Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

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Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby alanfw » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:56 pm

A crash 15min into our club crit today caused racing to stop for 15 to 20min. Our grade (combined A/B) rolled around slowly until the rider was off the track and the ambulance came. I usually take a fair while to warm up and need to warm up fairly hard. Before the crash I was in my rhythm and quite comfortable but by restart I had cooled down too much. On the restart I did 3/4 lap at the front at a reasonable pace, expecting the group (12-15 riders) would take time to resume pre-crash pace. I pulled over to drop back, happy to go to the back rather than try to push my way into the middle, but before I knew it the peleton had hit its highest speed for the race, leaving me up to 10-15m off the back. It took me two laps to get back on but by then, not being properly warmed up yet, I was gone. Next lap I gave up very disappointed and frustrated.

I'm fairly new to racing, so still learning. Is there generally any race etiquette regarding how soon after a post-crash restart that it is appropriate to put the hammer down?
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby toolonglegs » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:21 pm

Sounds normal to me... just like someone can attack as soon as a race starts or the bunch can roll around a bit for the first k or so at the start to warm up... anything goes, that's what makes it fun, you have to be on your toes the whole time, especially in a crit.
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:45 pm

You're lucky you got to continue, they sometimes cancel the racing. Have a cement latte and get back in there next week.
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:32 am

Yep nothing written in the rules to say ....You must dawdle around until everyone is warmed up again. I would have given it to everyone straight after the restart too. :twisted:

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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby sogood » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:48 am

Simple, it's RACING!
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby alanfw » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:27 am

bigfriendlyvegan wrote:You're lucky you got to continue, they sometimes cancel the racing. Have a cement latte and get back in there next week.


Lucky? Would rather they HAD cancelled. Now in a crit series (with half the races cancelled due to weather) I have a 1st, 3rd and DNF in my grade. Would rather be in series contention with just the 1st and 3rd. :(
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby open roader » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:06 pm

alanfw wrote:Lucky? Would rather they HAD cancelled.


The show must go on.........

alanfw wrote: Now in a crit series (with half the races cancelled due to weather) I have a 1st, 3rd and DNF in my grade. Would rather be in series contention with just the 1st and 3rd. :(


Def. far from ideal but it's meant to be enjoyable whilst doing your best. I'd not take it in such a serious tone, if your not racing for your dinner then take the highs with all the lows. If you can't enjoy it (racing) for what its is (ie. highy arbitrary, random and somewhat fortuitous) then don't participate - that's what I did......
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby ratter » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:23 pm

I started racing crits in November, it seems the rules are you do what you need to do to win and not care what the others are doing, unless you are behind them
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby alanfw » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:29 pm

open roader wrote:
alanfw wrote:Lucky? Would rather they HAD cancelled.


The show must go on.........

alanfw wrote: Now in a crit series (with half the races cancelled due to weather) I have a 1st, 3rd and DNF in my grade. Would rather be in series contention with just the 1st and 3rd. :(


Def. far from ideal but it's meant to be enjoyable whilst doing your best. I'd not take it in such a serious tone, if your not racing for your dinner then take the highs with all the lows. If you can't enjoy it (racing) for what its is (ie. highy arbitrary, random and somewhat fortuitous) then don't participate - that's what I did......

Wise words... I'm learning about more than just cycling here! You'd think at 51 I'd have a better handle on perspective by now :) Plus, after riding C grade most of last year, my goal for this year was to complete a B grade crit without getting dropped, so I should be satisfied. Still, it would have been nice if those youngsters had been kinder to an old man like me ;)
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby open roader » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:53 pm

My experience was actually with road racing motorcycles. It took me 3+ seasons to realise I wasn't having fun. I too was old(er) in my class 'back then'. I was in my late 20's when I stopped racing - in D and C grade mostly against riders in their late teens who were riding a motocycle fast for the first time and found it difficult to hold a line, panic braked a lot, bogged down on the starting line etc which for me who was never a pointy end front runner but was able to pass many riders in a 6 to 8 lap race made for too many hairy / scary episodes. It took a ridiculously fast VERY near miss to wake me up to the fact that I was not enjoying it any longer. Life is too short, enjoy it or move onto something else.
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby jules21 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:36 am

alanfw wrote:I'm fairly new to racing, so still learning. Is there generally any race etiquette regarding how soon after a post-crash restart that it is appropriate to put the hammer down?

it sounds a bit like you were the one to put the hammer down :mrgreen:

it's a race - apart from hanging onto the back of higher grades or attacking while someone is on the ground, anything goes.
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby jacks1071 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:32 pm

Race Tactics, love it :-)
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby DoogleDave » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:15 pm

Alan,
Just a query.
After the restart when you were riding at the front for a few laps why did you pull to the side to ride at the back of the pack?

I am far from a crit expert but from my experience the back of the bunch is probably the worst place to be.
You'll be working harder than those at the front just to keep the same pace as them and by the time you realise the front-runners have put the hammer down you're well out of contention to be competitive....unless you're alot stronger than the rest of the field and can make up alot of ground without blowing yourself up.

For those more experienced at crit racing, in this case would it have been a better idea to stay at the front and ride at a pace that is comfortable and if riders decide to pass you by you can either pick up the pace to remain in the top 20% of the group or decide you're not warmed up enough and let everyone pass by?

From what I gather the only rule is pass or be passed.

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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:25 pm

jules21 wrote:it's a race - apart from hanging onto the back of higher grades or attacking while someone is on the ground, anything goes.

Not in my books... there always someone on the ground when 100 nutters are racing round a 1 or 2km circuit in some tiny French village :D , we don't wait for them ever in a criterium ( its not the TDF after all :P ) ... if its a proper criterium then they get a lap out anyway.
Same goes for a road race as well... :mrgreen: they just get left behind, but then there are motos and cars to pace them back on usually.
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:53 pm

toolonglegs wrote:
jules21 wrote:it's a race - apart from hanging onto the back of higher grades or attacking while someone is on the ground, anything goes.

Not in my books... there always someone on the ground when 100 nutters are racing round a 1 or 2km circuit in some tiny French village :D , we don't wait for them ever in a criterium ( its not the TDF after all :P ) ... if its a proper criterium then they get a lap out anyway.
Same goes for a road race as well... :mrgreen: they just get left behind, but then there are motos and cars to pace them back on usually.


I think jules means attacking when there's been an accident and you're meant to be riding tempo. I don't know how they do it in France, but I would be shaking my head and tutting, possibly even tsk-ing, if I saw that sort of behaviour :D . When an important race comes along, I wouldn't be giving my diesel services to someone like that.
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:25 pm

bigfriendlyvegan wrote:
toolonglegs wrote:
jules21 wrote:it's a race - apart from hanging onto the back of higher grades or attacking while someone is on the ground, anything goes.

Not in my books... there always someone on the ground when 100 nutters are racing round a 1 or 2km circuit in some tiny French village :D , we don't wait for them ever in a criterium ( its not the TDF after all :P ) ... if its a proper criterium then they get a lap out anyway.
Same goes for a road race as well... :mrgreen: they just get left behind, but then there are motos and cars to pace them back on usually.


I think jules means attacking when there's been an accident and you're meant to be riding tempo. I don't know how they do it in France, but I would be shaking my head and tutting, possibly even tsk-ing, if I saw that sort of behaviour :D . When an important race comes along, I wouldn't be giving my diesel services to someone like that.


Ok if there is a crash on the circuit and the race has been neutralized then fair enough... bit like passing under a yellow flag. 99% of crashes are cleared with in a lap though luckily.
My pet hate is attacking just before you catch, or are about to be passed by another grade... not hanging off the back of another grade, but using the confusion of passing another grade to cause a break... but that's racing I suppose.
Interestingly here when two grades come together they usually just leave them like that... makes for more fun I suppose.
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby Metor » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:52 pm

The moment the officials let you race it is on. No rules really in crits. Crashes, flats, other broken bike parts, it doesn't matter. Racing is racing and the first one that crosses the finish wins.

It's different with city to city races, it's not done to attack while in the feeding zone and quite normal to wait for the race leader (if it is a race of a couple of days) when he crashes or has bike problems.
Besides that, just enjoy and make it as hard as possible for everyone :wink:
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby alanfw » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:30 pm

Thanks for the comments guys. I was sort of aware of that last one re crashes, so thought maybe there might be something regarding accidents in crits. Obviously I was wrong :) Next race I'll be wiser! Still trying to get my head around when I should do a turn at the front and when I should just hang back, when I should let a rider in and when I should assert my presence and hold my position in the line-up - the riding at this grade is SO different to what I experienced in C grade. :?
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby Metor » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:04 pm

alanfw wrote:Thanks for the comments guys. I was sort of aware of that last one re crashes, so thought maybe there might be something regarding accidents in crits. Obviously I was wrong :) Next race I'll be wiser! Still trying to get my head around when I should do a turn at the front and when I should just hang back, when I should let a rider in and when I should assert my presence and hold my position in the line-up - the riding at this grade is SO different to what I experienced in C grade. :?

Ain't to hard.
Stay in the front as much as you can, not in first position though, it simply makes riding easier. (I love hanging at the back of the bunch though :lol: )
You will do a turn when you are upfront and the guys there are doing turns. You just follow the turns, if it isn't going smooth you don't have to! And never let a rider in, make him work for his spot :wink:
I assert my presence and only will let a rider in if it is convenient for me , so most likely you want to hold your spot in the line-up. I know it doesn't sounds nice but that's racing! :D
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby vander » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:00 pm

I do the opposite most the time metor sit in the top 10 and as people swing off the front swing onto their back wheel all the time and make them keep rolling turns infront of me, perfect position I find, doesnt always work but.
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby cerb » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:53 pm

vander wrote:I do the opposite most the time metor sit in the top 10 and as people swing off the front swing onto their back wheel all the time and make them keep rolling turns infront of me, perfect position I find, doesnt always work but.

If you swing onto the person's wheel who's just pulled off the front you can find yourself further back than you want to be (especially if they've burnt too many candles trying to maintain a fast pace). I usually move around in the pack so that I stay top 15-20, but never find myself 'next in line for a turn'.

If I do end up on the front, I ride my own pace for 1/4-1/2 a lap, flick the elbow and pull off to let someone else go through. If everyone follows my wheel (say into a strong headwind) then I just slow down to a comfortable pace I could ride the whole race at solo - at this stage, someone will always go past you. When they do, I just speed up again and slot into a new position in the top 15-20.

I don't work unless I have to! This means I only do real work if I'm in a break (or bridging to one) or it's inside 3 laps to go. Obviously if you're riding with a team, your individual tactics might differ...
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby jules21 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:08 pm

cerb wrote:If I do end up on the front, I ride my own pace for 1/4-1/2 a lap, flick the elbow and pull off to let someone else go through. If everyone follows my wheel (say into a strong headwind) then I just slow down to a comfortable pace I could ride the whole race at solo - at this stage, someone will always go past you. When they do, I just speed up again and slot into a new position in the top 15-20..

this is a good strategy, i reckon. i'm always amazed when i go on the attack at 100% - into the red, someone will often bury themselves to catch me. they could be working for someone, but i find it unlikely at my level of racing. all they've likely achieved is for me and them to burn a heap of candles. if i'm on the front of the bunch and someone kicks, i just cruise along. someone else can chase, if they want it that bad. i think people chase out of a misguided sense of duty when they are on the front.
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby vander » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:10 pm

cerb wrote:
vander wrote:I do the opposite most the time metor sit in the top 10 and as people swing off the front swing onto their back wheel all the time and make them keep rolling turns infront of me, perfect position I find, doesnt always work but.

If you swing onto the person's wheel who's just pulled off the front you can find yourself further back than you want to be (especially if they've burnt too many candles trying to maintain a fast pace). I usually move around in the pack so that I stay top 15-20, but never find myself 'next in line for a turn'.


Racing A grade people generally dont burn candles trying to maintain pace and if they are doing some pace making they generally dont pull right to the back, if they are chasing a (dangerous) breakaway down I am generally happy to help.

I dont know how long your laps are but doing 1/4 to 1/2 no chance for me you do a few hundred meters then pull off would burn way too much energy holding the pace for that long.
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby ft_critical » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:23 pm

vander wrote:Racing A grade people generally dont burn candles ....


Now, now. Mentioning A Grade doesn't make your argument more convincing Vander.
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Re: Criterium Etiquette After a Crash?

Postby ratter » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:09 am

cerb wrote:
vander wrote:

If I do end up on the front, I ride my own pace for 1/4-1/2 a lap, flick the elbow and pull off to let someone else go through. If everyone follows my wheel (say into a strong headwind) then I just slow down to a comfortable pace I could ride the whole race at solo - at this stage, someone will always go past you. When they do, I just speed up again and slot into a new position in the top 15-20.

...



This happened to me the other week, me and another rider had done probably 95% of the work at the front, the last lap and the back straight was a strong headwind, everyone sitting on my wheel, so I moved to the right, so did everyone else, moved back to the left, so did they, moved right again, so did they, so I just backed the pace down dropped afew gears and actually dropped my heart rate. As soon as we were out of the headwind they kicked dropped me back to about 6th wheel, thinking I was spent. My slowing down had allowed enough recovery to have a good kick and I went on to take the win
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