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To team or not to team?(6 posts)

To team or not to team?McAndrus
May 27, 2003 4:49 AM
This is my second season racing. As a newly minted Cat 4 I'd like to get opinions on whether or not I should join a team. Until now I've always raced unattached.

Now, so's-ya-know, no competitive amateur team is skulking around my bike rack asking me to join them. I'm a little old and slow to be on anyone's scouting list.

There are, though, a couple of local bike shops that sponsor racers. They don't recruit either but if they know you and you buy one of their jerseys you can race under their name. There are several local racers who ride for these shops and, having been spanked by them many times, some of them are very, very good.

I usually race in the Master 45+ category but will occasionally go Cat 4 as well. In any given Masters race, it is unlikely that another of my shop-type buddies would be in the same race.

In these circumstances, are there any advantages to hooking up with these guys or do you think I should continue to ride unattached? Or, let me ask it another way, are there any racing advantages?
What do you mean by racing advantage?shirt
May 27, 2003 12:58 PM
One of the weird things about our sport is that as you get better and move up the Cats it becomes less of an individual sport and more of a team effort. I can't think of any other sport that makes this transition. I'll reiterate: it's weird.

With that said, do you want to race as a functional cog in a team machine, or do you want to get the best results for yourself that you can? In most 45+ and Cat4 races that I've seen, being on your own is no problem whatsoever. I've seen Cat4 races where teams TRY to put things together, but very very few where they actually PULL IT OFF.

I think there are legitimate social and economic reasons to join a team, but I doubt it's going to improve your race day results.

/shirt
Support the sportbrider
May 27, 2003 1:18 PM
All USCF clubs are required to put on one race a season to maintain their USCF standing. So that means unless there's clubs to put on races, they don't happen. Support a team that puts on a race, and you better the racing calendar.

Also, you'll learn a lot faster with a team, and have the thrill of team tactics.
re: To team or not to team?Zone_5_Junkie
May 27, 2003 2:30 PM
I'm in the same boat but the "team" tactics I see in the 4/5 fields are laughable and they NEVER are around at the end. I would hate to be on some "team" and have some bozo expect me to lead him out or not to chase a break...Since I've usually driven an hour or two to race I'm definately there to win, team or no team. So I'm staying unattached.
re: To team or not to team?brider
May 27, 2003 2:33 PM
When I was racing 4's, we did very well at team tactics, then moved up as a group to the 3's, and did quite well there. It's a matter of execution.

And we'd eat unnattached riders for lunch. ;^)
well to me you have clubs, then you have teamsYoungRcR
May 28, 2003 5:27 PM
Buying a jersey and being on the "team" is really more of a club. Most of the time "clubs" have older guys who dont race as much but can still be plenty fast.

Then you have a team. My team for example is just 6 guys but we all know each other and were all good friends. Teams to me are kind of more "exclusive" like an invite only (and usually not a charge to join like with clubs) We all race quite a bit and since im the youngest, i have gained so much knowledge and experience racing and hangin with these guys, two teammates are cat. 1/2 and the other 4 are 3's that i race with. Pretty much every rider on our team has 10-15 years of racing (except me) so if you could join something more like that perhaps you could benefit better.