blueprint for success
Helpful hints for the newbie.
blueprint for success
some good tips. to add to BikeCzar's: ride NEAR the front, but not ON the front.
As we all know, if you drift back into the mid to rear of the bunch in a crit, especially a Cat 5 event, there's lots of braking and squirrelly action going on, and the consequential need to get back up to speed. You can only do this a certain number of times before popping.
The best, fastest, most exciting crits I've done have been the A race single-line, one-hour death-marches when you cruise through all the corners without touching the brakes. You learn so much faster riding and training with riders that are faster than you.
Try not to show pain, like I am (Hammer Nutrition kit)........lolLeMond VO2 max 95, Armstrong 82....doh
When standing to sprint, learn not to swing your bike back and forth in a tight pack like a monkey swinging from a tree.
Ditch the saddlebag and frame pump.
Don't be a Fred. And with no further adieux I submit to you a seasonal favorite.
You Might be a FRED
Much like the wonderfully funny guys of Blue Collar Comedy, and especially Jeff Foxworthy and his “you might be a redneck” we now bring to you a selection of ideas that will better help you determine if – you might be a FRED.
If you don’t know what a Fred is – you might be a Fred.
If your calf socks from your days in PE class are part of your riding wardrobe – you might be a Fred.
If you think riding in a pace line has anything to do with NASCAR – you might be a Fred.
If you think a pace line consists of Vegas showgirls – you might be a Fred. However, if you ever find a pace line full of Vegas show girls you are an instant celebrity. Bring photos.
If you bring a wrench to loosen the through-bolts on your wheels – you might be a Fred.
If you still refer to road bikes as ten-speeds – you might be a Fred. Disclaimer – now that Shimano and Campy have ten-speed cassettes everywhere this may not always apply but you get the point.
If you have a cushy seat cover on your bike – you might be a Fred.
If you show up to a Criterium and ask if the course is clearly marked – you might be a Fred.
If you think going to the “Track’ means betting on the ponies – you might be a Fred.
If you think a Track Stand has anything to do with Track & Field events – you might be a Fred.
If you think coffee comes in a five-pound can and is best purchased in “big gulp” establishments – you might be a Fred.
If you think sitting in means a peaceful protest – you might be a Fred.
If you think drafting means an engineering or CAD class – you might be a Fred.
JP, one of my boys, a cat 2, used to train/race in argyle dress socks in the spring. It was his "thing".It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
Always be sure to sterilize the needles.
There was a cat 1 from IA named Lee Venticher. Always wore the tall socks. His nickname was "Socks" Good thing he never made it to the top level 'cuz the UCI would have put a stop to that.
Don't try to improve your 30th place position with a sprint at the finish. It will help you win next time because you won't be the "idiot that crashed/caused the crash". Hopefully he already knows this.
Always be thinking about your position in the group. I use a "rule of thirds" - if I'm in the front third, it's all good - relax and maintain position and line; if in the middle third - caution - look for opportunities to move back up (this is often easiest done by latching onto another rider that you know is also trying to get back up front); if in the back third - what am I doing here?? Time to move the hell up!
If you are hurting and it is lined out...don't slow down until you get out of the line. If you are stuck in...SUCK IT UP. The people behind you will not like you if you let a gap open and they have to come over top of you.
In Cat 5?
Never be further than 10 back of the front and never be on the front until crossing the finish line.
Other Categories necessitate more strategy, but that outta get one up to Cat 4 and maybe 3 if you ride alot.
pa...you get my PM?
I definitely like the "at least 2 wheelsets" rule. Have a race-day wheelset that is only used for racing (with good tires) and your normal wheelset(s) that you use for training.
kr - yep. I don't ever notice that.
With a couple of notable exceptions, most of this advice is way too complicated for Cat5.The wise man said follow me...and he walked behind.
Work on your weaknesses, to a point.
In a technical crit, use the last 10 minutes or so to figure out how the pack moves through the final few corners of the lap. Watch who starts where and ends up where. This will tell you which lines are fastest and where you need to be going into the final few corners of the race in order to w ind up where you need to be when the sprint opens up. A good sprint ain't worth crap if you lose ten places by being on the wrong side of the final corner...
I'll add the Merckxian aphorism that he should "ride. lots." Upping cat to 4 from 5 isn't too hard, and its greatest virtue is safety. (and then go and get his butt kicked in the masters' categories).
cat 5 - there won't be any break-aways [until the last lap].
never ride at the front - stay 5-15th - with some time he'll learn how to navigate within a pack
ride with the best people you can find - training rides will then be much harder than a cat 4/5 crit. This is the #1 best thing to do - those hammer rides will incorporate intervals and riding maximally and trying to recover a little before detonating.
learn how to sprint - work on that - small ring sprints = get leg speed, uphill sprints develop power and sprint rides w/ others will help learn tactics.
As stated here - in any race with 60 guys there are maybe 5-7 who are actually thinking about winning it. The bulk are pack-fill and will never win a race. Hopefully he has some natural 'killer instinct'
with proper positioning and zero sprint anyone with a little training can finish top 10 maybe top 5 in a cat5 crit. Go around the last corner in 2nd or 3rd and punch it and one should be able to place decently. 3 laps to go = top 10, 2 laps to go top 5, 1 lap to go 3-4th, last corner 1st-3rd depending how far finish line is = your first win :)
+1 on the small ring sprinting! Always a major part of my spring build up.
Ride cat 5 crits at the front, attack breakaway, 5 races and yu can upgrade to cat 4. Also ride TTs, you will be safe there.
Make sure your health insurance is paid up, cat 5 is a freak show.
ride lots - I believe a guy who knew a bit about racing said that...."There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time."
Since my Cat 5 racing advice has been so good thus far:
Always stay in the front 10 and sprint for the win.
I'll add a training tip at no additional charge:
Ride slow, race fast.
Don't lost focus on the upcoming event you plan on racing. If it is a 45 minute crit, keep in mind you need to be fast for 45 min and make sure your workout reflect that. No need to be going on 3-4 hour rides at tempo when you should be doing one hour jam sessions with frequent sprints in the mix.
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