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Boulder Roubaix Race info from CO racers(3 posts)

Boulder Roubaix Race info from CO racersRockyMountainRacer
Feb 27, 2003 1:32 PM
I stupidly posted this on the nutrition board earlier, here it is again verbatim:

I'm thinking about doing the Roubaix this year. Last year it was not even an option for me because I did not start training early enough and wasn't ready for such a long race so early. This year I have the miles in my legs and am thinking about doing this longer race instead of or perhaps in addition to Stazio. So here are my questions:

How much of the race is on pavement and how much is on dirt? How long are the dirt sections, and how rough/gravelly are they? Is it best to use cyclocross tires or will they slow you down too much on the pavement? What is the race like in wet/muddy conditions? And of course, how does the race usually play out (I'll be racing 4's)? Thanks in advance!
My experienceBipedZed
Feb 27, 2003 1:52 PM
Last year did the Stazio/Roubaix weekend for the last time as a 4. Unless you have really high goals for the Roubaix you shouldn't have a problem doing Stazio the day before.

The Roubaix course is a 17 mile lap with the start finish at the Boulder Reservoir. You can pre-ride most of the course anytime, and starting in March you will see many people out scouting the course. Info and maps from 2002 available here.

It's about half dirt and half pavement, fairly flat. Dirt surfaces are mostly hardpacked and washboard with loose gravel pretty much everywhere. There's enough pavement that almost everyone is on a road bike with road tires. If you are riding clinchers DO NOT run low pressure in the hopes of more traction as you will most likely pinch flat on the first transition from road to dirt (which is brutal). For the 4s it is 3 17 mile laps and usually plays out as a race of attrition. This race is very popular with MTB and cross racers. The pace will be moderately fast on the start pavement and then all out on all the dirt sections. Water bottles will be flying as the dirt racers ramp it up. The pace tends to ease up on the pavement as no one really takes responsibility for pushing the pace.

The strategy is (what else?) to stay near the front at all times, particularly approaching a pavement to dirt transition. By the beginning of the 2nd lap there will be the race winning selection with the lead group around 30 and many smaller groups behind. Over the rest of the race the lead group basically gets whittled down to about 15 going into the final stretch of the last lap. Stay upright and be prepared for a warp speed last mile all on dirt.

The best thing to do is pre-ride the course numerous times, like after some of the March Stazio crits. It's an easy ride from the Stazio complex. I'll be doing that myself.

I don't even want to think about what it would be like if it is wet.
Feb 27, 2003 3:19 PM
Course? They changed it 3x in 3 years, so who knows. 2001 was 5 mile loop mostly on the Rez, all dirt but for maybe 1/3 mile of pavement near the start/finish. 2002 was 17 mile loop, about 40% of which was on dirt, but oh, what dirt. Boulder Rez to 51st to Neva to 49th, out past Oxford around Haystack to Nelson, Nelson to 63rd, 63rd to Neva then turn onto the canal back into the Rez.

As far as tires, pretty much anyone who wants to be competitive will ride 700x23 blown up to 110+ psi. Any lower will pinch flat. The course is too flat and hardpacked and the fields are too fast to gain advantage from anything else.