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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,
I have become interested in the racing scene since getting my first road bike and was curious about what the average, flat ground road race speeds were for the different cats, I realize that it must differ from place to place, particularly the pack speed for the most part. I am also wondering the same about the criteriums, and what an average time trial speed might be. Wondering for the lower cats, but especially the juniors, as I am 17 years old. When I am riding on my own, I am at around 18-22mph depending on wind conditions, (without stressing really) and try to put in 150-200 miles per week. Looking for opinions on how I might fare in a race in the junior category (physically speaking of course, not tactically).
Thanks
 

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Go for it!

I can only speak for Cats 4/5...my local flat race series typically averages around 24-25 mph for an hour long race. Average (median) speed for a 10 mile TT around here is about 24-25 mph.

Sounds like you would survive if you are riding 18-22 within your aerobic capacity. Give it a try, just don't try to make any attacks at first, just try to finish with the pack for the first few races. As long as you have some group/pack riding experience/skills, the worst thing that can happen is get dropped (or, heaven forbid, crash).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The thing is i'm curious because I live in Florida and would like to get an idea of how prepared I am physically, before I get my parents to go up the state on a four hour drive so I can race. (Yeah no license yet, im a lazy bum about that what can I say, but only 5 months til)
Thanks
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Actually I'm just about to go join my bike club for a sunday ride, but I just got an email from the guys I have been riding with about how they faired in yesterday's race, of the five guys from our club who went, they got 1st, 8th, 13th, and the last two were in the 30's out of a cat 5 road race. So that's good, as I'm happy they did so well, because I am riding with them most days. Thanks for the advice by the way.
 

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mpetersen16 said:
The thing is i'm curious because I live in Florida and would like to get an idea of how prepared I am physically, before I get my parents to go up the state on a four hour drive so I can race. (Yeah no license yet, im a lazy bum about that what can I say, but only 5 months til)
Thanks
Matt
Where in Fla are you?I have done the last two RR's here in Fl.

There's the state RR championships this month in Tallahassee.You should give it a try.(assuming it isn't too far)
 

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mpetersen16 said:
Actually I'm just about to go join my bike club for a sunday ride, but I just got an email from the guys I have been riding with about how they faired in yesterday's race, of the five guys from our club who went, they got 1st, 8th, 13th, and the last two were in the 30's out of a cat 5 road race. So that's good, as I'm happy they did so well, because I am riding with them most days. Thanks for the advice by the way.
That must have been the Sugarloaf race - the uphill finish was a killer!. I did the Cat 3/4 race and got top 10 (had to leave before the results were posted) If you can hang w/them and they did that well you'll be just fine. Just stay near the front of the Cat 5 races and bust a nut at the end and you'll do well.
 

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Srexy said:
That must have been the Sugarloaf race - the uphill finish was a killer!. I did the Cat 3/4 race and got top 10 (had to leave before the results were posted) If you can hang w/them and they did that well you'll be just fine. Just stay near the front of the Cat 5 races and bust a nut at the end and you'll do well.
Two of my good friends that I train with did the sugarloaf yesterday in the Cat 5.

One of my friends is a really strong triathelete and apparently he broke the group up and there ended up being a lead break of 7.

On the finish up sugarloaf the other friend of mine(not the Tri guy)decided to attack in the middle of the climb.He usually attacks too early and bonks.I have been getting onto him about this and he finally listened.Well,he opened up a 50 yard gap,caught everyone by suprise, only to have his chain drop when he tried to upshift to the big ring 75 yards from the finish. :mad2: :(

He had the damn thing won...poor guy.
 

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Just keep riding and training. If you have 5 months you still have a bit of room for improvment. Riding solo is a bit harder than riding in a peloton, so if you can keep those speeds up I think you'll be fine. Can you find any races closer to you? Try doing some practice crits or some sort of local group rides, that will definitly help.
 

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Angelracer said:
Just keep riding and training. If you have 5 months you still have a bit of room for improvment. Riding solo is a bit harder than riding in a peloton, so if you can keep those speeds up I think you'll be fine. Can you find any races closer to you? Try doing some practice crits or some sort of local group rides, that will definitly help.
Not sure if you're in the Tampa area but there's this training series that goes on throughout the summer. Get's a great cross-section of riders from Pros all the way down to Cat5's

http://www.teambbcracing.com/events.cfm
 

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Average speeds mean nothing. You have to be able to stick when surges happen. The pack may be riding along at 23 mph, one minute, and then at 29 the next minute. You have to be able to "hang on" until the pace slows again. In a Cat 1-2 race, the average speed might be anywhere from 24 to 29 mph, with surges of 35 mph.
 

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^

very true. Gauging your racing preparations by average speed isn't the most accurate method because a race isn't a tempo ride or a time trial. Most USCF and collegiate races are too inconsistent in speed.

Doing intervals will help a lot. Nothing is more frustrating than a collegiate race when the race starts at 15-18mph, surges up to 30+mph, then back down, then up then down...repeat for 50-80 miles. Having the ability to sprint in order to stay w/ the group and a fast recovery will help the most, even in USCF races
 

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Second the post above. Do a lot of intervals and LT work. Someone else said it best the surges will kill. In fact if one big team shows up be prep'd its going to be a tough day. They will accelerate and slow down numerous times just to shake the rocks out of the sack. We do that crap all the time if some heavy guys show up, it will kill their run in to the finish. If your doing well and you see a team moving to the front they are going to do one of two things. A. send a guy of the front, they will sit up and block, if you see this, go with break, if its closing in on the finish (B). They go up front and go like mad, to string out the pack, IE. making it so fast nobody wants to attack, to counter this alone, hang in there and try to find a good wheel, its going to hurt.
On you training rides, when it starts to hurt, kick it one more gear until you want to scream, and you may. This is racing.
PS: Relax, if you're tense your speed, kind of goes south
Good luck
 

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gimme a break

the kids a cat 5, who care's what 1-2-3's are riding. here's the deal:
if you are comfortable riding for an hour at 18-20mph, you will be fine in most cat 5 races. you may not be able to hang in the last mile to half mile as things heat up, but you should have no problem in the rest of the race. in your first races: ride mid-pack, and do NO work. draft the whole time, you will find that you are coasting sometimes. use these breaks to recover, and do as little work as possible. if you have alot of 90 degree corners, try to ride in the top 1/3 of the pack so that you don't get gapped and have to sprint. your objective in your first races: no matter how slow you may think you are going, and no matter how good you feel, or how little energy you think you are expending, under NO circumstances take a turn at the front. keep your draft till the end. you will nede all your energy in teh last 1/2mile.
 

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bauerb said:
the kids a cat 5, who care's what 1-2-3's are riding. here's the deal:
if you are comfortable riding for an hour at 18-20mph, you will be fine in most cat 5 races. you may not be able to hang in the last mile to half mile as things heat up, but you should have no problem in the rest of the race. in your first races: ride mid-pack, and do NO work. draft the whole time, you will find that you are coasting sometimes. use these breaks to recover, and do as little work as possible. if you have alot of 90 degree corners, try to ride in the top 1/3 of the pack so that you don't get gapped and have to sprint. your objective in your first races: no matter how slow you may think you are going, and no matter how good you feel, or how little energy you think you are expending, under NO circumstances take a turn at the front. keep your draft till the end. you will nede all your energy in teh last 1/2mile.
i agree with this. i would make sure that you try to stay near the front, but not at the front like the other posters have said. something i would recommend is to not do the same thing i did in my first race (i've only done 2), and sit at the back. by doing this, you're making everything so much harder on yourself. my next race, i'm going to stay near the front, and once the first hill comes i'm going to do everything i can to stay with the lead group. if i bonk later, at least i'll know i did my best to try and win. if i want to ride in a pack and just try to finish, i'll save myself the entry fee and just do a club ride. best of luck, and most of all, have fun.
 

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B-Fun said:
i agree with this. i would make sure that you try to stay near the front, but not at the front like the other posters have said. something i would recommend is to not do the same thing i did in my first race (i've only done 2), and sit at the back. by doing this, you're making everything so much harder on yourself. my next race, i'm going to stay near the front, and once the first hill comes i'm going to do everything i can to stay with the lead group. if i bonk later, at least i'll know i did my best to try and win. if i want to ride in a pack and just try to finish, i'll save myself the entry fee and just do a club ride. best of luck, and most of all, have fun.
+ 1. ive done 5 group start races (next one coming up in a week or so) try to stay in the front 1/3-1/2, if its a crit def. the front 3rd, a road race or circuit doesnt *neccessarily* accelerate out of each corner as hard. def. do everything you can to stay with the lead group as long as you can. and when you go off the back, sit up, grab a drink, look for a few ppl behind you or ahead of you falling off and organize a chase group, its really easy to tack back on by taking sharp turns well (easier single file than in a huge group). Also, i try to tell myself 30 seconds of pain and its over and you are back to cruising mode. I found in my first race (i got dropped about 2/3 of the way in, caught back on and got dropped 5 mi from the finish) that I could have done much more to hang onto the pack. in my next race i turned myself inside out to stay on the pack and found myself in the breakaway group of 7 after the first hill. i ended up dnf'ing after puking. do whatver you can to stay with the group as long as possible, eventually you will finish with them. DEFINATELY do not take a turn in the front in your first few races. I did in my second race and it felt like i was riding into a stone wall, i was not at all ready to do that, imo. also, try to watch some of the other riders if you can (hard when you are really giving it all you have) and see who is a *better or more experienced* racer. if you can keep an eye on them throughout the race, if they attack on a hill stick to their wheel, if theyget to the front of the pack you probably should too. if you are still with them in the lead pack going into the finish, sit on their wheel and use them as a lead out in the final 200m.....you won't win but itll set you up for a good finish (hopefully)
 
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