Your First Race

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Re: Your First Race

Postby Derny Driver » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:16 am

Pedaling wrote:How good was that!
Completed my first race today, at a windy Heffron park.
Raced C grade crit race with Randwick/Botany, learnt a hell of a lot, and a great time doing it.
Really appreciate DD's advice, stayed at second and third wheel for most of the race, until the sprint.
Premature sprint, I went way too early, but you live and learn.
I will post a race report later.
Cheers,

Darrin.

Far out man. What a great effort! That's amazing. Crits are hard to master, not many people can do that on their first one. Congratulations!

Live and learn ....yes, young DD did the Sutherland crit Friday night, made friends with a Sydney Uni Velo guy on the start line and after the first lap they had a 50 second break thanks to his cousin doing a go-slow on the front of the main group in A grade. They kept swapping off for 15 minutes and DDjnr took the first sprint prime before a group of 3 managed to bridge across to make it 5. Despite some big chasing behind the gap was still holding at 40 seconds, the 5 were very strong and DD and his new friend battled the next prime and the Uni guy got it by a wheel. Near the end of the race the gap was still 35 seconds and DDjnr got greedy for another $15 and went for it, missed it, and then blew big time . he went from doing 45kph to 10 kph and went backwards through the bunch and out the back, all this with just 2 laps remaining. He finished last. Theres a lesson there somewhere...
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by BNA » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:42 pm

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Re: Your First Race

Postby Pedaling » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:42 pm

Thanks Foo and DD,
I am definitely hooked, cannot wait for next week.
Lovin'it.
"Life is just a ride" Bill Hicks
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Re: Your First Race

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:59 pm

Yep, crits are great fun but it's really easy to get over enthusiastic and blow yourself sky high. :) .
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Re: Your First Race

Postby GAV!N » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:53 am

Well I did my first race yesterday. Illawarra Cycle Club - Grade C Crit. 15 mins + 2 laps (1km laps)
The speed was steady from the start and I found myself at the back of the pack (about 10-12 riders). I wasn't struggling to hang on, but was struggling to move up. I knew coming in to the final laps I needed to edge forward to have any chance, but just could get up there. I kept getting squeezed back.
So with 1.5 laps to go I went around the outside, not really sure of what I was going to do, just knew I had to move up. About half way around the pack I thought F it, I'm going. So went off the front. Pretty much didn't look back until nearing the last turn when I saw shadows behind me. I pushed to the last turn, but coming out of it had nothing left. I was surprised to see only 3 riders pass me, and a huge gap back to the next, so rolled in for 4th place which I was very happy with for my first race.
I was surprised to have my HR sitting at 190-195 for the end of the race. Even pushing as hard as I can (or at least hard as I think I can) in training I only hit 183-185. Maybe there's an extra 10bpm of nerves/excitement?
I had a great time, and learnt a lot, with lots more to learn! 37km road race this weekend. Looking forward to not having to power out of a turn every 500m :)
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Re: Your First Race

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:00 pm

GAV!N wrote:....I was surprised to have my HR sitting at 190-195 for the end of the race. Even pushing as hard as I can (or at least hard as I think I can) in training I only hit 183-185. Maybe there's an extra 10bpm of nerves/excitement?
I had a great time, and learnt a lot, with lots more to learn! 37km road race this weekend. Looking forward to not having to power out of a turn every 500m :)

Adrenaline ...you can always push harder in a race than training. You might hit a new maximum this weekend, its a tough undulating course. Dont bring good wheels, theres quite a few holes, young DD went straight into a big pothole and double flatted both his carbons last week. Great course but a couple of rough sections.
If you join the "Illawarra Road Cyclists Network" on Facebook you can watch my video of last weeks race, GoPro from my derny. Plus you will get notifications about upcoming events.
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Re: Your First Race

Postby GAV!N » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:29 pm

Yeah I've joined the facebook group, I'll check out the video. I'm actually racing at Nowra this weekend. I'll do most of my racing down there, but will come up to ICC when Nowra isn't racing. Which will probably be a bit over Dec & Jan.
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Re: Your First Race

Postby GAV!N » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:41 pm

Watched the vid. Definitely some rough patches on that road! Not much different to what I'm use to around here though.
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Re: Your First Race

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:29 pm

GAV!N wrote:Yeah I've joined the facebook group, I'll check out the video. I'm actually racing at Nowra this weekend. I'll do most of my racing down there, but will come up to ICC when Nowra isn't racing. Which will probably be a bit over Dec & Jan.

Sure mate. Some good ICC races on in January.
I plan on bringing young DD and his cousin down to unleash some fury on the Nowra boys soon too.
catch ya
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Re: Your First Race

Postby Toolish » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:17 am

Ok, my second race coming up this weekend.

Graded scratch road race...how does that work and what are the tactics I should look for?
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Re: Your First Race

Postby Xplora » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:59 pm

Two hilarious comments above... I was graded according to weight and leg tone bwahahaha I thought they were just being weird down at Waratahs CC! Didn't work though, D grade became a bloodbath. I am looking forward to C grade because I won't feel guilty about burying the opposition if I get a chance.

The other comment was "you're never ready for racing". I disagree with this, if you are competitive in your riding. The faster shop ride I go on is essentially a blitzkrieg at what seems to be a C or perhaps B grade level once you've had 60 minutes to wear yourself down before rolling turns to the coffee shop (and the slaughterhouse sprint 2kms before home). I have been taking long hard turns, trying to outride NRS guys (limited success LOL) and I was waaaay too ready for D grade. A couple guys reckon I'm too ready for C grade as well but I would prefer some race experience.
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Re: Your First Race

Postby ironhanglider » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:50 pm

Toolish wrote:Ok, my second race coming up this weekend.

Graded scratch road race...how does that work and what are the tactics I should look for?


A scratch race is simply one where everyone starts at the same time, and the first person across the line at the end wins (yes this is not always true!). Graded means that the field will be divided into grades, the fastest are in A grade, and the slower riders go progressively into lower grades. The difference between a scratch and a handicap is that there is no reason for the bunch to finish in the shortest possible time, and there can also be more incentive to break the bunch apart. What you are more likely to find is that the average pace will be slower, but there will be some peak periods that will be more intense as riders will try to get away from all or some of the others.

You will find that there will be times when it will be in your interest to work hard, and other times when it won't. Recognising those times is the art of good tactics. People will try to take advantage of the times when they have a performance advantage over the others to either unload them, or to at least put them into the red to dull their performance in their more favoured conditions. Here are some stereotypes, it helps to figure out who you are, and who your opponents are.

Greipel - Powerful acceleration at the end of a race, try not to let him finish in the lead bunch.
Cancellara - Fast for long periods on his own, don't let him get away particularly in the last few km because you won't be able to chase him down once he has a gap.
Schleck - Goes uphill fast, will try to use the hills to get rid of the faster finishers. Dangerous if there is a climb in the last few km but will not ride by himself for long.
Gilbert - Can get up short hills with brute force, can sprint better than many. Always a threat to be attacked whenever the opportunity presents.

Having said all that, being in the right place at the right time will make up for all that. Last week my race was looking likely for a win by Gilbert, except he got the finish all wrong and started to sprint from 500m, in the end it was won by Cancellara, but notably clinging onto his wheel were two Schlecks who would never normally feature in a sprint, but were on the right wheel at the right time. Sadly I (Greipel) got dropped in the rollers with about 2 km to go having already surprised everyone by getting over the biggest hill still in contact but the effort took its toll.

You can expect to be put into the same grade as the riders from the bunches you rode in last time.

Just relax, do turns when you can, don't feel obliged if you can't and keep your eyes open.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Your First Race

Postby thearthurdog » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:28 am

Ha ha ^^ those stereotypes are cool, I've never thought of it like that.
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Re: Your First Race

Postby Xplora » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:26 am

I would say be really careful whose wheel you choose to suck if you are starting with the A grade riders and you don't know who is who yet. You have a good chance of being strung out badly trying to hold onto the wheel or roll in the faster groups - worse yet, stuffing up someone else's race because you get boxed in and can't roll out so the break gets away using you as a handbrake on the group (don't think they wouldn't do it). It's really really obvious when someone is suffering badly to stay in touch and if I was racing with you, I'd use your struggles against my competitors. Just hold a bit in the tank, change up and take off while your jelly legs curse your bad "luck".

Poor guys on my Saturday social ride trying to roll with the fast group look like they are stopped when they have to sit in the wind on the charge home...
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Re: Your First Race

Postby ft_critical » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:36 pm

hilarious comments above

Xplora wrote:if you are starting with the A grade riders

He isn't, it's graded scratch.

Xplora wrote:worse yet, stuffing up someone else's race because you get boxed in and can't roll out so the break gets away using you as a handbrake on the group (don't think they wouldn't do it). It's really really obvious when someone is suffering badly to stay in touch and if I was racing with you, I'd use your struggles against my competitors. Just hold a bit in the tank, change up and take off while your jelly legs curse your bad "luck".

Some warm encouragement there.

Xplora wrote:Poor guys on my Saturday social ride trying to roll with the fast group look like they are stopped when they have to sit in the wind on the charge home...

I bet poor Toolish is thanking his lucky stars he isn't on your 'social' ride and being crushed by you along with the NRS riders.

Xplora wrote:I have been taking long hard turns, trying to outride NRS guys (limited success LOL) and I was waaaay too ready for D grade. A couple guys reckon I'm too ready for C grade

You might just be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too ready for this forum too :?: :idea:
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Re: Your First Race

Postby sminns » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:27 pm

ft_critical wrote:
You might just be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too ready for this forum too :?: :idea:


Hahaha +1
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Re: Your First Race

Postby Derny Driver » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:36 pm

Toolish wrote:Ok, my second race coming up this weekend.

Graded scratch road race...how does that work and what are the tactics I should look for?

Here is something I wrote for newbies at my club some time ago.
Scratch race basics

A scratch race or massed start race is one where all the riders start together. Unlike the handicap there are no head starts given. You will be graded, A, B, C or D and your task is to beat all the riders in your particular race back to the finish. There are no rules- everyone starts together, first home wins. Simple. Well maybe not.
The scratch race is a race of tactics. Often strong riders are beaten by weaker but smarter riders. Don’t buy the common excuse given by riders who never win, “I just wanted to have a hard ride, I wasn’t trying to win”. Baloney. Everyone wants to win, but some guys don’t believe they can win, so they race dumb.

1. Check the conditions. Consider the race distance- is attacking 2km into a 60km race a winning move? What about wind direction? In a headwind, the bunch will be the place to be. On the other hand, a small group can travel as quickly as a bunch with a tailwind. And a solo rider can descend a tricky descent faster than a group. Importantly, know where the finish line is. Is it a headwind or tailwind finish? Which side of the road has the best shelter? Store the info in your head before the race begins.
2. Have a race plan. Races rarely go to plan but it’s a good idea to have one anyway. If Plan A fails you can resort to Plan B (or C). Importantly, remember there is only so much petrol in the tank. You cannot make every attack, chase every break, do all the work- and win. You must carefully consider when and how to use your energy. No one is Superman. Of course it’s in your interest to work with breakaway teammates. But do not feel obligated to do things that are not in your plan. Do not let other riders use you for their gain. Don’t be influenced by bossy or abusive riders. Don’t be a hero by single handedly doing all the work at the front. Stick to your plan unless a golden opportunity presents itself. Try to ride near the front of the bunch if possible so you can see what is happening.
In every race there are lots and lots of attacks, most fail. There is usually one decisive move however that is the winning move. You want to initiate it or be in it when it happens. Look for it, be aware, when it happens go for it 100%. This is your best and probably only chance. It will possibly be late in the race and may involve the stronger riders. Avoid wasting energy making futile attacks.
3. Ride to your strengths. If you are a sprinter you will be hoping for a bunch finish and an easy ride. Try and keep the bunch together, nullify breakaways but try not to use too much energy doing it. Time-trial gurus will be looking for an opportunity to break away from the pack for a glorious solo victory. Probably the best scenario is a small breakaway where you can plot your finish against 1 or 2 riders rather than 20. If you are a good climber, decide which hill you might attack on.
4. Know your opposition. If you know the other riders and their strengths, use that knowledge to your advantage. Do you really want to be in a breakaway with that top sprinter? Maybe you might mark that strong rider and try to follow him, or counter-attack him when he’s just made a big effort. Be aware of who is around you. If the bunch splits in two up a hill, you could be dropped if its you and 3 weak riders chasing the four guns up the road. Take note of who seems to be in form and who is struggling. Don’t follow the wheel of a tired rider, if he tails you off the back you might be history.
5. Take the mental edge. Don’t be psyched out by other riders. Everyone can be beaten. If it’s a quality field, think how much more you’ll savor the win. Ride positively, ride smart, be prepared to take a risk. “To win without risk is to triumph without honor”. To win you must do something. No victory is achieved easily or painlessly. So have a go, if you fail, at least you dared to try.
The scratch race is a myriad of possibilities. You can do as much or as little work as you like. There are no rules and few etiquettes to worry about. It is loved by thinking riders who can make all the right decisions at the right times during the race. A scratch race victory is sweet, but you must use your brain as well as your legs if you wish to experience it.
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Re: Your First Race

Postby Xplora » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:10 pm

ft_critical wrote:hilarious comments above

I try to be entertaining ;)

Most people I have ridden with feel bad about slowing down the group, that's all. I did mention that I "TRY" to crush NRS riders. I get blown into the weeds unless they are on the bludge, but it's a good goal to have. I don't mind getting dropped :lol:
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Re: Your First Race

Postby g-boaf » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:25 pm

ft_critical wrote:hilarious comments above

Xplora wrote:if you are starting with the A grade riders

He isn't, it's graded scratch.

Xplora wrote:worse yet, stuffing up someone else's race because you get boxed in and can't roll out so the break gets away using you as a handbrake on the group (don't think they wouldn't do it). It's really really obvious when someone is suffering badly to stay in touch and if I was racing with you, I'd use your struggles against my competitors. Just hold a bit in the tank, change up and take off while your jelly legs curse your bad "luck".

Some warm encouragement there.

Xplora wrote:Poor guys on my Saturday social ride trying to roll with the fast group look like they are stopped when they have to sit in the wind on the charge home...

I bet poor Toolish is thanking his lucky stars he isn't on your 'social' ride and being crushed by you along with the NRS riders.

Xplora wrote:I have been taking long hard turns, trying to outride NRS guys (limited success LOL) and I was waaaay too ready for D grade. A couple guys reckon I'm too ready for C grade

You might just be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too ready for this forum too :?: :idea:


He can dish out some hurt when he wants to.

Doubt he is way too ready, he just gives it everything and is hyper enthusiastic. :) reading His comments today made me go out and hurt myself on the bike even though I wasn't intending to. A certain guilt perhaps. :D
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Re: Your First Race

Postby nickobec » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:02 pm

Xplora wrote:I was graded according to weight and leg tone


Not me, leg tone had nothing to do with the grading it was age and weight that go me graded, the grade above two riders I rraced with at another club. One a good 10 years younger but 40kg heavier and capable of destroying me in sprints and even 1km attacks. The other my age, 25kg heavier, ex power lifter, with legs to match (no grading on muscle tone for him either) who regularly put out 1600 watts.

Graded scratch races

+1 to what Derney Driver said. Only addition I would make is be willing to try different things in races, even when you are not going to win. I created a reputation for suicidal attacks, by attacking in races when I knew I not going to finish top 5 and sometimes I was heading out the back of the bunch. Then I when launched a real attack a race or two later, everybody expects a failed attack and does not react and I got good results. Though now they are wise to the tactic so I need to develop more.
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Re: Your First Race

Postby toppity » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:18 am

Great reply DD. Really good summary.

You never know Xplora may be on the way to a NRS contract himself. He sounds very strong. We have a few Huon Genysis and African wildlife safari riders at our club. The very rarely go hard on any club training ride. When I say hard, I mean hard for them. However, they can and do go hard in some club races, but when this happens only the absolute elite amateurs stay with them for any length of time. Very professional guys one and all.
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Re: Your First Race

Postby dale79 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:51 am

Xplora wrote:
ft_critical wrote:hilarious comments above

I try to be entertaining ;)

Most people I have ridden with feel bad about slowing down the group, that's all. I did mention that I "TRY" to crush NRS riders. I get blown into the weeds unless they are on the bludge, but it's a good goal to have. I don't mind getting dropped :lol:


Heheh come out on Tuesday might and see how you go c grade at Marconi.. Penrith c is a walk in the park compared to it as is b grade waratahs.. Normal speed is 40-41av..
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Re: Your First Race

Postby Porridgewog » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:55 am

Xplora wrote: The faster shop ride I go on is essentially a blitzkrieg at what seems to be a C or perhaps B grade level once you've had 60 minutes to wear yourself down before rolling turns to the coffee shop (and the slaughterhouse sprint 2kms before home). I have been taking long hard turns, trying to outride NRS guys (limited success LOL) and I was waaaay too ready for D grade. A couple guys reckon I'm too ready for C grade as well but I would prefer some race experience.


And here's me thinking the NRS guy was just letting you off the front just to have a rabbit to chase up Withers road,then again if you get the lights you might just "Win".....Pity Cav didnt get the "Lights" under the Arc
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Re: Your First Race

Postby TimW » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:32 am

toppity wrote:You never know Xplora may be on the way to a NRS contract himself. .



I nearly just spat my coffee out :shock: at 33 not that i am saying he is to old, but he is to old :D and the handbrake would not allow it!!!!!!!!!!. Granted he is fast in certain sectors and on his beloved Trek shop ride, but sheesh he talks SH*&T!!!!! Nice to see he is still a humble chap :roll: :roll: :roll:

edit(for the 4th time lol) sometimes i wonder if there is a warped sence of humour in there somewhere, or if he trolls for a reaction, or is just so up himself he cannot see it.
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Re: Your First Race

Postby Xplora » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:16 pm

Porridgewog wrote:...the NRS guy was just letting you off the front just to have a rabbit to chase up Withers road,then again if you get the lights you might just "Win".....Pity Cav didnt get the "Lights" under the Arc

Yep, that's the ticket. You just have to throw it out there, and learn from it. Trek_arty said something to me today while we were sucking wheel on the run up to Bunnings and I made a decision to pull out and pass the group to get the paceline going... got it moving again, was feeling good, and then DROPPED STRAIGHT OFF THE BACK :lol: the legs couldn't obey. They didn't need to shut up, they just needed say something, but silence was the strong reply. I won't be sticking myself into the wind if the turns aren't rolling properly again. :idea:

I'm definitely not looking at any high level riding, will be lucky to get myself to A grade and stay there. Happy being in C. Hopefully Lansdowne tomorrow to learn some more!
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Re: Your First Race

Postby Xplora » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:28 pm

TimW wrote:sometimes i wonder if there is a warped sence of humour in there somewhere, or if he trolls for a reaction, or is just so up himself he cannot see it.

I recall a post from Zozz about not taking this so seriously... do your k's and be happy. I'm thrilled about my progress as a rider. I wanted to share that with a group of people that are interested in riding... I can't control your reactions to my posts, Tim. You could just put me on the ignore list if it's ruining BNA for you?
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