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Old 08-28-19, 11:26 AM
  #401  
Radish_legs
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Tuesday Night Crit, A race. This is the non-technical oval-ish type crit. It's the last one of the year, and the first time I have done it in a couple of months, and first time this year I did only the A instead of A+B. Low wind day and unusual direction, so more of a chance of a bunch finish. I sat in for first 20 minutes, letting other people bring back attempted breaks. A break of 3 riders had gone up the road and was off the front for a couple of laps. But the bunch was getting closer to them. My one teammate in the race lifted his arm and pointed forward. I was in the back. My plan was to just sit in and wait for a possible sprint, while my teammate the breakaway specialist could maybe get in a break. After he raised his arm, I rode up to him, and he told me to attack and try to bridge up. So I was considering this, and thinking about what part of the course might be the best moment (maybe not in a headwind). I had drifted back again, and then Jesus on another team attacked from the back, and I was able to immediately get on his wheel. He covered half the gap, I came around and covered the 2nd half. Always follow Jesus. And then it was a break of 5. The break had been perhaps 25 seconds up the road. Somebody told me 30 seconds, but I think it was less.

We had good team representation. All the major teams represented, but not the strongest guys of each team. So we were sort of the "B level" breakaway. We continued to stay away and work together. Then another rider from the strongest team bridged up, and I thought we were done for. He did not take pulls and just sat on. While his teammate was opening gaps and not working hard, either struggling or playing games. At one point a teammate on the sideline said we had a 30 second gap. Later I was told we had perhaps a 0.67 mile lead. The issue was that it was dark, and I had my shades on (and no contacts), and I could not see what the gap was when I looked back.

With 5 laps to go, Jesus was urging us to work harder in the break. He was taking hard pulls. In my pulls, I was going 350w, often in the headwind area. It seemed like the other 2 guys weren't going as hard. And at that point we had the couple guys from the strongest team just sitting on. The group behind was chasing, but I couldn't tell where they were.

With one lap to go, I thought we maybe had it. With half lap to go, I was last wheel of 5, conserving energy and ready to sprint. I felt there was a possibility I could win the sprint given who was in it. Me winning the A crit would be amazing. Hard to come up with an analogy here of what an upset that would be. Right at this point, as we were going through the chicane, BOOM, the group catches us and is blowing past us. Turns out that the two strongest teams were chasing (despite having teammates in the break), they had rapidly closed the gap. I immediately hit the throttle and was 4th wheel, behind one of the strongest sprinters. I stayed on his wheel, tried to come around in the last corner, but could not pass him. Ended up 4th. Less than a bike length away from the podium.

Far different than the technical course where I am getting dropped within 10 minutes. Anyway, the result for me might have been better had I not gotten into the break. But I'm glad I did go for the break and got into it. It was a better learning experience. And gives me more confidence. And I'm pleased that I was able to get a 4th despite getting caught. That's my best finish ever in an A crit. I'll do a video later.
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Old 08-28-19, 11:43 AM
  #402  
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I'm glad Jesus was able to help you out there.
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Old 08-28-19, 11:46 AM
  #403  
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
I'm glad Jesus was able to help you out there.
Last year in the A race when I made the break (which I was eventually dropped from due to repeated attacks) I also followed Jesus. I'm finding that following Jesus is a pretty good tactic.
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Old 08-28-19, 09:52 PM
  #404  
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Did the "technical" A crit tonight, where I keep getting dropped early. Same thing happened. Averaged 341w over first 3 laps. Same old story. That's the last one I'm doing. My skills and fitness are not good enough to be in this race.
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Old 08-29-19, 06:44 AM
  #405  
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One thing I thought I noticed in your last video was that you appeared to be giving a gap before the turns, meaning you were chasing after each turn. (Granted, it's often hard to tell how big of a gap that is in these types of videos.)
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Old 08-29-19, 08:41 AM
  #406  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
One thing I thought I noticed in your last video was that you appeared to be giving a gap before the turns, meaning you were chasing after each turn. (Granted, it's often hard to tell how big of a gap that is in these types of videos.)
Yes, my teammate said the same thing to me. He says he thinks I am trying to get visual lines on the apex/turn, and I need to just stay on the wheel and trust where the corner is without seeing it as clearly.

I think if I do this crit, I need to step down to the B race. I think I would be favored to win the B, so it's not nearly the challenge.
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Old 08-29-19, 09:11 AM
  #407  
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
Yes, my teammate said the same thing to me. He says he thinks I am trying to get visual lines on the apex/turn, and I need to just stay on the wheel and trust where the corner is without seeing it as clearly.

I think if I do this crit, I need to step down to the B race. I think I would be favored to win the B, so it's not nearly the challenge.
The whole point of a tiered (category or letter races) system is you settle into a category where its a challenge. There are probably more than a few B racers who struggle at that level (like you are in the A's) and having top racers downgrade for easy wins is a good way for those guys to stop registering. Winning isn't supposed to be an every other week event.

You have the whole off season to figure this stuff out.
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Old 08-29-19, 09:58 AM
  #408  
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
The whole point of a tiered (category or letter races) system is you settle into a category where its a challenge. There are probably more than a few B racers who struggle at that level (like you are in the A's) and having top racers downgrade for easy wins is a good way for those guys to stop registering. Winning isn't supposed to be an every other week event.

You have the whole off season to figure this stuff out.
If you're consistently getting dropped a couple laps into a training crit though, I'm not sure that's a good use of one's time either.

Perhaps there really is a huge gap between A and B, but it seems weird to get dropped at the start of the A but be favored to win the B.

Maybe do one B first thing next season, practice your cornering over the winter and stay in the bunch and work on cornering and tactics and not just powering for the win, then try the A again, early in the season, when the speeds are likely slower.
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Old 08-29-19, 11:51 AM
  #409  
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Here where we are, usually the C and B crits get easier throughout the season. They are most competitive at the beginning. I didn't do a single B race at the technical course this year. I've never won it, or been on the podium. Beginning of last year I won the C crit a couple of times.

The A race however is competitive as ever. Because there is a competition going on. So right now, there is a huge gap between the B and A. It's a weak B, and a strong A. One reason I haven't raced the B, is that it wouldn't really mean much to me to win it. In the A, I am trying to help my team with points. But that's not working out.

If I did the B, I would probably be working on breakaways. That's a weakness for me, relatively.
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Old 08-29-19, 12:44 PM
  #410  
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Here's another perspective. It sounds like cornering in a field is also a weakness. So, you could do the B-race and make sure you sit in and work solely on cornering in the group. If the race is as unchallenging as you say, then it would be an ideal place to get this practice because you won't be on the rivet and can focus solely on cornering. But for this to work, you would have to make sure you stay in the field.
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Old 08-29-19, 01:10 PM
  #411  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Here's another perspective. It sounds like cornering in a field is also a weakness. So, you could do the B-race and make sure you sit in and work solely on cornering in the group. If the race is as unchallenging as you say, then it would be an ideal place to get this practice because you won't be on the rivet and can focus solely on cornering. But for this to work, you would have to make sure you stay in the field.
Yep, that's exactly what I was saying. If the B is easy, sit in the field and practice cornering and bike handling in the B.
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Old 08-29-19, 01:38 PM
  #412  
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Practicing cornering doesn't help if you don't know what your doing. Everyone thinks they corner like Sagan and just don't lean enough but often its deeper than that.

I'm also a bad cornerer and I worked on it for months and it didn't help. I would get in more sketchy situations than guys that would rail a lot tighter and faster than me. Always thought it was a comfort thing, that I had to get used to railing corners at speed. It wasn't until I had others watch me and point out my positioning on the bike was waay too forward did I actually improve. I could still probably rail it tighter though but holding wheels cornering on descents is not an issue.
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Old 08-29-19, 02:48 PM
  #413  
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I'm trying to practice cornering in all domains. When I drive (why am I breaking in the turn?), with my motorcycle (I'm not experienced really with it), on group rides. I tend to get gapped in turns on group rides even. I'm working on my wt distribution, on being in the drops. It's obviously a big problem that's going to limit my performance if I don't improve. The crit season is almost over down here. Two of the series end this week. The technical one goes for 2 more weeks, but I don't know if I'll bother doing it again this year.
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Old 08-29-19, 11:16 PM
  #414  
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
Yes, my teammate said the same thing to me. He says he thinks I am trying to get visual lines on the apex/turn, and I need to just stay on the wheel and trust where the corner is without seeing it as clearly.

I think if I do this crit, I need to step down to the B race. I think I would be favored to win the B, so it's not nearly the challenge.
Leaving gaps when you're mired in the middle of the field isn't a bad thing in many crits. In fact, it'll help you save energy. However, doing it near the front of the field is usually inefficient.

Looking at the videos, I would guess that you shouldn't be looking at the apex of the turn. You're target fixating and having a too early entry that is throwing off your exit. In anticipation, you're probably braking early to keep yourself from running off on exit. You'd be much better off doing a standard or late entry into the turn and looking at the exit. If you're having confidence issues with a late entry, practice actively counter steering which will initiate a rapid change in lean angle and flatten out your line.
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Old 09-01-19, 01:10 PM
  #415  
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Link starts at the last lap. I'm in the breakaway. Group chasing. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XBrC-L...outu.be&t=3287
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Old 09-03-19, 12:24 AM
  #416  
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Damn today was frustrating. Went from podium in RR in Masters 1/23 few weeks back to not even getting in to top 10 in E3 at Giro Di SF. Felt good entire race, but at the end sprint just wasn't there, with bunch of people passing me on final sprint. The race wasn't even as hard as last year. Don't know what's happening with my form, but I seem to be going backwards. :/
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Old 09-03-19, 10:11 AM
  #417  
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My wife and I raced Masters Nationals this year - Colorado Sprints for road and Velo Sports Center in Carson for track. She raced road and track won gold in the 2k pursuit at track and was second in the 20 Km road time trial. That is her 4th national title in the individual pursuit. It was very cool to have Nash announce her name at the start of the event along with her being the world record holder in the event.

I was support for road nationals (no racing) and at track nationals I got 5th place - bronze in the 2k pursuit. I managed to get a chest cold 5 days before the event so I was not on my best form. I am still coughing.

As a side note, there was bike check but very limited drug testing at road nats. At track nats, there was drug test for world records only and no bike check unless one set a WR. It all seemed odd to me. Why not more drug testing? I guess that is a rhetorical question. No bike check at masters track? Why? They had the jig and plenty of USAC cycling personnel. There is no answer to these questions. There was a light turnout for road and very minimal participation for track. In general, the racers we have been racing with for years showed up for both events.

Picture using my iPhone by Travis Smith.



Wife in start gate



Standing start



Podium



Her is my wife passing the silver medalist in the pursuit on lap 6.

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Old 09-03-19, 11:04 AM
  #418  
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Awesome job Hermes! So happy for you and your wife. When she's not around do you try on one of those jerseys?


In regards to the testing; I would piss test the whole field (assuming low turnout). They obviously can't afford to 'test' those all but they sure can afford to have a guy watch people pee in a cup. That alone would discourage people.
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Old 09-03-19, 11:29 AM
  #419  
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Congrats on the podium. We have a local masters track racer who did well at Nationals. I think he has won over 100 NCs. Maybe that's an underestimate. He was tagged in another guys's FB post, and that guy said he has won over 60 NCs. It seems like the same guys must go and win every year.
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Old 09-03-19, 11:46 AM
  #420  
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Congrats Hermes!

I'm surprised by the low turn out and testing. I saw plenty of people being tested at T-Town last year. I'm not sure why turnout was so low. Doesn't seem like many EC people bothered to travel out west. I also wonder if the timing was an issue - school started here last week.

(I would have been there had I not broken my clavicle. I was able to cancel most things, but still had to pay for half my AirBNB that I didn't use.)
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Old 09-04-19, 07:45 AM
  #421  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Congrats Hermes!

I'm surprised by the low turn out and testing. I saw plenty of people being tested at T-Town last year. I'm not sure why turnout was so low. Doesn't seem like many EC people bothered to travel out west. I also wonder if the timing was an issue - school started here last week.

(I would have been there had I not broken my clavicle. I was able to cancel most things, but still had to pay for half my AirBNB that I didn't use.)
My team mate and I were talking about it, and we speculated it was a combination of things. 1) Many masters have kids, and it's just bad timing being around the 1st week of school. 2) As fun as it to ride at Carson, it's not that forgiving of a track for people who are used to shallower tracks. Kind of like road nationals in Colorado (which I opted not to attend due to the altitude despite having a good chance on "paper") 3) We've had 3 consecutive big track events in LA -- maybe a little burnout? 4) You're just not going to have the turnout similar to a more centrally (drivable) located track like Indy or T-town.


Oh, and they did have USADA there for non-world record testing. But at the magnitude of $1000? per test, it's going to be limited.

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Old 09-04-19, 09:41 AM
  #422  
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Originally Posted by tobukog View Post
My team mate and I were talking about it, and we speculated it was a combination of things. 1) Many masters have kids, and it's just bad timing being around the 1st week of school. 2) As fun as it to ride at Carson, it's not that forgiving of a track for people who are used to shallower tracks. Kind of like road nationals in Colorado (which I opted not to attend due to the altitude despite having a good chance on "paper") 3) We've had 3 consecutive big track events in LA -- maybe a little burnout? 4) You're just not going to have the turnout similar to a more centrally (drivable) located track like Indy or T-town.


Oh, and they did have USADA there for non-world record testing. But at the magnitude of $1000? per test, it's going to be limited.
I was wondering about that too.

Regarding it being a 250, I recall in the weeks leading up to masters nationals at Rock Hill in 2017, lots of people came down to get practice on the steeper track, and many commented on how scary it seemed to ride so high on the steep walls. I can only assume going from pretty grippy concrete to much less grippy wood would be even more frightening.

Traveling out there for pre-race practice is more challenging too as LA has very strict requirements and extensive certification processes before one can ride there. I had to pull a few strings to be able to participate in a training session there last fall.
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Old 09-04-19, 10:25 AM
  #423  
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Thanks guys for the props.

With respect to racing at Velo Sports Center and certification, it is actually pretty easy. I share a locker with the certification instructor and my wife and I did our class in 2010. The reason we did the class in Carson was to prepare for the upcoming Masters Track Nationals in Frisco, TX which was a 250 meter track with 45 degree banking. The track at Frisco has been taken down but at the time it was painted plywood over a metal sub structure. The surface was grippy but many crashed due to pedal strike issues where they rode too slow on the banking and were not perpendicular to the track. Frisco was a fun track to race on and I was glad I did the class at Carson.

If you are an experienced track racer, the certification class at Carson is 2 hours long. It entails learning the rules at the track and then practice with the instructor with the hardest part being riding to the top of the track near the rail 34 feet above the floor below. The visual impact takes getting used to. Each level of the track requires more speed to keep from slipping so the general rule of thumb for rookies is 18 mph to get on the track, 20 mph at the relief line and 22 mph at the rail. With experience, the speeds may be much less but it is a good bench mark to start with.

I do not know what accommodations VSC made for out of town riders and practice / certification, if any.

With respect to drug testing, I have paid out of pocket serval times for drug testing for my wife and her various world records. It is about $400 to 500. At Masters Worlds that previous two years, there was extensive drug testing for winners and world records and they may have tested others. My wife was tested.

If USADA is present at a race it is the racers responsibility to show up for drug testing if USADA requires it. Generally, they set up a board and post who they want to test and they have volunteers to shadow racers after they finish their race until they are tested.

USADA was present at both Masters Track and Road Nationals but I did not see any activity such as posting names or looking for racers to test. If one sets a WR, then one has to seek out USADA and get tested if one wants the record to count. At both racers, I did not see where USADA had set up and asked USAC where we were to report for testing. They may have tested some racers but I did not see any and they did not test my wife when she won.

The other aspect of testing is that it takes a lot of staff and a long time. When my wife set the WR two years ago at Worlds, the USADA official told a volunteer, "do not let her out of your sight". Then one has to go with the volunteer and go through an interview and disclose everything one takes. My wife has a complete list with pictures on her iPhone for reference if they ask. Then one has to pee. And it can take a long time for athletes to pee. It can take hours. It all depends on the level of dehydration, nerves, having someone watch you pee and etc. That may be TMI, but it is indicative of the administration issues that staff and racers must contend with.

And there is more...In Mexico, when my wife set her first WR, she met with the USADA doc the day before. He happened to be at the Velodrome. He gave her instructions on eating and hydration to make sure that her urine had the right concentration. There was something about specific gravity and hydration that can muck up the tests.

So there is more to testing than just cost. IMO, it is very pro and one needs experience that includes compliance with the rules and know-how to facilitate smooth testing after the race.

One could say, why not collect urine samples from all the racers at an event and then randomly select or test whomever. This would certainly keep all the racers on edge and maybe motivate more compliance. However, it is still time consuming and there has to be protocols followed such as the special sample bottles for the A and B sample and the monitoring of racers after events and the interview process and peeing in a cup. It is a total hassle.
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Old 09-04-19, 10:59 AM
  #424  
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I helped dismantle the Frisco track.
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Old 09-08-19, 03:49 PM
  #425  
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Local 4/5 cyclocross race. 19 of 32 or 33. First cx race. Tire pressure too high and bounced around the course. Typical roadie wuss error. Slid out once. Made some passes, got passed. My tire tread seemed a little weak looking around also. Maybe good fast gravel tires, but not cross!

That mid pack finish was all fitness and zero skill. Iíve only ever ridden a cross course twice before to practice. I can run the bike and jump, but missed the pedal 3x.

Was fun though. More personality and entertainment factor than riding road. Folks cheering on every finisher to dig and get it done.

Iíll do the next one on Raleigh amd maybe the one in my hometown.
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