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1st race at MK tomorrow - so many questions

alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
edited April 2013 in Amateur race
So i'm going to race the 4th cat race at MK tomorrow but have no idea what to expect?!

Does anyone have any tips? - it would also be good if someone could walk through what to do before the race, after the race etc. since I have no idea what signing on involves, whether we can ride the circuit before the race etc.

Thanks.

Posts

  • itsfleaitsflea Posts: 1
    Without knowing whether or not MK is a road race or MTB here you go:

    1) Get there early there are rarely any restriction to riding circuit. Look for places to attack, places of danger, etc

    2) Line up near the front. Its safer, and you have a better position to attack, follow attacks, or even roll back if you are a bit exhausted

    3) Make sure you are properly warmed up

    4) Relax. Have fun.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    itsflea wrote:
    Without knowing whether or not MK is a road race or MTB here you go:

    I suspect the fact that he is posting in the 'amateur race' section of the road forum may offer a clue.

    4th cat racing can sometimes be pretty unpredictable, depending on the size of the field. If you have the fitness to stay near the front - stay near the front. If you don't, just hang on as best you can. The aim of your first event should be 1) try to finish in the bunch 2) learn from the experience. If you are still in contention at the end, then that is a bonus.
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    haha I'm going for the win and straight up to 3rd Cat!

    Won't be too disappointed just to finish though since this is only really the start of my race training as I thought my target was going to be in Mid-may but it was cancelled and I'm aiming for something in Mid-June instead so used that as an excuse to slack of.
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    I do know a bit being from MK, having raced there before & marshalled.

    Not sure if you know the area or where you coming from but its quite easy to find & being the earlier race parking sould not be an issue.

    The clubhouse that is used for sign on is right next to the bowl course & most people tend to get their bike out & ride from the car down to sign on & then back to the car to get dressed & ready to go.

    As for the course I'm not sure what they are running as I'll be away but it is either the central bowl road (basically a big D shape) or that with one of the two extra parts added in.

    Once you have done your sign in part as long as there are no other races on most people tend to get on the course for a warm up plus gives you an idea of the gradient for the hill and an idea of the width of the road & where the corners are etc.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Sorry just re-read your post.

    Sign on - in the club house there are usually 2-3 people with all the paperwork and you just go up give them your name & they will talk you through it. Not sure if you have your BC licence or are doing a day licence but if you have one they will ask you for it.

    Appart from warming up on the course & you can always ask when at sign on if you can go straight on the course & when the pre-race briefing is though its usually just before when everyone is lined up.

    Just before the race everyone tends to get to the line its a 4th only race so you won't need to be told to go to the rear to make way for the 3rd cats who normally start at the front of the line.

    The race is pretty much '& they are off' but worth noting where the service area is & its normally on the hardstanding by the start line though the start line can & is moved for races so worth checking. If its on right by the line & you have a spare wheel that is where you will put it & report to if your out with a mechanical as you should be allowed to rejoin.

    After the race its always worth either asking at the finish where you came, if you were in a sprint but would ask one of the marshall's as you might get a honest answer whereas the commissaire might be busy.

    Plus you can always pop back to your car to grab some warm clothes (if your on your own) and ride back to the course to watch the other races that are going on.

    Hope I've answered your questions but if not just ask me what ever you want to know I know the area pretty (OK very well) so can answer most things about the location etc.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    That's perfect thanks!

    As for finding it -> am I aiming for the big carpark just off Chaffron Way?
  • No, the entrance is on Watling Street. A few hundred metres down from the Watling Street/Chaffron Way roundabout. You just park on the grass or concrete apron around the south side of the circuit.
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Not sure if that one is the one they are using - sorry.

    Normally you would come in off the M1 and along Childs way and left on Wattling street immediately after the bowl entrance on the left (just after the footbridge) is a small carpark on the right that if your getting there early is a good one.

    Depending on the course if they are just using the bowl road (the big D circuit) then often you can go in the bowl entrance on Wattling street past the circuit on the left & the clubhouse on your right and up to the field beyond to park.

    I know for the last couple of years for the Cat 3 & 4 races thats all we did, but we have just started to use the Chaffron Way car park so it might be open. Its just a bit of a pain as we have to get someone to open up the main gate & go over to that one and unlock it, but we have been doing it for some of the weekend training & it makes life much easier.

    Safer to plan on using the official entrance off Wattling Street.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Some else was asking a while ago & I forgot that I had the link to this youtube video which gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2YSahwzxO4

    The are running it clockwise in this one but I have raced both and its no different really a D shaped circuit (if none of the extra bits are added) with a up and downhill section either way round.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    Thanks for the advice guys - had so much fun!

    Unfortunately I didn't get to test my legs in the sprint - I positioned about 10 back on the outside of the bunch with ~3 laps to go aiming to move up on the outside but got stuck behind someone without the same ambitions and the rabid bunch moved up the outside.

    Apparently someone then swerved into me and pushed me into the guy on my left and I crashed!

    Lesson learned -> aim for the top 5 next time not the top 10 and be more aggressive towards the end!
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Sorry to hear about the crash.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • tommyl7tommyl7 Posts: 14
    Had my first go at the mk circuit yesterday in the 4th cat race but forgot to ask about position. Do they tend to give out the top 10 as British cycling only shows the top 5 (hoping I sneaked in for a point)?
  • saprkzzsaprkzz Posts: 592
    Gutted about that crash :(.. did anymore go down with you or were you just shoved off?... I will be racing there soon, it seems a fast circuit and talking with friends who race there say the pace is high even in a 4th cat.
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    saprkzz wrote:
    it seems a fast circuit and talking with friends who race there say the pace is high even in a 4th cat.

    Can be - if you are doing the weekday racing the circuit road has a few additions that get swapped around as and when used does mix it up a bit but the pace can be fast, but well worth it :-)
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • saprkzzsaprkzz Posts: 592
    saprkzz wrote:
    it seems a fast circuit and talking with friends who race there say the pace is high even in a 4th cat.

    Can be - if you are doing the weekday racing the circuit road has a few additions that get swapped around as and when used does mix it up a bit but the pace can be fast, but well worth it :-)

    cool, I cant imagine breaks work well there?
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    saprkzz wrote:
    cool, I cant imagine breaks work well there?

    Lots do form, get away & stay away. Depends on the race but if its midweek is mixed 1/2/3/4 all together so breaks tend to happen quite a lot. LVRC races are just the same too TBH

    On the inner circuit there are trees/bushes on the inside so unless you are close you might not see them to know how far in front they are. On the one side is basically a big square access road round the overflow grass parking area so you can see how far in front they are but some of turns are at 90 degrees so plenty of on/off efforts. On the other side there is another access road which is pretty much the same as the main circuit with trees/bushes so not much chance to see a group get away.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    saprkzz wrote:
    Gutted about that crash :(.. did anymore go down with you or were you just shoved off?... I will be racing there soon, it seems a fast circuit and talking with friends who race there say the pace is high even in a 4th cat.

    Thanks mate - when I looked up one guy was standing over/in my bike don't know if he crashed or just had to do something funky to avoid me but I checked if he was ok

    The average speed for the race was under 24mph but there was a headwind going up the hill which caused the bunch to slow and was what made the race more dangerous I think. With less wind I can imagine the average for 4th cat only races going above that easily.

    I also think a break would work quite well in those conditions since people were unwilling to push the pace into the wind, so a strong group of 6 or so could have stayed away easily.
  • saprkzzsaprkzz Posts: 592
    Glad your ok mate,

    My friend won the E12 there this weekend, he made a break with 20 minutes to go and managed to stay out for a lone line crossing.

    I have trained at the bowl with a small group of around 15 riders, most are 4th's and our pace over an hour has averaged 22 mph, but I had 12 laps at 24.4 mph, so have a good idea of how it will be, thanks for the info. are you local to the area?
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    Over the other side of Bedford at the moment, but in Oxford during Uni term so MK is the most convenient place to race from both.
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