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Junior Road Raceing

wiggy3132wiggy3132 Posts: 10
edited June 2010 in Amateur race
Hey Everyone,

I feel my fitness and handelling and skills are now ready for me to race proprely, only thing holding me back is a rathe knackered 1970 raleigh road bike summer job shold hpefully fix that, i understand that most juniors who eveuntually move on to the olympic development prgram race in the junior road series, but im not exactly totally sure how to go about getting picked to race in these events, i turned 16 in march, and i am moving to caversham and going to join the reading cycling club, so could someone please explain to me out what races i need to race in, inorder to get to the junior road racing series and then try to get onto olympic development if i put in the training.

Thanks for reading and please help if you can,

Thank You



  • wiggy3132wiggy3132 Posts: 10
    Hmmmm okay i have one other problem though, i feel i am a good cyclist but i am also a very good runner and i wonder if it would almost be better to train for something like an ironman i love both sports just as much as each other just i constantly find myself torn between the two, anyone else found this. I would like to make a career out of sport if i could and i just find it difficult to know what to almost set as my personal target.
  • ProssPross Posts: 33,535
    I believe any junior can enter the national series BUT I would seriously consider doing a few local races first. I'm not sure what your experience is of group riding, club runs or chain gangs but these are all things that I would say you need a bit of experience of before doing any racing. I certainly wouldn't want to put off an enthusiastic 16 year old but there may well be a huge difference between what you think of as being a good cyclist and the standard of cycling you would encounter at national series level and I'd hate to see you put off after travelling miles to a race and getting dropped in the opening few miles.
  • MikeWWMikeWW Posts: 723
    If you are just turned 16 I think you might still class as a youth for road racing
    You need to join a club and start racing. ODP will follow if you can make the grade
    Before that though you will need to get put forward for some RSR and NSR coaching sessions
    Good luck
  • MrRexMrRex Posts: 19

    ODP is very hard to get onto, and even some really talented youngsters have been bunged off this year.

    The most important bit is that you join a Go Ride club and try and access coaching there. They may put you forward for a regional school of racing run by British Cycling if they think you are sufficiently talented.

    Although there's no need to have a fancy carbon bike, a 1970's racer may put you at quite a disadvantage if you wish to progress. A decent club may be able to assist and potentially lend you a bike.

    Good luck :)
    I love technology
  • wiggy3132wiggy3132 Posts: 10
    Hey thanks guys for all the comments and guidance, well start of summer soon as school is over i will go join reading cycling club and start going out on club runs and hopefully gain some experience at riding in a group which at the moment i have none. Does anyone know anyone from reading cycling club here who i could ask about what its like for juniors in the club. By the end of summer i thought to try and have some races under my belt not necercerly going out to win but obviously do the best i can but get some race situation experience. THe bike will definatly need upgrading, i dont think its really worth racing on it as its such a disadvantage i dont think it was ever intended for racing really, thought i would weigh it, came in at 16.5kg with wheel making up 3kg of that :S I will put a post up in buying advice to see what people would recomend in my budget for a solid race bike.
  • hammeritehammerite Posts: 3,408
    These are a good club to look at for Youth racing, advice and training in the Reading area
  • mentalalexmentalalex Posts: 266
    you are still a youth not a junior, if you turned 16 before January you would be but because you were 16 this year you are still a youth, same as me, was 16 on may

    ODP is very hard to get onto, you need to be riding at a national level top 5 top 3 and to have tried other disciplines , etc road and mtb and cross etc.

    I'm doing a bit of road racing mainly for the race practice and learning for next year, as my weight or lack of makes it harder for me on flat circuit road races compared to the huge guys who are about 4 stone heaver than me.

    you need to be doing the youth circuit series to get your self noticed, YOU DO NOT GET PICKED FOR ODP you have to apply for it, you can apply at the end of this racing season and next year, then at last year junior it is Olympic academy for U23's.

    I am a rider who is trying to get onto the ODP at the end of this year, i race national level top 3 MTB which is my main discipline if you need any more advice just ask.

    Youths generally put in around 8-15 hours a week of training sometimes up to 20

    Hope this helps
    I do science, sometimes.
  • wiggy3132wiggy3132 Posts: 10
    Hey Alex, thanks for clearing up i am still a youth, i did have a little go at mtb xc racing the other year at a gorrick, but exams got in the way well parents said they did, i think i came about top 20 in one of the opens, which i felt was alright for a first go having never actually been on a xc course, so if i want to get noticed and have a good chance of applying, with road as main discipline, i should be racing XC during that season aswell as the Road during national road series, i think for me anyway what i basically need to do is join a club and get out and start getting the results in so i know where my weaknesses are, will also definatly join the go-ride club up in reading as soon as i move there. One other question when would you guys reckon it would be best to apply for ODP, as i would definatly not be there by the end of this season, but mabye after first season as a junior. Thanks for help guys it really is helpful. :)
  • MikeWWMikeWW Posts: 723
    First things first
    Join a club, get some proper training in and start racing ASAP
    There is a huge amount of dedication involved. Assuming you have the talent you need to be putting the training in Alex(mentalalex) is indicating
    If it is an Open MTB race you did and you were 20th it would put you at the back of the field in a Youths race. Seriously the good guys are trouncing Cat 3/4 races on the road and are putting in times that would be winning Sports class races and comaparable to expert(albeit shorter distances)
    I am not trying to put you off but it is gobsmacking how quick the front Youths are. Don't even think ODP until you have proved yourself.
    Good luck. Keep us updated
  • wiggy3132wiggy3132 Posts: 10
    Don't get me wrong i have taken on board from the start just how hard its going to be, quite possibly undescribably hard and it wont get easier. This summer is going to be all about getting the experience joingin a club riding in a group, getting all the guidance i can from you guys and from coaches at a club. Don't worry im not put off at all, slightly worrying :P Hopefully by end of summer i will have done some club races and sub closed circuit ones and hopefully be getting some decent times too. Get the bike sorted this summer have a look in classfields, ebay etc and local shops. Get a turbo trainer for winter, and put the base in over the summer so i can start working on my limiters at start of next training season, I have been using the cyclist's training bible to start putting together a training plan for next season starting this september, i will upload it as a link if i can, what would people recommend for summer in terms of training, or should i focuse on just experience and building up the miles in the legs. THanks again guys and i will keep you all updated.
  • Simon NotleySimon Notley Posts: 1,263
    Hi Wiggy.

    Have you joined Reading CC yet? I am a member and a regular(ish) on the Time Trialling and Road Racing scene. I'm at a pretty low level (not a beginner, just genetically and commitment limited!), so no Olympic dreams for me, but would be happy to give you some pointers if our paths cross. I don't generally make it out on the club runs, but there are loads of people there who will be able to give you good advice. I suggest you get yourself down to AW Cycles to have a look at some bikes, but bear in mind you'll need enough money to pay race entries and BC membership etc, so don't spend every penny you have on the bike.

  • wiggy3132wiggy3132 Posts: 10
    Hey Simon, no i havent joined yet im moving to caversham in next few weeks so will join up then as soon as i get there, so its a good club then ? Well i hope we meet at some point but if not thanks for the advise, i had thought that need to set aside money for race entry and kit rather then just blow everything on the bike, at end of the day top notch stuff would be nice but it would be better to just have everything i need to get me racing at a lesser disadvatage than i am on my 1970s racer :P it somewhat saps all the power you put into it :( Do you know if any other juniors are at Reading CC or if they are okay with juniors joing the club runs ? Thanks

  • mentalalexmentalalex Posts: 266
    ODP is very very hard to get onto. the best in the country and they only select the best few, Tbh if you really are setting your goals on to getting on the ODP you would be best of with a coach.

    as the guidance they give you is priceless the amount of stuff i know off him is amazing, he;s a most of my races, he knows what to say etc.

    Cross is good to do over the winter, as it keep you going through the winter,

    junior road races are around 60-100 miles at a fast pace, unless there crits where its around an hour or similar.

    Youth MTB are fast, generally faster than the open, in round 2 of the BMS my fastest lap time was 1min 30seconds of the Elite winner's fastest lap time liam killeen.

    Entry fees aren't to bad money wise, but it helps if your family/dad supports you all the way as i couldn't do it without me. as the national junior series are all over the place,

    Race experience is vital but use this as part of training, don't just think about results, BC (British cycling) don't just look for the best riders that always win races that does help, but they look out for the ones who race well, who are independent, tactically good, being a good sport, aggressive, and someone that makes everyone go censored he's here, it gunna hurt.

    Nothing is impossible, but it will hurt, more than you will know, you will have to manage your time well with training and exams. i have no free time, I'm either training, eating sleeping at school or racing.

    you have to watch what you will do, sleep is a big things there's so many things you need to consider, you will put your body through hell.
    I do science, sometimes.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    mentalalex wrote:
    i have no free time, I'm either training, eating sleeping at school or will put your body through hell.
    Fantastic post - this is what it takes to "make it" at the top level. As Roy Castle* used to say/sing "Dedication is what you need if you want to be a record breaker"

    * - sorry, nobody under 30 will know who Roy Castle was
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    Good post mentalalex. Reminds me of my own youth (Is there an emoticon for "Don't know whether to laugh or cry"?)
  • mentalalexmentalalex Posts: 266
    :'( <
    cry emoticon Garri there you go.

    Cheers guys, and again the amount of work time and stuff you will have to sacrifice is a lot.

    If you are prepared to put time, the effort, but still enjoy it YOU MUST ENJOY IT. it makes it so much easier if you enjoy it, and train with people you like as its harder on your own.

    if your prepared to do all that don't let anyone tell you that you can't.

    let me know how you get on, feel free to message me if you need help.
    I do science, sometimes.
  • Simon NotleySimon Notley Posts: 1,263
    wiggy3132 wrote:
    Hey Simon, no i havent joined yet im moving to caversham in next few weeks so will join up then as soon as i get there, so its a good club then ? Well i hope we meet at some point but if not thanks for the advise, i had thought that need to set aside money for race entry and kit rather then just blow everything on the bike, at end of the day top notch stuff would be nice but it would be better to just have everything i need to get me racing at a lesser disadvatage than i am on my 1970s racer :P it somewhat saps all the power you put into it :( Do you know if any other juniors are at Reading CC or if they are okay with juniors joing the club runs ? Thanks


    I'd say that Reading is a good club. It caters for a range of abilities and disciplines, but has an active core of racing members. You may also find that Palmer Park Velo (youth track racing team based at the outdoor Velodrome in Reading) and AW Cycles (racing team sponsored by the shop in Caversham) might have runs/sessions you could join in with. I'm sure a junior would be welcome on the Reading club runs.

    If you do realise you dreams of winning and progressing, you may well end up leaving Reading and joining a sponsored race team, but Reading is a good place to start IMO.

    I think a bike upgrade would certainly be worthwhile. Anything with a modern frame and wheels will be streets ahead of you 70s machine. You might also want to consider saving an extra £50 to put decent tyres on whatever you buy (most pre-built road bike come with rubbish tyres to cut cost).
  • wiggy3132wiggy3132 Posts: 10
    Thanks everyone again its all really helping and getting me in the picture abit better and i hope this helps anyone else reading who is in same position as me. Simon when i move up to reading sounds like first thing i will be doing is joining Reading CC and starting going on the club runs and start doing some 10 TTs. From what you have said reading does seem best place for me to start out and thank you for the recommendation. I will look into AW Cycles and Palmer Park Velo aswell when i get up there.

    I had thought to see once i know what i will be getting payed for summer job to work out abit of a budget and see whats in classfields, ebay and if there are any people selling second hand kit at Reading CC ? Will definatly set aside some money for a pair of decent tyres and tubes and mabye get some race day ones next year for the road series if i am ready to be racing in it which i intend to be.

    One question i have had is at what point does the bike no longer really matter interms of cost because at the moment yes my bike puts me at a big disadvantage, and im well aware i wont be on same level as bikes as quite a few other juniors will be cause i cant afford it. But what level of bike would you say i can make up for that advantage they have in terms of bike, physically by just being fitter than them. I would say that my budget, this is for everything race money, kit, bike etc would be if i really work every hour i can this summer would probably be just under £2000. With that and taking 2nd hand route almost definatly for the bike, i would have thought i would no longer be at such a disadvatage that i can't win. Is that about right. Im just wondering.
  • mentalalexmentalalex Posts: 266
    you can spend what you want, once above certain levels it really doesn't make much difference.

    Im on a £500 bike, 09 spesh allez and i have put a good set of wheels and some new shifters and a changed tyres. and its fine.

    Also you will have gear restrictions so bear that in mind, 52/14 is the biggest gear your aloud.

    look for light wheels with half decent kit,
    I do science, sometimes.
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