First CAT4 race tomorrow, any advice welcome.

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  • First CAT4 race tomorrow, any advice welcome.
  • singlecrack
    Member

    Cat 4 …….;0 Get to the front and stay there …..too much trouble in the pack …

    umop3pisdn
    Member

    If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving back.

    They’re not as hard as you might expect

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    Don’t get chain oil on your leg.

    boardsi
    Member

    depends how fit you are but actually even a cat 4 race is hard!

    TiRed
    Member

    They’re not as hard as you might expect

    My first averaged 24.5 mph. Then they got faster. Masters E1234 are even faster – 27 mph in the last race.

    If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving back.

    This, especially on wide closed circuits.

    Aim to stay in the top third of the group (crash avoidance strategy) and be in the top 10 on the last lap (points accumulation strategy). Then lose all those places in a sprint – well that’s how mine go, anyway.

    Just finish in the bunch and keep upright.

    Owt I should know before the off.?

    scratch
    Member

    Hold your line in the corners and watch the idiots in the sprint.

    barn
    Member

    Good luck mister.
    I was in exactly the same boat a few months back and it sounds stupidly obvious but the most important thing is to not to freak out and get all nervous.

    Some tips:
    1) Relax.
    2) Hold your line.
    3) Ride near, but not off the front.
    4) Stay out of trouble (if the person next to/in font is wobbling around and sketchy, move).
    5) Relax (you’ll be amazed how much energy you can save by not getting all jittery).
    6) Ride smooth, efficiently, stay out of the wind.
    7) Push on, don’t sink back into the bunch – stay in the top 10-15 the whole time.
    8) Learn.

    It’s great – you’ll love it.

    iain65
    Member

    Something’s I found useful when having an ‘off-day’ on the road was;

    learn the course and ensure that at the start of every climb you are at the front- that gives you about 20/30 bike lengths to drop before you go out the back of the bunch.
    Stay in shelter at all times unless you are absolutely sure you can make a big effort and sustain it.
    Eat well.
    If struggling, pull the next guy’s jersey…….just joking ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Good luck
    Iain
    Ps it was a long time ago since I was ‘on the road’.
    Pps plus all of the above post

    Junkyard
    Member

    What would Jens do

    ATTACK

    scratch
    Member

    ‘I can’t believe they’re giving me 20 seconds, don’t they know?’

    DO NOT overlap wheels with the bike in front of you. If they suddenly move you will clash wheels and will likely bring everyone around you down.
    No sudden hard braking if you can help it. If you find someone in front brakes then try and move to the side of them.
    You will also find that on the last lap everyone who thinks they’re good enough for the win (usually everyone) will want to be at the front so make sure you don’t get boxed in. Try and stay on the outside if you can, that way you can get yourself in a good position for a sprint finish.
    Enjoy it too and remember if you are hurting then everyone else is likely to be hurting too.

    If it’s cat 4 only and you have a good fitness then do what I did and go for a long sprint and win. You’ll then move straight to cat 3. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Premier Icon paulosoxo
    Subscriber

    have a good fitness then do what I did and go for a long sprint and win.

    That’s got nothing to do with being faster and everything to do with people not wanting to be seen with you in that kit.

    That’s got nothing to do with being faster and everything to do with people not wanting to be seen with you in that kit.

    You should see it close up! I agree, it’s not the nicest of kits but they’re a very good friendly club to ride for so I can live with the kit. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    “Don’t ride like a ****” pretty much covers the basics! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    No sudden moves, no slamming the anchors on and no sitting up in the middle of the sprint.
    This article has some useful pointers:
    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/road/article/roadst_Get-Into-Road-Racing

    Other than that, it’s not as dangerous or as bad as some people make out. Try and stay near the front if possible. That said, don’t be surprised if you end up out the back on your very first race. It can be a steep learning curve and it’s not fitness that matters particularly, it’s a lot to do with tactics, positioning, bunch riding skills etc.

    Oh and have fun. That one is important too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Pedal like ****, break away in a small group, drop them and then solo across the line arms raised only to hear the bell ring. Fade badly finish almost last ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

    BristolPablo
    Member

    A proper warm up is essential. My first race was at Castle Combe on Goo=d Friday and the pace on the first lap was madness. If you dont have rollers or a turbo trainer, you need to really get your legs moving because I was blown out the back of the group on that first lap which I think it was the second or third quickest of the race (which was 12 laps). From memory the average speed was about 39.5km/h, it was cold and there was a big headwind for at least 1/3 of a lap. In a group it would have been ok, as it was, I ended up doing a TT on my own and averaged 35 km/h.

    Subsequently I cant help with any of the tactics and things, there was a lot of talking in the group as they came past to lap me on lap 9 or so which I would have found distractinga nd disconcerting. I stayed with them for a bit but the pace upped again as the finish was approaching.

    My advice would be to enjoy it regardless of the field and your ability. I definately want to do more races. I bought some rollers the day after the race though, I’m not getting dropped again!.

    Pedal like ****, break away in a small group, drop them and then solo across the line arms raised only to hear the bell ring. Fade badly finish almost last

    Was that you? ๐Ÿ˜€

    clubber
    Member

    Top tip – don’t think you’re clever by diving up the inside into corners by braking later/harder – This is very prevalent in 4th Cat races but often causes crashes or just pisses people off – hold your position in the pack instead.

    Keep near the front and try to relax. If you’re tense, you’ll find holding your position difficult. You’re going to have lots of riders very close to you, get used to it.

    Don’t be a bunch engine – don’t work unless there’s a reason to do so – no prizes for working the hardest in a race only to be outsprinted at the end ๐Ÿ™‚

    Not admitting anything! I “know” someone who did the same in a mtb race too!

    Ah, I see. Maybe ‘your friend’ should try to concentrate more in races! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    HTTP404
    Member

    – don’t use your best bike – unless you’re okay with mishaps.
    – know the course inclines, headwinds – this is where people will go-harder. Be prepared to hang-on or be spat out the back.
    – don’t expect cat 4s to ride co-operatively.

    Shibboleth
    Member

    Get used to hitting the gas out of corners earlier than you think. That’s where you’ll most likely get dropped.

    And DON’T GET DROPPED! The pace might seem brutal for the first third of the race, but it will settle a bit. You need to be in the mix to get the benefit, so do whatever you have to do, bury yourself, redefine your “red line”, turn yourself inside out… But DON’T GET DROPPED!

    And if it’s an evening race, don’t bank on a good night’s sleep afterwards – the adrenalin buzz from a good race keeps me awake!

    Have fun though, it’s very addictive.

    And if it’s an evening race, don’t bank on a good night’s sleep afterwards – the adrenalin buzz from a good race keeps me awake!

    I get that too and when your racing 2/3 evenings a week it becomes a real pain in the arse. I wake up the next morning feeling like i’ve only had a couple of hours.

    Papa_Lazarou
    Member

    Iโ€™ve done lots of MTB races but road racing sounds utterly terrifying.

    clubber
    Member

    It is at first…

    lunchbox
    Member

    Take up mountain biking instead, it’s much more fun ๐Ÿ™‚

    Rorschach
    Member

    Pedal through corners whenever you can-don’t coast.
    Think of accelerating all the way from the apex .
    Ride efficiently,stay out of the breeze.
    Don’t surge.
    Stay relaxed.
    Don’t let yourself get pushed around,hold your line.

    Shibboleth
    Member

    Also, there will always be some tit that brakes too hard, can’t hold his line and swerves without warning. DON’T RIDE ON HIS WHEEL!

    If nobody seems to be riding on your wheel, you ARE that tit! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    monkeyfudger
    Member

    The speeds you guys are talking about are insane! Can’t imagine ever being capable, “went for itยฎ” this morning on my commute and only managed about 21mph! It’s only 15 miles, not bloody any where near race distance!

    Good luck Neilsonwheels.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Bunch riding innit, far far easier. I’d be really pushing myself to do 21mph, but can sit in E/1/2 races.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    What njee20 said ^^.
    Riding in a bunch can produce insanely fast speeds. I’ve done E/1/2 crit races that have averaged 29mph. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Riding on my own round the same circuit for the same time and on the same bike, I’d really struggle to average much above 19mph.

    Partly it’s the drafting effect, partly it’s that you’re in the race and you’ve got the added psychological pressure and adrenalin.

    4th Cat races can be quite jumpy – someone bangs off the front in a heroic breakaway effort, lasts half a lap then dies, meanwhile the bunch all chase him down madly at 25mph, catch him then it’s like “ooh, now what?” so they all sit up, the speed drops to 20mph and the next pillock takes the opportunity to disappear up the road. So it’s like a yo-yo going from 20mph – 26mph – 20mph…

    Repeat until the inevitable sprint finish…

    monkeyfudger
    Member

    Never ridden in a group but you’ve surely still got to be capable of pulling on the front? That’s me pretty much flat out, I was hanging all morning aswell…..

    trail_rat
    Member

    your only pulling on the front for a couple of minutes.

    my experiance of cat 4 is – the buggers will work hard as hell together to stop any breaks …. and i cant sprint.

    im alot stronger this time round – i might have another go…..

    big_n_daft
    Member

    Papa_Lazarou – Member

    Iโ€™ve done lots of MTB races but road racing sounds utterly terrifying

    don’t do track racing then ๐Ÿ˜‰

    clubber
    Member

    my experiance of cat 4 is – the buggers will work hard as hell together to stop any breaks …. and i cant sprint.

    That sums up 4th cat races pretty well. You really need to be strong to get away usually (or get lucky and find willing accomplices who’ll work with you sufficiently.

    That sums up 4th cat races pretty well. You really need to be strong to get away usually (or get lucky and find willing accomplices who’ll work with you sufficiently.

    That’s the same in the 3/4’s too. I attempted to get away 3 times on Monday night with another 2/3 riders but each time it fell apart. It’s one thing getting away but another getting everyone working together with through and off.

    DenDennis
    Member

    quick question – is there an average time for a typical cat4 race?

    getting curious myself now, Ta!

    Typically, depending on course, it’s about 40 minutes + 1-3 laps. If it’s a road race then about 35ish miles.

    mtbtomo
    Member

    So, daft question, where are these races generally advertised? I’m in the North West

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