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Setting my expectations too high?(7 posts)

Setting my expectations too high?eschelon
Apr 22, 2002 5:32 AM
It's my second year of racing. It's also my second year of riding my bike. I did some races last year and got top 5 placings half of the time and either DNF'ed or middle of the pack. I thought this year, I would purchase my USCF license and race the harder races...you know the B races...big frickin' mistake.

I keeped telling myself I didn't want to be a sandbagger. I thought to myself if I won the C races, where would the honor be in it? Of the 3 races that I entered in so far, two of them have been B races...only one of them has been a C race. The first race of the year was a B race circuit...and I figured at the very least, I would be able to survive and sit the group and just finish...big mistake...I got dropped after the second lap...this was a race Frankie Andreu was doing...what the heck was I thinking?

The second race of the year was a .8 mile crit...which I decided to enter into the C race. I didn't get dropped but I managed to place somewhere in the top 15...I couldn't even contest the sprint finish...too spent.

The third race...I did the B race...again, I had no business being here. I managed to finish 50 out of 69 and the field was split to so many pieces. Objectively, I think the only reason why I finished this high was because I didn't have any mechanical problems on my bike while the rest of the field had flats everywhere...and were playing catchup.

It's going to suck playing the C field...but I have to face the facts and simply work on getttin stronger the rest of year and then perhaps next year be strong enough to put a hurt on these guys that race the B race next year.
I feel your painshirt
Apr 22, 2002 7:46 AM
For masters in NoCal, there are basically two cats: 1,2,3 (sick fast) and 4,5 (just fast.) So: do I do the 4/5 races and always get a top 5, or do I upgrade to a 3 and get the crap beat out of me by a peloton that includes Roberto Gaggioli, Peter Allen and the rest of the Postal Masters? And MAYBE finish in the top 20?

I've decided to stay in the small pond until the water dries up...

/shirt
At least you have two...Wayne
Apr 22, 2002 8:50 AM
categories. Here in the Mid-Atlantic there is only one masters category always defined by age-groups, usually there will be a 30+, 40+, and sometimes a 50+ race. I did my first 30+ race yesterday, interesting mix from cat. I's to cat. V's. It was an hour long circuit race with one short big ring hill. I also did the cat. 4 race later in the day. The 30+ race was definitely harder, it stayed "on" for most of the race with very little shutting down, whereas the 4's had more downtime. And when the 30+ was going, it was usually really strung out and just that notch faster (probably 1 or 2 mph) than the 4's that let you know you were racing with some strong people. I hung on to finish in the group which was maybe reduced by a third to a half. I think alot of older new guys think they're better off doing the master's races than the regular cat. 4 or 5 races, so you get a big disparity in ability here. I've been told that the 30+ race is typically the fastest race after the 1/2/3 and sometimes even faster, but then again we don't have too many ex-pros in this area.
At least you have two...Thoth2
Apr 22, 2002 9:54 AM
I've been watching those master's races this year. I race in the mid-atlantic (mostly Tenn, though), too. I'm so glad I'm not racing in the Masters because I keep seeing Kent Bostick sit on the front torturing the field and then upshifting w/ a couple of minutes to go and seeing little pieces of cyclists scattered all over the course as the explode. Then, Kent goes and does the Pro 1-2 race and tortures them. He doesn't always win that one, but most of the time he appears to be helping his very strong teamates. I think I'll stay in the senior races...
Thoth2
The guy who won...Wayne
Apr 22, 2002 11:15 AM
must have attacked on half of the 12 laps on the back side of the course into the wind. Almost everytime it slowed down into the headwind he would attack, and there'd be a reaction since everyone knew he was one of the ones to watch. And then after expending all that energy in wasted moves, he still took out the sprint.
I too suffered an upgrade. . .allervite
Apr 22, 2002 8:25 AM
not once but twice, the following year I did much better
re: Setting my expectations too high?RockyMountainRacer
Apr 22, 2002 8:40 AM
Of course you want to win or you wouln't be racing! I know how you feel because I'm also in my second year of racing and can't wait till I start winning. I have had success in other sports as well, so I'm used to winning and want it NOW in biking.

That being said you will save yourself a lot of anguish if you learn patience and enjoy the ride to developing better bike fitness. You can't just jump on the bike and start winning, no matter who you are. Everybody who is winning the local races you go to has been training for much longer than you, and you just have to wait for your turn. Bike fitness takes specificity of training, and you need more time on the bike to develop the fitness that wins races.

So do your C races...you are not doing much for your fitness if you get dropped right off the bat in a B race. You'll get a much better workout if you can at least finish the race, and then you'll be much stronger for next week's race. I have done 3 cat 4 crits this year and gotten dropped in all of them--it is very frustrating!

Another thing I would recommend that is really good for your bike fitness is try mountain bike racing. That is what I did all last summer and this is my first year of trying the road. Road racing is much, much harder than mtb racing, especially crits. On the mountain bike you can always finish the race because you are just TT'ing through the woods. You don't have to worry about getting pulled from the crit if you get dropped. That is what frustrates me most about road racing--you can't get faster without finishing the race, but you can't finish the race if you get dropped in the first 5 laps. Catch 22!

One more thing--I just started doing a local training crit around here. I strongly recommend you try to find something like this around your place. It is making me so much stronger because I can just hammer my brains out and if I get dropped I can just wait for the pack to come around again and jump back on! It is so much fun because you don't have to worry about getting pulled if you crack--you just recover and go back at it.