age" like me, folks in your age category.

Racing as a part of a team is, for me at least, the very best part of road racing -- when the plan works, everyone plays a role, and the race clicks into place, it's beautiful. And it's even better when another team throws a curve at you and you're forced to collectively re-tool the whole thing on the fly. For me, I'd hate to miss out on that by being a solo racer in my category, even if I was wearing the same jersey as the guy who wins the 1-2-3 later that day.

Also, be sure to consider your training needs -- a team that has structured, regular training rides that are easily accessible to you may be the single most important thing you can find when you're starting out at road racing. My team, Squadra Coppi (based in the DC area) has morning training rides Tuesday-Sunday that are tailored to meet specific training goals and are relatively easy for me to reach. Especially now that the weather's getting cold, knowing that there will be teammates waiting for me makes all the difference in the world when the time comes to forsake a nice warm bed for a cold, dark ride.
You will learn everything you need from CAT 3s!!!Colombian Climber
Nov 5, 2001 2:50 PM
without the CAT 1 attitude. Remember Cat 1 could be pros! and most of them are on their way. Although anyone can be a cat 4 with enough time, only real riders make it to be cat 3s and they KNOW! what they are talking about. There is absolutely no need to be with the cat1 group...that assuming they will be nice and accept you! (which has been debated in the past).

I say you have much to learn and you will learn faster in an accepting group, with which you can keep up...or dropped 1/2 instead of during the warm up. Also, the entire ALPHA MALE attitude will be much reduced in the cat 3-5 group!.

Meet some cat3s and see how they ride! The difference between them and the 2-1, is racing time, training time, and less EGO! Have fun during your 1st race..

And I confess... I am a CAT 3 :-).
I'd have to question that...Capt.Colnago
Nov 24, 2001 6:21 PM
I've found that cat.3's represent the apex of big headedness (they think racing and winning in the threes is a great feat)and poor bike handling (fast enough to be trouble, but not enough exp to contain it-it's true, go to a local crit and count crashes--there are more in the threes than any other cat). I also hear the most bi*ching out of threes (as a promoter). Your post echos the most often expressed misconception that cat 3's have, "The difference between them and the 2-1, is racing time, training time, and less EGO!"
No, the difference between a cat 3 race and the Pro 1,2 race is that the 1,2 race is faster, cleaner, and longer. Also a few people actualy give a flip who won the pro 1,2 race.
I just grin at threes who place in the top five of their race and then strut around the venue like they just bitchslapped Klasna. I can do that (grin I mean-not bitchslap Klasna) because I used to be one of them. Racing the big show has been a rude awakening. Expect to get dropped quickly and offten for the first 6mo after you upgrade, even if you can walk the dog on the three field...
just my 2cents
(ps, Cat 2 here)
I'd have to question that...Colombian Climber
Nov 24, 2001 7:50 PM
Ok, you are right. I am upgrading to 2 as we speak (I've been waiting for the approval for4 weeks, I may get it by march :-)). i will then post and make fun of the threes. Till then, however, I have to defend my people :-).

Seriously, I am not sure that I fully agree with the safety comment, for I have not noticed that trend. I do however, remember many crashes caused by new cat4s when the race prometers join 3s and 4s. Maybe this is the real cause of your observation. When I race with 3s only, I always feel safe...although the crashes are mostly behind me :-).

your points are well taken, and I am looking forward to getting dropped during my first year as a 2.

"10% grades make me smile". The climber
The real meat of it?skip work to ride
Nov 29, 2001 12:00 AM
I appreciate most of the input, I didn't mean for this to become a discussion on 1/2/3's and their oddities.

Around here, CAT races are usually 3/4/5.

I have ridden with both teams...

I can join a team with mostly Cat1,2 and 3 racers 25 of them and four Cat 4/5 or join a team of 55 Cat 3/4/5's. Both are decent teams. The Cat 3/4/5 team has riders closer to home and seems to help pay race fess and what not down on the lower level.

Here's the kicker!The CAT 1/2/3 teams keeps in contact with me and seems more interested in me joining them. But can I get anything out of it when I know the CAT1/2's are superior physcially and the CAT 3's want to prove their worthy. I would race most of the races as a solo 4/5 guy for them? I quetion joining a team when a lazy team training camp day with the CAT 1/2/3 team that is 100-150miles.
InterestWannabe
Nov 30, 2001 7:21 AM
Little late here, but if one team shows genuine interest in you, that is the team to go with, regardless if it is Team Saturn or a small no-name group of riders who get together and race as a "team." You will get the most out of the team that actually WANTS you there.

After a long, long hiatus I started riding witha team again late this summer. They were great. Showed genuine interest in me and were willing to at least try to answer any questions that I had! After the previous group which consisted of 2/3s that allowed me to come along, it was a great switch. Come to think of it, after several months with the new group, I don't know what Cat a single one of these riders are in. To them, it's just not important to have to tell me that they are Cat 2, or 3 or 4. The point is to ride and learn and to enjoy the sport.

Andy - Wannabe
The point isn't the same for everyoneCyclorocket
Nov 30, 2001 9:14 AM
I agree with you that you can choose a team and have fun, BUT
If somebody is racing to get at the top...well he might consider getting in the best team, It's gonna make him kick is ass more.

We have to admit : when it's easy we don't train much becuz we don't really see any goal.

No pain = No gain
-Guillaume
SemanticsWannabe
Nov 30, 2001 9:48 AM
You'll notice I did not say base your choice on only having fun. Rather my point was "The point is to ride and learn and to enjoy the sport." Further, if you join a team thinking it's the best choice because it will be the toughest team, what happens if you aren't having any fun because the guys are jerks and couldn't care less if you are there or not? You won't go back. Sure, everyone who is a dedicated roadie likes to hurt themselves, that's a given. The pain in the effort is fun! And the extra pain of the top-flight team is great if you can hang on. But...

Look at all the top riders in the world. They'll all say they ride because they love the sport.

You better have fun, because if you're not, you're not long for the sport...

Well, I think I made my point! Take it with a grain of salt (which will be covering the roads here in WI shortly:( ) This is only the opinion of this Wannabe!

Andy - Wannabe
Now I agreecyclomoteur
Nov 30, 2001 3:53 PM
I though you were talking about going the easiest way to get to the top very fast and enjoy the sport. I understand now that this wasn't your point :)
-Guillaume