- Oct 25, 2006
Some of the information about how these races are "raced" might have been missed in the middle of my first post. I'll try to explain more clearly,Originally Posted by cram1960 .
It may be a naive question to the OP, but
If the head of the race separates from you coming out of the turn, and the then guys who were behind you pass you when the heat turns off, why not just let the other guys take you back to the pack? rather than you leading them back to the pack. IOW let someone else close the gaps so you can save some precious matches for later. If no one else steps up...the it's up to you.
If I saw you grinding, I'd just sit on then pass you as the pace settles back down.
You can call me stupid, if you like. I'm not a racer.
These races are either 4/5 or 3/4. The 4/5 races are usually 25 miles and the 3/4 are around 35 miles on average. The terrain is very rolling with short sharp steep hills and descents. The courses are on narrow farming roads with a centerline rule in effect at all times. The field size is on average between 50 to 75. I have seen as much as 100. I would be more than happy to let someone tow me back. I do that. The problem is that when you do that you have now lost 5 places. It is almost impossible to gain those places back rapidly enough with a field of 75 sitting shoulder to yellow line, 4 or 5 bikes wide. Your best hope to move up is in a corner or coming out of a corner when the field strings out a bit. But I lose places because of my lack of short high power. Before I know it I'm at the back of the pack just holding on and in no position to do anything.
Breakaways in these races just don't happen. Average speeds are always between 24 to 25mph. If a break of a few do get away they are almost always pulled back in quite rapidly. The masters races are a bit different. They seem to be a bit more tame and the pack doesn't chase everything down. One of my teamates won the masters PA Bar last year. He won 9 races I believe solo off the front or out of a 3 man break. Two weeks ago the Masters race was the same distance as the 3/4 race that prompted this post. They averaged 20.7 mph where we averaged 24.2. But, most of these Master racers in this pack I KNOW have a higher w/kg at FTP than the ones driving the 3/4 race. The Masters just seem to race and use a bit more strategy where us younger knuckleheads just surge and surge and surge and win by attrition. But that doesn't change my problem since I'm only 35 years old. I HAVE to stop losing places out of these surges and corners. And it's not from losing the wheel "in" or "entering" the corner because of lack of skill. I actually lose it when the guy in front of me stands up and accelerates to catch the guy in front of him or get back to speed. If I don't try to sprint to catch him and just ride back on and use my aerobic ability, I just lost at least 5 places and after 4 corners I just lost 20 and in two laps I'm on the back riding the rest of my race as pack filler.
Two Saturdays ago we had a 4/5 race with a field of 60. I finished 24th. The last place in the pack was 27th. 33 riders were dropped within the FIRST lap. I can usually hang on in a race if I don't surge and surge to try and keep position. I just will end up finishing towards the back. By the way my FTP is 3.6 w/kg, 5m 4.9 w/kg, 1m and 5 sec don't even make the profile!!! Working on trying to drop 10 kilos though. But if I lost absolute power from that I don't know if I'll be any better on the rollers.