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One more race report-(12 posts)

One more race report-filtersweep
Aug 11, 2003 5:32 AM
OK, I survived a RR last weekend (it was last weekend already??) and took it easy this week with late work obligations when I noticed the 'state championship crit' was scheduled for Sunday. I was scheduled to work Saturday, but had Sun. free... no excuses NOT to try my first crit. I said to myself that I'd have all week to think about it.

The course map was a bit scary- I'm not the most technical rider in the world.
re: One more race report-filtersweep
Aug 11, 2003 5:52 AM
The hairpin turn is what disturbed me... other than that, the route was flat as a pancake (or Kansas... you choose). This didn't seem like a good starter race, but then again, I'm sure I could find a million reasons not to ride. I figured that I've done all sorts of crazier things, so I simply went for it with the simple goal of finishing with the pack. Other than that, I did not know what to expect. The .7 mile course seemed tiny and clausterphobic- the pavement was bad, and the forecast was for rain. On the other hand, my riding has never been stronger- but again, what to expect with the technical aspect of the ride?

My 35+ 4/5 race started at 9:30am. There were only two of us "unattached riders" in this race out of 36 riders... oh great! On the whistle everyone lumbered for two strokes to clip in, fought for position for the first corner, then we took off like we were shot out of a gun. I was 2/3 of the way back- where I actually wanted to be. It was relatively easy to stay with the pack- it was basically slow for the corners, hammer and fast as possible- over and over again, and the yo-yoing was a bit insane toward the back. I rode very conservatively and only fought for position if someone left a gap.

A few laps in, the leader when down on the hairpin with a flat. It was a bit surreal- it sounded like a gunshot, and I think the tire rolled off the rim or something, because it appeared the front washed out and next thing we know, he is sitting on the pavement waving his hand in the air. How the rest of us avoided him is something of a miracle.

Mid-race: I'm just wanting this thing to be over. I realize this is a war of attrition. The pace is not letting up. Riders are falling off the back. At this point my attitude is I'd rather crash than lose the pack.

A prime is announced, giving us a bit of breathing room on the following lap. We are starting to lap riders that haven't been pulled (which was a bit unnerving, given the sight lines). I can't keep track of where we are in the race- what the count-down is. Finally the last lap arrives and I'm still with the pack. There never was a successful breakaway. I met my goal.

Pic from what later turned out to be a great place to watch crashes...
re: One more race report-filtersweep
Aug 11, 2003 5:57 AM
I stuck around to watch some other races... the regular 4/5 field had too many crashes to count on the hairpin turn, so the field was completely broken up by finish. I'm guessing as many riders were pulled as who finished.
Found four thing amazing here...TFerguson
Aug 11, 2003 5:35 PM
1 – A course that short with that layout. I just did a .6 mile with 8 x 90 degree turns, but this looks worse, especially considering 2 and 3.

2 – Going clockwise. Is everyone else more comfortable turning left, or just me?

3 – Not pulling lapped riders. On the one I referred to above, it was the finger across the throat for any riders less than ½ the front stretch (~100 meters) in FRONT of the lead rider(s).

4 – And the fourth amazing thing was your performance in your first crit. Congrats.

TF
Found four thing amazing here...filtersweep
Aug 11, 2003 7:12 PM
Thanks

1- The course might look worse on paper than it really was- I didn't think it was possible to reach the speeds we were going on such a small course, but there were really just two right angle turns and the hairpin, leaving a nice straightaway and a relatively gentle 'U' shape. There was a frost heave in the pavement that we were warned about that sent me airborn on at least one lap.

2- Turning Left- I think we are all generally a bit more comfortable turning left because we generally ride on the right side of the road- we are more prone to take a racing line turning left in normal riding than turning right (where we would be in the lane of on-coming traffic). I fully agree with you. I'm not much of a technical rider at all, and just trusted physics- that if the guy in front of me could make it through, so could I. On the other hand, it was a bit unnerving with all the pedal scraping on the hairpin on the riders around me.

3- They tried to pull lapped riders, but it didn't take long for a lone rider to be swallowed. This was also the first race of the day, and I don't think they had the system quite together yet.

4- I've been riding with a group of racers all summer- and if anything, I should have started this a bit earlier in the year. This year my main goal was to be a bit more social about my riding, after riding almost exclusively solo the past few years. I've made a bunch of great friends and we've expanded socially to do things other than just riding. I do like to also maintain goals, hence a few races, but I also know my limits - or at least I thought I did...

The crit itself was not what I expected. The pack was something like an organism that had a life of its own. Being part of it was like being attached to a machine that took control of my body, and turned everything up to eleven (as they would say in Spinal Tap). I had my HRM on, but I didn't look at it at all- I was afraid to. I just wanted the data. When home, I noticed that the entire crit was spent between 94-99% of MHR- it was like some crazy drug and it is something completely beyond my normal everday existence or any previous training ride. I have no idea if this is normal or what, but I'm guessing there was a bit of adrenaline involved. Each lap had identical speed profiles. There was basically no recovery time unlike a RR. There is no way I could ever do that outside a race environment, which ultimately makes the HR data relatively useless. Eventually I'll need to focus on some tactics, but that can only occur with experience- which there is no substitute for. Overall it was like an evil roller-coaster ride- when you are happy it is done, but want to do it again.
You're hooked, baby!shirt
Aug 12, 2003 5:29 AM
Yes, it is an organism unto itself. Yes, you'll spend most of the time deep in the Republic of Anarobia. When you find spots where you can bring your HR down to your AT (recovery for a crit), and you're able to maintain position up at the front, you'll become a Player. Which is more fun than a 35+ should be allowed to have...

/shirt
You're hooked, baby!noveread
Aug 12, 2003 7:49 AM
Okay, its nice to see someone like shirt talk about how their HR is above AT for a crit! I have never had my HR at AT in a crit unless I was dropped! And I have been dropped in every race since the end of May! Ha-Ha!

Noveread
The Empty Wrapper
A couple of questionshrv
Aug 12, 2003 2:03 PM
Isn't AT the same as LT? The only way you would not be able to go higher than LT in a crit was if you were really fatigued that day. If that's the case, you need way more rest before your races! Don't you mean you have never had your HR below AT in a crit?

I don't wear my hrm during races anymore but if I did I'm pretty sure the only time my hr would be below AT would be
during the first 30 seconds, and 30+ seconds after the finish!

hrv
A couple of questionsnoveread
Aug 13, 2003 12:46 PM
Yeah, I know if I am rested I can ride above LT or AT for a long time, at least 35minutes. But I don't think I can ride above LT for much more than 35 minutes. I can ride 100-105% of LT for much longer though.

My point was that once I can get to a level of fitnes where I can ride the first half of a crit at 100-105% of LT I'll be happy. Very, VERY happy!

Noveread
The Empty Wrapper
You probably worked harderspookyload
Aug 12, 2003 9:11 AM
than you needed to. Being 2/3 back in the pack you got the full accordian effect, especially in the hairpin turn. The leaders were accelerating out of the turn while you were still braking for the turn. Consequently you worked much harder to stay on. If you had stayed in the first 1/3 you would have saved a lot more energy.
I think he knows thatlonefrontranger
Aug 12, 2003 7:21 PM
He acknowledged it probably wasn't the ideal place to be. He was content to be pack fill as it was his first crit and he didn't know what to expect.

My own SO has a habit of tailgunning after he sprints for a prime or suchlike in technical crits for recovery purposes - he is a good enough bike handler that he can make up enough ground on corners to do this. He simply goes back to dead last, lets the field gap him a bit going into the corner, which means he can both a) not brake so much and b) take his own line through the corner.

Learning how to ride in the front third is one of those skills that requires a fair amount of concentration. In men's fields, quite frankly I don't have the attention span it takes to maintain a high position for the entire race. If this is the case, you're best to sit well protected in the middle until such time as you really need to fight for those top ten spots.

Oh, and if you get really good at "hiding" in the field and doing no work at all, you can indeed get way, way below your AT in a crit. I've got the data to support it. A couple races I did this year at Mead in the Men's 4 show extended periods at ~ 150. My measured MHR has been as high as 218, tho that was taken 10 years ago and it's more like 205 now.
Above 200 gets me jumpyspookyload
Aug 13, 2003 11:54 PM
I have only seen it in a couple mtn bike races. Both were very hot, and both at the top of extended climbs. It was 212 once and 208 the other time. Being as I wasn't in contention at either time, I had a nice break at the top and relaxed my HR and drank a ton of water. I have since abandoned the mtb scene, and I don't see the wildly eratic HR I used to see on the trail. I stay pretty solid in ranges. On the trail I would be anywhere from 130 to 190 at any point in time, on the road I can control the HR to what I want(barring races of course).