How long to be a credible Cat 4 or am I just crap (road content)

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  • How long to be a credible Cat 4 or am I just crap (road content)
  • mtbtomo
    Member

    Thanks Kryton – good to know not everyone goes from ‘zero to hero’ after a just one or two races!

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I may try to get there Tired. I wasnt’t sure what was meant in categorised / qualification by “masters”.

    The above posts are making me nervous for my 4th race – a 90k 4th’s road race next weekend.

    Involved in my first crash on Saturday, bike too broken to continue. Gutted, an expensive 20min race and can see my 1st cat licence goal slipping away already as no race bike no so missing more races. πŸ™

    Would agree with the comment that if you are finding it hard in a race then everyone else will be – i didn’t believe this when i first started racing but the more races i did the more i learned this – to start with its a case of holding that max effort as long as you can to hold on but if you can hold on, then the does eventually ease up and you’ll be fine. You only get better at racing by racing lots too.

    Kryton, RRs are much different to crits, esp if a break has gone and stuck – the bunch will cruise along until its near the finish if that’s the case. If you can’t climb, get on the front of the bunch for every climb so you’ve wheels to fall back on otherwise you’ll be out the back on the first climb. Less sprinting (unless you are at the back coming out of corners)

    monkeyfudger
    Member

    Bugger! What’s up with the bike?

    deep section wheel has broken spokes with poss damage to the deep section bit and is buckled i think. rear drop out is bent, mech hanger ripped off and bits of the screw are stuck in the frame too. think it can be repaired but i’m meant to be at a stage race at the weekend and don’t fancy it on my winter bike! not a mark on me as i held it up right until i could unclip and get my foot down…the worst bit is the chopper fell off going uphill…i mean really, how hard is it to keep pedalling going uphill?! it was on closed roads too, no excuses for it!

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Bad luck DGOAB, not good news at all.

    Well, I’ve been declined from the RR on Sunday so I need to find some thing else to do…

    Premier Icon curiousyellow
    Subscriber

    OP, if you want a guide to how a guy went from beginner to Cat1 then here is a blog from Rob Sharland of Kingston Wheelers.

    http://firstseasonracing.com/

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    *reads thread with interest*

    Got my first ever road race at the end of June. No idea what the course is going to be like or the field.

    jonba
    Member

    Done 2 road races this year. First proper ones.

    First one was an E/1/2/3/4 pursuit. I worked to stay away but not enough help and we were caught just under half way. Rode off the front up a hill (suprised myself as well as the guys on the front) and the ensuing chaos/counter attack saw the winning break go clear. Rode home for a mid table finish – not bad considering the standard.

    Rode on Sunday. 3/4. Thought a break was going to stick and so tried to bridge. Got caught in no man’s land and it all came back together a couple of minutes later. Sat in for a bit to recover then felt pretty happy. Half way round the last lap I went for it on a solo break like a Frenchmen on Bastille day. Got caught just before the final corner. I’d thrown everything into it and the bunch were winding up for a sprint finish so I went straight out the back and rolled in last πŸ™‚

    I feel strong but my tactics and race craft are lacking coming from a mtb and cx background. It is all brute force and ignorance at the minute. Still I’m enjoying the racing and much prefer to make it a race rather than sit in and try to pick up the odd point.

    will
    Member

    Worth noting that Rob of KW is a machine!

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Kryton – you got declined for the road race? How does that work??

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Kryton – you got declined for the road race? How does that work??

    A lot of road races work on an organiser managed field, especially if they’re going to be be oversubscribed.

    About 3 weeks or so before the race, entries close and the organiser picks the field based on whatever criteria he has going – could be rankings, points, category, preference to local clubs/juniors, you name it.

    So it’s not uncommon for a 4th cat to be declined for road races if the organiser is picking all the 2nd cats first, then all the 3rds, then the 4ths.

    monkeyfudger
    Member

    Well had my first road race today, the week didn’t quite go to plan seeing as I’ve had the shits all week and haven’t eaten! Normal ish poo yesterday so thought I’d get stuck in, smashed a load of gels this morning and gave it my best. Got dropped on the last lap after my legs decided I was taking the piss asking for another lap and shut down, think I ended up 22nd. Riding out to the start from HQ I could tell I was in for a hiding, mouth was insanely dry! Getting lost on the way back to HQ after the race was particularly delicious…

    TiRed
    Member

    Congratulations. Your body tells you when you are having a larf, doesn’t it?

    I rode out 15 miles to a road race on Thursday evening. Arrived an hour early and still didn’t get a number as it was sold out despite entry only on the line πŸ™ I was 62/60. So rode the reverse course cheering on the team.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Tired – ygm. Despite an insignificant result I had a good day today, finally after 5 crits making me feel like all the training and learning is starting to pay off. pB’s across the board….

    Mtbtomo – despite being on an affiliated club their over subscription rule was to use BC point shighest to lowest as a ranking to award places to riders. I don’t have any points yet hence I was at the bottom of the list…

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Ah….have to say I have now come across this, having entered a few other races where it asks if you’d be happy to be a reserve.

    Done a few more crits since my last post.

    Hung with the group today, but the course suited me, no hairpin bends so no crazy-ass accelerations every lap.

    Finished in the bunch, so that’s a result to me! Partly missed the sprint cos I couldn’t remember if the bell meant “last lap” or “10 to go”. Oohps.

    At least its better than Wednesday where I turned up without my entry fee and only realised at the last minute. What a wally!

    Ramsey Neil
    Member

    Finished in the bunch, so that’s a result to me! Partly missed the sprint cos I couldn’t remember if the bell meant “last lap” or “10 to go”. Oohps.

    I was once in a road race where coming to the end of lap 6 of 7 about 6 people sprinted for the line like crazy and the first of them crossed the line arms in the air only to be greeted by the sound of the bell for the last lap .It is surprisingly easy to forget how many laps you have done when there are a lot of other distractions going on and I very nearly joined that sprint thinking my lap counting might have been wrong and I just hadn’t heard the bell .

    Yeh i stupidly went for the sprint on thursday night with 1 lap to go. I much prefer longer circuits where you don’t need to think about laps etc. I’m forever asking my teamies how many laps we’ve done – all i’m ever thinking about / concentrating on is moving up/positioning etc.

    I remember my first crit (town centre), all the blooming bells and whistles and NEG bikes coming past – i had no idea what was going on! πŸ™‚

    Seem to have lost my race mojo, not remotely interested in racing atm and got to decide if i want to race the Tour Series asap 😐

    Premier Icon schmiken
    Subscriber

    Blowing my own trumpet somewhat but using lots of the advice in this thread I managed to get my third cat after winning at Mallory Park on Tuesday. Many thanks to everyone who posted up!

    http://www.paleoracing.co.uk/index.php?itemid=122

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Yep, I’ve been following this one, trying to spot the mere mortals amongst the “yep, first time out and I pedalled off the front to victory” πŸ˜‰

    Good stuff Schmiken! How long you been doing it?

    TiRed
    Member

    A win is a win! Congratulations Mike, nice report. And finishing in the bunch is where it starts mtb, well done too. I still haven’t “won”, but personal goals are what matters. When racing with the ladies, their laps count down earlier, and you aren’t the first to miscount or mis-hear the bell.

    Last race I was in finished early with three laps called not five due to light.

    Itching for racing and hoping for a short blast on the Gorrick 100 (3 laps if I can get there in time).

    Premier Icon schmiken
    Subscriber

    It was only my second ever road race, but as my wife keeps reminding me I’m sandbagging somewhat! I’ve been racing MTBs for about four years now and got my Expert category upgrade at the start of this year.

    TiRed
    Member

    Rode my first proper E123 race last night. 4th Cat has a lot going for it! Average speed was 28 mph 😯 and 297 watts as a first for me. I managed to hang with the main bunch, having missed the break, and sprinted for a top third overall.

    On the positive side, if anyone fancies a good beginners race, there is a development BC Thames 3/4th Cat race (without points) every Tuesday evening at Hillingdon at 7PM. The absence of points makes it a better opportunity to find your racing legs than some races, whilst keeping a pace of 24-25 mph. I’d recommend it and know some of the 3rds in the race who help keep it tidy.

    crispycross
    Member

    Jonba – chapeau! That’s the way to race, win or bust. To continue the kamikaze Frenchman theme, more amateurs could take a leaf out of M. Jacky Durand’s book. I love this quote of his:
    β€œI’d rather finish shattered and last having attacked a hundred times than finish 25th without having tried.”
    It might not work most of the time but it’s bloody amazing when it does.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Tired how long do those Tuesdays go on for?

    TiRed
    Member

    They run all season until Mid/Late September then switch to Saturdays. Details on BC website – search for “Thames”.

    I have attacked and finished last a few times.

    It might not work most of the timeat all but it‘swould be bloody amazing when itf doesdid.

    oldgit
    Member

    Still early in the year Kryton.

    Decided to knock it on the head this year which was tough, still is. Had a good year though, a win, not once out of the top 10, 6th overall in my CX league. Hopefully I’ll be hungry again next year.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    That’s a shame oldgit but well done to date.

    It may be early but I feel time is passing quickly. I’ve only done 4 races, and Beastway MTB looms. I’m starting to think I should just keep entering as many races as possible. For example although I hadn’t planned it I’m in the vicinity of hog hill where there is a crit tonight – although I am on a “break” between training plans (I’m still riding as much) should I go?

    I guest Beastway is a crit, just on a different bike/strategy.

    How many races per year is the right number?

    TiRed
    Member

    How many races per year is the right number?

    No idea, but I race every other week. My work is too demanding to commit to a proper training “plan”, so I think of racing as just that. I also try and enter races with beginners from our club to help them get acquainted, so may ride a 3/4 or two if they will let me.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Sorry it was a rhetorical question.

    I’m in the same boat as you, plus the added issue this month of being a 5 week month for the Nursery bill 😯

    Hence I’m wfh and had planned a lunchtime/evening ride or turbo session. In retrospect it’s wet, and I’d rather keep my powder dry/ bike in one piece for next week πŸ˜‰

    mtbtomo
    Member

    It may be early but I feel time is passing quickly.

    Exactly that feeling, I remember itching to get some racing done back in January, since it doesn’t tend to start up here till March/April.

    Done 5 crits so far and the season just seems to be flying by. Struggling to fit in chaingang, crits, distance (preparing for the Etape in July too) etc etc and still feel fresh when needed.

    The average speed I’ve clocked on my gps for most of the 4th cat races I’ve done has been between 21-23 mph – somewhat lower than what it sounds like at Hillingdon…

    cynic-al
    Member

    It’s a tough one – you need to race to get good, but too much can burn you out!

    I’d err on the side of less than more, but then I am a non-competitive-fanny and burn out easily

    peterfile
    Member

    I am a non-competitive-fanny and burn out easily

    Says the man who ran a sub 3.30(??) marathon dressed as a woman πŸ™‚

    although I am on a “break” between training plans

    why would you be on a break between plans yet riding just as much? that seems very odd to me mid season!

    How many races per year is the right number?

    IME you can’t really dip in and out of racing as you end up not being race fit enough compared to those who race consistently from March – Sept, but you do need a mental break from it which is where training sessions like chaingangs come in as still race like speed but without the nerves of racing/being away from home etc. I personally can’t do more than 3 – 4 weekends in a row of racing because of the 8ish hours of travel involved but would quite happily race week in week out most of the season if it was on my doorstep/less travel. The more you race, the more you learn/mistakes you make and the easier it becomes. Plus it all becomes a bit more routine so less nerves etc.

    I did 7 races in March, but only 2 in April after my crash since i didn’t have a race bike for a while…suddenly my target races in June are very close but i don’t have the races in my legs that i’d wanted to by now. πŸ˜•

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    why would you be on a break between plans yet riding just as much? that seems very odd to me mid season!

    Because I’m not as experienced as you in timing/planning these things. I’d worked an 8-11 crit based week plan for my first races culminating in the road race i was denied early may. 2nd week June I start a sportive / FTP based plan aimed at the MTb Bonty 24/12 and ridelondon100 both of which I have placing/time targets respectively.

    When I say “break” I’m still on the bike for 150k a week, 2 of which are either Threshold /vo2 max/sprint turbo sessions. I’m still racing, for example I’ve at least one perhaps 2 crits next week. I’m just not following a regimented plan from a book/web resource.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    The average speed I’ve clocked on my gps for most of the 4th cat races I’ve done has been between 21-23 mph – somewhat lower than what it sounds like at Hillingdon…

    This makes me nervous too, I’ll let you know how it feels next week…

    Premier Icon adsh
    Subscriber

    aimed at the MTb Bonty 24/12 and ridelondon100 both of which I have placing/time targets respectively

    Wow first 24 and a placing target! I’d targeted finishing without resting too much for my first 24 but pulled out in favour of the Manx 100.

    TiRed
    Member

    I wouldn’t worry about Ride London; race fitness will get you round with a fast time. I think I rode one 70 mile ride over the Surrey Hills before the day last year and I finished over an hour earlier than I expected. Target this year is sub 4:30.

    Kryton; Tuesday or Wednesday race? The Tuesday 3/4 would be a better confidence booster for you. I’ll be at the Weds vets race.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    It’ll be Weds Tired as Mrs K has an evening commitment on Tuesdays until the end I this month so I need to babysit. Not worried about working against better riders as if I’m going badly placing-wise it just becomes a warm up for a 3/4 I have the following day – and experience of Hillingdon / flat which will help me choose where I commit a weekly 3/4 at in June (the other being Hog Hill).

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Kryton – you’re doing crits two days in a row? I did that a couple of weeks ago and just found it too much – still enjoyed it, but on 2nd night felt like there was nothing there for the sprints or when the pace ramped up. Maybe better in a season or two’s time when hopefully with a bit more race experience, my effort can be better spent during the race.

    Maybe I need to man up, but I feel beaten the day after a race and don’t normally do much.

    On the other hand is chaingang plus 1 crit a week enough to keep (or get) race fit? (These two sessons are intermingled with longer rides/turbo session/commutes and a couple of runs during the week)

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