Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

From CAT 4 to CAT 2

2»

Posts

  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    The thing in circuit race is not be at the back in the bends. Get towrards the front were it strings out more. You have put less effort in coming out of the bends to keep with the group. In the bunch too many go round the bend at once and if you value your skin you fall back but that means you have a bigger gap to close coming out of the bend. Also you can be with the people who cant corner or those that are struggling leaving a big gap to close.
    staying near the front though while easier out of the bends does require more effort as there is less shelter at the front. On a long striaght though you can fall back to shleter so long as you can move back up again when you need to. Placing and fitness are linked but fitness does not mean you have the nouce to place.

    Just stay of the front though nothing good comes from towing the pack closing down a break. It means you have less in your legs for the final final sprint. That was me this week again. Then again if I did not put that work in the rest of us might have squabbling over 8th 9th and 10th place so someone had too.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • MishMash95MishMash95 Posts: 104
    As I said, i'd post my next race on here:
    https://www.strava.com/activities/1634348222

    Not much change as far as being stuck in the 4th cat rut, though I felt my positioning and conservation was good for atleast half of this race. I made a few attempts to get in breaks early on (though didn't instigate any myself this time), there were a few moments of hope but nothing stuck.
    I generally stayed near the front and this meant I could be more conservative however with 3 laps to go, I found myself middle of the pack when a gap opened between the front 1/3rd of riders (about 9 riders I think). I was slightly blocked in and couldn't chase right away, and then didn't chase hard immediately after. There were four of us on the front who were attempting to close the gap and we maintained distance but never managed to close it.

    This was my main mistake and I should have been more on the ball with positioning later in the race. It was good early on, but naturally as you get more tired, every small effort does start to bite more. Very easy to analyse the mistakes after the fact, but anyway!
    When the gap did open, it did seem impossible to close it down, on the front doing 400+w and it just wasn't going anywhere

    Average power was 253w NP, which is lower than previous races i've done (but in a good way, had more time spent in Z1 this race, though a fair bit in Z7 aswell :P), and I believe I finished either 11th or 12th (came either 2nd or 3rd out of the sprint in our group, which is my best position yet! -- still waiting for exact results to be posted). I believe there were around 30 starters in the race.

    icrGr1K.png

    Again, I know power isn't everything, though as I did mention previously, alot of the riders in this race did seem rather strong, with many of the top 10 just flat out having more watts than I did (not as average in the race, but higher FTP leading to more freshness near the end). In that race, improved late-race positioning could have gotten me in the top 10, but on this particular circuit, placing high seems out of the question.

    I will add that until the final 2/3 laps when it got pretty hard, I felt quite in control of the situation. It felt quite manageable to stick with the front of the bunch, though I imagine this was because riders were waiting until the end to really put the hammer down. Will race again next week and just set myself the goal of sticking with the front no matter what, but not going crazy. It seems that these races split up enough that just staying with the front group will likely get you points. What I mean by this is that I felt I had more juice to hold a "base" pace, to say ride at high tempo or threshold, but had a capped top-end near the end of the race.
  • paul2718paul2718 Posts: 471
    The guy who believes he was 4th has very similar numbers to you. You can't win them all. Next time you might be the right side of the split, will put in less effort as a consequence and have more go in the sprint....

    When I was Cat 4 I enjoyed the racing, I could ride near the front, be there at the end usually, score at least one point. Excellent stuff. Now I'm Cat 3 I've not been able to get back to that... So don't wish it away.

    (I'm very old, so you will bounce forward with vigour!)
  • joey54321joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    A couple of points
    - Do you know all the riders well? How do you know the top 10 all had higher FTPs than you?
    - It's very easy to spend energy early on in the race and then think you lack fitness because you can't stick with it at the end. Ask yourself if you were 'dropped' in to the race at the crucial moment would you have the fitness to bridge the gap/make the move/hold on, if the answer is yes that it could be you spend to much energy early on.
    - In order to win a bike race, you need to be prepared to lose it. This can be taken two ways, you need to ride in the break with a slim chance of staying away OR you need to sit in the bunch and let others close gaps for you, etc... until you are ready to make your move.
  • MishMash95MishMash95 Posts: 104
    paul2718 wrote:
    The guy who believes he was 4th has very similar numbers to you. You can't win them all. Next time you might be the right side of the split, will put in less effort as a consequence and have more go in the sprint....

    When I was Cat 4 I enjoyed the racing, I could ride near the front, be there at the end usually, score at least one point. Excellent stuff. Now I'm Cat 3 I've not been able to get back to that... So don't wish it away.

    (I'm very old, so you will bounce forward with vigour!)
    Yeah, it is a valid point about Cat 3. I think my main aim is just so I can enter a wider variety of races that better suit my riding style as I really want to try out open-road racing, but most of those are 2/3 only :P! The 4th guy does have similar numbers, though i guess no notion of his overall ability. Again i know its not all about fitness, but that effort could have been proportionally easier making it easier for them to be more fresh near the end
    joey54321 wrote:
    A couple of points
    - Do you know all the riders well? How do you know the top 10 all had higher FTPs than you?
    - It's very easy to spend energy early on in the race and then think you lack fitness because you can't stick with it at the end. Ask yourself if you were 'dropped' in to the race at the crucial moment would you have the fitness to bridge the gap/make the move/hold on, if the answer is yes that it could be you spend to much energy early on.
    - In order to win a bike race, you need to be prepared to lose it. This can be taken two ways, you need to ride in the break with a slim chance of staying away OR you need to sit in the bunch and let others close gaps for you, etc... until you are ready to make your move.
    I don't know the riders, just looking at their strava posts for the races (and dividing their NP by intensity to get their inputted FTP). I didn't say all of the riders, but a good number of them who do have public stats do. Though yeah, I agree I probably did go too hard early on and took the approach of risking trying to chase moves to get in a break. Though given how this race ended up panning out, just holding onto the front group would have been enough vs actually needing to get away, as the race got so fragmented. Next time i'll give the alternative a go and wont expend energy trying to get in a move and save it for the end and see if that pans out better.

    Thanks for the tips! On a general note, how would you value racing to win vs racing to place? My personal opinion so far has been more on the front of trying harder earlier on to increase my overall chances of either winning or say placing top 3, vs just to finish in the top 10, though perhaps that's not the best approach.

    -- I'll add that I was posting this just for the interest, and to put the power demands I had claimed earlier into context.
  • Vino'sGhostVino'sGhost Posts: 4,320
    This is a good thread, the op actually has plenty of power to get points consistently, I suspect that race craft and familiarity with his won body whilst cycling are limited. This makes sense since hes only been riding for 18 months or so.

    I got a licence again recently after 10 years or so of not racing, my numbers to start with were very similar to ops but ive done ok. not because im fit or can recover or super strong but because i position myself well and that doesnt mean desperately fighting to be near the front unless im on a very stop start circuit like odds down, instead i focus on riding easy and not letting a gap happen because i wouldnt have the power to get back in if the race was on. Then at the end see what ive got.

    In years gone by id be on the front, chasing everything, attacking here there and everwhere and trying to get away and stay away. (i rarely did) and i could have been far more successful if i took the old knackered me approach to it. I didnt because i enjoyed racing that way.

    The point is the OP has plenty of power to be effective in 4th cat races, he just needs to understand more about his body and get a better plan. something i always advocated to people struggling to make things click was to have one overriding goal in the race, positioning, or getting in the break, or moving through or up, these are the things that have to happen to get a result, dont worry about the results, they come once the other things are working.

    Also as youre quite light and riding flat crits think about the direction of the wind, make sure youre using the bunch to shelter it makes an enormous difference to how much work you have to do. Thruxton is a windy circuit and a really good example of how you can cruise or beast yourself depending on position.
Sign In or Register to comment.