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Thread: Class Questions

  1. #1
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    Class Questions

    Hi all,

    So I'm trying to decide what class to run in at my race coming up this weekend and could use advice.

    Here's my season so far:

    Race 1- Cat 3, 6 miles, 1st in my class, very small field
    Race 2- Cat 3, 12 miles, 7th place, 5 min back from first
    Race 3- Cat 3, 8 miles, broken chain at mile 2, fixed and came back for a 7th out of 20, approx 6 minutes off the lead(close to how long it took for me to get that pesky chain fixed)
    Race 4- Cat 3, 12 miles, lead start/hole shot, asthma attack forced me to stop and get my breathing under control, ended up feeling strong in the last few miles got managed to pick off people back up to 9th out of 20 or so.

    So I feel like my results are telling me to stay in Cat 3 for this next race but part of me wonders if I should give Cat 2 a shot. The next race is at the same venue as race 2 and if I do sport it would be 16 miles. I'm only wondering about moving up because there always seems to be this aka-ward break in the Cat 3 pack where you've got guys just riding for fun and then the guys just running Cat 3 trying to get the series title (not me).

    What do you think? Also there's a 5 hr enduro class, I'm almost tempted to do that as I've never raced any longer events.

  2. #2
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    I'd stick to Cat 2. Looks to me like the shorter the race, the better you do. 16 seems like a lot. Also, the rule in my series is once you Cat up you can't go back. If you can, then heck, go with cat 2 and give it a shot if you feel up to it!

  3. #3
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    Thanks, yeah this is my first season racing so I guess i'd be smart to stay in Cat 3 for the rest of the season, then do some actually training this winter (I didn't really ride last winter) and come out in Cat 2 next year.

  4. #4
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    If you can handle the distance, go for it in Cat2 man, and if you can handle 12 miles, you should be able to handle 16 miles at that course. There's always an excuse to not do something and if you've done 4 races, you've done enough to know how they work. Good luck man and just make the leap, you'll be glad you did.

  5. #5
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    I do group rides regularly and solo rides that exceed 20+ miles so the distance doesn't scare me as much as the thought of riding at race pace for that long. Like you said maybe I should just make the leap and see what happens in my series I can still drop back if I fail miserably.

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    Isn't your main goal as a cat 3 to move up to cat 2? And since you're not a beginner anymore and you're not out riding for fun or trying to sandbag the series title what are you waiting for? Riding cat 2 will definately make you a better rider than riding cat 3...nuff said, level up!

  7. #7
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    Ok to update: I stayed with what I was comfortable with and ran beginner. I had a great race at the end of lap two I was sitting third with a 2 minute gap to the leader. We managed to reel it back in to one minute and then I lost the sprint for second at the line(I had the gas just not the traction). I ended up 3rd for the younger group and 4th overall. Next race I'll do sport, it did feel nice to stand on my first (and probably last) podium.

  8. #8
    SSOD
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    Congrats on your race. So did you learn anything? I know it sounds clique but analyze your mistakes/ weaknesses from the race, adjust your training to compensate, then adjust your race strategy to utilize your strengths.

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    I need to work on climbing. Second place was converted roadie and he'd always pull away on the steeps and I'd run up on him on the descents which made pacing off him hard sometimes. I also have to watch the start of race jitters, I hit the woods second and managed to slide out and go down a few minutes after hitting the singletrack, letting first take off and me to pick my way back up from 5th or so. As for adjusting my training I don't really have a training plan I've just been riding my bike a few days a week, once the semester starts it's going to cut down on riding racing time as well, although I would like to attempt a few collegiate races.

  10. #10
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    Sounds to me like you would benefit from a few more Cat 3 races. The things you mention (pre-race jitters, wrecking, controling breathing) are all things that you need to learn before you move up. Winning is also something nice to learn how to do in Cat 3 before moving to Cat 2.

    Not sure about your area, but I can tell you there is a huge difference between Cat 3 and Cat 2 in my area. Take a look at the lap times and see where you would fit in, of course remembering that the extra distance is sure to tire you out quite a bit.
    CyclingCentralVa.org

  11. #11
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    Ok cool, I'll think about it and you make some good points. I see your signature says cycling Central Va, the race I did this weekend was at Camp Hilbert in richmond and I've been doing some of the vors races.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippinveedub View Post
    Ok cool, I'll think about it and you make some good points. I see your signature says cycling Central Va, the race I did this weekend was at Camp Hilbert in richmond and I've been doing some of the vors races.
    Yeah, Hilbert was a good race. I would suggest finishing the year off in Cat 3, then moving to Cat 2 next season. Look at the lap difference to Cat 2, it is pretty dramatic to even get top 10.
    CyclingCentralVa.org

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR1 View Post
    Sounds to me like you would benefit from a few more Cat 3 races. The things you mention (pre-race jitters, wrecking, controling breathing) are all things that you need to learn before you move up. Winning is also something nice to learn how to do in Cat 3 before moving to Cat 2.

    Not sure about your area, but I can tell you there is a huge difference between Cat 3 and Cat 2 in my area. Take a look at the lap times and see where you would fit in, of course remembering that the extra distance is sure to tire you out quite a bit.
    I agree. I have a few friends who were in too big of a rush to upgrade and regretted it. I'd finish the season in Cat3 and then plan on making your upgrade for the start of the 2012 season.

    *Disclaimer*
    I ignored this reasonable advise without regrets, so it's really depends on the individual.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2 View Post
    I agree. I have a few friends who were in too big of a rush to upgrade and regretted it. I'd finish the season in Cat3 and then plan on making your upgrade for the start of the 2012 season.

    *Disclaimer*
    I ignored this reasonable advise without regrets, so it's really depends on the individual.
    Same here.

    I skipped CAT3 entirely, did one race as a CAT2, then promptly upgraded to CAT1. Now I'm a "Pro" getting my teeth kicked in by 2/3rds of the field. But, I wouldn't have it any other way.
    Last edited by Le Duke; 08-09-2011 at 10:38 AM.

  15. #15
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    I view Cat 3 as learing about Mountain bike racing, and Cat 2 as learing how to race. If you already know what mountain bike racing is about - you should move up so you can start learning how to race. Not trying to sound mean - but no one cares about a Cat 3 top 10 finish

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooddude View Post
    I view Cat 3 as learing about Mountain bike racing, and Cat 2 as learing how to race. If you already know what mountain bike racing is about - you should move up so you can start learning how to race. Not trying to sound mean - but no one cares about a Cat 3 top 10 finish
    That's a good assessment.

    If you come from a track, CX or road background, and know how bike racing works, the skills and the pace are the only things that change from one type of racing to the next.

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