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Thread: 100 rider crits

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    100 rider crits

    racing Tulsa Tough this weekend, jumped from cat5 last year to cat4 this year. The field was large (almost 100) and I started in the last 2/3 of the bunch.
    Needless to say by the time the first 25 riders were rounding the first turns I was just passing the start line. I got pulled halfway through as I was almost lapped.

    Since this is my first large scale crit, I'm just trying to make sense of it. My weighted average power was nearly identical to the same race last year, and lap times almost the same, but I can't help but be disappointed in getting pulled. Is the key to avoid getting pulled to start up in the front and avoid the yo-yo effect?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmitro View Post
    Is the key to avoid getting pulled to start up in the front and avoid the yo-yo effect?
    Pretty much ... If you are in the back, you get gapped and the slinky effect is hard on the body. You are constantly accelerating full gas from every corner just to stay on because the farther back you are the more you get slowed before each corner.

    Those in the front can keep their speed high without expending as much energy because they get to pick their own lines and they don't have to slow for the corners. About half way through the race is when things start to even out as people get pulled from the race.

    Many times it's better to get less of a warm up and be on the front than to try and be good and warm and in the back.
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    I was a course marshall at Tulsa Tough last year, at the gate by the start line. People would line up early to get in front, although the Cat 3 men jumped the fence way back and got in line, before the women had even finished.
    Tis the season for all of us not hard enough to play to belittle those not hard enough to win. We are a funny lot. - dave @ November Bicycles

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    If your average power was the same were there more surges? I don't understand how you averaged the same speed and power, as I would imagine that you would be benefiting more from the draft more in such a large field.

    No matter.

    Check out this video from Sea Otter Classic a few years back: Sea Otter Crit - Pro 1/2 - DETONATION!! - YouTube (fields have grown since then)

    There's a 90, 180, 90 turn section and a 180 followed by a hill. I've heard the course described as a paperclip.

    In 2013 my friend--a new Cat 2--tried tailgunning. He said that he almost had to put his foot down when the tail end of the group came to a stop at the 90-180-90. He and 20 other riders were pulled midway through the race, which is a terrible way to kick off a stage race.


    You just need to pick your poison in crits.

    You're either going to expend energy fighting the wind on the front, fighting for position in the pack, or fighting the yo-yo on the rear. There are no free rides, especially if the crit is technical.
    Last edited by Local Hero; 06-09-2013 at 09:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero View Post
    There are no free rides, especially if the crit is technical.
    so true!
    miles to posts ratio is > 30:1

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    Quote Originally Posted by skinewmexico View Post
    I was a course marshall at Tulsa Tough last year, at the gate by the start line. People would line up early to get in front, although the Cat 3 men jumped the fence way back and got in line, before the women had even finished.
    how many cat3s got a DQ due to that?
    Blows your hair back.

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    Local Hero - I agree with that. Although I think it is true that to maintain a constant speed around corners is easier than slowing, accelerating, and jumping gaps at the back.

    Yesterday I lined up at the very front and was immediately dropped to halfway through the field when everyone sprinted for the first corner. I've come to the conclusion that I simply got beaten by stronger riders this weekend. I couldn't compete with the guys at the front.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmitro View Post
    Local Hero - I agree with that. Although I think it is true that to maintain a constant speed around corners is easier than slowing, accelerating, and jumping gaps at the back.

    Yesterday I lined up at the very front and was immediately dropped to halfway through the field when everyone sprinted for the first corner. I've come to the conclusion that I simply got beaten by stronger riders this weekend. I couldn't compete with the guys at the front.
    or they just know that the very hard effort at the start pays back for laps to come. better to be gassed for 2 minutes than be dropped after 10.
    Blows your hair back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmitro View Post
    Local Hero - I agree with that. Although I think it is true that to maintain a constant speed around corners is easier than slowing, accelerating, and jumping gaps at the back.

    Yesterday I lined up at the very front and was immediately dropped to halfway through the field when everyone sprinted for the first corner. I've come to the conclusion that I simply got beaten by stronger riders this weekend. I couldn't compete with the guys at the front.
    I was in a crit a few weekends ago and a PRO went really, really hard from the gun. The first few laps were insanely fast as everyone tried to hang on. Then the elastic snapped. Midway through the race the PRO and another rider had lapped the field.

    One of my teammates like to sprint really hard on the first lap of a crit. I never fully understood it until I did it a few times. It's an easy way to avoid the jitters, jerkiness, and reshuffling during the first few turns.

    Whether you use this tactic or something else the key to starting a crit off right is a proper warm up. Do whatever it takes to prepare yourself for immediate intensity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero View Post
    I was in a crit a few weekends ago and a PRO went really, really hard from the gun. The first few laps were insanely fast as everyone tried to hang on. Then the elastic snapped. Midway through the race the PRO and another rider had lapped the field.

    One of my teammates like to sprint really hard on the first lap of a crit. I never fully understood it until I did it a few times. It's an easy way to avoid the jitters, jerkiness, and reshuffling during the first few turns.

    Whether you use this tactic or something else the key to starting a crit off right is a proper warm up. Do whatever it takes to prepare yourself for immediate intensity.


    Man I hear you 100%. I know my muscle physiology well enough to know that I don't really get efficient muscle use until I'm well warmed up, and I'm definitely not a sprinter. So I warmed up well on Saturday until 15 minutes before the start, then started at the back of the pack and never caught up.
    So my strategy yesterday was to warm up early and get in the front of the line. Unfortunately after an hour of waiting for the start my muscles were not well equiped to sprint off the start line.
    I guess that's why I'm a cat 4 with only 10 mass starts under my belt lol. And I'm 41 years old competing with guys half my age

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    Well some race starts just aren't conducive to being warmed up. It's even worse racing mountain bikes and cyclocross, where starting in a front row is essential if you want to be competitive.

    Don't be too hard on your self because of your current ability to compete. It sounds like you're relatively new to racing and jumped in with a really competitive, large field. That's OK -- everyone needs to start somewhere. There are a few guys on my team who took to racing late in life and raced very well after a solid winter base and early season training loads. And while it's mid season now, you will certainly gain fitness and become more competitive by racing yourself into shape during the next several months. Have fun with it and remember, whatever difficulty you're having as a beginner is peanuts in comparison to the difficulties faced in the pros. So have fun with it.
    Last edited by Local Hero; 06-10-2013 at 07:36 PM.

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    No doubt!!
    thanks

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