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Collegiate Track Endurance Nats last week.

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Collegiate Track Endurance Nats last week.

Old 09-22-18, 11:00 PM
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Collegiate Track Endurance Nats last week.

Correction. It was sprint and endurance Collegiate Nationals. But we were there for endurance events.
Rather that write a wall of text, I'll post the video of juniors 2nd mass start race. He just got his upgrade just 5 days before. Nothing like real racing to shake out issues. Things from equipment to just not knowing the rules or what to do came up.
I'd appreciate input on how to communicate with the rider as to points, what is going on, and general riding. It was a fun time.

This is a longer video. I find the relatives like 20 sec, maybe you folks like more. Junior is in the white POC helmet, USAFA white top kit #83.

Last edited by Doge; 09-22-18 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 09-23-18, 07:51 AM
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The best way to communicate is with hand signals or visually. It's hard to do verbally in a mass start race if it's noisy or there are many coaches. He needs to learn to count points on his own -- one way to simplify it is 2pts or winning, 1 point for anything else. It's sometimes helpful to tape the sprint lap #'s on your stem.
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Old 09-23-18, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
...I'll post the video of juniors 2nd mass start race. He just got his upgrade just 5 days before. Nothing like real racing to shake out issues. Things from equipment to just not knowing the rules or what to do came up.

I'd appreciate input on how to communicate with the rider as to points, what is going on, and general riding.
Input:

This is why Collegiate Nationals is known to be a crash-fest.

There's nothing like having athletes being arguably the strongest, fittest, and most fearless they will be in their lives racing in the biggest event of the year with the least amount of experience possible.

It's evident by how your son is riding. He's timid. Not sure if he's timid because of confidence in his own riding or that of others. He rides solo in every clip except when he's in the 3-man breakaway.

Essentially, he solo time-trialed the entire race and rode further than most as he was above the stayer's line half of the time.

Regarding points:

The best points racers do it themselves. They are aware of how many points they have, how many points the other leaders have, and do the math to determine what's required to win. This mental gymnastics is part of the points race at the higher levels of the sport.

Advice:

Race more.

Race more than just 'big events'. Race locally for fun, experience, and comfort.

You can train for individual time trials on your own and excel. This requires only leg and lungs. You cannot do this for mass start racing. Mass start racing requires legs, lungs, and the brain in order to excel.

Last edited by carleton; 09-23-18 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 09-23-18, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
This is why Collegiate Nationals is known to be a crash-fest.
Agreed

It also does not help that the officials were rarely calling people on doing unsafe and illegal moves. I saw countless passes on the blue band that officials let go. They really need to require more track experience before racing next time as many of these riders first time on the track was just a couple weeks prior to nationals.
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Old 09-23-18, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
...
Advice:

Race more.

Race more than just 'big events'. Race locally for fun, experience, and comfort.

You can train for individual time trials on your own and excel. This requires only leg and lungs. You cannot do this for mass start racing. Mass start racing requires legs, lungs, and the brain in order to excel.
NO disagreement from the observations.
So would you have them stay Cat 4/5 and TT to wins or upgrade to race with and learn from the big boys?

Race more is good advice.
He said he was tentative. Did you see where he caused any risk to others?
Going back to old posts my comment was that having elite road cat 1/pro riders start track Cat 4/5 was silly. They may not know the skills, but in cat 4/5 they just TT.

A good rider just watches and learns - they are tentative.

What is the point in not moving to at least a Cat 2 to learn how to race.
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Old 09-23-18, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
NO disagreement from the observations.
So would you have them stay Cat 4/5 and TT to wins or upgrade to race with and learn from the big boys?

Race more is good advice.
He said he was tentative. Did you see where he caused any risk to others?
Going back to old posts my comment was that having elite road cat 1/pro riders start track Cat 4/5 was silly. They may not know the skills, but in cat 4/5 they just TT.

A good rider just watches and learns - they are tentative.

What is the point in not moving to at least a Cat 2 to learn how to race.
I would have him race Cat 3/4 for several race nights before moving to 1/2. Maybe 2 months, depending on if he got it or not. AND I would require him to stay in the pack until the final sprint. No TT'ing off the front. This is the only way to learn what happens in the pack and get confidence being there. If he kept making bone-headed mistakes or lacked the confidence to stay in, he would never be upgraded. Period.

If he's not comfortable in the pack at 25-30MPH, he'll be terrified in the pack at 35-40MPH...and there's nothing he can do about it as he can't simply ride off the front and get away from the mayhem.

When Sir Chis Hoy started his motorsport career what do you think he raced for months?

Top speed 130MPH:


Now he drives this for a living at over 300MPH:



See my point?

Last edited by carleton; 09-23-18 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 09-23-18, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
NO disagreement from the observations.
So would you have them stay Cat 4/5 and TT to wins or upgrade to race with and learn from the big boys?

Race more is good advice.
He said he was tentative. Did you see where he caused any risk to others?
Going back to old posts my comment was that having elite road cat 1/pro riders start track Cat 4/5 was silly. They may not know the skills, but in cat 4/5 they just TT.

A good rider just watches and learns - they are tentative.

What is the point in not moving to at least a Cat 2 to learn how to race.
Cat 1/ pro starting with cat 4/5 is not silly. If they tt the race, they are doing it wrong. If they can tt to win, they should be more than able to sit in and win the sprints. It would also be way easier to learn how to count points in the points race if you're faster than everyone. It's silly to try and learn that doing one of your first mass start races at a national level against people who already went through the process.
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Old 09-23-18, 08:44 PM
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Collegiate Track Nationals has an odd problem.

If they had strict upgrade and experience requirements, they would have only a fraction of the participants. Basically, less than the few that show up at Elite Nationals.

The next thing is that colleges compete as teams for team points. So there is incentive to get as many athletes on the track as possible...including several beginners who may be road or criterium all-stars, but new to the track.

As it stands now, you have literally P/1/2 caliber athletes riding in the same fields with CAT 3/4 level athletes...with a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP on the line. That's a very bad mix. There are athletes who literally have pro contracts racing collegiate nationals.

For example, in 2011, we had Coryn Rivera in a field with several yong women who are riding the track for the first time. She won 6 events, BTW.

I don't know what the solution is, but the problem is clear.
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Old 09-23-18, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by spartanKid View Post
Technically all riders must be at least a track cat3 (collegiate A equivalent) to race the bunch races at collegiate track nationals. It has always been a problem that there will be collegiate rider who have achieved their "A" upgrade because the collegiate upgrade coordinator for a region or a state is not necessarily the same as the normal upgrade coordinator, and may be more flexible with upgrades based on the recommendation from a coach or velodrome employee.
Actually, there doesn't seem to be a CAT3 requirement. Just a Collegiate Category A, which as you mention, is easy to get.

The official eligibility requirements are slim:

7I8. Track National Championships.
(a) Track Championship Eligibility.
For all track events, riders shall meet the following eligibility standards, in addition to those standards already put forth:

(i) Riders must produce documented evidence of completion of at least two track events that season to compete in mass-start event (a track event in this case is defined as one day of racing).

(ii) Riders participating in events not classified as mass start must produce documented evidence of completion of at least one track event that season (a track event in this case is defined as one day of racing).

(iii) For mass-start races riders must be a collegiate track category A.

(iv) Additionally, if a rider’s conference holds a track season, the conference director may require participation in that season for riders to qualify for the national championships.
also, the phrase "... in addition to those standards already put forth" doesn't refer to any CAT3 requirements for Collegiate. Only Juniors 17/18, Elites, and Masters up to age 54. Oddly there is no CAT3 requirement for 55+ Masters mass start racing. That's news to me.

Source: Chapter 7 of the USA Cycling Rule Book
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Old 09-23-18, 10:36 PM
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Put a different way, the requirement for Category 3 Track certification for Mass Start races at National Championships only applies to:

- Male Juniors aged 17-18.
- Elite Men (minimum CAT2 actually)
- Elite Women
- Masters aged 35-54

The CAT3 Requirement for Mass Start racing DOES NOT apply to:
- Junior Boys aged 11-16
- All Junior Girls (aged 11-18)
- Masters aged 55+
- ...and Collegiate

Source: USA Cycling Rule Book, chapter 7

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Old 09-23-18, 10:44 PM
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For those wondering, CAT3 Track is not a hard cert to get, especially if you race several days/month at your local velodrome and have a firm grasp of the how to ride safely, the rules, and good bike handling as well as decent speed and fitness. That may sound like a long list, but all of them grow together when you show up and get on your bike and ride it in circles with other folks
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Old 09-24-18, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
I would have him race Cat 3/4 for several race nights before moving to 1/2. Maybe 2 months, depending on if he got it or not. AND I would require him to stay in the pack until the final sprint. No TT'ing off the front. This is the only way to learn what happens in the pack and get confidence being there. If he kept making bone-headed mistakes or lacked the confidence to stay in, he would never be upgraded. Period.

If he's not comfortable in the pack at 25-30MPH, he'll be terrified in the pack at 35-40MPH...and there's nothing he can do about it as he can't simply ride off the front and get away from the mayhem.

When Sir Chis Hoy started his motorsport career what do you think he raced for months?

Top speed 130MPH:


Now he drives this for a living at over 300MPH:



See my point?
This is really good advice.
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Old 09-24-18, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by spartanKid View Post
This is actually not true. From the USAC Collegiate Rule Book, chapter 6:

Ah! Thanks for the correction.

So,

- One needs to be a USAC CAT3 to be a Collegiate CAT-A.
- One needs to be a Collegiate CAT-A to race Nationals.
- Therefore, one needs to be an USAC CAT3 to race Nationals.

Got it.
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Old 09-24-18, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by spartanKid View Post
Technically all riders must be at least a track cat3 (collegiate A equivalent) to race the bunch races at collegiate track nationals. It has always been a problem that there will be collegiate rider who have achieved their "A" upgrade because the collegiate upgrade coordinator for a region or a state is not necessarily the same as the normal upgrade coordinator, and may be more flexible with upgrades based on the recommendation from a coach or velodrome employee.
They are separate ranking systems. My kid got his A and is still a cat 4.
There were no crashes (that I know of - I was there all 3 days). The tentative pro and cat 1 road riders just road high and stayed away. I agree that may not be the est way to learn the sport, but I have not seen that it necessarily makes for it being dangerous. I expect, like other cycling disciplines, sometime the best college kids don't do collegiate cycling, while others do.
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Old 09-24-18, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Ah! Thanks for the correction.

So,

- One needs to be a USAC CAT3 to be a Collegiate CAT-A.
- One needs to be a Collegiate CAT-A to race Nationals.
- Therefore, one needs to be an USAC CAT3 to race Nationals.

Got it.
The computer would not allow registration until the results of the 2nd race day were up. Of course there have been computer errors before (kid was licensed at age 8 by error when min age was 9).

1st race day was TT only. that counted as a race day.
2nd race day was track stand omnium. That was 10 days before and counted as the 2nd race day and a mass start event.
Computer opened up Collegiate Nats registration.
This was all automatic. There was no request for any Cat 4 upgrade. Cat 1 may be upgraded to a Track Cat 2 by asking and approval (as I recall).
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Old 09-24-18, 01:49 PM
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This means that your son raced illegally and could probably have his results annulled if someone lodged a protest.

Rules is rules.
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Old 09-24-18, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by spartanKid View Post
I know they are separate ranking systems. I raced collegiate for many years. What I'm saying is that technically in order get an "A" collegiate track ranking, your son should have technically also earned enough points for a cat3, even if he only holds a collegiate license....
Technically there is no need to be a cat 3 as shown in the picture - today. Rules said as road Cat 1 you can get MTB pro by asking (and approval) , Track 2 by asking (and approval), CX 1 by asking. So far the CX Cat 1 was requested. Since racing no request have been made. The only thing needed was the collegiate Cat A, so that is all that was asked for. The reason was so the team could compete in the collegiate club omnium against 16 other teams. I expect the advice to stay in a Cat 4 mass start races (which was done) will be followed. Maybe Cat 3. This is a well known path and way to do things. Using a different analogy than Hoy, they start in gliders, move to motor prop planes, then move to the jets.


Back to the points race. Does anyone use signals from the ground (coach) to communicate with the rider?

Thoughts on tactics like is it better to catch the pack, or stay in front an take points. How many do you want to go with you etc.
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Old 09-24-18, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
This means that your son raced illegally and could probably have his results annulled if someone lodged a protest.

Rules is rules.
You mean these he did when he was 8? They expunged his SoCal state results. Maybe this will all come out when running for political office.



MTB was started as a B, went to A with no Cat MTB ranking.
There is no requirement a collegiate rider have any Cat ranking in any discipline. Several Cat 4s on the team are collegiate As. They do not need other than a collegiate license.

Last edited by Doge; 09-24-18 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 09-24-18, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
You mean these he did when he was 8? They expunged his SoCal state results. Maybe this will all come out when running for political office.



MTB was started as a B, went to A with no Cat MTB ranking.
There is no requirement a collegiate rider have any Cat ranking in any discipline. Several Cat 4s on the team are collegiate As. They do not need other than a collegiate license.
Look. People break the rules all the time...willingly and unwillingly.

Your son placing 4th of 8 in a local crit while racing illegally isn't a big deal. Your son making the podium* at Collegiate National Championships while racing illegally is.

*(I don't know his result nor am I asking).

It's a coach's job to make sure that his/her athletes are racing legally and to watch out for illegal acts by the other team and advocate for them as needed.

Why make rules if they don't apply to everyone? If every other athlete did all of the steps in order to race (certs, upgrade from 5 to 4 to 3, obtain CAT-A...) then your son should, too. He shouldn't be there simply because his pa thinks he's the best kid in the field.

As a USAC athlete, USAC coach, and USAC official, I'd have noooooo problem if a coach from one of the colleges came up to the official's booth or emailed USAC and filed a protest. I'd expect the following reply:

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Old 09-24-18, 09:22 PM
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Your statements are correct. Just that there were no rules broken. A rider may race collegiate with only a collegiate license and many do.
As you are a USAC official - email rshafer@usacycling.org and ask him.
This is a red herring that turned a post about how to ride track right to rules. So as too rules here is one:
For collegiate nats, is this allowed to race in? (photo cred - USA Cycling)
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Old 09-24-18, 09:29 PM
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I am not 100% sure, but I think my customer built that car.
My customer: Case Studies | RML - The leading high performance automotive engineering company in the world
Originally Posted by carleton View Post
...


Now he drives this for a living at over 300MPH:



See my point?
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Old 09-24-18, 10:20 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
I'd appreciate input on how to communicate with the rider as to points, what is going on, and general riding. It was a fun time.
During mass start races, only officials are allowed to be trackside, out of the infield. Trying to communicate with a rider during a mass start race is not only a distraction, but it can be dangerous. If you're in the midst of a mass start race, your attention should be focused on what is going on within the race, not trying to pick out your coach and decipher their messages.

Most racers won't have a true idea of the points scoreboard outside of their own points. They'll be tracking their own points and maybe those of a couple of other favourites, but they'll only have an idea of who has how many points. Unless you're in a small break, then there are too many riders to keep an exacting score.

Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Thoughts on tactics like is it better to catch the pack, or stay in front an take points. How many do you want to go with you etc.
This will depend of how the organizer lays out the scoring system, and who is in the break with you and also, who is left in the pack. Some organizers award points for gaining a lap, but then everyone finishes on the same lap (it doesn't matter how many times you lap the field, if someone has more points than you they still win); others don't but separate those who are a lap down from those that lapped the field (you can be in a breakaway of five guys, lap the field, get no points and still get 5th place).

If points are given for taking a lap (where everyone finishes on the same lap), then it might be wise to stay out as long as possible to collect points with your break before latching onto the group again. Often times, a break may be fully capable of catching the field, but may try to sit 1/3 to 1/2 a lap behind the field as long as possible to collect points.

If your group is large enough that you aren't getting points, then it is best to sit in for a bit, and solo to the pack on your own to get the points, in the hopes that this breaks up the group,they can't stay away, then try to get points again once the breakaway gets re-absorbed.

Those are just a couple of examples, but there are way to many situations to be able to outline them. I know that seems like the easy way out when answering this, but strategy really depends on a combination of who you are racing against, where you are in relation to the pack or break, the strengths of those who are your immediate competition, how much racing is left, the scoring system, and where you are sitting as far as points go.

It really is more of an experiential/instinctive learning thing.

Last edited by taras0000; 09-24-18 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 09-24-18, 10:46 PM
  #23  
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Hey, @Doge, any chance your son can create an account and we talk with him directly?

Right now you are being "that parent" that no one is fond of.
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Old 09-24-18, 11:56 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
NO disagreement from the observations.
So would you have them stay Cat 4/5 and TT to wins or upgrade to race with and learn from the big boys?

Race more is good advice.
He said he was tentative. Did you see where he caused any risk to others?
Going back to old posts my comment was that having elite road cat 1/pro riders start track Cat 4/5 was silly. They may not know the skills, but in cat 4/5 they just TT.

A good rider just watches and learns - they are tentative.

What is the point in not moving to at least a Cat 2 to learn how to race.
The choice you didn't consider - stay in a lower category and learn to ride in a pack. A rider who is fit enough to ride away from the pack, but is too timid to stay in it should not upgrade to higher CATs. Someone who is fit enough to ride off the front will learn much more in the lower cats because they are relaxed, and aren't riding scared. They can stay near the front and watch what the more experienced riders are doing. Lower category racing doesn't necessarily mean that the quality of the tactics is lower, they just don't have the engines that Elites do. I learned far more racing with masters when I was young than I did sitting in with the Elites. With the Elites, all I was able to do was sit in, near the back of the pack, and watch what the other guys were doing who were barely surviving. Not much to learn there, and the risk of crashing is greater at the back of the pack.
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Old 09-25-18, 06:23 AM
  #25  
topflightpro
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It seems like we are starting to pile on someone new again.

Yes, Doge is a very involved parent. But his kid is a legit talent who has represented the US in junior or under 23 races in Europe. (His daughter went to college on an athletic scholarship too - one with an extensive record of success.) His son is exceptionally talented and experienced on the road. And yes, track is not the same as the road, and there is a learning curve to riding and racing on the track. Still, I think it is a bit much to claim his son is cheating or breaking rules by getting upgrades to race at Nationals. And even with Doge's kid's inexperience, I would hardly expect him to be a danger to anyone on the track.
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