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Cat's Hill Crit(5 posts)

Cat's Hill CritNo_sprint
May 2, 2003 8:24 AM
Has anyone done it? 23 deg hill, yuck. That is just not my forte but I'm considering doing it anyway. Is it as tough as it sounds? Bad pavement too. I hope they're fully staffed in first aid.
it's not easymohair_chair
May 2, 2003 9:03 AM
I've never done it, but I used to live in Los Gatos, still work there, and ride through all the time. I've watched this race many, many times.

It is a hardcore race. The pavement is beyond bad in some places, and that's where the damage occurs. Frames and forks have broken during the race, but usually there isn't much of that kind of carnage. Crashes tend to occur mostly on a fast downhill run into a 90 degree right corner, which is where the bad pavement starts.

The 23% hill is a killer, but it's short. The worst part is that it comes after a fast flat section and starts immediately after a 90 degree left turn. It's not very wide, either, so it's hard to carry much momentum into it. Plus a lot of riders drop chains here trying to shift rings or from one end of the cluster to the other.

As far as crits go, it not a typical massive peloton for the whole race. The hill and the pavement breaks things up and you get much smaller packs.

Do the race. It's not your average crit. Greg Lemond won this race years ago, so who knows, you could end up winning the Tour someday.
it's not easyNo_sprint
May 2, 2003 9:18 AM
LOL Sounds like a tremendous amount of fun!
re: Cat's Hill CritNightengale
May 2, 2003 12:55 PM
I have done this race, it was my first USCF race, I think, after doing a 2-3 month collegiate season. Like many crits (and some road races), the trick is to stage properly. I was the first or second guy up the hill on the first lap, and believe me that is where you want to be. I turned around about 3-5 laps later, and I was startled to see that the 100 man pack was now 12 riders. The race is just about two things: sprinting and recovering. You have to power up the climb, and then you have a minute or two to recover. I did this race pre-sti and I bet it is easier now, because you can set up for the turn and shift at the same time. I found this race to be lots of fun. It is tough, but that almost makes it easier mentally, because you know what to expect. I was dropped with about two laps to go and finished 12th.
re: Cat's Hill CritS-U-B
May 2, 2003 9:58 PM
I did this race last year and was planning on doing it this year but a virus has put an end to my racing for a while. It is a fun race, but you better have some power to get up that hill. In my race last year, there was only about 6-8 guys that could really power up it and everyone else would have to catch back on. Luckily for me I was one of them... but I have never seen a crit finish so strung out before. I looked back on the second to last striaght away and only saw 1 guy, and it is 3 blocks long so the first 6-7 guys got completely away the last time up the hill. Go for it and have fun.