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Cat 5(14 posts)

Cat 5niteschaos
Apr 24, 2002 7:32 AM
I am just now getting into road racing and I was wondering on what kind of people I'd meet in Cat5. Are they fast with no skillz or mixed or crazy? What kinda things should I look out for when I try to race with these guys?
re: Cat 5Thorman
Apr 24, 2002 8:22 AM
You will meet all kinds in Cat 5. Most of the riders I've met have been riding for a while and finally got the courage to try and race.

In the few races I've done this year the biggest thing I look out for are other riders doing stupid things that could cause a crash. After a few miles into a race you know who to get behind and who to avoid.
Apr 24, 2002 8:51 AM
Depending on where and when you race, Cat V can be very fast to fairly fast. Do not expect an easy ride with a sprint at the end.

If you want to avoid the crashing and want to have a chance at winning, then stay in the top 8 positions. Crashes almost always happen near the back and after corners or any other technical sections. The causes for these crashes do not usually happen because of the difficulty of the course, but because a lot of riders relax too much after the hard stuff and overlap wheels or drift off their line into other riders.

Likely, the most difficult thing you will have to deal with is the accelerations of the group. They are constant and can be brutal. Expect an acceleration after each corner. I would not be surprised to see the speed jump up into the low 30's for brief periods. So practice those intense 4 to 10 minute intervals. It is important that you learn to recover quickly and intervals will help with this.
re: Cat 5iacyclingdude
Apr 24, 2002 1:07 PM
Thanks for the post. I'm doing my first Cat 5 Road Race in a little less than 2 weeks, so I'll let you know how it goes. I've been doing intervals and sprints, but more than anything I keep telling myself to just finish the race. The victory salutes can come in the second race.

If you can ride the race course that might help out as well. I rode the course with a cat 2 rider and picked his brain and he said I'd probably finish in the top half which got me thinking I could win the thing, but we'll see how it goes.

Best of luck to you and I hope to post my race story here.
re: Cat 5weiwentg
Apr 25, 2002 5:56 AM
just don't pull. it sounds evil, but leave the pulling to the idiots or the sandbaggers. :P
Reading the RaceWayne
Apr 25, 2002 7:08 AM
Agree with wiewentg, don't pull. In cat. 5 and (4 races also) most everyone is afraid to lose, so they chase down anything and everything. Take advantage of this, sit-in, never leave the wheels, let others burn themselves out. This will probably get boring (resisit the urge to attack even if you feel strong) because no-one wants to lose but few will be willing/able to try to break away to win, and because of the above, they'll probably get chased down anyway.
So if your going to attack do it very late in the race, when other are tired from either attacking or chasing down attacks. Also, because no-one wants to lose and there usually aren't organized teams in cat. 5 races if you get a good gap, people won't want to be the one to chase you because then they'll be blown for the sprint. So, sometimes it will work, more than likely though they chase you down anyway, because the guys doing the chasing don't realize they're blowing their chances in the sprint or just the increase in speed at the end will bring the pack back to you.
Reading the Raceiacyclingdude
Apr 25, 2002 8:20 AM
That's what my plan is. To hang around the front, just keep with the leaders and then when it's getting closer to the end, go for it. Hopefully I'll have enough power to go. If not its the first race and glory never comes on your first race!! Does it? :)
Reading the Raceallervite
Apr 25, 2002 9:47 AM
Your strategy is a good one, but it is almost everybody else's strategy too. When you do go for it, really go for it, commit 100% to the attack. They will chase after you almost guaranteed, but if you can keep up the pressure, they will let you go. There are usually only 5 or so guys willing to chase. The rest will be like you, sitting in and hoping for a free ride. I think Cat V racing is way to negative and a really aggressive, really smart, and fairly strong rider will win a lot of races.

There are plenty of strong riders, but they are usually not willing to risk much. If you could get a small team commited to attacking the hell out of them, you would dominate.
Reading the Raceweiwentg
Apr 25, 2002 6:03 PM
if it does, you should be in the next category up. ride on :)
I take it IA is for Indiana?
Reading the Racebrider
Apr 25, 2002 8:48 AM
Yup, what he said, sort of. I've even seen guys chasing down their own team mates in Cat 4 races. Just idiotic, to me. We had some good thinggs going in my area, where we had about 6 guys who were long time cat 4s, and had a lot of racing savy. We could actually race as a team and get good results (even get some good breakaways going). So it's not impossible, but it takes more than one guy willing to cooperate.
Reading the Raceiacyclingdude
Apr 26, 2002 5:49 AM
Actually IA is for Iowa. :)

I've got one other guy thats going to be doing the race with me, that I know, so we might be able to get a little something started towards the end, although I think I'll be able to blow him off cause he's a little out of shape. If we can get a couple of more to come with us, we should be able to make it.

8 days away and I'm already pumped up for it. This next week is going to go slower than ice melting in the south pole!

I'll let everyone know how the race goes!!

If you couldallervite
Apr 26, 2002 9:09 AM
talk your buddy into trying a suicide break right from the gun. He might get enough of a gap that the others will have to work to bring him back. I am sure if they all just stayed calm, they would catch him easy, but they will be nervous and will go after him before the first lap is finished. Just be ready for a counter attack as the group slows on catching him.

One of my first races (a 4/5 Senior & Masters circuit race) a weak team mate from another team did this for his buddies and nobody chased him. The last lap, the group took off after him and they did not catch him. He won!

My team mates were telling me, "Don't chase! He will be lucky if he can even ride 65 miles let alone race them." Darn!
If you couldiacyclingdude
Apr 26, 2002 12:43 PM
I'll see what I can come up with. I'm not sure how much strategy my buddy wants to play. In my mind that's the most fun about this whole thing is trying to figure out when to attack and see if you can stay away. We've got a drive to the race so I'm sure we'll be talking about it then.

It can really pay offallervite
Apr 26, 2002 1:15 PM
To do the unexpected. Claudio Chiapucci based his career on this strategy. He would attack in the dumbest situations and a lot of times everyone in the peleton would be so convinced the move would never stick, that they would let it stick.

You can count on the late attacks. The first attack is a good one because a lot of guys will wait to see who is gonna chase; and the last attack is a good one because everyone is tired of chasing.

I did this road race once where right at the beginning, this great big guy sat up and addressed the whole peleton. "I am not going to do any chasing today. I have been towing you @@@@@@@@'s up to the line all season only to have you all come around so you can forget it." He stayed true to his word and did not do any work as the breaks went away. On the last lap, the group let a very strong rider just slowly ride off the front across the flats. Once he had about 50 yards, I jumped hard and rode up to him. Just before I made contact with him, I looked back and no one had responded so I pushed the guy in the butt as I accelerated up to him and yelled, "Let's go! We gotta a good gap." The last time I looked back at the peloton, they were one long strung out line approaching the last climb just as we were finishing it. I think that Big guy got 18th.

I got dropped on a little roller just before the finish as my compatriot attacked hard and got a gap that I could maintain, but could not close. I did way too much work in the break because I knew I could outsprint the guy even on a bad day, but he was smarter than me!