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Advice on racing with Cat 4s.(7 posts)

Advice on racing with Cat 4s.niteschaos
Jul 18, 2003 7:23 PM
I used to race Cat 5 and now I'm a 4. How much interval training does the average Cat 4 do? What is the REAL difference from Cat 5 to 4? From all my friends I've heard that everyone is just a better bike handler, but the strength of the riders are almost the same (talking about comparing the top 25% of each group, as at least half the people in a Cat 5 race shouldn't even be there). Are they just pulling my leg? I'm not taking any chances and have boosted my training volume and intensity about 20%. I was a consistant top five Cat 5 crit finisher and top 10 RR finisher. Can I hack? My next schedualed race, and first Cat 4 race, is a Omnium on the end of August. I hope I can prepare in time. Any suggestions?

Nervous in Atlanta
re: Advice on racing with Cat 4s.neverspeakingup
Jul 20, 2003 8:18 AM
Hey, I'll be racing the crit at that race as my first Cat 5 race! Wanna trade some advice down?
re: Advice on racing with Cat 4s.niteschaos
Jul 20, 2003 8:47 PM
As far as crits in the Crash 5s go, it is very simple. Breakaways almost never work because no one will work together. Stay in the top 8-10 positions regaurdless. With 3-5 laps to go move up to the top 5 positions. You want to be in 3rd or 2nd during the last lap and first place coming out of the last turn, or 2nd if the straight is long. These positions are to protect you from crashes. My last crit was spoiled as 3rd place crashed in the 2nd to last turn and almost took me out in the process, costing me momentum and the win.
Jul 20, 2003 3:09 PM
Speeds are the same, distances are longer. Work on your endurance if you want to hang. Work on A/T intervals if you want to win. A good structured training plan will win races in Cat 4. Your genetics won't hinder you until Cat 3, or 2. Unless of course you have good genetics, then we'll see you in Paris!
Cat 4's range from lifers to guys who will be Cat 2's in a year.bill
Jul 21, 2003 7:27 AM
The bottom line is that they are not a lot different from Cat 5 races, except for (a) the 20% of the Cat 5 field who were out of the race in the first three laps, anyway, and who you likely never saw, and (b) the five or six genetic mutants who kicked your a** in every Cat 5 race and who now are passing through Cat 4 on their way to Cat 3 or even 2. You will no longer deal with the former (not that you did much, anyway), and the latter will still be kicking your butt along with everyone else's, although by now they typically have developed the guts to get away in a break, so that they're not much worry, either.
There are, indeed, occasional breaks that work in Cat 4 fields, although mostly they are manned by incredibly strong guys (see, (b), above) who basically can't stand riding your pace on other than a rest day, instead of equals who got into a break with tactics and are working together. So, you have a field of guys who basically have a couple more races under their belts than the average Cat 5.
Don't oversell yourself on Cat 4 bike handling. Be careful out there. There are some guys who have been doing it for many years, but there are lots more who just have their ten plus races, including all the DNF's, and of whom you should not expect too much. I've done some 40+ races, and that really is a whole 'nother game.
I am, of course, a Cat 4 myself, and include myself very much among the hoi polloi.
I had to interview to Cat up.niteschaos
Jul 24, 2003 10:15 PM
The dude made me write down all the races and finishes I have been in. No problem if he wanted to make sure I wasn't going to get in over my head or kill anyone in the 4s, but I thought that was SOP.
Its too late in the season bring your intensity up 20%.Canidraftyou
Jul 25, 2003 4:57 PM
If you bring up your training 20% this late in the season, you well burn out come race time, thats my guess.

5's vs 4's....more talking going on. You have more team players than in the 5's. Everyone has been doing it for at least a year or longer and have more experience.

I would work on sprints, and cornering. Make sure you get your group rides in, learn to fight for positioning Remember, never show all you have on group rides. The same guys your riding with on group rides could be the same guys your racing. "I KNOW" who is stronger than me and who I can beat from my group rides. I made the mistake of falling into a pecking order. At times we have three teams and several good rec. riders that get together on Sat. mornings group rides. Never display all you have.

"You have it or you don' is the first half of reaching success. Reading the field and learning how to respond is the second half." (Me)

Peace out