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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
awesome!!! first race ever was on Sat. the cat 5 race was 3 loops on a 4.5mile course. the course was a park road fully closed to traffic. there was one 90degree and one 180degree corner. it was about 25degrees with a 20mph wind. about 30 cat 5 racers

this was my first race and I had never even ridden in a group. I expected to be hammered to death, dropped early, then come crawling in exhausted and alone.

The race started in a nice controlled way, nothing stupid at the start. we got rolling and were moving in a nice group, cruising along, and I thought " this pace isn't too bad", I checked my comp and we were cruising the flats at 24mph. being so naive, I figured I better conserve energy, stay in the pack, because I figured on the 2nd lap things would speed up, and the 3rd lap would be a hammer fest. well laps 1&2 came and went, I can honestly say I never got out of breath and my legs were spinning along with not a sign of getting tired. I did not take any turns at the front, because being my first race, I was very afraid of what was to come...3rd lap started with the bell, I figured this would trigger a break, but it didn't. we cruised the 3rd lap at 24-27mph. about a mile fron the finish was a 180degree turn around a cone. I figured this was going to be the place that some guys took advantage of the slow-down to then hammer to the finish. I didn't want to get trapped and miss a break, so I got to 5th place at the cone. came around and no one went, so the peleton regrouped. now I was in a group of about 8people. this is where my inexperience cost me dearly: even in my little group at the front, I missed a guy go off the front about 3/4mile from the finish. before I saw him he had 20yards on us. I felt good so I left the peleton to chase. within 10secs I realized that with the headwind I could not get real him in, so I backed off and let the peloton catch up. so I ended up finishing with the main group about 5-10seconds behind the winner.

I was very happy because my conditioning was good, and I know that if I had more experience, I would not have missed the guy go off the front, and I know that I had the juice to stay with him and contest for the win. next time I hopefully will be more aware of finish strategy.

what I learned:
1. riding in a tight peloton is about the coolest thing ever. from the sounds of the gears and wheels, to the amazing drafting effect. I am used to riding solo at 16-20mph so I was shocked to be cruising in a pack at an avg of around 25mph.
2. group riding is not a big deal, but you need to be very alert all the time. always now who/what is on all 4 sides of you. no sudden movements, hold your line
3. there was some yo-yo'ing throughout the race. and for no apparant reason. I believe it was caused by the very front people switching off, and sometimes no one wanted the lead position so everyone slowed.
4. Races are about position, not speed/time. so while the race was fast, what was clearly more important to everyone was final placing, not time. I guess this is obvious, but I am used to training solo and racing the clock.

my next race is in 2 weeks and I will attemp to place top 5

this racing stuff kicks a$$
 

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The next time out, it could be completly different..........or it may be the same. You have to be ready for anything and everything that could possibly happen.
In the next race, don't feel bad if you get your rear kicked..........................or, you may win.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i know

I know what you're saying. throw in a few good climbs, a couple of pro triatheletes, or maybe I'm just having a bad day, things could be very different indeed. I will say that if the next race shapes up like this last one, I will be gunning for a better placing


MR_GRUMPY said:
The next time out, it could be completly different..........or it may be the same. You have to be ready for anything and everything that could possibly happen.
In the next race, don't feel bad if you get your rear kicked..........................or, you may win.
 

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Yeah the pace may have been slower due to the cold temperature and time of year, you never know. It does sound like you are in pretty good shape and have learned alot from one race. The four things you listed are very true. You are already sounding like a smart racer.
 

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Attitude.

I am impressed with your good attitude. You are self evaluating and learning with each race. Persist, train smart, learn, and you shall continue to do well. Ride smart!
bauerb said:
I know what you're saying. throw in a few good climbs, a couple of pro triatheletes, or maybe I'm just having a bad day, things could be very different indeed. I will say that if the next race shapes up like this last one, I will be gunning for a better placing
 

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baurb...
do you rememember if the guy who took off the front was also the guy who finished 1st?

i was also at that race.

i made a jump about 10 yards from the 180-degree turn, alone, on 1st and 3rd lap. i didnt want to be with the pack going into the turn, for fear someone would jump and i then get caught in the middle. i then settled in and joined with the pack, saving energy.

i just remember the pace really picking up as we approached the last turn on 3rd lap. i didnt see (or failed to pay attention) to anyone going off the front.

just trying to remember what happened. i think i might go early at the next race on this coming saturday, just to see what happens.

e
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
last mile went fast

I don't recall the pace picking up before the 180 on lap 3, but I had got myself into 5th place or so coming into that turn because I figured that there would be a jump and I didn't want to get trapped. I'd say about 1/2 mile from the last 180 a guy got about 20yds on the peloton, and I believe he won. I missed him making that gap or I would have gone with him. I won't be back on that course until april because I am going to do some other races like Raritan. but I think next time in newark I may play some games to see what happens: fake breakaways, intervals, etc. just to see how peleton responds. these are great training rides, more fun than club rides. I think on a day with less wind, all kinds of things might happen...



erock139 said:
baurb...
do you rememember if the guy who took off the front was also the guy who finished 1st?

i was also at that race.

i made a jump about 10 yards from the 180-degree turn, alone, on 1st and 3rd lap. i didnt want to be with the pack going into the turn, for fear someone would jump and i then get caught in the middle. i then settled in and joined with the pack, saving energy.

i just remember the pace really picking up as we approached the last turn on 3rd lap. i didnt see (or failed to pay attention) to anyone going off the front.

just trying to remember what happened. i think i might go early at the next race on this coming saturday, just to see what happens.

e
 

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i believe i was at the same race on saturday (branchbrook, cat 5) judging by your description. i finished somewhere in the last 3rd of the pack as i was all about saving energy and avoiding the cold wind. in retrospect i probably should have been more aggressive and kept up towards the front since there was no real sprint at the end of lap 3.

it was a fun race and the pace was just what i wanted for a first race of the year. it seemed to speed up at odd times but was generally a decent pace and i think i clocked 21 average speed. there was some odd braking at times but most importantly, no one tried any dangerous monkey business.

racing is a wild way to introduce yourself to pack riding. you should consider joining a club to get your group ride fix in a less competetive -- and less expensive -- environment.

saturday is supposed to be a warm day so how can i resist joining in?

see you in the pack, homes.

-pom
 
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