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  • Differance between a road an a XC race?
  • Premier Icon oldgit
    Free Member

    ..that said, nothing properly prepares you for racing.

    Hate to harp on about how things used to be, but it’s where clubs shone. It was like serving an apprenticeship.
    Good example. A few of my club mates are goint to race tonight for the first time. Their idea of taking a turn up front is to hoon by whilst looking over the shoulder wondering why the poor sod that’s just done all the work can’t get on.
    I explained that if they do that on the night it’ll be seen as an attack, and hence the old chase everything starts up.
    We tried having a proper session working as a chaingang, it was okay. The other thing with relative newcomers is the inability to hold a wheel, and when they do they fixate on the tyre in front and not what’s going on.
    As well as being too old, it’s the reason I won’t race 4th cat and why I stick with the LVRC as the racing and riders are quality.

    Premier Icon lazybike
    Free Member

    Have to agree with oldgit on the lvrc, much higher standard of riding, that said, we all have to start somewhere.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    As oldgit says. I was out with the local club a few weeks ago round the lanes of Cheshire. Me (very experienced but have now dropped back to 3rd Cat), couple of very good 2nd Cats, a non-racer type and a complete newbie.

    Managed to control the enthusiastic 2nd Cats (who had a tendency to sprint for signs or sprint uphills) for long enough to get a chaingang going, proper through and off. 5 is a good number but dear God it was like trying to herd cats at first!

    The newbie got the hang of it after 2 or 3 rotations though and he admitted afterwards he’d learned loads from it and we all had lots of fun riding it. Was great practice, we maintained it for about 30 mins.

    As to the racing. 4th Cat races tends to sit there at 22-23 mph then all hell breaks loose as someone launches an attack, everyone sprints after it, catches up then sits there again at 22-23mph. Repeat until the finish line comes into view. Keep your wits about you, DON’T make any sudden moves or switch line and remember, once you’re sprinting for the line you’re committed. Do NOT sit up when you realise you’re not going to win as everyone behind will run into the back of you! Other than that, have fun. 🙂

    Premier Icon Ro5ey
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    Not sure I should have started this thread now, as I will not be racing tonight…. Boo.

    Mailed the club (yes its Ford CC at Dunton) and although wasn’t told no in so many words was put off a little, which is fair enough. Their views echoed you guys, probably a bit dodgy racing when having absolutely no experience of group riding.

    Really hate to be a wuss but it’s not just me involved… when other people are “at risk” I believe that should be respected

    So will get myself onto some local group rides and give it a go in a couple weeks.

    Or

    When go down there tonight, to have a little watch, I give it one last go at getting involved by judging the chaps reaction as I introduce myself.

    Premier Icon oldgit
    Free Member

    Managed to control the enthusiastic 2nd Cats (who had a tendency to sprint for signs or sprint uphills) for long enough to get a chaingang going, proper through and off. 5 is a good number but dear God it was like trying to herd cats at first

    LOL… We had nine going, as Gene Hunt said ‘it was like a load of ***zzers in a magnet factory’ The rider in front peeled off so I came through, fine. But then he keeps matching my speed next to me and the rider behind was still asleep three metres away.
    They’re like my Springer Spaniel, they have to be in front the whole time, to them the whole concept of a race is to be in the front.

    Premier Icon oldgit
    Free Member

    Ro5ey, if you watch it’ll look pedestrian, it always does for some reason.
    Have a go. Can you take a lap out? some allow that.
    Have you really got no experience of group riding?

    Premier Icon trickydisco
    Free Member

    I asked this question in december

    http://www.singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/differences-between-xc-and-road-racing

    FWIW i’ve done a few road races and numerous crit races (got my 1st point last month)

    the road races were much, much harder than the crit races and i enjoyed them more. The crit races i treated as training most of the time as it normally came down to a sprint finish. Saying that we’ve had 3 or 4 races in the series where the break has stayed out and hasn’t been caught.

    The crit races were 3/4 so i’ve no experience of 4th cat only races.

    It took me quite a few races to develop a bit of racecraft. The 1st few i kept getting hit by the wind when i wanted to drive to the front (i’d always come out of the pack and move up on the outside). Now i move up inside the pack and find i’m quite confident moving up through the bunch.

    I must say i absolutely love road racing. I’ve did 1 of the southern xc races a while back in the sport category although had a dnf due to a blow out on the last lap.

    Premier Icon scratch
    Free Member

    I raced 5 CAT4 crits this year without seeing a crash, the fields usually just club members so most know how to ride in a group, keep an eye on the random’s.

    Warm up a LOT before hand,they’ll not be hanging around for the first few laps.

    Shout, point, signal to anyone close to give warning if your pulling out etc.

    Enjoy it.

    Most importantly, above anything else:
    Rule #59 – HOLD YOUR LINE!

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    oldgit – that was the mistake the newbie kept making and the speed kept going up and up and up. He’d come through a good 10mph quicker than the inside line, the pull in when he was 20m up the road, the guy behind sprinting wildly to catch up.

    Within 5 minutes though, we’d got it down to a pretty fine art and in the end were keeping it going round corners and all sorts. Once I got the two 2nd Cats onside and they started controlling themselves/the group a bit more, it was all fine. And actually very enjoyable, you get a good buzz from doing it right.

    Premier Icon lazybike
    Free Member

    I’m surprised they put you off, the idea of that series is to give newcomers an introduction, the guy that runs it is a very experienced racer, if you’re going to go along take your bike and have a go, if you don’t like it, or feel really uncomfortable, then you can pull out. Depending on how old you are, you can wait till next week and ride with the vets. If you want to come on a group ride, we meet 9.30 sunday at Bulphan Church.

    Gateway cc

    Thinking about it you may be better off going out on the 9 o’clock run its a bit faster, you’ll be welcome on either.

    Premier Icon 40mpg
    Full Member

    Ro5ey, good call – get along tonight, have a chat with a few experienced-looking people (they won’t be the ones with carbon bikes and deep section rims. Look for mudguards) and tie up with some club/ evening training runs first.

    Myself and others I know have given up road racing because it has got too dangerous with innexperienced riders. A good friend broke his hip last summer in these circumstances, with further operations won’t be propoerly fit for another year or so yet.

    I do hope BC go the ‘provisional’ licence route or set up some sort of Compulsory Basic Training through the clubs before people can race in earnest – its getting crazy.

    I have had a couple of goes at getting newbies into a working chain recently, starngely the mountain bikers picked it up in no time, the (previously solo) roadies were off the front/back/side all the time and completely oblivious to anyone other than themselves.

    Premier Icon oldgit
    Free Member

    I fine rider from the Twickenham suffered the same fate IIRC

    Premier Icon Ro5ey
    Free Member

    Lazy… Thanks, yeah somehow I came across the flyer for the races and that was my impression of them. But like I’ve said, they have not said no as such. I’m going to ride down there from Brentwood tonight and see how I get on.

    Sadly sunday mornings are a no no for me, otherwise I would have been out on a group ride before, but thank you for the invite.

    Premier Icon lazybike
    Free Member

    No worries, I don’t think we’ve got anyone racing tonight, should be some glendene, essex roads or chelmsford riders about though, maybe have a chat with them… Good luck.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Full Member

    FWIW, despite my negativity, I’ve never crashed in a road race. I’ve not done that many, probably 50 or so over the years, had some incredibly near misses, but never actually hit the tarmac.

    However, I just don’t really enjoy it! I got frustrated with people slavishly chasing down everything, or totally controlling the bunch because they’re the dominant team, but to be honest that’s primarily because of the races I chose (mainly crits at Eelmore in Hampshire).

    I’d never ridden in a group before I tried road racing, never ridden with more than 4 people or so. I didn’t finish my first race (out the back at Goodwood), but did finish my 2nd, and then never had a problem again. Quite early on I ended up in an E/1/2 race after missing the 3/4 race – and even that was alright, less ‘frantic’.

    I’m not totally convinced that riding in a bunch will make that much difference. You have to take the plunge sooner or later!

    Premier Icon oldgit
    Free Member

    I feel a bit bad now 😥

    Then again one club I rode for said I’d have to train another year with them until I could race in their colours. I’d already been racing 17 years.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Eelmore must be a series of sprint efforts, surely? Bit bonkers racing on there.

    Anyone consider wearing some lightweight body armour for this? 🙂

    Premier Icon oldgit
    Free Member

    Did you go last night?

    I watched our only rider last night, he did a good job. Rode mid bunch all race before moving up for a points place on the hour, but the final single file bend did for him and ended up about 13th.
    Two loons shot off within ten minutes and the bunch didn’t bother. Five minutes later the dynamic duo were off the back just trying to stay upright.

    Premier Icon Ro5ey
    Free Member

    So I went down to the 4th cat race last night and had a go and I think I’ve got more questions than answers.

    Introduced myself to the gent organizing the evening, he was reluctant to let me race. Luckily the commissionair (sp) was standing nearby , saw my dejected look and asked what I expected from the race, I told him I just didn’t want to get dropped. Must have been the right answer as he got me involved.

    There was one other newbee but everyone else really did look the part, I was seriously wondering whether I could keep up. I shouldn’t have, it was a fast paced but sitting at the very back I just got sucked along (although the other new guy was off the back within a lap, but then he did still have the reflectors on his bike ?) There was some speeding up and a few times where some light braking was needed but overall it was comfortable high speed cruising. Maybe that’s down to the fact the race was on a old telephone receiver shaped test track, no sharp corners and all very straight forward.

    So I stayed at the back getting used to being close to others and not actually being able to see where you are going. For 19 ¾ of the 20 lap race I stayed there expecting the pace to build, especially in the last lap, but it just never happened until 500m to go. Had loads of puff left, in fact to be honest (non willy waving) I had hardly broken sweat, so put the pedal down and finished mid pack ?? If I had not be so so conservative may have finished front of the pack.

    Riding back home two thing stood out….

    Riding in a group defo needs experience, the gents on here who questioned whether I should race were right to do so. I plan to get some more to give me the confidence to move up to nearer the front.

    And the dozen or so XC races I’ve done have been 10 times harder than last night. Now, it may well be down to the fact I was trawling along at the back but my average perceived excursion was probably about 5 last night as opposed to 8.5 out of 10 in a XC race ? Heard some guys saying “fast tonight aye?” Chatting, chatting??? Reckon you could chat in an XC race? I should hope not, and that’s not because the field is strung out.

    So I’m wondering what you guys think, overall I defo enjoyed it and will be back for more. I have some new found admiration for racing roadies, hats off for having confidence in the guy in front of you… how you race along roads and bends you don’t know, is to me, at the moment, just scary!

    Premier Icon wynne
    Free Member

    Well done for giving it a go. Finishing in the bunch on your first race is a really good effort.

    Lots of clubs run chaingangs, which are excellent places to learn fast paced group riding. Not sure where you’re based, but if you’re near South London then Dulwich Paragon runs a range of chaingangs which vary according to ability.

    I’ve just gone the other way. I did my first XC race on Wednesday – the Beastway at Hog Hill. That was fairly entertaining.

    Premier Icon oldgit
    Free Member

    You’re obviously stronger than you thought. I doubt you had a slow race, the minimum never goes under 25mph.
    Last night for instance all the newcommers were shelled out while the 2/3/4ths all raced for points.

    IME as a 50 plus vet, I struggle with placings on the road but can just ride into a top ten at a XC event.

    Quite envious that you found it so easy, I have to train all year just not to get dropped.

    Premier Icon clubber
    Free Member

    Sounds like you did it the right way – gave it a go, didn’t cause any crashes, learnt what to work on.

    As you mention, there’s a big difference between sitting at the back of a pack and sitting in the middle of it where there’s no escape – for you or other riders 🙂

    Premier Icon oldgit
    Free Member

    Ahh was that a 4th only race?

    Premier Icon Ro5ey
    Free Member

    Yeah 4th only.

    Wynne how did you find Beastway… I love it, a great work out. Did the first few this year but then my MTB died and I’m also concentating more on triathlon this year, so that’s why I’ve been seduced by road riding

    Premier Icon oldgit
    Free Member

    Yeah 4th only.

    Thank **** for that. They’re piss easy my gran could do those on her uni-cycle 😉

    Good thing is you know you can do it, and they’re always there. Though circuit races can get a bit dull if you do too many on the same course.
    Wouldn’t TT’s be better training for you?

    Premier Icon Ro5ey
    Free Member

    Oldget guessing your gran’s getting on a bit.

    And yes sir TT would be much better in hind sight, more wise words from your goodself.

    But then again, all work and no play is a bit rubbish and now I’ve got a another new fun game to play.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Full Member

    Eelmore must be a series of sprint efforts, surely? Bit bonkers racing on there.

    Yep – one shallow corner, and one very sharp one. Good training, and oddly safe as well. Compared to Goodwood – where you could ride a 10 lap TT without touching your brakes, where I’ve seen some horrific crashes. Only crashes I’ve really seen at Eelmore is people overcooking the bottom bend.

    Anyone consider wearing some lightweight body armour for this?

    A friend raced in full armour just before the Nat Champs – having crashed in a crit just before the previous year. He did fine.

    Introduced myself to the gent organizing the evening, he was reluctant to let me race

    Why? It’s a 4th Cat race FFS – for beginners! It’s not like you were wanting to ride the Premier Calendar! He sounds like a pleb.

    Premier Icon keavo
    Free Member

    good ride fella. i reckon your just a bit of experience away from a win/placing. don’t be afraid to have a go next time.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Nice one Ro5ey on getting in there, good effort to finish in the bunch. Don’t listen to anyone taking the piss about it being 4th Only, everyone has to start somewhere! Can’t believe the organiser though – thought the point was to encourage people into racing!

    I did Preston Arena crit last night, it was very quiet though, I think cos a lot of the E/1 riders who often turn up were saving themselves for the National Crit Champs today. Only about 25 riders in total so they set everyone off together, E’s down to 4ths! To be honest, it was more like a fast chaingang, we averaged about 27.5mph for the first bit but then everyone started looking at each other, people kept chipping off the front and trying to get away but everything got chased down so the average dropped a bit. I must have had abot 6 goes to get off the front, one break lasted about 3 laps but that was it. Tried a do-or die move with 2 laps to go, got caught with 700m to go and rolled in at the back. 😳

    To be honest, I wasn’t after points or a win, it was just a training session, 1hr of max effort and for that it actually worked very well, I was feeling pretty strong and had a good time. Hopefully there’ll be more people next week.

    Premier Icon trickydisco
    Free Member

    And the dozen or so XC races I’ve done have been 10 times harder than last night. Now, it may well be down to the fact I was trawling along at the back but my average perceived excursion was probably about 5 last night as opposed to 8.5 out of 10 in a XC race ? Heard some guys saying “fast tonight aye?” Chatting, chatting??? Reckon you could chat in an XC race? I should hope not, and that’s not because the field is strung out.

    Try and 2/3/4 road race and you won’t be saying that.

    I find it very easy to stay in the pack in teh castle combe 3/4 crit races.. feels like a club run at times. It’s only if you start chasing down breaks or 3 or 4 of you trying to make a break is when it starts to hurt.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Full Member

    I think the difference is that you can have a very easy race on the road, which you can’t really on an MTB (and expect a good result that is).

    I always try and be pro-active and get into breaks and what not on the road, but usually get beaten by a sit in sprinter. Even then, I’ve never been anywhere near as wiped out as after an XC race.

    You just can’t do the sit in thing in an XC race – fastest rider wins.

    Premier Icon kcr
    Free Member

    Fastest rider always wins in a road race as well!

    People call time trials the “race of truth” but the real race of truth is the road race. You need to be able to use your head and your legs to win a road race, so it is a true test of an athlete.
    There are different ways to win, so if you are not a sprinter, you need to race to your particular strengths instead.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Full Member

    In an absolute sense yes you’re right, but not in the same way. You can’t be a sit in sprinter in an XC race.

    I’m not denying the skill in the tactics of road racing, brute strength will only get you so far of course, I’m just saying that you can get a good result in a road race without doing very much, whilst a stronger rider who spends the day in a break may finish behind you absolutely ruined. That won’t happen in an XC race.

    What I’m not sure about though is calling a road race a ‘race of truth’ – that’s definitely a moniker which better suits TTs IMO. Road racing is more a ‘race of fitness, skills, brains, luck and a good team’, which just isn’t as catchy.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Fastest rider always wins in a road race as well!

    Not true – if the fastest rider has got boxed in then he won’t win. If he’s sat at the back and misjudged the time to come through he’s not ging to win. I know plenty of fast people who are just unlucky or who don’t have the tactical nous to win.

    To win a road race you need to be tactically aware, technically good (to get round corners etc with other riders inches away from you) and also have a good mix of all out sprinting power and staying power. Being fast enough to ride off the front of the bunch is good too but it’s very rare you get away with that more than once!

    Premier Icon wynne
    Free Member

    Wynne how did you find Beastway… I love it, a great work out. Did the first few this year but then my MTB died and I’m also concentating more on triathlon this year, so that’s why I’ve been seduced by road riding

    I enjoyed it – they manage a good circuit given the space and terrain. I got hauled into it as three club mates wanted to put a team together.

    I did it on my cross bike, which was fast, but got bounced around a lot on the rutted ground. I started right at the back of 90 odd riders and overtook about 50 of them, ended up 43rd but finished well above the fourth group I started with. So all in all I was pleased.

    By the way I reckon you’re doing it the right way round. Coming from a mountain biking background means your bike handling skills will probably be pretty good. On the other hand, some of the triathletes I’ve met on group rides make me nervous…

    Premier Icon njee20
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    Triathletes are infamous for being totally unable to ride bikes, and I think it’s justified!

    Premier Icon convert
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    Fastest rider always wins in a road race as well!

    Could not be more wrong! (unless you just mean the person that goes from start line to finish line on that particular event in the shortest time – but that’s just pedantic)

    Premier Icon kcr
    Free Member

    …if the fastest rider has got boxed in then he won’t win. If he’s sat at the back and misjudged the time to come through he’s not ging to win…

    If you get boxed in, or misjudge the finish, you’re not the fastest rider. Not being pedantic, but making the point that winning a road race is all about getting over the line first, however you do it.

    I’ve been beaten in lots of sprint finishes by riders that I could have easily left for dead in a time trial. However, in these situations the other guys were the fastest when it mattered. To win races I had to ride to my own strengths and eliminate the challenge from sit-in sprinters before the end of the race.

    It’s the variety of outcomes in a road race, and the fact that you can compensate for straight line speed by using your head, that makes it such a challenging and interesting sport.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Full Member

    If you get boxed in, or misjudge the finish, you’re not the fastest rider

    Aah, so you are just being facaetious then?

    It’s the variety of outcomes in a road race, and the fact that you can compensate for straight line speed by using your head, that makes it such a challenging and interesting sport.

    How does that make it a race of truth though – more so than a TT, which really is 99.9% fitness?

    Premier Icon convert
    Full Member

    What you have described there (which I totally agree with) in my opinion is why your initial statement was incorrect. I’d go with the most intelligent (in a road craft rather than academic sense – have you heard John Tanner trying to string a sentence together!) rider wins. Question of semantics though I guess.

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