Is that a Green Mountain Stage Race number? 2017?
I’ve been a racer in various forms of sport all my life and I have always thrived in terrible conditions. Don’t skip the race just because you are a lower Cat rider and not experienced. That is how you make high category riders who can’t race in the wet either. Here are my tips:
- Expect things to be bad and plan for it.
- Everyone else is going to be fearful of it just like you. Treat them accordingly. If you know they will be shaky and nervous in corners, don’t trust them.
- If someone goes down in the corner, they wash out to the outside. Protect your front wheel and keep the safer line. Go inside when you have to and you’ll be safer.
- Equipment is definitely something you should focus on. Sometimes I put on slower and grippier tires because it is worth every watt lost in the corners.
- Slick and difficult races make winning easier.
- If it is at all technical, you will win or lose in the corners. If you are having to make up bike-lengths out of every corner, you are wasting tremendous amounts of energy.
- Focus on the corners and make sure you aren’t decelerating and accelerating constantly and you will hit the finish much fresher.
- Racing in the wet makes every tactical mistake you make that much harder to recover from.
- IMO, a wet crit should be as mentally taxing as it is physically if you are giving it enough thought. Stay in the moment and don’t get distracted by the effort and the potential chaos around you. FOCUS
- Took too long moving up? Harder. Worked when it was hard to make up wheels? Harder. Bad cornering? Harder. Stay loose, stay calm, and just treat the situation as is: more difficult.
- In the finish, you won’t be able to make up the wheels you normally could. Every gap you leave that is large is that much larger in the wet. Treat the finish differently than the laps before. The increased pace will make things dicey and ime has been when most of the crashes have occurred.
@ltyarbro42 thank you! Paid my money, plan to collect my upgrade points and learn something in the process. Running Zipp Tangente RT-25 tubeless tires with about 500 miles on them. Tread looks great and they’ve been plenty grippy on dry roads. This is same course as my 1st crit, there are a couple technical corners. Hoping it is still dry at 8am
All joking aside, I personally see 2 good approaches.
- tail gun it, get your finish, and maybe work on some of those skills that Pete Morris talks about (conserving energy, using momentum to come from the back, etc)
2)start at the front and go off early. The few wet pavement races/rides I’ve done, everyone is more cautious and takes everything slower. If you feel confident in your handling in the wet, get away early (by yourself or with a couple of other guys) and hit those corners the way you want. Just be aware of the road paint and any drain covers.
first two crits I went with the early break and fitness wasn’t there. I knew my fitness was down, but figured what the heck maybe I’ll get lucky and hang on. Nice dice, and then ended up turning it into a personal TT. My fitness is a little better, although not enough to stay out front, so if I do go this time no blowing up and then finding myself off the back of the pack and a) doing another solo TT (1st crit), or b) acting as a pace car pulling college kids for 24+ minutes just so they can outsprint me at the end (2nd crit). At least they had the decency to come up after the race and fist bump me for all the pulling
Tail gunning in the rain is incredibly dangerous. The chances of crashes are increased with the wet, and crashes create gaps. Do so at your own peril.
A CAT 5 Crit in the rain is not worth the skin or bones. Just race to finish and get your point.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
No rain, and change in plans last night:
B-day was Wednesday and “sometimes you gotta say WTF” and go with the flow
Wasn’t easy rolling out of bed LOL, and on the warmup my legs were like logs… This one turned into a lot of quality time by myself working on different lines thru the technical turns. Finished 36th out of 39, not too shabby given my condition.
Mentored race, picked up either 1.5 or 2 upgrade points (they didn’t know for sure). Love riding my bike outside, had tons of fun working on skills OTB. Fitness will come back, and when it does I’ll be in the thick of things
If you’re a cat 5, you picked up 2 upgrade points: one for finishing and one for the post-race talk. (Cat 4s only get a half point per post-race talk, if I recall correctly.)
Excellent work!! You’re getting key pieces of learning in your head, and before you know it you’ll be in the pack and finishing with the pack. It’s not just fitness–it’s learning how to race, and it just takes experience and practice. Love that you are out there!! And, extra bonus that it was dry!!
D - thanks for clarifying, and that gets me halfway to cat upgrade and I’ve got a lot of work in front of me on the fitness side of the equation
Glad to hear the weather cooperated!
And great job getting out there even when not 100%. Look forward to hearing how the rest of your season goes! I’m in a similar boat and have my first mentored crit in a little less than a month. It will be my second ever crit after I “TT’d” the last one of the 2018 season. Praying for this Michigan weather to dry out and warm up.
Like with anything, practice helps a lot. Next time it’s raining heavily outside, jump on the chance to go out and ride.