Snelling Road Race Neutral Support

I’m doing a 50 mile road race sat with a high temp of about 56.

They said they are working on neutral support…I’ve never done a road race with neutral support.

How does that work in a bigger field of 30-50 riders? How does the peloton pick up all those bottles at once?

I’m thinking about riding with a third bottle in my jersey and just skipping support, unless I can convince someone to help me out :slight_smile:.

They’ll just be lined up on one side of the road (probably right) to feed. You swing over and take a hand up from whoever has a bottle to offer.

In a 50 mile race with temps that low I don’t imagine everyone will be taking a feed so it should be pretty calm. At bigger races in lower cats the feed zone can be a mine field of dropped bottles and swerving riders.

If you have any anxiety about it I’d take the extra bottle and have one less thing to worry about. Just don’t attack in the feed zone. Bad form;)

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I would ride with a 3rd bottle. My big race every year is a 60 mile road race - one year I relied on neutral support and just lost the peloton…never got back on. Because whether or not anyone attacks, not everyone stops.

Last year my wife and daughter posted up at the top of a hill and passed me a bottle at the 40 mile mark…all I had to do was slow down a bit and grabbed it and never lost touch. If they hadn’t been there to to that, I would have brought a 3rd bottle.

Another option is to just bring 2 oversized bottles - like 24oz. I don’t know the Snelling course, but if it’s flat and fast, you could probably get away with just two bottles. If there are a lot of climbs…probably not.

Good luck!

EDIT: I use these bottles. They are fantastic:

Zefal makes a 33oz (1L) bottle as well. I use them for longer races. Nate seems like he might be adverse to carrying the bigger bottles though with his attention to marginal gains. :wink: Knowing i have the fluid on board without worrying about a feed is worth it to me.

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It’s all about the marginal gains! I think I’ll do two normal bottles and try for neutral support.

It’s a flattish road race with some steep but short pitches where you go really hard for 30 seconds.


I’d join Team Nate and support you if it was closer and I didn’t have to spend 4 hours on the pool tomorrow. Sounds like you are doing the afternoon race. Driving over the hill should be ok in morning, right now its chain control from the state line to Truckee.

I have never done Snelling…but at Dunnigan Hills they set up support after a hard left turn on a short little climb where the field was going slower…the moto official also calmed the field a bit.

Getting a neutral bottle is usually pretty easy, just make sure you stash the empty in the back pocket as soon as you finish it so you don’t have to scramble when it’s coming up.

Thanks man! I’m driving over today around 2-3PM try to to get maximum traction over the pass.

I was just going to toss the bottle at neutral support. That makes more sense to put it in my pocket :smile:.

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I’ve still half a mind to do the morning cat5, there is a local kid that took 11th in the Cal Aggie 4/5 race that you took 3rd place. His dad is also racing tomorrow in the cat5, and I have vague hopes (unrealistic with current fitness) of being able to hold on to those guys. Two cat2s and a cat4 from Wed night rides are also racing. But if I do the Cat5 morning, need to get back and tackle those dreary homeowner jobs. And so I was figuring it is better to do the BRP at 8am in Merced on Sunday and get some mentoring.


I’ll be at Snelling, too, and was just planning on taking two normal bottles. It won’t be too hot in the afternoon so that should be plenty.

It will be my first road race of that length and I’m assuming I don’t need to carry a tube and co2 and if I flat there will be some type of vehicle that can assist. Does that sound right? I’m not expecting a pro tour style wheel swap, but I don’t want to be walking either.

It looks like a neutral feed, not neutral support (like SRAM or Mavic cars) so I would carry a tube and co2.


Yes, you can toss the bottle at neutral support. Usually they have someone picking them up, and you can usually try to find your bottle (assuming you toss the one that’s yours). I typically use a bottle that I don’t mind losing, but so far I’ve had good luck finding mine. You might not need the third bottle given the temperatures, but it’s always good to plan.

I’ve only done Snelling once, but be warned: people typically attack in the feed zone.

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That’s usually what most people do.

I would not plan on relying on neutral support for bottles if you can avoid it. If the pace is hard enough to actually need more than 2 bottles over 50 miles, you’ll get dropped if you slow down for a bottle :wink: Even guys I know who do longer P1 road races with feed zones will be prepared to skip those if they can. (Besides slowing down, feed zones are a major crash magnet).

And, are you sure “neutral support” means bottle hand ups? It sounds like for you it might but where I am from neutral support means, for a road race, there will be a follow car you can put a spare set of wheels in. In a crit it means they have a bike shop or OEM mechanic in the pit.

If you have TR logo bottles…I doubt you’ll get those back :slight_smile:


Two bottles should be plenty but you could take three… and drink the first one within the first 10 miles or so and dump it for the one in the jersey pocket. That’s how I handle 50ish mile races.


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Our club (Alto Velo Racing Club) runs the Pescadero Classic RR first Saturday in June with neutral support. It’s a very popular race. We have perhaps 50-100 full water bottles with lots of volunteers to hand them out for each race. Its a hilly RR and the feed zone is on the uphill so it works pretty smoothly. Riders throw their empty bottles on the ground and we bring them to the race finish for riders to pick them up. We haven’t heard any complaints about it during BoD race review.

Good luck at Snelling! You’ll see a bunch of our racers there.


I am in the morning, I am just doing 2 bottles (63 miles-2:45ish time wise) , and hopefully grab 1 from neutral if I need it. Your race should only be around 2 hour mark…I think if you are hydrated before, you should be fine with 2 bottles.