Passing on turn in a crit

Hi, I had a question around crit racing as someone not experienced.

Is passing someone on the inside of a turn in a crit ok as long as everyone are holding their lines?

Its compulsory if you want to move up, fastest line is the shortest - providing its safe. Just dont knock the rider you’re passing, it will piss them off no end. Overtaking takes practise and a cool head.

Depends on if you’ve established the pass entering the turn or not. If you’re behind their rear wheel and you try to accelerate past them on the inside entirely through the turn, odds are they aren’t going to know you’re there and they’re either going to slam the door on you or they’re going to hit you because they don’t know you’ve established that line.

If you’ve established position there prior to the turn, there’s nothing wrong with it. I’ve passed inside during a number of crits, but my general rule was that I wanted my handlebars even or ahead of their hips. At that point, I felt like I had reasonably established my position and line.


The answer to this question depends on your bike handling skills as well as the general skills in the field you’re racing. If you’re asking this question you’re probably racing a lower level field where bike handling skills are a bit lacking.

Assuming the general bike skill set is low you aren’t going to want to ‘dive’ under someone in a turn. Generally speaking this means you catch them unawares and come inside their line. If they aren’t expecting you and aren’t a good bike handler they will either cross up your front wheel and you’ll go down or they’ll overreact to the outside and crash someone out there as well

If you’re even with them or have previously established your position then feel free to go under someone

All that said - last 500 meters generally has no rules

+1 to post by @kurt.braeckel

I don’t have much crit experience (just 3 early bird crit clinics and races), but I have good bike handling skills and particularly descending skills on very technical descents. From what our Cat 1 racers have told me, cornering skills are similar to technical descending (e.g. the lines to follow, smoothness through the turn, acceleration out of it, etc). On one of the early bird crits, I was following the line of a few skilled riders through a corner (a key skill is picking them out from the poor bike handlers at the lower levels). Then another racer took a tight inside line late in the corner (i.e. he did not have position as @kurt.braeckel highlighted) and then slammed into me as he existed the corner (i.e. he took a poor line). Fortunately for me, I knew how to handle “bumping” and the scene was not a pretty one for him (hit the deck hard). I later saw him after the race and fortunately for him nothing serious, but he learned a valuable lesson about cornering lines and positioning.

Yes, passing on the inside is OK if the door is open and you hold your line. It also may help to call out “inside” to the person you are overtaking if you are worried about them slamming the door mid-corner or not seeing you - otherwise it’s considered “inside suicide”

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This. Don’t be afraid to use your voice to let someone know you’re there. They want to stay upright just as much as you do. Help them do that.

it’s called chopping a corner, and while you’ll piss people off who think they are going fast enough, as long as you don’t force them to hit their brakes, you’re good.

crush it!


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As long as you don’t force the next rider to the outside to deviate from their line, it’s fair game. Don’t be the guy to dive bomb in at the last second from an off angle, call “inside” and expect the existing inside rider to yield to you.

Had an interesting happening in today’s crit. I’ll admit that I am not the most experienced road racer, but I think I have a pretty good head on my shoulders. I’d been in a second group of five with members of two teams who had riders up the road. I’m unaffiliated, so basically hosed unless I do everything myself.

I led the group quite a bit because of course I did… I was mostly concerned with keeping our group ahead of the chase and racing for third by this point. All race, one of the other guys had consistently slammed the door on me coming out of a climb where I was the strongest and into a turn at the top. He was effective at taking back the pace making, and I knew exactly what he was doing. He was taking good lines, and I expected it, so I didn’t consider it dangerous.

With about ten minutes left, they sent another rider up the road. He got a gap, but I didn’t cover him. I frankly wasn’t too concerned with him getting away if I threw down and he was dangling, so I kept him close but didn’t truly chase. As I started to reel him back with about 10:00 left, the guy slammed the door again… fine. Two subsequent turns later, I held an inside line again, but this time positioned handlebars to hips and accelerated through the turn, with a pretty significant speed delta. Outside rider came in to chop the corner, I held my line, accelerated past and he came into me hitting my hip and back to his elbow/shoulder.

I was fine, he was fine, nothing came of it, except he sped up to me in the next straight and said “You’d better be careful…”, and I just said, “Or what? I had position.” My thought being the guy hits me elbow/shoulder in the hip and back, that’s on him. By that point, you’re pretty clearly aware that I’m there since I’m at least a half bike length in front of you in the turn.

That was that, and I dropped my damn chain a lap and a half later, probably karma? But really just a poor line and not keeping enough pressure on it over some bumps.

I enjoyed learning from that group and seeing how the teams raced together and managed the pace. They were smart. I was plenty strong enough to hang and compete with the open field, but I know my tactics and reads need more polish. Hopefully I won’t have seven guys on a team trying to wreck me tomorrow in the road race.

Context for this type of stuff is important.

There’s nothing wrong about any kind of cornering at the most basic level, it all comes down to WHEN you do it and HOW.
Slamming doors shut on people or moving inside and swinging wide to block the exit is entirely different when done with 1 lap to go, than if you do it with 30 to go or every lap.

You’ll make no friends being the guy dive bombing turns on every lap putting the bunch in jeopardy just so that you can maybe move up a place or two which you then give back as soon as the pace picks up 30s later. That will get you yelled at (at best) and at worst someone is going to chop you at an inopportune time to teach you a lesson (some states/areas are far less tolerant of this stuff than others).

At the end of the day everyone would like to go home with all of their skin still on their bodies and their bike in one piece. Decrease those probabilities too frequently for your fellow racers and you’ll earn yourself a reputation, and that is a hard thing to shake.