Micro-managing the week of a stage race.

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by quenya, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Perfect! Well done! Good luck tomorrow.
     


  2. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    Super excited and a bit dissapointed, I was 2nd in GC by 45 seconds from first and 30 seconds from 3rd after the tt. Did a fine road race though there were attacks all day nothing got away. I made a late desperate attack at the only spot where I thought I could get away, a really rough section of road then the longest of a series of short steep rollers. I got clear, but barely, then overtaken and dropped. I watched for 3rd place but since he never passed me I rolled in with a second group. Confident I'd retained 2nd in GC. When results posted the first group put 46 seconds on us, with time bonuses of 30 and 20 seconds two guys passed me in GC by 16 and 3 seconds...
     
  3. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Still some great racing Quenya. You rolled the dice and am sure you would have gone with that counter attack if you'd had the legs for it. Much better to race hard and race with an eye on winning rather than sit in content to defend.

    Great weekend and nicely done all around.

    -Dave
     
  4. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    I agree with Dave. It's easy to sit in and protect your GC position. Good to see that you picked your spot and went for it. Good race.
     
  5. frost

    frost New Member

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    Definetely, go big or go home. Hats off and respect for your race!
     
  6. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Definite kudos quenya.

    When I got back into racing a few years ago, we had a guy who would just charge off on a solo break attempt every weekend at my local race in the 5's. He always went early. And every weekend he got reeled back in and finished mid-pack or worse. One week he stayed away and finished solo, apparently over a minute ahead of the field. He went big and won big. He now does exactly the same in the 4's, and one of these days I suspect we wont see him again till the finish line.
     
  7. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    Thanks, everyone! It was a blast and I'm more excited/less dissapointed everyday. But I'm also looking into my races and examining why my results haven't shown what most of my racer friends and aquaintances have to say, 'you're still a four?!' or 'you're ready to bust out a win.' I've had a few close calls, in practice crits with cats 1-4 we lapped the field in a 3 man break (took 3rd) stayed away in a 5 man break (took 4th). Last year at a 4/5 crit I attacked at turn 1 on the first lap and got into a 2 man break that eventually got 40 seconds up and finished... 2nd. I feel like my fitness just isn't quite there for my tactics (or lack there of) so I'll be doing out tues/thurs world champs rides religiously this year with a focus on patience and watching/marking the p/1/2 guys. I also need to start more road races, finish them, and select courses that have threshold length selective climbs or sections. But yeah putting together a decent Madera feels great!
     
  8. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    GC spot in a stage race has gotta help that confidence. Bummer that stage race GC placings still don't count for points (just race finishes for the individual events) for Cat 4 to 3 upgrades.

    FWIW, what you did in the RR is a good step. Make a plan, do you best to execute that plan, often have a B or C plan if the A plan doesn't pan out for any reason but go in with an idea of what you'd like to try, try it and then after the dust has settled for better or worse think about what did or did not work and what you might have done differently.

    It also doesn't sound like you have a ton of organized team support which is pretty typical in the 4s and even the 3s in a lot of racing districts. If so then it can pay to adopt a lone ranger and opportunistic racing strategy. Watch more, don't go after everything but have a good idea of what you'll definitely want to go after either on numbers of riders as the race progresses (e.g. go with any moves with five or more riders at any point in the race, 3 or more in the final hour of racing, etc.) or who you'll definitely mark based on previous races.

    The other big thing if you're chasing upgrade points over all or nothing wins and want to really improve your end game before you take your upgrade. Get out there in the wind in the final miles, lead the whole damn field out a few times till you learn that you can reliably come into the final kilometer or out of the final turn right in the front two or three riders consistently. Sure it's not the smartest tactical move for a pure sprinter and you'll get nipped by some of those sprinters but you'll learn to consistently defend a forward position when it counts and you'll almost certainly start accumulating upgrade points with some good finishes as you dial your end game.

    Get to the point where you simply know you can come out of that final turn at the front when desired and then you can be a bit cagier and come out of that turn as the third or fourth rider or whatever you need to really kick around in the sprint. But too many folks try to be cagey at the end and repeatedly come out of that turn about twenty riders back then wonder why they can't place in sprints. You're strong, make it work for you and be willing to give away some top podium spots in a few races to dial that end game in and you'll still likely pick up some valuable upgrade points. More importantly you'll be in much better shape when you do take your upgrade if you've spent time right at the pointy end of the peloton in the final meters of some races even if you get pipped at the line a few times.

    -Dave
     
  9. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    Dave, thanks a lot. Quite a bit to digest in that post. I am not really chasing upgrade points because I feel when I'm winning races or competing for the win in races that don't really suit me the upgrade will happen. But, your idea of getting position at the and refining my finish is one I'll certainly incorporate. And, yes I raced without team support. I actually am racing unattached this year for a number of reasons. One plus though is that I'm not expected to work for others... many of my teammates were masters 3 crit racers, a couple 2s, and the few 4s that were there always wanted (needed?) my support in crits to chase breaks or line the field out in the last laps, but when Madera, Pine Flat or other road races that suited me came around guys had better things to do those weekends than support me... A new team is planned and the guys have different skillsets but more similar race focus so hopefully that works out a little better for everyone.
     
  10. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    I'd go independant under those circumstances as well. When I raced for a small team in my area, everyone on the team got to be king for a day. Everyone, regardless of level, got at least one race where the guys in their Cat were there for them unconditionally. Alas the team folded and now I'm also racing solo. But as Dave mentioned, in Cat4 it's not really a detriment to a good result.
     
  11. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    Danfoz, that wasn't really a factor in my leaving, just a silver lining I've found... Though after Madera and a strong chase at tuesday night's world champs ride 2 former teammates have messages me in Facebook inviting me back to the team... We did have an all for one attitude/rule but all of the 'team' races were crits and it never really made sense to say 'okay team, this here crit is mine so I'm taking a low percentage shot at the early break, if it gets brought back we do a team TT to the finish and I'll sprint for 5th...'
     
  12. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Reading about team tactics in a RR makes me smile. One of the most interesting analytical problems I have tackled is to develop the optimal pacing strategy for a team of X riders on a road course with variable grade and wind. Given each rider's key fitness statistics and weight, and the constraint that the team can't drop the weakest member, the question is simple: At each point on the course, how long should each rider stay on front and at what power? The answer algorithm is highly complex.
     
  13. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    Rdo, what is your occupation/education? I think of myself as a smart guy but... You're racing P/1/2 to my Cat 4.
     
  14. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Hey quenya, I admit to being over-educated. I got a Bachelor's in business from Texas Christian University and a Master's and Doctorate in Finance from Harvard Business School. I'm basically a technically curious entrepreneur with lots of computer-related stuff in my background. For example, I wrote my first program in 1964 for an IBM 1620. I can write code in a bunch of languages, but these days it's mainly C#, C++ and Objective-C. Now I teach a few courses in a local MBA program and invent stuff and start companies. It's great to be paid to do stuff one enjoys.
     
  15. teebone

    teebone New Member

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    This is a really good perspective to have. Especially in light of the new NCNCA policy that you accumulate points without regard to the time-period that they were earned, with respect to an upgrade.

    There is freedom in racing without seeking points. Strong riders like you will get the upgrade, no doubt, but racing with points in mind is cumbersome. Dave's idea is spot on in regard to using some of these races to execute a particular strategy not specifically tied to a finish placing. I have gained more confidence in my ability to race through intermediate steps than from finishing places. In a local circuit race I rode across to a chase group a half K up the road where two guys were trying to hamper the pursuit of the leader (teammates). I got to the chase and rode it up to the leader, then organized (errr......yelled at) the guys to get a solid working rotation. We stayed away a good part of the race. Even though we were caught in the end and I finished near the back of the field, that boosted my confidence through the roof and went home happy as pie.

    You'll find that your efforts to plan a strategy and execute it will help you ooze the confidence you need to finish races the way you want. Getting caught and dropped where and how you did is no reflection of your racing. It is easy to sit in the field all day and wait for one moment to try and make it happen. It takes courage to jump from the field and race for the win. Good on ya!

    T
     
  16. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    Teebone, the upgrade points rule change really does take a lot of pressure off. I don't feel like I have to be racing "all the time" whereas a couple years ago my first season racing it was 'rush' to get 10 starts then race all the local crits and road races plus two races in a day at CCCX... That year I certainly learned that 6 hours of driving for a 40 min crit makes fitness progression tough (especially when the wife doesn't want me off on the bike 12 hours every weekend...) But, to your and Dave's point working on being near the front at the finish will probably pay dividends in regards to places and upgrade points.
     
  17. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Also the upgrade from Cat 4 to 3 can be done via #of races, in addition to accruing points - it's the last upgrade that can be done this way. So even if ambitious attacks fail and one does get sucked into the pack they can still upgrade after 25 mid pack finishes with a starting field of (I believe but would need to double check the rulebook) 70 riders or more. Just don't get dropped completely. It would certainly be prudent to have the legs as well otherwise racing would just become a miserable experience if the new category's physical demands are completely out of ones attainable depth.
     
  18. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    I certainly don't want to upgrade based on pack finishes, if I'm not able to compete in the 4s then I should not race the 3s. I don't think that I would have to go that route, I think spending some time watching races and the local world champs rides (which often have p/1/2 guys) unfold and learning to fight for position at the end will get me where I need to be. The World's rides are an oab with a long flat and some selective climbing on the out then a basically neutral descent and a high speed peleton to the finish. On the way out I've usually been able to hang onto or near the leaders (though I've never won...) the way back; I've mostly tried attacking at different points or bridging to good moves but the ride virtually always comes down to a sprint. I'll make it a priority to be there at the sprint even if I'm leading it out per Dave's suggestion.
     
  19. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    I agree quenya, Aside from being a consistent front of the pack finisher, I think it's important to get at least one really good result before the move up, despite the number of races. And as we keep racing we inevitably learn a lot along the way too. Like some great sensei once answered when asked about the secret to martial arts, the answer was just keep showing up.
     
  20. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Good point about self confidence playing a role beyond fitness. Some of it's a process about learning where one's own strengths are relative to the group, i.e. true sprinter, 1k guy, TT, etc. and then truly exploiting that. A lot of which is trial and error and can take many races to figure out. And the big mistakes ensure by their own virtue they'll never happen again. I got one that still haunts me./img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
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