Hey guys I'm after a bit of advice regarding Criterium racing, and to save starting another thread I thought I'd post my question here.
I'm looking at doing my first ever race in a couple of weeks http://www.toowoombacyclingclub.com.au/images/Documents/RaceDetails/TWBATWODAYFLYER.pdf and I'm willing to fork out the cash to get a gold racing license, I'm guessing I'd be in D grade having never raced before, can anyone give me an idea the approximate distances the race would be? 35mins +2 laps.
I got an email from the race director saying that it'd be wiser to ease into racing doing smaller club events, but I feel if I don't give it a go now I'll keep putting it off. Any thoughts...
“If you don't have a plan, you become part of somebody else's plan.”
― Terence McKenna
On the 1.1km course Id guesstimate at 35km/h ave you'd do around 20 laps in the 35 mins plus two further laps....so somewhere around 25 km distance all up.....but it will likely be 25 hard km's.
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i'd recommend taking the race director's advice on that. open races tend to attract higher levels of competition and aren't really the place to start getting a feel for riding in a race peloton. at the SKCC crit open races in melbourne over Xmas, 11 riders from C and D grades ended up in hospital, with 5 apparently spending Xmas in hospital.
also, you may consider getting a 3 race license before forking out for the full year's one. you can upgrade if you are then happy to commit.
I've never ridden it but I hear there is barely a flat section on the Toowoomba course, it would be a baptism of fire
Nundah and Murarrie might be a better starting point, but I guess it all depends on your fitness?
no, it depends on your ability to ride safely in a bunch, and not on friendly social rides, but around tight corners with riders battling you for position. open events aren't the place to turn up expecting some friendly tips and polite gestures of goodwill from fellow competitors.
Chooka +1 for what jules21 said, take the advice of the race director and start crit racing at club level. An open event is not the place to start, you have a much bigger field with their race faces on. You will get a much better introduction to crit racing at a much smaller event.
I have been racing for 9 months now and I am considered one of the stronger D grade riders at our club and there is no way I would race an open criterium with 40 plus riders screaming into the 1st and subsequent corners (open road race different story).
Xplora I can't sprint, I can't corner, yet I won a crit by breaking away after 1st lap and staying away with two others, until attacking & soloing the last km, endurance, bravo and a lot of luck won the day by 0.03 of a second.
Did my first criterium race today at the Nundah track in Brissie, run by the awesome guys at Hamilton Pine River Wheelers club.
What a great time. I had an absolutely awesome time.
I got put into the C2 group, and should of really being in the C1 group.
But I learnt a lot in the 40+ mins of racing.
Holding my line, letting the fast group through, working the front, resting, when to drink, silly mid-race chase of a break away.
38km/h avg speed and a max of 50km/h.
So much fun in one race. And to top it off I won the race (just!).
Can't wait for next weekend at Lakeside raceway and to become a member of HPRW club.
I'm from Waipukurau in Hawkes Bay, NZ, but been in Oz for 25 years.
Not really a race report, was more a "I started racing and it was great fun" report.
So to all those wondering if they should go racing, I say go give it a try.
I think you're right there Foo. I haven't had a buzz like that in a long time
I will start riding crits in Melbourne as well. Had a look at SKCC this morning to get the idea how it works over there and to see the course. I have done many crits and races the last few years (except 2012 because of a break from cycling).
I will probably start of in D to get in shape and the feeling again. The changes of speed during the race is what will make it hard
Any advice how to get get in decent shape again? Just start riding for a few weeks and then jump in, or just go next weekend and see how long I will last every race? The skills to hide in the peloton won't be the problem, the hart and longs will suffer though
After being the same boat as many, i had been thinking about entering my first crit. All the usual thoughts were going through my head; will i get dropped, will i crash, am i fit enough, which club will suit me and my riding best. On another note, I also only really do one group ride a week so i don't have much group riding experience.
I decide to take the plunge and entered my first crit at SKCC in E grade a couple of Sundays ago. My first impression was this club obviously knew how to host an awesome club level criterium event. It was really well organised and didn't take long to get my 3 race pass and enter into E grade for my first ever race of any sort.
I was checking out the competition and picked out guys that looked like they would be strong and i would need to stick around them if i wanted to have a chance in the final sprint for the line. We set off after A, B and C grade women (there seemed like a lot of people on the track!) with the marshal who was pretty laid back, he gave us some good advice along the way and made a few jokes which settled everyone's nerves somewhat. He was no nazi and let us pick up the pace to around 35 - 37km/hr for most of the race, it was very clean and friendly with people taking turns on the front and setting the pace. We rolled through the turns to get used to the track and the closer we came to the last three laps the pace increased.
On the last lap we all picked up the pace to around 42km and strava said we hit 53km on the back straight, as we came up to the last corner we came up to the B grade women and it was mayhem, everyone was yelling at each other and a few of us decided to sprint around them for the line and i got fourth. I was pretty happy with this.
With that out of the way i though i would give my local crit a go HCC on Wednesday nights off kew blvd. Its known to be a pretty hard crit as half of the track is up hill. I was nervous as hell all day today and was freaking out at what it would be like without the marshaling to the extent of SKCC. Anyway long story short i managed to stay with the lead group of about ten riders and was really happy with this for my first "real" crit race. I felt really good through out the race. however, my lungs were burning on the last couple of laps!
All in all i think I'm hooked and i will be a regular at HCC and probably SKCC as well!! I highly recommend for anyone thinking of entering a crit to do it at SKCC (if you're in Melbourne of course) as E grade is perfect for your first time or two, to build your confidence and race know how.
Do the crits race on open roads or do they close them for the races? Like SKCC - It looks like (from Street View) that their racing area is a South Melbourne block? And Kew Boulevard is definitely open road. How does it work with cars?
well done charliecat - impressed you held on to HCC D gr on first race.
it varies. HCC-Kew Blvd is on a fully closed circuit. SKCC at Pt Melb. is semi-closed - the circuit itself is mostly closed but on one leg, the opposite side of the road is coned off and traffic is allowed through. others, such as Coburg/Brunswick at National Blvd in Campbellfield are not closed off at all and corner marshalls will call a halt to race proceedings if a car has right-of-way - this is very annoying if you're breaking away from the bunch, i can tell you.
[quote="jules21"]well done charliecat - impressed you held on to HCC D gr on first race.
Thanks Jules21; i was pretty impressed with it too. There was a point where the lead group pulled away about ten meters and i was in "no-mans land" for half a lap but managed to catch back up and we dropped the rest of the field.
Gives me motivation and confidence going into races, hopefully i will be contesting placing in the near future
Close enough, I'm at Gowrie Junction, I can't do the Twilight races due to work (afternoon shifts) although I might book a holiday so I can do a mid-week race. I just joined Highfields Rollers, trying to learn to ride confidently in a group before I do anything else.
“If you don't have a plan, you become part of somebody else's plan.”
― Terence McKenna
If you are new to racing, start with D or E grade if you have it. The club will soon move you up a grade if you destroy everyone.
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