First race advice needed

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by slowfoot, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. slowfoot

    slowfoot New Member

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    i'm 52, this is my second season of riding hard.

    i am entering my first race tomorrow, a 36 mile, flat for 20 miles than an 800-1000 vertical hill in the last 10 miles with some rollers to the finish. i have no TT experience either. It's called the Owasco flyer in Auburn , NY.
    dont' got a power meter. my max hr is 165 and i figure i probably have a ftp of 200-225 watts.
    word is that for the first part the pace can be 26+ mph.

    i don't want to burn out but also don't want to get dropped.
    how does one pace on hr or PE yet account for the adrenaline surge?
    any advice appreciated on how to approach one's first time.
    thanks guys

    dave
     
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  2. Sikhandar

    Sikhandar New Member

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    hey man, a simple advice: remove hr measurements system and also cyclo computer when racing, you must concentrate on drifting and to keep your eyes to good riders and to move with them. In fact, you'll *have* to stay with them during the climb, that is important... not your hr or your speed. During my career I had never used a computer when racing (only hr and srm - lately - during training)
     
  3. iliveonnitro

    iliveonnitro New Member

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    I disagree. Throw it in your back pocket so you can review the data later.

    Just focus on drafting and staying with the group, no matter what.
     
  4. slowfoot

    slowfoot New Member

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    well, i stayed with the middle of the pack for the first 7 miles.
    i was running at my LT to do this though.
    the pack was doing the "slinky", going from 27 to 14 then back up. having to sprint to get back to pace wore on me.
    when i hit the first hill of only 350 feet vert or so i was already cooked, the hill finished me.

    http://www.runstoppable.com/routeoverview.php5?route_id=1411326622

    retrospectively i should have stayed at the back at a pace comfortable for me. i would have found riders around my level and had i stayed within my zone there would have been much more for the last part of the race.

    lotta fun though

    dave
     
  5. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Dave,
    The accordian effect, braking, bike handling, chance of wrecking, and wasted energy only get worse as you get further back in the field. The guys back there aren't working less, they're typically working harder as every pace change gets magnified as you get deeper into the field.

    It sounds like you did pretty well for your first race. If anything work on riding closer to the front, staying sheltered, riding smoothly and looking for the easy opportunities to advance.

    Good job and remember, they get easier with practice.

    -Dave
     
  6. Sikhandar

    Sikhandar New Member

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    quote... when you're young the first thing that thay teach you is to stay in your position in the forward part of the group. In some races I managed to do more than 40/50 km with the same 2 people around on my left and right...all real racers. Anyway, when you get Master the pack is much more looser and it's not necessary to be as aggressive as you have to to mantain the same position for all the race...in a tight pack as soon as you leave 20 cm somebody will occupy it. It will be easy for you to get better with the pack feeling... race race race! GJ for now
     
  7. slowfoot

    slowfoot New Member

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    thanks

    i was really hesitant to enter a race at my inexperience and training level.
    but you guys are giving me the psychological attitude to go for it!

    i realize it 'll take a while to develop the ftp to hang tough but you gotta start somewhere.

    giddyup!

    dave
     
  8. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Some races will come down to pure sustainable power, especially if they have long climbs, but you should be able to hang in flatter races if you work on your pack riding skills. Hanging in the pack often comes down to "gap management" it's usually not the steady pace that gets you if you're good at drafting, it's the surges that get ya.

    Practice riding a wheel a bit off to one side or the other so that you can see up the road to keep an eye on what's coming and what the front riders are doing. It's safer since you'll see road debris and corners coming but it also allows you to ramp up to speed a bit sooner when the leaders jump or someone takes a flyer up the side. If you can get a bit of a headstart on the windup (without running into the wheel in front of you) you can use a lot less energy getting up to speed and avoid huge out of the saddle efforts on each surge.

    I'm always amazed at how many riders simply wait for the guy in front of them to jump and then have to jump hard to stay on the wheel. A lot of times you can just start winding the gear early up while staying seated and match the speed with a lot less effort. Every once in a while you get stuck behind a rider that reacts slowly or for one reason or another doesn't react at all. Then you'll have to dig deep and go around him, but save those big efforts for when you really need them not in response to every pack surge.

    Also look for the easy opportunities to advance in the field. If you're not right at the front (which you shouldn't be if you're currently getting dropped) then you'll typically be losing ground as riders move up around you. It's really tough to move up when the group is going fast and strung out and you'll waste a lot of energy advancing during those high speed sections. It's also hard to advance when the group is going slow and all bunched up with few safe holes to move through. But right between the surges and the slow sections there's almost always a short window where moving up is a piece of cake.

    Just as a group is chased down or the pack slows for a moment folks tend to just coast or even feather their brakes as the fast strung out group slows back into a bunch. If you're paying attention it's really easy to just pedal a few more strokes while others are coasting and move up a few positions with almost no effort. Keep an eye out for these opportunities and use them to hold a position near the front.

    That's just a starter, but there are a bunch of tricks to saving energy for when you really need it. If you need to take a short pull to stay up front just roll steady for a bit, don't kill yourself and get yourself dropped but don't refuse to go forward either. Often a short steady pull is all it takes to maintain your position near the front and discourage others from trying to drop you.

    Good luck and stick with it,
    -Dave
     
  9. slowfoot

    slowfoot New Member

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    great tactical advice !!
    i was kinda figuring all that out but the pack was so tight and the road was too narrow to really move around much.!

    i had a guy unexpectantly cross in front of me and hit my front wheel! MORON.
    i anticipated it and slowed and weight shifted to avoid having my wheel knocked out from under me. that about did it for any thought of moving up in the pack.
    i was more than a little gunshy after that.

    thanks
    that is a great explanation of group tactics.

    dave
     
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