Beginner road racing in the UK

Last week I swear, I wanted to just shove burgers into those kids watching them fly up the ramp (at hog hill).

That being said, hog hill is a great course. Love it

I’d say find a cat 4. track crit and try it. You’ll either like it or not, and they only last 45mins or so. You’ll get a feel for what it’s like to race in a group.
Of the road races that I’ve done, I’ve found them to be sketchier. The road surface is often far from silky smooth, you don’t have very much space at all (especially on the roads in Yorkshire), and the on-coming traffic can be a bit scary.

That’s a great way to go about things, join your local club and if you can’t make the cafe rides then so be it, but meeting club mates at your local TT will be automatic, if it’s anything like my club here in Suffolk - if you’ve got our jersey on then there’s always friendly faces to chat with. I caught the racing bug from club mates and they’ll be able to direct you best in your area.

Im pretty sure you actually cant get a 4th cat only road race, only crits on traffic free have 4th cat only. You can do a 3/4 rr or a 2/3/4 but the people at the point end of these will be STRONG

Why not nip over to Ormskirk and give Pimbo circuit a try?

I’m not a teenager, you can’t go to the most technical crit in london then complain when people are good at cornering!

Wasn’t complaining!

Sorry for getting your age wrong though. Just VCL is notorious amongst local clubs for producing kids who rip your legs off so assumed you were one.

you’re not wrong! VCL has a fantastic atmosphere for it. You won’t have to worry about me next year, I’m with the big boys now, so i’ll be getting my legs ripped off.

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I didn’t get dropped :metal:t6: (276W average power… clearly need to retest ftp)

Tried to be more efficient. Surges do kill though.

Planning to upgrade from my 10kg aluminium bike to a 7kg aero bike which will also help a lot.

Seems like I was wrong. I can totally hang with 275W

Pimbo, Clieves Hill and Bickerstaffe are all decent races within driving distance. I’ve done Salt Ayre, Marsh Tracks and Wednesday nights at Litherland track which are all well attended crits. Salt Ayre will be decent for you, no sharp turns and your w/kg will keep you with a chance. Cat 4 can be quite crash heavy though.
The track at Clitheroe is decent too

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If you’re based anywhere near the Midlands, there are loads of road races. Depending on your age, you could also look into the LVRC League. Lots of Masters road races. Those chaps know their apples so expect the racing to be hard and fast from the get-go.

If you are around this way, I’d recommend the Banbury Star, Redditch RR, Frizz Hill RR (hosted by Leamington Spa RLSCC) and Cheltenham RR. The latter being a pothole disaster waiting to happen but the course is fast and flowing.

Drop me a message and say Hi :+1: I talk to everyone at races. Freaks people out :rofl:

In my experience, bike handling is just as important in open road races as in crits. I do generally find mixed 3/4 bunches a bit less stressful than cat 4 only bunches.

Whatever you end up doing, please don’t avoid training with a bunch just to get a couple of extra watts FTP. Some experience of riding at speed with others is essential for your safety (and that of others) and is actually more likely to help you do well in races.

If there are any APR races (either proper BC point-scoring ones or informal club ones) then they can be a great way to have a poke at racing without the stress of a full bunch.

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