Motorsport track racing tips?

Hi, any tips on racing a crit on a motorsport race track?
Races are 1 hour long events with avg speed of 45/47 km/h(29/29 mph). As I am still a beginner with only one year of racing longer events and being a smaller rider (ftp 255 watts, 4 w/kg, 64 kg/141 lbs) my primary goal to start with is to finish in peloton within pretty much fastest guys in my country. So are they any tips for racing on a road track on a pan flat course where speeds are high and where there is pretty much no breaking involved?
This race is being organized every week so margin for error is high. I am planning to race every 2 weeks to not totally ruin my training plan.

Hopefully some of these Crit videos help you!

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From my experience doing this it is quite stressful. Racing tracks will have long flowing corners (in cycling terms) and probably long straights, and because it was so wide I found that the washing machine effect of riders constantly coming up the outside and falling back inside the bunch to be massive, much bigger than a normal crit or road race. Which makes fighting for wheels the whole race a bit of a losing battle. If you can get a lift to the front on the outside take it, otherwise i would say don’t worry too much about fighting for every wheel and pick your moments to move to the front.

Because, generally the corners are longer, it really pays to be on the outside of the bunch going through the corners I find, so you can carry more speed, and this makes it easier to sit at the back as well. Watch out for people misjudging the longer corners and drifting from an inside line to an outside line, this caught myself and a few other people out.

Unlikely for a break to make it as well if the pack is well matched, because you can never get out of sight and the space on the track makes it easy to get a chase together.

Also the finish got super sketchy, i think because people think there is more room and they make more aggressive moves maybe but it was sketchier than a normal crit i thought.

Oh, and kerbs are super bumpy, like really, avoid, not a fun experience.

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My tips:


  • Stay close to the wheel in front of you for best drafting effect.
  • If there is wind, position yourself slightly to the side of the rider in front to also get shelter from the wind.

If you’re not moving forward, you’re going backward:

  • Don’t try and move up by yourself in the wind while the pace is high.
  • When the pace slows, move up. Still try and follow a wheel up, rather than push in the wind if possible.
  • Don’t ride on the front of the bunch (or the back). Aim to sit about 1/3 from the front of the bunch.
  • Race tracks will generally have a short rise (or two), use your low weight advantage to move up on the hill.


  • Even though the race is only 1hr, consider taking a gel at the 30-40min mark. Even if your body can’t process it, you get a boost from it just hitting your tounge (something like the body knows more energy is coming and will therefore let you work harder?). For hard/fast crits, this factor often lets me keep the power on in the closing laps when I would otherwise fade.
  • Finally, most crits/kermesse’s start hard and fast. Hang in there, as they often ease off after about 15-20mins. This is often the time when a break can establish, but if you just want to hang on, then some relief often comes about this time.
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Stay off the kerbs! They look flat on TV but they really aren’t! They’re ridged to create ‘rumble’ at high speed in a car. Which can be alarming on a bike! :joy: