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Thinking about Road racing.. What speeds?

RushmoreRushmore Posts: 674
edited September 2012 in Amateur race
Hi all..

I'm thinking about giving road racing a shot next season and getting my 4th cat race licence..
Thing is I'm not really sure what sort of speeds are required to be relatively competitive.

Will I get blown out the back? I honestly have No idea...

On Solo rides over about 30 miles I will average about 19 - 21 mph depending on hills

When rides of about 50 or more i'll be averaging anywhere between 17 - 19.5 depending on hills and stuff..

When i'm out on club rides we will average ( again over about 30 miles ) about 23 - 25mph.. When I say group its usually me and 2 others tops.. And will do about 30 second sprints at about 27 - 30mph..

I am pretty new to road cycling... So I have no idea what sort of standard the races are... Can someone advise me on if i'd be ok?

Sorry if this is a stupid question.. but I don't want to get embarrass by entering a race and coming last... :|
Always remember.... Wherever you go, there you are.

Ghost AMR 7500 2012
De Rosa R838

Posts

  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Average speeds are completely irrelevant in a race.
    Average speeds on club runs are completely irrelevant as no-one knows how you record, if you only manage max speeds of 27mph averaging 25mph would be amazing once you add in junctions etc. So you presumably discount quite a lot of time when recording.

    It's unlikely that you'll be too unfit - but you may well still come last - equally you may well win. There's nothing to be embarrassed about coming last.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • If you can solo for an hour and a half and average 20mph you should be fine.

    As Jim has said though average speeds are a pretty poor guide as they say nothing about bike handling, climbing or how you recover from repeated efforts. What kills you in a race isn't the average speed, it's being forced to ride at a pace dictated by the group (to some extent) rather than one that suits you.
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Average speed is irrelevant and based on the type of terrain i.e hilly, flat etc.

    A flat cat 3/4 crit is likely to be 24-25MPH~ And e12 crit 28.5+.

    A flat/moderate hilled 2/3/4 RR over 55 miles is going to be around 25-26MPH.

    Being a 2nd cat I ride both E/1/2 and 2/3/4 and I can keep up with the bunch at worst...I train at around a 19to 19.5MPH average...sometimes as low as 18.5MPH..

    Why am I telling you this? Well to highlight that average speeds in a race are nothing like average speeds in training. You ability to recover from burst efforts of intense pace (20ish MPH to 30+MPH) is what will give you the ability to hold you own in a race. Yes obviously you need a good prolonged power output for breakaways but most of them time you'll be in the bunch catching people that have gone away or keeping up with people pushing the pace.

    In essence the only way to know is to have a go and see what happens. As soon as you've raced a few times you'll know exactly what kind of fitness you require to compete.
  • buderbuder Posts: 154
    DavidJB wrote:
    Average speed is irrelevant and based on the type of terrain i.e hilly, flat etc.

    A flat cat 3/4 crit is likely to be 24-25MPH~ And e12 crit 28.5+.

    A flat/moderate hilled 2/3/4 RR over 55 miles is going to be around 25-26MPH.

    Being a 2nd cat I ride both E/1/2 and 2/3/4 and I can keep up with the bunch at worst...I train at around a 19to 19.5MPH average...sometimes as low as 18.5MPH..

    Why am I telling you this? Well to highlight that average speeds in a race are nothing like average speeds in training. You ability to recover from burst efforts of intense pace (20ish MPH to 30+MPH) is what will give you the ability to hold you own in a race. Yes obviously you need a good prolonged power output for breakaways but most of them time you'll be in the bunch catching people that have gone away or keeping up with people pushing the pace.

    In essence the only way to know is to have a go and see what happens. As soon as you've raced a few times you'll know exactly what kind of fitness you require to compete.

    This is very good advice !
  • DavidJB wrote:
    Average speed is irrelevant and based on the type of terrain i.e hilly, flat etc.

    A flat cat 3/4 crit is likely to be 24-25MPH~ And e12 crit 28.5+.

    A flat/moderate hilled 2/3/4 RR over 55 miles is going to be around 25-26MPH.

    Being a 2nd cat I ride both E/1/2 and 2/3/4 and I can keep up with the bunch at worst...I train at around a 19to 19.5MPH average...sometimes as low as 18.5MPH..

    Why am I telling you this? Well to highlight that average speeds in a race are nothing like average speeds in training. You ability to recover from burst efforts of intense pace (20ish MPH to 30+MPH) is what will give you the ability to hold you own in a race. Yes obviously you need a good prolonged power output for breakaways but most of them time you'll be in the bunch catching people that have gone away or keeping up with people pushing the pace.

    In essence the only way to know is to have a go and see what happens. As soon as you've raced a few times you'll know exactly what kind of fitness you require to compete.

    Ok, thats great advise thank you... Well I do sprint and interval training twice a week.. ( one on rollers and one on a short hill circuit)

    Also what Licence do I need to enter the races? The British cycling wesite is a bit ropey and it isn't that clear on what is required ( Ride, Bronze Silver etc.. )

    So can anyone also advise me on what I need to purchase?

    Thanks
    Always remember.... Wherever you go, there you are.

    Ghost AMR 7500 2012
    De Rosa R838
  • hammeritehammerite Posts: 3,408
    Sounds like your doing the right sort of things to prepare to race. Try and get some experience of riding in a bigger group if you can.

    Licence wise you don't need one to race, or need to be a BC member. But you would be paying for a day licence to race £10 extra (on top of the entry fee) for non BC members. £5 extra if you're a BC member without a race licence. If you're planning on racing often go for a silver membership with silver licence - may be worth waiting until January now as the race licence follows the calendar year, where as membership renews 12 months after it was taken out.
  • TakeTurnsTakeTurns Posts: 1,075
    It'd probably be best for you to start off with Crits. They're usually on flat courses and last an hour + 5 laps.

    You have the be mentally strong and go into a race confident of your own ability. This is because 80% of the time you will be out of your comfort zone while racing.

    If you do decide to start with crits, a great way to train for them would be riding hard for about 60-70mins whilst throwing in 4 sprints in there. The aim of the sprint is to try emulate the sudden increase in pace during a race. Focus on trying to recover from the sprint and maintain average speed.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Rushmore wrote:
    .

    I am pretty new to road cycling... So I have no idea what sort of standard the races are... Can someone advise me on if i'd be ok?

    Sorry if this is a stupid question.. but I don't want to get embarrass by entering a race and coming last... :|
    Hi Rushmore, your stats/speeds sound just like what I could do when I used to race. I made a 2nd cat on at least two seasons but I was really only ever an average 3rd cat. So yes you should be fine at 4th cat level as long as...
    1. You're very comfortable sitting on wheels in a large bunch
    2. You can follow racing lines
    3. You can respond to jumps/attacks from others at 28mph+
    4. You don't spend most of the race as its designated wind pusher
    5. You can 'dig in' when things go into the red zone
    7. You can stay focused throughout the race - anticipate moves, surges (e.g. get to the front when a climb approaches) and generally read the race pattern.
    8. You don't burn all your matches following/initiating mindless - going nowhere - energy sapping attacks
    Have fun, I miss racing :-)
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