Negative Racing

How do you guys deal with it in general? Just raced on a flat, non-technical, little wind course. So, nothing to really break it up or no way to weed out the field with wind, or a hill etc…I’m not new at this but, new at the older masters races and holy cow! A high amount of overtly negative racing in my local scene. Very frustrating.

Do you have examples? What some people perceive as negative racing is seen as tactics to others.

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Do you have teammates in the race or are you alone?

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Just one who is fit enough to be a player. But, when it comes down to the end I’m freelancing.

This sounds bad but, each time myself or maybe a couple other guys try anything it’s chased down by various individuals with no team mates; while instigating a move individuals who bridge (with no team mates) don’t work, can’t work, don’t know how to work in a small break (3-5 guys); unknown individuals with no team mates slip away with no chase…very strange. I just don’t get it as they can’t sprint either so why not give a break a shot?

The 35+ field is super positive. So is the 1/2 racing. The 45+ and older is the age group I’m experiencing this in.

I guess it depends on how you’re hoping to get your results. If you’re hoping for a sprint then negative racing is great for you - just out negative them and sit there and wait for the sprint. Don’t do any work :slight_smile:

If you need to get away from the group to get a good result then you need to eat off other people’s plates to succeed if the group is mostly negative. Follow someone else’s move, never chase a break you aren’t in - force the negative racers to do the work and then attack over the top when they bring something back. Basically you can treat everyone else who wants to be in a break as a teammate in that you don’t chase them and you counter their moves endlessly


Fair enough. I will try that next time! I can do either I think pretty well. Not afraid to lay it out there in a break or mix it up in a sprint.

Masters racing is horrible. The 40+ USA Crits races though are usually pretty fun to watch. But that’s another level.

Yeah. If you want a pack sprint finish. This is fine. It’s just boring. Sit, sit, sit, sit, sit some more. Maybe a counter after they pull it back. late in the race then go.
@Landis in CO, masters is 40+ and I’m almost there. I’ll probably still race senior and double up those crit days

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You can’t get mad about “negative racing”, you just need to accept that your tactics and someone elses may not be aligned. If you want to go long, then find others who are like minded and go long, but dont get mad when a sprinter who wants it to end in a bunch sprint may not want to work with you.

If it is simply unfit people not wanting to race that is causing this, it just needs to be made hard enough so that these people get dropped.


Depends on the locale. Some Masters racing is better than elite, as you have ex-elite racers that were formerly Cat1 now taking their (well deserved) downgrade to Masters and can still shake it as they used to, and now have the benefit of wisdom to dole out pain


I really really have enjoyed it in Socal but not in my local area. I think there are so many more ex-pro or really good riders and more teams it’s just a different race scene.

But, yeah this past week end was way frustrating. Still fun to be out there. Grateful to have the chance…

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@RONDAL @Landis I was pretty vague in that reply. I meant to reply with masters negative racing is horrible. Our 40+ 1,2,3 field is littered with former elites and pros.
just the negative racing. My lord.

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@JHow I saw the edit. Totally agree man!

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And just to add for the dude rolling his eyes reading all this…yeah I’m sort of disturbed all this bothers me. That in itself is a bit strange. But, I am what I am.

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Racing in general is strange. You pay 30-40$ for a crit to just have a bunch finish. Fuck that. Everyone is usually pretty fit pending the season. There are sprinters hoping for the sprint finish, there are racers who can sprint and go out on a break, and then everyone else haha. Despite all of this, everyone seems so hesitant to put it all out there. To take shot. I was like this. Sit, sit, sit, maybe chase something down. Never try to make something happen and animate the race.
Last year things were different and I didn’t care. I like exciting races. Most everyone on our team likes to make things exciting. We also have anywhere from 3-8 people per crit so we have people to burn. One would go for a prime, and I would counter right after a team or two did the work to catch back on. And we put someone on the podium every crit/road race.
Gateway was where it all came together and figured how many matches I did have, when to use them, how long, and how many laps I needed to recover and be ready for the finish.

Negative racing is just not my cup of tea either @Landis. I’d rather go out an burn myself out then sit in for a mid pack sprint finish.

edit: this is all subjective especially if you’re trying to get those precious upgrade points !


@JHow yeah our cat 1 guys are what you describe (about 6-7 and guest riders for bigger races). I think I’m just going to skip the masters crits and race with those guys. I can still contribute if fresh but, doing a 1/2 race after one or two crits is really hard to help. And what I like is the fact I know I can’t win or probably podium even in a local 1/2, but i sure as hell can help a team mate do so. And I find that as much fun as going for the W!