I’m about to start a 77km rolling road race where I am completely out-classed. Tips?

I’m racing the state championships, mainly because I can, but I’m a strong C-grade/mid-pack B-grader and I’ll be up against at least one or two A graders. The field (mixed masters 1,2 and 3, so 30-45yo/s) will be about 15 people.

Any suggestions about how to make it as far into the race as possible without getting dropped?

I’m fine of the flats, but there is one 2-3 minute hill that burns me every lap, and there are 8 laps.

Update: the field is 20, including a guy who came in the top 15 in the national times trial championships.

Sit in and harken to rule 5.

1 Like

Learn how to crash the field.

:man_shrugging:t2:

3 Likes

Don’t worry about the whole field. Just concentrate on beating the guy who ends up coming in 2nd.

2 Likes

Are you any good at moving through the pack on the flats without burning matches? If so, your best chance is to get your way to close to the front approaching the hill each lap, then drop back through the bunch on the climb so that by the top you’re at or near the back but still attached, Goes without saying that if the goal is to stay with the pack as long as possible then you should expend as little effort as possible on the rest of the course.

Of course it’s easier said than done. Others will be trying the same thing so moving up might be hard. And the pace on the climb is unlikely to be high and steady, tends to be spiky as people attack.

Update: I came 2nd in my grade (MAS1) out of 4 registered. 1 didn’t start, and the other didn’t finish. I survived nearly half the race with the pack, and by the time I went out the back, it was down to about 10 riders, including the big hitters.
I found the longer climb to be easier this time, but the short, punchy climb was harder, because the top riders were attacking near the top of it each time. On the end of the 4th lap, I didn’t manage to get all the way to the front, and by the time the top guys really kicked hard, I had nothing left, and had a 10m gap at the top. Unfortunately, that 10 meters was more than I could close, despite some peak power efforts, and I and a few others said goodbye to the peloton.

Interestingly, my peak 2 minute power for the whole race was set on the climb I got dropped on, so I think that it was less my fatigue, and more that the top racers really hit the afterburners on that lap.

2 of us duo’d our way to the end from there - we managed to stay ahead of the grupetto, but I am absolutely whacked.

8 Likes

Ricky Bobby, and his father say, “1st or last!”