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Crit expectations squarely kicked in the nuts...

mac9091mac9091 Posts: 196
edited July 2017 in Amateur race
Hard.

So i had my 2nd Crit on Saturday, solely Cat 4 in the Somerset Spring race at Westpoint. After my 1st race i was expecting a better performance but if anything it went a lot worse. Same sketch as 1st time the majority of the race was spend effectively just doing a personal TT and promptly getting out of the way as and when required. Came away very deflated and only reason i didn't come last was due to people giving up, hell even a guy that crashed got back up and passed me.

After analysing Strava data, my fastest lap was in the bunch (no surprise) and the estimated power was 319W, now for me thats 100W over my FTP and would mean i need 5.2W/kg.

So for me it seems clear that i don't have enough power in the bank to stay with the initial 10 mins and looking at the results of the winner i was 10-15 seconds off the pace on each lap, which annoys me as that would be easily saved if i could just stay in the bunch.

Now i've been told that early season races are nothing to go on due to new riders coming into the scene and people need to be filtered up, but i am one of those and can only be a CAT 4 this year then its up to the CAT 3 and i'm not competitive at all. I have big concerns as to remain racing (hell i can go out and abuse myself just as hard for 45 mins on my own), as whats the point if i keep getting dropped.

Basically im looking for some reassurance and that everything will be alright :lol::lol::lol: but seriously, should i put the racing on hold for a while (a year) and just work on building my overall power?
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  • mac9091mac9091 Posts: 196
    Suppose i could focus on TT.
  • pan280pan280 Posts: 82
    the power numbers from strava are not accurate so don't worry about that.
    5.2w/kg to stay in a 4th category crit is definitely not right.

    seems like you just need to learn how to ride in a bunch.
    much more people are dropped in their first race than not.
    don't worry about it.

    and no, everything will not be alright.
    if you continue racing then it is likely that you will get dropped again, crash, chase back on, and then get dropped again.
  • marykamaryka Posts: 745
    Strava won't take into account riding in a group, yes to maintain that speed solo you'd need those watts but not drafting in a bunch.

    Work on dealing with surges, getting comfortable riding in a bunch, positioning. Start training the stuff you need to do well in racing, i.e, sprinting out of corners, short efforts, short efforts followed by a threshold effort for a few min, 1 min power up short climbs, etc. Riding with a fast training group will work on some of this. Riding by yourself, it's a lot harder to do.

    Resist the urge to ride all your training at a "beasting myself solo for a long time" pace as that's almost never the intensity and more importantly never the steadiness that's ridden in crit or even road racing. Most racing at the 4th cat level is either hard-as-possible for a few seconds to a few minutes, or freewheeling or hardly working.

    Stick with it, you'll get better with experience and practice. If you can stick with the bunch for the first 10-15 min, as you said, you should be fine for the rest of the race. Sort out where and how you get dropped and fix it -- i.e., are you too far back in the bunch, is it on a corner or short hill, have you been sitting on the front working too hard and then can't handle the surge, etc.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    Could be a lot of things - could be a lack of a decent warm up, lack of high intensity tolerance (which you need for the first few laps in most crits), or even a basic lack of overall fitness. Without knowing more about you and the training you do - or have been doing - it's difficult to offer any meaningful advice.

    One thing for certain though - forget about Strava power - it's bollox.
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    I echo the above. Look at the power profiles of riders with a PM. Average power is usually low in races but the time spent in the 450+ zone is always huge.
    Big effort, freewheel. Repeat x however many corners/laps/hills.
    I always end up hanging around at the back. Like a poor Steve Cummings. Haha.
  • Your FTP tells me you'd be fine hiding in the bunch in some of the 3/4 crits I've done recently. As mentioned, I'd work on interval training so you didn't not come off the back and can work up the field. Doing more races will improve your positioning skills: even if only for 10 minutes.

    And suss out your local club chain gang. They're springing up now the evenings are getting lighter. They will work wonders.

    Keep pinning those numbers on your back and dial down expectations. Eg next race 15-20 mins before going TT. Don't over expect too soon.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Can you ride happily in a bunch? If you can't then you're on a hiding to nothing.
    The rest is digging deep for intense efforts and then back into the bunch. That's your safe place where you recover.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,148
    An FTP of 220 seems low to me - not having owned a power meter maybe those with more experience of power are right to tell you differently and I know that racing a crit is not all about sustained power but that looks a long way off what most lower cats in the UK would be putting out. The only thing I'd say is FTP of 220 looks so low I question whether it is accurate.
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  • marykamaryka Posts: 745
    I could stay with a flat 4th cat race easily with an FTP of 220w, as long as I position myself well and stay away from the front. Won't be anywhere near a result at the finish but I wouldn't (and didn't, back when I was racing 3rd/4th cat men's crits) get dropped.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    220 doesnt sound that low to me. I know last time I tested I was 250 though. My FTP was about 3.2W/Kg.

    As Maryka says - stay in the wheels and it's not that hard.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,148
    Well it is low relative to most people racing - most people I know racing 3/4s are over 300 watts and that's people with power meters so they can't be massively far out. Watts per kg is fine but most crit circuits are flat and will always benefit pure horse power. I'm not denying it may be possible to hide in the wheels with an FTP of 220 if you are a skilled rider but the OP is a novice so unlikely to fall under that category.
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  • stretchystretchy Posts: 149
    I've raced some 4th cat crits at average 210W and others at 300W (with PM), all depends on the course and the race situation. I don't know what the course is like at the Westpoint crits but if there is lots of tight corners there's a good chance a novice racer will get dropped.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    It's your 2nd ever crit - you're not me so you're not going to win it.

    It's a big learning curve - the fitness, the bike handling, tactics, people's attitudes, bike prep - the whole lot.

    My advice is ignore Strava, ignore all these random numbers that people churn out: keep training with some crit specific stuff thrown in (cornering at speed, intervals) and go out and smile and enjoy it - beginning of season stuff was always a mix of getting fitness going and watching people being carted off to hospital so they mean nothing.

    You'll go faster and enjoy it more if you take this numbers/finishing position self imposed stress off you: enjoying it is worth 100 watts any day. You'll also find your finishing positions getting better if you relax more and enjoy it.

    But that's just me.......
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • mac9091mac9091 Posts: 196
    Could have sworn i left a comment last night.

    Cheers guys, the FTP is correct 213W tested last month on a wattbike giving a 3.62W/kg figure, I was only 58.9kg at time of test. Hence why i was saying about building overall power but size will be my limiting factor as i can't put weight on and the mot i've ever weighed was 62kg. Still waiting on turning 18, no 21, wait 25, ah 30 (scratch each one off as i've passed them) as people always said to me you'll put weight on and then complain you can't get rid of it. well i'm still bloody waiting :D

    The biggest problem i think is staying hidden, after the 1st crash lots of small groups opened up and i didn't notice any surges, i was pretty much as expected flat out until i couldn't hold on, perhaps thats down to lack of experience or power.

    Warm up and fitness isn't an issue but i had spent Mon-Thur in Wales cycling with Fri a rest day but only covered 170miles, so i doubt it was that either.

    I was looking for the next race (next Tue) and noticed that someone i know already has their name down as a CAT 4 and i know his wattbike score due to using the same one and me being a nosey sod. Which is 283 but he also has 20kg on me which brings us out at about the same W/kg, i think i'll try to follow him and see how i get on. :D

    ...and then jump past him on the small climb (due to being a lighter climber) to the finish. WHAT! At least i have a race plan :D
  • mac9091mac9091 Posts: 196
    stretchy wrote:
    I've raced some 4th cat crits at average 210W and others at 300W (with PM), all depends on the course and the race situation. I don't know what the course is like at the Westpoint crits but if there is lots of tight corners there's a good chance a novice racer will get dropped.

    Start/finish line is 15m shy of a 90 degree left hander that rises for 10m on exit.
    Track about 5m wide and descends slightly through the 2nd, 3rd and on to the 4th corner,
    The 2nd corner "S"ess into the 3rd,
    4th 90 degree left and same with the 5th which is a slight (but noticeable) uphill all the way to the 1st.

    Headwind was also along the drag from 1st-2nd corner with coverage from bushes going from 2nd through the 3rd. rest of lap very exposed, so good tailwind from 4th-5th corner.

    I recon i was losing the most time after the crest of the 1st corner into the 2nd, than compared with the rest of the lap due to the headwind.
  • mac9091mac9091 Posts: 196
    You'll go faster and enjoy it more if you take this numbers/finishing position self imposed stress off you

    I agree/disagree as the point of racing is to compete but also being relaxed helps. I wasn't expecting to win or be near the front as (not talking about figures) i'm built for climbing not sprinting :) but i also wasn't expecting to spend most of the time TT'ing.

    I wasn't nervous before or at the start and the crash didn't phase me as its the 2nd one i've just been behind (maybe its me and i was wearing no. 13 this time).

    I would say though that i probably analyse to find where i could have went better/why i couldn't hang on. Although i still did enjoy it and take it as a learning experience. Although not sure i would have enjoyed it if the race started an hour later as it began to hammer it down just as the womans race started (felt sorry for them while sitting in my car taking pictures)
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    mac9091 wrote:
    You'll go faster and enjoy it more if you take this numbers/finishing position self imposed stress off you

    I agree/disagree as the point of racing is to compete but also being relaxed helps. I wasn't expecting to win or be near the front as (not talking about figures) i'm built for climbing not sprinting :) but i also wasn't expecting to spend most of the time TT'ing.

    I wasn't nervous before or at the start and the crash didn't phase me as its the 2nd one i've just been behind (maybe its me and i was wearing no. 13 this time).

    I would say though that i probably analyse to find where i could have went better/why i couldn't hang on. Although i still did enjoy it and take it as a learning experience. Although not sure i would have enjoyed it if the race started an hour later as it began to hammer it down just as the womans race started (felt sorry for them while sitting in my car taking pictures)

    Did you wear your number upside down? If not that could have been your problem?

    So, you sat in your car taking pictures of women in Lycra in the rain?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,148
    mac9091 wrote:

    I was looking for the next race (next Tue) and noticed that someone i know already has their name down as a CAT 4 and i know his wattbike score due to using the same one and me being a nosey sod. Which is 283 but he also has 20kg on me which brings us out at about the same W/kg, i think i'll try to follow him and see how i get on. :D

    ...and then jump past him on the small climb (due to being a lighter climber) to the finish. WHAT! At least i have a race plan :D


    Asssuming this guy finished in he bunch and is a steady rider it's not a bad plan, if gives you something definite to focus on.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    It's taken me 2 minutes to source you a 3/4 road race in Somerset.... under 70kg ... crits really are not for you and why on earth you'd want be a tester is beyond me.
    Also the w/kg numbering is more hindrance than help... work on that 2/5//10 peak power.... and a final sprint to match the 85/90 kg boys with shoulders wide enough to knock you for 6.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    This is why the obsession with w/kg in the UK really is laughable.

    At 58kg you weigh less than most women who would do well on a flat crit circuit, let alone blokes.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    okgo wrote:
    This is why the obsession with w/kg in the UK really is laughable.

    At 58kg you weigh less than most women who would do well on a flat crit circuit, let alone blokes.

    I blame Zwift.... their bollox of an algorithm to deduce speed on their playgame is all based on w/kg and the fanaticism of some Zwifters to keep it that way is beyond belief.
    I just skew my weight each time ... that pisses them off.
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    Yep. If w/kg was king here I would win a lot of races.
    I don't even get near in RR's because I get smoked on the 3/4 minute climbs.
    Thats with a 310 watt FTP.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    mac9091 wrote:
    You'll go faster and enjoy it more if you take this numbers/finishing position self imposed stress off you

    I agree/disagree as the point of racing is to compete.


    Tosh, utter tosh.

    The point of racing is not to compete, it is to win. There's no point going if you want to compete - go big, smash their doors in, win in utter style or go home.

    If you don't go with that intention you'll stick to mid table mediocrity and may as well go home and go back to bed.

    Some call it arrogance but it's not being arrogant when you're the best.

    You don't get a treasure chest of doubloons by sticking to schooners and mere merchant men - it's the Queen's head you want every time.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • FlâneurFlâneur Posts: 3,027
    Mf is right, if you race and don't want to win, don't expect to ever come ranked.

    If you are just racing yourself to fitness knowing you are aiming for a road race later in the season that is one thing.

    It is wise to understand your strengths and see where you went wrong, and winning can be harder on a crit when built like a mountain goat, that means you then race differently or race something else and use this as training.

    Ignore your numbers for now, different races have different people turn up, do train up the corner sprints, the chases, the positioning etc
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  • mac9091mac9091 Posts: 196
    I'll save the helpful quotes till the end.

    Did you wear your number upside down? If not that could have been your problem?

    So, you sat in your car taking pictures of women in Lycra in the rain?

    Yes Whats wrong with that? :D The Juniors race (most of which would probably have battered me round the track as well) was after that but i'd went home by then.
    Tosh, utter tosh.

    The point of racing is not to compete, it is to win. There's no point going if you want to compete - go big, smash their doors in, win in utter style or go home.

    For some maybe but not me. Yes im competitive in nature but i can see that i am no legendary crit racer. Plus are you saying that all new riders should just not bother then seen as 99% of them aren't going to win?

    Arrogance no, Ignorance more likely.
    okgo wrote:
    This is why the obsession with w/kg in the UK really is laughable.

    At 58kg you weigh less than most women who would do well on a flat crit circuit, let alone blokes.

    W/kg for me gives me something that shows improvement with my training that is soely based on what i do, on the same watt bike. That gives positive reinforcement for me. For others i cannot comment and i dont use Zwift.
    jgsi wrote:
    It's taken me 2 minutes to source you a 3/4 road race in Somerset.... under 70kg ... crits really are not for you and why on earth you'd want be a tester is beyond me.
    Also the w/kg numbering is more hindrance than help... work on that 2/5//10 peak power.... and a final sprint to match the 85/90 kg boys with shoulders wide enough to knock you for 6.

    Which race is that? I only use the BC site. Didn't realise that adult races were/could be split into weight categories. IIRC my 6 second sprint is 925w (average of 3 attempts with a warm up and 1min rest in between) and then held 800W for 20 seconds after a 2 min rest in the same session.
    Asssuming this guy finished in he bunch and is a steady rider it's not a bad plan, if gives you something definite to focus on.

    Not sure on position or composition of the bunch sprint/even if there was one, his last race he finished in the top ten, not sure if he tailed off on the sprint or improved his position.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/event ... -Road-Race
    was slightly ambiguous before ... weight has no meaning.. you race as 4th/3rd etc etc Cat.
    I dont race BC anymore by the way... thank Christ.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    mac9091 wrote:
    I'll save the helpful quotes till the end.

    Did you wear your number upside down? If not that could have been your problem?

    So, you sat in your car taking pictures of women in Lycra in the rain?

    Yes Whats wrong with that? :D The Juniors race (most of which would probably have battered me round the track as well) was after that but i'd went home by then.
    Tosh, utter tosh.

    The point of racing is not to compete, it is to win. There's no point going if you want to compete - go big, smash their doors in, win in utter style or go home.

    For some maybe but not me. Yes im competitive in nature but i can see that i am no legendary crit racer. Plus are you saying that all new riders should just not bother then seen as 99% of them aren't going to win?

    Arrogance no, Ignorance more likely.

    It's a state of mind. It seem s that you don't have it.

    Ignorance no, many years of racing at a higher level than you are attempting to finish at is called experience. Sitting on a Wattbike ain't gonna help.

    I'll leave you to your number chasing.....
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Tosh, utter tosh.

    The point of racing is not to compete, it is to win. There's no point going if you want to compete - go big, smash their doors in, win in utter style or go home.

    It's a state of mind. It seem s that you don't have it.

    Unless you're competing with the very best, "smashing their doors in" and "winning in utter style" just means you're racing against the wrong people. To borrow a phase from somewhere else "If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room".

    The only way to get better is to compete against people better than you. A winning mentality is always about wanting to be better tomorrow than you were today.

    I don't bike race (normally) but I see it in plenty of other sports - people winning because they're competing against lesser competitors. These guys are the losers and will never do anything special.
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001

    Ignorance no, many years of racing at a higher level than you are attempting to finish at is called experience. Sitting on a Wattbike ain't gonna help.

    You must be the fastest rider on the internet - proper hero....
  • mac9091mac9091 Posts: 196
    jgsi wrote:
    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/157591/John-Andrews-Road-Race
    was slightly ambiguous before ... weight has no meaning.. you race as 4th/3rd etc etc Cat.
    I dont race BC anymore by the way... thank Christ.

    Ah, yes saw that one but i am moving house on the Tuesday so have other more "important" things to do apparently :D
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