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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I'm fairly new to racing, have seven races under my belt.
My back round has been mainly centuries with about 5 to 8k of climbing.
Now I'm finding that in crits that are mainly flat I'm about to hang about 4 to 5 laps before getting shelled and then lapped, but if the crit has some type of short climb I am able to hang and finish mid field.
Has anyone had this problem. If so how do you train to better yourself on flat crits?
 

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short intervals. It's probably the accelerations out of corners that is causing problems. One way to deal with this is to find an industrial park area loop with a right hand corner you can practice coming into and then accelerating for 15-30 seconds out of it, use a section to recover, and then hit the corner again. A training partner is good for this - take turns leading out of the corner and try to accelerate them off the wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys,
A typical ride week for me is around 8 to 10 hours a week. I just got some more time free up and will try for 10 to 12 hours. I'm trying out the Time Crunch Training program now. On Tuesdays there a summer training crit series that I have been doing every week, I just replaced the Tuesday interval workout with that crit.
The crit is held in an industrial park that has one short hill leading into a right hand corner.
 

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In my experience, some riders get a little shy when it comes to the corners. Try to maintain speed and be ready to accelerate as soon as possible while still in the corner. As usual, it helps to be near the front so you don't get held up by the slower cornerers. If you're a bit back from the front, upcoming corners can present an opportunity to move up as riders around you start to slow prematurely.
 

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training crits are great for this (re your Tues). Main thing to remember: use them to train, so ride aggressively. It's OK to blow and take a lap to jump back in. Too many guys forget it's not a real race and sit in to only contend the sprint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Stevesbike Thanks for the idea. My main goal in the training crits was just trying to learn and hang with the pack. My first time I got lapped three times and everything happened so fast I didn't know what hit me. Now I have been coming in mid field. I have never though about the free lap rule to get back on with the pack.
 

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short intervals. It's probably the accelerations out of corners that is causing problems. One way to deal with this is to find an industrial park area loop with a right hand corner you can practice coming into and then accelerating for 15-30 seconds out of it, use a section to recover, and then hit the corner again. A training partner is good for this - take turns leading out of the corner and try to accelerate them off the wheel.
^This.

And practice taking a different line through the corner. Bring and extra water bottle and use it to make the corner tighter, wider, make the exit tighter, etc.
 

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A lot of good tips already.

Crits are about confidence and positioning. You can have pretty bad form and still be able to fake it enough to finish out a crit well once you're aware of the dynamics of the race.

Generally the very front and very back are the easiest places to ride a crit. That way you minimize slowing down into a corner, can carry more speed into and out of it, and can spend less energy constantly sprinting and braking.

Getting in a parking lot and just diving into corners can help so much with your confidence. Just start out slow and push it a little more and a little more. Take 15-20 sharp turns at speed once or twice a week and over the course of a few weeks you'll really start getting a feel for positioning and setting up for a turn. Learning the limits of how late you can break and how soon you can pedal is quite useful.

Training wise; short max efforts with short recoveries over and over again are great for crits. Unless you're planning on riding off the front, you're going to be doing a lot of hard short efforts with minimal recovery. The only way to get better at that is to train for it.

In the race you'll likely have a few really, really hard spots and one or two spots where you can recover, even if it's just for a few pedal strokes. Try to figure those out in the first few laps and really try to make use of it. Maybe you have a sharp turn or two that everyone slows down a bit for: that's 3-5 secs for you to take a deep breath and relax. If you're going flat out and starting to come undone, just think of that recovery spot you have and force yourself to get there.

Conversely, if you're feeling good use those recovery spots to move up a few positions. When everyone lets off a bit, you push forward to the front.

All of that comes with experience but if you can be aware of that and look for it early on in the beginning of your racing you can be ahead of the curve.

And just remember that everyone is hurting badly; you're not the only one!
 
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