Question and Discussion Topic of Crit Strategy and Ethics

Hello everyone, I have a fun topic/question for discussion. Like most places in North America, there is a Tuesday night Crit series here and my friends and I are going to start competing in it next summer, we would be starting Cat 5. There will be 4 or 5 of us who are all fit and come from varsity level athletics so we have no issue working hard and digging deep. With all that I have 2 questions:

  1. ethically would you guys say it is wrong for us not to declare as a team and work together like one? We were thinking it could be fun to surprise everyone with hard attacks or even just a 5 person pack off the front.
    Along with the ethics, is it okay to wear a pro team jersey in a crit? Obviously we do not compete for a pro team but for example we all have a US Team Postal Service jersey and wanted to wear it. We know it is controversial but we also like to have fun with that stuff, if you can’t laugh at someone having a jersey like that you take it too seriously is our thought.

  2. What do you think our best strategy for one of us winning is? Like other places, cat 5 can still be super competitive and we know it could still be a very tough race. Do you think we should just go right off the line and do a 5-man break-away? OR just take turns attacking and bridging if a pack gets away?


No. Riders make pacts all the time from different teams. Don’t sweat it. Chances are the pre-planning will all go out the window anyway by the end of the first lap :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It’s Cat 5. Have fun, be safe, try things out and get your finishes. Winning won’t help you upgrade faster :slight_smile:

I’d say wear what you want, but don’t be surprised if some or most people don’t get it (or take the wrong message away).

It’s Cat 5. Try everything and see what works. Finishing helps you upgrade. Winning doesn’t in this level.

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But also as above…winning doesn’t matter for upgrading…so nothing to lose - if blow up and ride in last…makes no difference!

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People sometimes take road racing too seriously, do what ever you want as long as its safe and remember to have fun. Personally id find it hilarious if a pack of guys all road up rocking us postal jerseys.

As @stevemz said… You can say you’ll work as a team all you like, but you have to have the fitness AND skills to actually execute that.

If you can manage it, then you deserve the results.

No - they’ll either figure out what you’re doing or they won’t - it’ll only work for a few minutes anyway. It is a cat-5 crit - no one really knows what they are doing so I wouldn’t stress too much about the advance planning. Usually cat 5 races have enough big strong dumb guys that breaks don’t succeed because people will sit on the front and pull them back - but who knows, your results may vary

Wear what you want, if it is for a laugh it is for a laugh. That said - I wouldn’t race in a kit that wasn’t my team kit. If you aren’t affiliated with a team anything is fair game, but don’t expect a ton of laughs if you’re wearing one of the most notorious doping kits of all time - although if you have strong mustache game and are racing in aviators everyone will understand you’re being ironic

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  1. Riders make pacts and work together all the time.

  2. wear what you want. Some people may razz you a bit. My own rule is that I won’t wear a race leaders/championship jersey if I haven’t earned it.

  3. it’s a cat 5 race. You will find they are highly unorganized. If your group can keep the organization, you will probably have a good chance. Cat 5 is for trying different strategies and tactics since wins don’t matter. Go for it. Have fun.

#1 Happens all the time. Not an ethical concern. Nobody cares too much what you wear. I did see a rule at a crit once that stipulated ‘no sleeveless jersey’. Other than that…for the most part we’re dudes in spandex riding bicycles around a loop…to 99.8% of the population we all look like dorks. The other 0.2% are cyclists.

#2 Keep the pace up but share the load…that’ll drop all the pretenders while keeping you safe at the front. After a few laps take turns attacking one by one while everybody else blocks behind the attacker. Once a break gets away with your guy in it everybody else sit at the front and go a little less than the speed your breakaway companion thinks they can maintain (know this before the race).

Finally, when all that fails and the race comes down to a sprint know who is your sprinter, know your sprint order, know which side you want to sprint on. Know when you want to start pinning it for the sprint, and know that the sprint is unlikely to go the way you plan it so you don’t get psyched out when you have to adjust.

#3 This has been one rider’s opinion…

Per USAC rules, you only have to wear the same jersey as your teammates in a stage race. So for your kit you’re all good.