Crits positioning HELP!

was watching the TR Cal Aggie Crit P/1/2/3 video on Monday while doing Baird VO2max workout, and everytime the pack approached the chicane and started braking I would subconsciously begin leaning into the first left turn LOL. Yay for muscle memory, but at one point I started getting dizzy because my bike was on a Kickr and wouldn’t lean :woozy_face:

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Umm, who said there is no chaos? :slight_smile: Take a look at @iracebikes video. There are definitely a few sketchy cornering situations in there (0:46, 8:02 and 8:10)…as well as a few good ones too. They kept their cool though and everyone looks like they stayed up. Stuff happens though and it is how you deal with it that matters. Racing is like driving. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes. Eventually you’ll spend less time thinking about things like positioning and cornering and just go on autopilot, which allows you to think about more important things like in race strategy, etc.

Yes, that happens. In those cases, stay calm and react accordingly. That doesn’t always mean BRAKE though! :slight_smile: Are you comfortable bumping shoulders, elbows, etc. with riders next to you? If not, practice it with some friends, since it will happen in races. The more comfortable you are with that, the less frightened you’ll be when it eventually happens to you in a race. That said, there’s nothing I hate more than heading into the last corner before the sprint and some yahoo who didn’t position themselves well decides they have to move up now and attacks up the wrong side gutter into the corner and has no chance in h?ll of making the corner and f’s up the corner for everyone. I could say that happens only in the lower categories, but that’d be a lie, since I’ve seen it happen enough times in pro/1/2 races too.

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Tips - identify the spots/situations where you lose places and work on technique and staying focused at those times to eliminate or minimize loses. Its easier to stay in position than lose it then power back up. Corners are the most common spots but every course is going to have one or two spots where the pack just naturally starts to reshuffle.

HUGE!!! Try as hard as you can to do your moving up when the pack is slowing. Again, every race is going to have spots where the pace eases off, often in predictable spots. Be ready and when the pack eases up, just stay on the gas for a few seconds longer then those around you then take the free ride to the front. This is probably the single most important race craft to master.

In a race you do have to defend your position. Its a race not a group ride. Don’t be a jerk or unsafe but if you leave room, someone will take it so stick tight to the wheel in front of you and don’t let someone in unless you have decided it will help you (or the guy is going to hit a curb - you can be safe without being a pushover).

A final thing I’ve had to work on myself is being comfortable that I belong in the race and at the front. I tend to have an issue at times in bigger races feeling “unworthy” and like I am in the “real” racers’ way. Get over that if it is an issue for you. You paid your money like everyone one else and if you are in the pack, it means you have not been dropped and you are in the race. So race!

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Congrats on the win! I can’t tell how big the peloton is because you seemed to do a good job of staying near the front. Given it’s Kenosha, I’m guessing there were a lot more riders in the race than what we can see. You also did a good job of staying very near the front at the end of the race, especially being third into the last corner. Given the distance of the last straight away, that’s about perfect. Did I hear Brian Drebber’s voice as the announcer?

Your video reminds me of heading over to Wisconsin (I’m from Minneapolis) and racing the old Lownbrau and Superweek race series. I definitely enjoyed the Lownbrau series more though. Races in Appleton, Oshkosh, Rippon, etc. were more fun than the crash fests that Superweek was in the 80s. The worst was back in 1985 and I did Superweek as a Cat 3. I thought I was being smart by not upgrading to a Cat 2 so I could clean up at Superweek. Big mistake, because it seemed nearly everyone thought and did the same thing. We raced at pro/1/2 speeds, but had a peloton filled with riders not as skilled. We had major crashes at every race. I lost my beloved Ciocc frame in the Madison state capital crit. :frowning:


I had to borrow a frame from some kid from Milwaukee who was nice enough to loan me one for the rest of the series. Which was brave, considering all of the crashes!

Thanks, but the video isn’t mine although I do make an appearance in it a few times. I think I was something like 20th or so. 140 riders started from what I remember. Since the course is so flat and it was the first race of the series, it actually wasn’t hard even though we averaged 29mph. Everyone being fresh made for a pretty hectic last few laps.

Awesome pictures too!