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My first race(8 posts)

My first raceI Love Shimano
May 6, 2002 1:07 AM
Finally, I've managed to join a race. It's tentatively scheduled for the 2nd of June. It's gonna be the equivalent of a Cat5/Citizen race. there will be roughly 20 competitors, and it will be around 20-25 kms long. My question is what type of race should I expect here? One of the vets told me that they average around 25-30 kph, which I think is pretty slow. I am expecting some of the faster guys to breakaway and TT to the finish. I've ridden all out with a couple of the faster guys, and I can just match their pace without them dropping me (this was a training ride).

Any tips for a relatively short race?

Do I even need to bring a waterbottle?
re: My first raceweiwentg
May 6, 2002 5:29 AM
somehow I don't think the average speed is going to be that low. all the cat C races (equiv. to cat 5, I think, but mind you we're all spring chickens) were way faster.
just do the following:
-DO NOT PULL
-stay near the front, away from all the crashes
and if you can stay with the breaks, go for it!
re: My first raceDougSloan
May 6, 2002 7:34 AM
Speeds will likely be much higher than that, I'd say at least 40 kph (25 mph), unless there are several really tight turns or hills. If so, the speeds will be lower, but the racing harder.

As noted above, do not pull. You may feel good, you may think you need to do your share, to prove your race-worthiness, or to speed things up, whatever; bottom line, though, is the more energy you conserve the more likely you'll finish better. Use the first few races to determine your relative abilities and to learn. You won't learn much if you lead and blow up, then fall off.
re: My first racebikenraider99
May 6, 2002 7:54 AM
Gotta agree with the "no pulling" part. I think that is so true especially if you're not on a team or don't have teammates in the field. I got pipped myself this weekend when I tried to bridge a gap. Every time I went up, I had about 3-4 team chasers behind me. It was fun for a while, but then I bonked. I'll let someone else do the work next time :)
Speaking of breaks....I Love Shimano
May 6, 2002 4:50 PM
.....do you mean that I should stick with all the breaks that go on? Given the short distance of the race, will the first break have the best chance of finishing first (assuming everyone had the same strength)? I think I'll blow up if I go with the first break, get caught, then try to go with the next breakaway.

BTW, thanks for the tips. I'll try my best not to pull for now.

Cheers!
re: My first raceclimbo
May 6, 2002 12:00 PM
take 1 bottle, you never know, you may need it.

I kind of disagree with the DON'T PULL theory. Let me say it like this. You can upgrade to Cat 4 with 10 races under your belt, if you plan to do that, you will probably meet a lot of the same racers in that category as they upgrade also.

If you sit in every race and never do any work or test your legs, try something, you'll never know how good you are.

In Cat 5 you are not going to blow anyone's mind by sitting in and coming mid-pack in a sprint every week. If you are not a sprinter, try a solo effort, go with a break or two if you feel like it, mix it up, it's all good practice for the Cat 4 or Cat 3 races you might be trying later on.

If you can sprint and start to win Cat 5 races then maybe that's different but even then, a good Cat 3 has to work breaks, chase hard and be able to sprint if they want to win races.

Cat 5 to me was about learning (so was Cat 4, you never really stop), not sitting in and doing nothing every week, that can get pretty boring.
re: My first raceweiwentg
May 6, 2002 2:19 PM
all right, good point. of course, for someone's first few races, I stick to what I said.
unless, of course, you're a Lance Armstrong in the making ;)
re: My first racebikenraider99
May 7, 2002 5:47 AM
I understand your point, and I agree with it too. My problem is when you chase down or make a break and then try to recover, you get folks who will just sit on your wheel and not rotate. I know it's racing, and anything is fair, so I'll sit in the pack till the terrain rises. The folks that went/chased me were all from one team, so I was outnumbered. No sense working harder when I had 34 miles to go in a race. I try different things in different races, this just happened to be one of them. There is always a new race next weekend :)