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Climbs like a sprinter...
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I have a friend that is a trialthlete. But since she rides with our group all the time she's kinda got hooked on the group dynamic/racing thing. She's really strong and can drop lot's of the men that show up for the faster rides. Anyway she went to her 2nd road race this weekend and this is the response I got from her as to my query of how she did. I was wondering (since I don't race and don't know) what you guys think or if you have any input for her.

You both asked about the Bear Lake RR, so here's the long version - because I get excited talking about this kind of thing:


It was good, but dominated by the Ski Utah team and I'm not crazy about them. They consisted of almost half the Cat 4 cyclists. Anyway, they attacked often, but nothing that amounted to anything until the rollers. Prior to the rollers, two Ski Utah women broke away and nobody chased them down. Not knowing the course, I finally decided to chase them down, caught them and then was faced with the rollers. As soon as we hit the rollers, two different Ski Utah women counter attacked and this resulted in a big split of the group. On this attack, the Ski Utah girls that I chased down were dropped, as was the 15 year old Utah state TT record holder (who always places top 3). I hung on and made it - barely, but the group split, leaving about 8 riders up front and everyone else was left behind on the rollers. The last 15 miles, the pace slowed because no one would pull. (You'll have to give me your take on that. This was only my second race and having no other teammates, I didn't feel bad letting Ski Utah pull the whole time. However, that makes me nervous knowing that they are getting stronger, while the rest of us are sucking tires. Rob assures me that racing should be smart and training is for building strength, but I also don't want to be known as the person who never works. However, after only two races with these girls, I already feel I am getting a reputation. I'm just taking it all in at this point as I have no strategy, but am learning a LOT with every ride.) The Ski Utah women kept blocking and it was interesting, alright! Anyway, the website says the course is 52 miles, but the race ended at only 49.something miles. A few miles in from the finish, another Ski Utah girl attacked and went up front by herself. I was waiting on Points Leader (for the Utah RMR) to make a move and she didn't. Because I thought we had something like 4-5 miles left, I sat on thinking it was too soon to catch this girl and was waiting just a little bit before I went ahead. However, the next thing I knew, we hooked a left hand turn, sprinted and the race was over, with the breakaway girl winning. I ended up getting 4th behind three Ski Utah girls after backing off on my sprint for God only knows what reason! These two Ski Utah girls sprinted, I caught them, they backed off and I backed off - and I have no idea why...that is surely a lesson learned. I guess if I had more confidence, I would've sprinted around them, but I foolishly backed off when they did. I think I just felt relieved that I was right there with the top cat 4 Utah women, but I totally could have had them in the sprint - I was doing awesome and still had a little sprint still left when I slowed because they slowed...check that off my 'Racing Lessons to be Learned' list.

Overall, a fun ride! However, being a triathlete first, I am still not used to the cattiness of this particular group of women road racers - it's just not me. I love the racing and am completely drawn to it, but I find myself wanting to do a tri where everyone fully supports everyone else and there is nothing people can do to take advantage of an opponent. It's the name of the game in cycling, but it's taking me some time to get used to. I won't bring myself to *****ing and acting like some of the other women do, so I just roll my eyes and keep my mouth shut. What do you think about all that? What do you think about sitting in when you are solo and there is a team that comprises half the total riders? I'm just inexperienced and don't know, but I also don't want to be tagged as the one that only sits on. When I beat some of the other Ski Utah girls, I heard them say a "cling-on" beat them. However, it is my second race only and I did chase a breakaway and took one short pull. I thought that was plenty for race #2.

What did YOU do this weekend? I'm trying to decide whether to do Garden Creek Gap or a local tri on Saturday... As for Garden Creek Gap, I'm more powerful on flats, but LOVE to climb. So, I don't think I'll have an edge in this race, but should do okay. Are either of you going? I'll probably do it...I just keep wanting to go back, even though I'm not a fan of a few of these women.
 

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Anti-Hero
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Yep. When you're outnumbered and you have a decent sprint, then just stay in the group and refuse to work.
If you're in a mixed-team group, then sure, take some pulls, but, from my experience, women generally suck at taking their time up front in that situation. They'll try to make you stay up there, and when you go to pull through, they'll just stick on your wheel (which likely would have been the case if she'd taken a pull in her situation). In that case, be a b*tch and sit straight up, pull to the left, and slow to about 14mph. It will force SOMEONE to take your place.

My strategy in that situation is to A)run over stuff like potholes/manhole covers that aren't dangerous/flat-causing but would generally be avoided for comfort's sake. B)Attack like hell and make them pay for racing like 12 year old girls.
 

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tactics

If you hear the other girls complaining b/c you are using smart race tactics, just smile on the inside 'cuz you are already working them over mentally. Trying to make someone work when the situation dictates that they don't need to work is just a waste of energy and a sign of frustration.

Sounds like this Ski Utah team is somewhat organized though, which is unheard of in men's Cat 4 level racing. Maybe women don't wait til they are Cat 1/2's to learn team tactics? Good for them!
 

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Anti-Hero
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kretzel said:
If you hear the other girls complaining b/c you are using smart race tactics, just smile on the inside 'cuz you are already working them over mentally. Trying to make someone work when the situation dictates that they don't need to work is just a waste of energy and a sign of frustration.

Sounds like this Ski Utah team is somewhat organized though, which is unheard of in men's Cat 4 level racing. Maybe women don't wait til they are Cat 1/2's to learn team tactics? Good for them!
So true. A lot of women have to start out by learning how to race solo against each other because at the local/regional level, there tend to be fewer women's teams out there with riders that can stick together in a tough race.
 

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She sounds like a natural. She made a lot of good decisions for a newbie and did well against huge odds. I would say she should go out there and beat some ski utah girls again. Since she is not on a team, she can easily change her jersey, helmet and appearance and they might not recognize her for a few more races. Of course after she takes top 5 finishes a few more times, it will be much harder to hide.
 

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Impulse Athletic Coaching
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Andrea138 said:
So true. A lot of women have to start out by learning how to race solo against each other because at the local/regional level, there tend to be fewer women's teams out there with riders that can stick together in a tough race.
That isn't a bad thing. Learning to race without a team makes you a stronger, smarter rider.
 

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A young lady in our riding group started racing last year and had to learn about "team tactics" by experience. She is very strong and would get bored just riding along. But she had no teammates so it was difficult for her to win unless she could breakaway on a climb not too far from the finish.

I always remember a race where Hincapie was in a breakaway with no teammates and the other three (or four) were from the same team. They interviewed Johan Bruyneel after George lost and asked if he was disappointed. Johan replied "four beats one, every time!" and then reiterated, "every time!".

By the way, if the Ski Utah team says a "cling-on" beat them, then they obviously weren't fast enough or smart enough for the win. That's bike racing.
 
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