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Advice on staying in the first 15-20 in crits and RR's(10 posts)

Advice on staying in the first 15-20 in crits and RR'sDRAwpt
Jun 29, 2003 6:54 AM
I have the legs, but I lack the experience to stay at the front in crits and RR's. Any advice?
If you have the legs, then you may lack one or both ofbill
Jun 30, 2003 7:31 AM
two skills -- the ability to suffer, or, more likely, confident aggression, particularly in the corners. I lose my nerve a little in the corners, too. As a result, I lose ground that I try to make up, but you can only do that for so long. I'm working on it, although I think that experience is the only teacher here, really.
And some of it may be that you think that the guys in front are just cruising. They're not. They're hurting, maybe more than you are.
And some of it is just thinking that you belong up there.
If you have the legs, then you may lack one or both ofDRAwpt
Jun 30, 2003 8:31 AM
I feel that I have the ability to suffer, as I have done 40 km TT's below 57 min. I feel that my problem is lack of racing combined with a bit of lack of self-confidence when it comes to crits, combined with a crash last year which ended my season due to a bad infection of my hand ( and also, a horrific crash this year by a teammate). I'm just looking for practical advice in terms of how not to give up spots in corners, how to move up without ending up at the front and wasting energy, etc.
and if mudfarts were nickels we'd all be kings. Yes, that isbill
Jun 30, 2003 10:31 AM
the question, isn't it? How to have confidence to not lose ground in the corners and how to move up without burning out. I don't mean to be (too) flip, but if there were easy answers to those questions, somebody would figure out a way to make them hard again. I don't think that there is any magic to it -- you don't give up spots by not giving up spots; you get to the front without expending too much energy by getting to the front without expending too much energy -- too little, you're not at the front; too much, you're cooked. That's the trick of it, isn't it?
I think that doing the kind of drills that we never get around to doing, like bumping drills and cornering drills and close drafting and wheel-bumping, are going to provide confidence. Other than that, you just need to do it, I think.
Crits and thingsMShaw
Jun 30, 2003 12:06 PM
Riding at the front of a crit is about positioning, confidence, and knowing when to make up the spots you just lost.

Good point is the Huennekins crit 2 weekends ago in San Diego. Picture a "D" shaped course with a slight downhill into a headwind, the bottom of the D is a 90 degree corner after a slight rise.

The 4/5 race had the back of the pack constantly overtaking the front 'cause noone wanted to take the responsibility and pull the race along. So, you're constantly going to have to go make up spots. The trick is to know where to do it on the course that allows you to get back to the front with the least amout of effort. Best bet is to ride a wave of riders moving back up the front. Failing that, pick the spot that the pack slows down and allows you to move up on your own.

Sometimes you just have to ride more races and figure stuff out on your own. If you haven't done it, all the advice isn't going to help when it comes to actually executing the advice.

That's one of the reasons I like track racing: try one thing this race, if it doesn't work, try something else next race... Here in San Diego, the Tuesday night racing usually lets you run 4-5 races/night so you have lots of chances to try out new things. If you have a practice (crit) race series during the week, go there and try things out.

I know that there's a lot of "lawyer talk/non-answers" here, but its hard to cover every possible contigency on the web.

re: Advice on staying in the first 15-20 in crits and RR'sMatt Britter
Jun 30, 2003 3:40 PM
Like the others have said, if you let someone take you off a wheel, you WILL fade back. You need to find a two friends and take turns pushing (shouldering) each other off the leaders wheel. This can be done at a local school on grass and pretty slow speed. You want to practice not giving up the wheel, learn to touch -bars, wheels, shoulders, etc, and not move off the wheel. Most people will give up if you hold your ground or push back.

The best would be to find the grass track that is burned in the lawn around the soccer/football field.
re: I don't know about all that pushing and shoving stuff...MShaw
Jul 1, 2003 12:06 PM
...except for grass drills. Most of the time, I can take the wheel I want by putting my bars in front of the guy's that's actually on the wheel and migrating over. Works without too much fuss and muss more often than not.

I don't move when someone tries it on me, leaving them out in the wind.

I've ridden M30+, and 4/5 races recently. I'd think about touching/bumping someone in a M30+ race, but people freak out too much (and crash!) in the 4/5 fields.

"Do or do not. There is no try."DougSloan
Jul 1, 2003 1:36 PM
Just act like you know what you are doing. Go take (or keep) a wheel, and 90% of the time, someone will give it up. Funny how it works once you figure that out. You get into trouble when you are tentative; he who hesitates is lost. I'm not saying be a bully, but appropriately assertive. It's the same in most all racing. What's really scary is the first time you try to take someone in a corner in a formula car at 100 mph while madly on the brakes and downshifting at once; there's no half way about it. As Yoda says, "Do or do not. There is no try."

Confidence. Once you can fake that, everything else is easy.

"Do or do not. There is no try."bill
Jul 1, 2003 1:51 PM
I like that. You think Yoda was, like, a six-day racer?
Hell, with his build I'm sure he did some intergallactic tours.niteschaos
Jul 1, 2003 6:16 PM