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New to racing(5 posts)

New to racingnigel7780
Dec 5, 2001 7:16 PM
Hey everyone,
I need tips on road racing please.

Here goes my story,
I have never road raced before in my life, I recently joined a team for the 2002 season, so I will be a Cat 5. My past includes thousands of miles on a mountain bike, I race expert level, and have podium finishes under my belt. But....I have never road raced in my life. I have done a few group rides and get nervous when in bunches and pacelines.
I have the strength to ride great but dont know tactics. Any hints other than riding lots of group rides and watching tour videos?? Does it just come natural after a while (I know it did with Mtn racing)??
Should I really be worried since I am going to be a cat 5. After all most cat 5's have no idea how to race either right?? But if they dont how will I learn??
Any help would be greatly appreciated, maybe I am just making too big a deal out of this. I have been racing mountain for years and just thinking about racing my first road race makes me nervous, it's kinda awkward since I have no problem flying past guys in the woods and bumping bars and passing in tight singletrack!!!

Thanks all.
re: New to racingbrider
Dec 6, 2001 8:57 AM
If you're accustomed to bumping bars off road, then what makes you nervous in group rides? You shouldn't have anything more happening on the road. You've made the first good move by joining a team. Hopefully you have some higher category riders to tap into on training rides to garner race knowledge from, and your team mates are willing to be that -- team mates and not just a bunch of individuals wearing the same jersey. Road tactics are far different than off-road, much less of a time-trial type effort. You'll learn some basics of tactics, but when to apply those comes from experience. Get comfortable on the bike and in a group ride (it's always good to have an escape route in case something happens). You'll be fine.
re: New to racingThorman
Dec 6, 2001 5:19 PM
I did my first road race this year after owning a road bike for a little over a year. I was also a mountain bike racer before coming to the road. I've found that riding in groups before my first road race helped a lot.

If you're interested in reading about racing tactics I've found some good info on this site:
Thnx, I'll try the site (NM)nigel7780
Dec 6, 2001 7:18 PM
re: Been there, got the T shirtallervite
Dec 11, 2001 9:45 AM
I have the same story, but I have been racing road now for a few years. First of all, you are going to do very well on the climbs. MTB riders do a lot more climbing so this is where you want to try and put the hurt on the roadies. Conversely you are going to suffer if you get into a breaka away on rolling terrain. Roadies have Speed Endurance up the yang. You will feel comfortable at first, but if it is a fast small paceline in rolling terrain, there will be little rest for you and you may start to fade especialy if you let a gap open between you and the rider in front of you. Therefore, work on your speed endurance with long flat intervals of 15 to 20 minutes; practice riding in the paceline.

Few helpful hints:
1. Do not stand up in the paceline unless you are at the very back. The guy behind you will be inches off your wheel and when you stand, your bike shoots back and he will crash into you. If you feel you have to stand at least yell out STANDING! I have seen MTB riders bring down the paceline like this.
2. Watch Your Line. No sudden left or right hand turns in the group. Someone will be in your blind spot and you will eat pavement along with all those behind you. Make sure you have a very open lane
3. When in the pace line watch the front of the group and not the guy in front of you. This gives you more time to react. An ex europro that rides with are club is fond of saying "If you stare at the wheel in front of you, it will be the last thing you see as your head hits the pavement."
4. If you are going to attack do it on a hill or into the wind if you have the power. The group will almost always catch you on the downhills and flats.
5. Try to conserve as much energy for as long as possible. Be very defensive early in the race. When you get offensive, get very offensive.
6. Do not ride at the front of the group unless you are riding for someone else to win.