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The issue of moving up from B crit to A crit

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The issue of moving up from B crit to A crit

Old 05-28-19, 09:14 AM
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Radish_legs
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The issue of moving up from B crit to A crit

I'm debating what to do with the weeknight crit that I do. Last year in the B crit, I had maybe two 2nds, and 1 3rd. This year it was my goal to finish 1st. I accomplished that last week, after placing 2nd the previous two times. So three straight podiums. I'm probably a threat to be on the podium every time at this point in the season.

Last year, after getting a 3rd in the B and then a 5th in the A on the same night, I decided to do just the A crit. That was kind of plus/minus for me. I'm not quite strong enough to be "in the race" in the A. If I get in the break (which would be a miracle, happened once), I'm likely to get dropped from the break (which is what happened). On a night with a weaker field, and everything comes down to a group sprint, maybe I can get 5th (happened twice last year).

Then you have the pressure of not sandbagging. Meaning you don't want to be "that guy" to your fellow racers who resent you for doing the B. And in some cases, the promoter might ask you to consider stopping doing the B. Hasn't happened to me yet. Although I note that there are some strong B racers who win quite a bit, but nobody seems upset about that they never cat up (the couple I am thinking of are not competitive when they do the A).

On the other hand, was talking with one of the most experienced racers, he says in this series I should focus on the actual race where I have cards to play, so I can learn racing. Just barely hanging on to the pack isn't real racing. Moreover, he says, this gives me the opportunity to help mentor my team and makes for a better overall race in the B (actual team tactics).

I'm a cat 3, not trying to cat up. I don't really have any aspirations other than having a good time and testing myself, and hopefully working with a cohesive team.

I'm sure some of you have been in this same situation. Did you stick with doing the B? I should note that in the last two As I was dropped on the first lap because of exhausted legs after the B sprint.
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Old 05-28-19, 09:28 AM
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topflightpro
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I say do the B and the A. Keep at it until the A gets easier and you don't get dropped.
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Old 05-28-19, 09:38 AM
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Yeah man I agree, if you have the opportunity to race 2x do both races, and coming into the A race kinda tired will help you focus on soft skills like pack surfing and not hitting your brakes and such. Or you can go ham and attack til you get dropped. The world is your oyster!
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Old 05-28-19, 10:20 AM
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I always say race up. But, it doesn't matter. Do what you enjoy and have fun with it. It's not like you're riding off the front of a B race every time you line up. That's the type of thing that should result in automatic upgrades. Racing smart and having everything align for the win makes it sound like the Bs are a really good category for you at this point. If it ever becomes "easy", then start looking towards full devotion to the As.
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Old 05-28-19, 10:30 AM
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caloso
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
Yeah man I agree, if you have the opportunity to race 2x do both races, and coming into the A race kinda tired will help you focus on soft skills like pack surfing and not hitting your brakes and such. Or you can go ham and attack til you get dropped. The world is your oyster!
This. B for racing; A for fitness and technique. Some of my best races have been when I just didn't have good legs so I was forced to use all my Jedi crit powers to save watts.
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Old 05-28-19, 02:05 PM
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Whether people are saying it or not, you'll get some resentment from some of the B's out there, especially if there's someone out thats never podiumed and was pushed off by 'sandbaggers'. We've had races out here in SCNCA where whole podiums in the 4's had points to move up to 3. While its within your right until your kicked out of the category, it can be construed as poor taste (if you haven't won and have the points stick around).

You can always work for someone as well in the B's, but being a strong rider that's fairly strong that may be easier said than done.

I don't know the culture or attitudes of your race; maybe everyone is okay with it. Typically though in a tiered race system like that it is assumed you move up when you dominate that ranking, and if racers can predict the podium before the bell even starts, some aren't going to bother lining up.
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Old 05-28-19, 03:38 PM
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Don't sandbag.

HTFU and race the A's - if you don't want to challenge yourself quit racing and take up LARP.
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Old 05-28-19, 11:40 PM
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I had 2 teammates tonight that were taking turns attacking. Eventually the elastic snapped and another guy joined him, and those two rode away to 1-2. I won the field sprint pretty decisively in a smaller weaker field than average in the B. So our team ended up going 2nd and 3rd.

Last year I quit doing the B in part because we had the strongest team and a bunch of guys tripping over each other in the B. It was like a competition to get in the break or the race was over for you, with most of the strongest guys in the field being on my team. This year our numbers and participation are down. And we also lost our title sponsor from last year, as the cycling shop that sponsored us went out of business.

So some mixed opinions here. I'll give it some thought. Of course another option is to just stop racing for the year. I've already achieved my goal. That's what a lot of people do. They'd rather not race in 100 degrees in Texas. Another option is to discuss it with my teammates and see what they want me to do.

And btw, I'm not doing it for money, nor for "glory." Just for fun. In a month, no one remembers who won. I should add that one more factor is the overall cup competition. Points for best team at the end of the year. Less points for the B. But it is helping the team for us to do well in the B.

One thing an experienced friend said: "How can you learn how to win, if you never win?" Or you've only won once out of countless tries?

Last edited by Radish_legs; 05-28-19 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 05-31-19, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
This. B for racing; A for fitness and technique. Some of my best races have been when I just didn't have good legs so I was forced to use all my Jedi crit powers to save watts.
+2

My best races in terms of race craft have been when I've been relatively fit and for whatever reason did the P123 or 123 race. I always race "scared" (meaning trying to shelter) but to race scared while actually being redlined is a totally different experience.

One fit year I did the now defunct Scotch Plains Crit. We were late and I missed the Cat 3 race. Used my entry to do the P123 race instead. 8 turn 1 mile course, some very good pros there (Jonas Carney was the star rider, he won Nutley and Somerville, and he was joined by pretty much every local pro in the NY/NJ area was there too as this was a warm up race for Nutley and Somerville).

I approached the race on a lap by lap basis. After doing "just one more lap" for 49 miles I was sitting in the top 10 at the bell, 4th with 3 turns to go, on Carney's wheel. Someone dive bombed the inside of that 3rd last turn, took out everyone in the vicinity behind Carney, aka 4th wheel on. I had only a vague inkling that someone was sliding through my wheels when I was 1000% railed for that hard left. I hit the deck so fast I only remembered seeing pavement next to my eye before my helmet smacked the pavement.

Although ended my race with my first ever (of two, in 35+ seasons) ambulance rides (a precautionary one because I hit my head) it was by far one of my best races ever in terms of punching above my pay grade. I was really amped for the sprint, I wasn't just hanging on for dear life, and to this day I wonder what would have happened had I made it to the line. Even a 10th or something would have been insane with the prize money back then, top 3 would have been crazy. To put it in perspective a Cat 3 race later that year paid $900 to the winner, $500 for 2nd, $250 for 3rd, and $90 for 4th (I got 4th, didn't bother learning what the other places paid). That was the Cat 3s! So a similar level crit, P123s... yeah.
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