At least here in Norcal, often there are crit and road race pairings on weekends (as we’ve seen @Nate_Pearson) race a few of those pairs the last few weeks as well. During my build I’ve been doing both the crit and road race on the weekends I race, but am curious for a Sunday A Road Race would people still do the Saturday crit? On one hand it seems like a good opener workout, but could easily push too much TSS? Thoughts/past experience?
If it’s a race that you are doing a proper peak and taper for, I would avoid the crit. I have the idea of a peak and taper is to lower fatigue, allow form to rise but at the expense of a small degree of fitness. If you do the crit the day before, I’d be worried about building just too much fatigue and spoiling the peak. If it were a B or C race, I’d do the crit, but for an A race I would give it a miss.
Physiology aside. ‘A race’ for me means I’m not going to risk breaking myself or my equipment to such an extent that it can’t be fixed before the race. A crit w/in 24hours would be disqualified!
I broke my collarbone 10 days before an ‘A’ event once. That sucks. Don’t go out like that.
Yeah, the safety part is hard, is a big concern. I don’t race a lot of crits anyhow because of that, so doing so before an A race, on top of any potential fatigue issues probably doesn’t make sense.
If it’s an Omnium and you skip the Crit and TT and everyone else doesn’t, you’ll be fresh and they won’t - AKA “Poaching an Omnium.”
skip the crit, no doubt. It will be wayyyy hard than openers and just isnt’ worth it. GO WIN THE A RACE!!! Good luck!
Let us know how it goes @Scollett84!
How long is the race?
If it’s an hour or less I’d say do the race. No point in wasting good fitness, and I doubt you would feel to much fatigue from it. If you’re that worried you can just chill in the pack.
I’m like Coach Jonathan where I tend to race better with a little fatigue in the legs, and get a little better as a stage race progresses. And tend to have some of my better performances on a Sunday after the Saturday race.
So it may just depend on how you respond to that kind of stress, and risking something happening the day before which puts you out on your target race.
Thanks @brendanhousler - will do - still a month or so out so been trying to plan!
I wouldn’t do it if it was truly my A race for the year. Just the risk of crashing would be enough. If you need an opener before the race just do a workout.
I think it would also be easy to get caught up in the race and get really tired. What if you got in a breakaway 10 min into the race? I would get wrapped up in the race and try to win.
Win that race, then win the A race the next day!
As an alternative opinion…
My best performance ever came in an A race the day after another road race.
The previous weekend to that I did a 3 day stage race.
Sometimes more racing leads to more sharpness be that helping you to suffer more, or to ride in the pack better or just to get all your tactical mistakes out of the way.
I’m not saying do it, just that it’s not impossible that it might help rather than hinder your A race. Good luck! (Unless I’m in the race too )
If it is indeed your A race, then no. Why would you race the day before your A race? B race, race the day before. Hell, I would not even taper for a B race. But if this is truly your A race, then why risk fatigue and/or worse yet injury?!
Yeah, I’d skip the crit. Control what you can. Even if you’re an experienced crit racer, someone else could spoil your plans for the A race. Too many variables.
I suppose a follow up question is - is it an A race? My goal is to get my upgrade to cat 3, and this race is one I like and lines up with the end of my specialty so I figure it should be my A race (and I’ll do another August peak). But if the main goal is upgrading, then the weight of that A should perhaps be viewed differently? An A- if will. What y’all think- do you base season by event or broader goals line upgrading or some combo?
@Scollett84 What you have just described appears to me to be definitively as a B race.
An A race, or A event, is something where you put everything on the line - training, tapering, family obligations, social activities, sleep. Of course, all of this is all within limits since everyone on this forum is likely an amateur and participation is for fun. But a simple litmus test to yourself to test whether this is really an A race might be: “If my income and my family’s welfare were dependent on my success in this event, would I do the [xyz additional event?”
I think most people, myself included, underestimate the value and importance of B races/events but somehow psychologically want to classify B events as A’s. There’s lots of training and lots of preparedness that goes into B’s, including many of the elements I mention above, and results can be just as valuable and exciting as A races/events.
If you’re going for points I’d race both!