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Racing étiquette?

leflef Posts: 728
edited May 2011 in Amateur race
Does anybody have any links (or comments) about racing etiquette, technique? I've had a couple of races and got my cat 3 today after a win but though pretty strong as far as 3 & 4 I'm clearly inexperienced. I'm safe as in keeping my line, not erratic, comfortable riding in a group having done plenty of group riding, etc but no doubt there's lots of unwritten (...actually hopefully written!) do's and don'ts.

Maybe a bit of a vague question but I guess I'm looking for a greater understanding of the subtleties of road racing.

Also, if peeling off from the front it seems difficult to get back in the group on a wheel unless you slip far down the group. Any tips on getting back on a wheel if there's no gaps, so not slipping too far down the group? How long should riders typically stay on the front? Todays race seemed to be full of people knackering themselves out on the front for too long, as well as pointless breakaways but thats something else.

Any advice, much appreciated thanks.

Posts

  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Pointless attempts to get away are completely normal in 3rd/4th Cat racing. Usually someone will sprint off the front giving it 100% then slip back through the bunch a few seconds later. Either that or one guy will go and half a dozen riders will sit on his wheel and do censored all work - and they wonder why the breakaway doesn't stick.

    I'm far from an experienced racer, but I think you'll learn a lot more from just continuing to race than you will from reading stuff. Maybe do some 2/3/4 races and see how the better 2nd Cats race.
    More problems but still living....
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    lef wrote:
    How long should riders typically stay on the front?

    0 seconds or 3 hours. Either are fine, it all depends on WHY someone is on the front.

    You should probably never peel off the front and have trouble getting back in - the only time you peel off is when you're working with others in the group to pull a break back, it should be stretched out enough when you're doing that that it's easy to slip back in - one of the people you're working for should let you back in so you can do your next turn.

    There's often a confused group of people in 4th and even 3rd cat racing who think there's a reason to keep the bunch rolling along at a hard rate and sit on the front working hard when there's absolutely no reason too, if you find yourself on the front - don't be stupid enough to fall into this trap, just keep pedalling easily as when you were in the bunch. Things will slow down, and that will actually make attacks more likely and make the race tougher. Exactly what the strong people in the bunch really want.
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  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    lef wrote:
    How long should riders typically stay on the front? Todays race seemed to be full of people knackering themselves out on the front for too long, as well as pointless breakaways but thats something else.

    :lol: 3rd cat racing in a nutshell. Breakaways are the whole POINT of racing.
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    I saw a lot of half wheeling at my last race...
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • Homer JHomer J Posts: 932
    You pays your money to do what you like. If you like going off the front go for it. If your agenda is to score points then use a bit more tactics. I can think of nothing worse than sitting in the bunch all day then fighting it out in the sprint. But each to his own.
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    Homer J wrote:
    I can think of nothing worse than sitting in the bunch all day then fighting it out in the sprint.
    It's the worst kind of race - very boring.
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • racingcondorracingcondor Posts: 1,434
    If you find yourself on the front and don't want to be then try easing off instead. Sooner or later people will start coming past and you can just accellerate onto the wheel you choose.

    Otherwise the best way to work out what the pack will do is spend more time racing. Not that helpful but it sounds like you're doing pretty well.
  • leflef Posts: 728
    P_Tucker wrote:
    lef wrote:
    How long should riders typically stay on the front? Todays race seemed to be full of people knackering themselves out on the front for too long, as well as pointless breakaways but thats something else.

    :lol: 3rd cat racing in a nutshell. Breakaways are the whole POINT of racing.

    totally agree. To clarify, repeatedly those breaking away weren't strong enough, hence pointless, although it did add some occassional excitement. When there were 3 or 4 riders in the breakaway no one wanted to work together and the initial breakaway rider usually stayed at the front until they blew up. But I'm sure everyone makes these kind of mistakes when theyre learning.
  • leflef Posts: 728
    If you find yourself on the front and don't want to be then try easing off instead. Sooner or later people will start coming past and you can just accellerate onto the wheel you choose.

    Otherwise the best way to work out what the pack will do is spend more time racing. Not that helpful but it sounds like you're doing pretty well.

    Yeah seems a sensible approach. the only problem I found was the riders passing you all had someone on their wheel.
  • Typically only 4 or 5 are up for working at the front, and like you, will take a turn then peel off. Once the others know you are one of the workers, you'll have respect and be let in. So come back to third or fourth wheel, start to look at where you want to get in, and people will let you in. If you look and act like you have earned a place in the head of the race, you will get it. If you are a flash in the pan, appeared from the bunch, had a dig, but haven't actually got the legs and haven't earned a place, forget it. That's my experience so far any way.
  • dawebbodawebbo Posts: 456
    I disagree that the breakaways that you described were pointless.

    A big factor in how successful your breakaway is going to be is the willingness of the bunch to let you go - not something you'll really find out till you try... besides it let's you see how strong some of the of riders are etc, so you have a better sense for which wheels are good if it's together at the end or who to keep an eye out for if another move goes.
  • dawebbodawebbo Posts: 456
    cadseen wrote:
    Watch the local likely winners in the races, find out who they are before you start :D

    That's all well and good in an e12 where you know most of the riders. In 34s there are a lot of unknown entities, and people have on/off days - and almost by definition you are unlikely to have people there who are consistently strong, as they'll soon be 2nd cat.

    Of course killing yourself for a few laps only to get chased down by the bunch is wasted energy, but you never know if people are going to bridge across or not. Just because moves are unsuccessful doesn't mean that it was the wrong decision to try it.
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    dawebbo wrote:
    cadseen wrote:
    Watch the local likely winners in the races, find out who they are before you start :D

    That's all well and good in an e12 where you know most of the riders. In 34s there are a lot of unknown entities, and people have on/off days - and almost by definition you are unlikely to have people there who are consistently strong, as they'll soon be 2nd cat.

    Of course killing yourself for a few laps only to get chased down by the bunch is wasted energy, but you never know if people are going to bridge across or not. Just because moves are unsuccessful doesn't mean that it was the wrong decision to try it.

    +1, if you dont try you will never know. Trick is to make hard breakaway at the right time with the right people. Once you know who the strong riders are in your area, and they know you are a grafter, have a word before the start, or in the race and have a dig together.
  • racingcondorracingcondor Posts: 1,434
    lef wrote:
    If you find yourself on the front and don't want to be then try easing off instead. Sooner or later people will start coming past and you can just accellerate onto the wheel you choose.

    Otherwise the best way to work out what the pack will do is spend more time racing. Not that helpful but it sounds like you're doing pretty well.

    Yeah seems a sensible approach. the only problem I found was the riders passing you all had someone on their wheel.

    You still have options -
    1) Ease off in the centre so people come round on both sides (the risk being that you can't respond to anything that happens until you've recycled yourself to a useful position),
    2) Ask for space. You'd be amazed at how well that works, particularly early in a race. Makes sense too, if you're in the gutter the person passing is on the edge of the pack and therefore in the wind. If they can move across a little and strand you at the edge they just saved themselves some effort.
    3) Fight for the wheel a bit, you'd be amazed at the number of people who'll make room for you if you ride two inches from their bars (I'm not going to advocate contact in a 3-4 race).

    As for pointless breaks, if they make you fitter they aren't pointless in the long run. t is unusual for breaks to hold though unless you either have a big mix of abilities (E123) or 6+ riders escaping.
  • ozzzyosborn206ozzzyosborn206 Posts: 1,340
    to be honest i think unless it is in the last couple of k in a race most people won't be too fussed about letting you have their wheel, if means they can wait longer until its their turn to pull through!
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