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Junior Road Racing

CylingEddCylingEdd Posts: 2
edited January 2015 in Road general
Right, so i got my first road bike two or so years ago, and summer of twenty fourteen i went mad, i now consider myself a cyclist Blah blah blah. However i want to race-i've recently joined a club and am well into the training aspect of things with them however i'm afraid that as a sixteen year old going on seventeen in April i've missed my chance to really get into the racing side of things and to win some things-added to this ive only got a Sora claude butler road bike and im worried that because of both me coming late to the sport and my not great equipment will let me down in my pursuit to become a road racer and win some races. any thoughts or tips would be great?

Posts

  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 3,239
    I think you would be classed as a junior and would need to ride with the adult Cat 4s, but will be on restricted gears.
    It's not too late at all, and you will learn plenty of race craft but may struggle to win due to the gear restrictions and those seniors new to racing who will rapidly become Cat 3s or above.
    Treat it as a learning experience this year.
  • whoofwhoof Posts: 756
    Tony Rominger didn't start racing until he was 21 and won three Vueltas, the Giro broke the world hour recor. I think you still have plenty of time. Don't worry too much about kit do some local races this season and see how you get on.
  • I was in the same position this time last year.

    First things first, there are two years of being a junior and if you were born between jan - december 1998 then you're a first year. (this is good)

    You need a gear ratio that meets 7.91 metres (might want to check exactly) but essentially that's a 52/14 or if you want to be cheeky and hit 7.93 then go 45/12.

    As for racing, there are plenty of junior specific races available both on road and closed circuits. You wont be out-geared so long as you can sprint at around 140+ cadence, which, for the old-folk around here may sound ridiculous but trust me its a piece of cake once you get it. (try riding down a hill in your biggest gear to get some speed and then when it flattens out you go flat out too)

    There is a specific national series for junior races. The first is in March (Wales) although if history is any help at all you will unlikely get into that on anything other than a cat. 2 license. Maybe look at some of the later and less popular junior national series races and target them. 3rd cat license is pretty much a requirement for them. There are around 10 of these races available.

    There are a number of junior specific races on closed circuits. The only one I can think of at the moment is at Hogg Hill so might be worth taking a look at.

    As for your bike; if you're a good enough rider it wont hold you back that much. If you're genuinely serious get a powermeter instead of a new bike and train like you mean it.

    Good luck
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    Agree with the above, but all I would say is as a 4th cat junior, you are also eligible for any senior 4th or 3/4 circuit race (except 'vets only', obviously). Find a suitable race, enter it, and go from there.
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 879
    140 cadence! My knees buckled just reading it!! Thanks Ed, I now feel like the 42 years old that I am! You've just shattered my dreams of going pro at age 45! ;o)
  • I wouldn't worry about the late start or your equipment tbh- I still race on my first and only proper road bike- a Trek 1.1 with 2300 gearing with the silly little thumb shifter and I still get on allright.

    As already mentioned the gear restrictions will be your biggest technical hurdle, but people in your club should be able to help- no doubt others have done it before you.
  • milesemilese Posts: 1,233
    My advice, for what its worth, is to get involved with your club and club rides, and race as much as you can.

    Now for the best bit: you'll likely struggle to start with, and get dished out some serious beatings, but at your age you will improve very quickly with good training, so you need to persevere through the hard days, stick at it, not blame your kit, and reap what you sow in the slightly longer term.

    I trained with a 16 year old last winter, skinny lad who always did well on the climbs, but struggled on longer rides and into the wind. Took some serious batterings on club runs, but kept at it and took his training seriously. Fast forward 6 months and he's the national junior hill climb champion. (a great lad).
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