Training criterium as work-out - how to approach

Tomorrow i’m finally able to join the Tuesday night training crit again.
I have a few questions on how to best approach this to make it a good productive work-out.
Some info: i’m a master, so race in the B group (masters etc.). There is also a C group (women and 15/16 yo) and A group (elite, U23, Juniors, etc), all ride at the same time together. Kind of sucks it’s like that. Because in the A-group there are also (semi)pro’s competing, making the pace insane at times. It is a 4 corner course with a bit of slight down, slight up and a headwind part. Being more back of the pack, it is really stop and go, spiking power a lot after each corner. C rides for 60 min, B for 75 and A for 90 minutes. My main focus is Cyclocross and some XCO/ XCM marathon during the summer months. Road racing is training for me.

Because the A group pretty much dictates the pace, it is very hard to stay with the peloton. So it is expected i will get dropped at some point. When i get dropped, i have a few options. What i normally do is ride at my race pace with getting out of the saddle after every corner. That way i average a slightly lower speed than the peloton, so it takes a long time for them to pass me again. But then when i rejoin the peloton, it’s again hard to stay on. I could also go full recovery after getting dropped, then when the peloton passes me i have recovered a bit to try to stay with the pack as long as possible. I’m pretty decent at riding strategically, I know where to position, when to pass, am good at cornering, etc. So that aspect perse is not limiting me, it’s just the speed and accelerations that kill me.

A: get dropped, keep riding as hard as you can and rejoin to get dropped again, keep repeating till the finish? this will give the best finish result, which is meh to me
B: get dropped, go full recovery mode, rejoin and hold on longer?

Any thoughts?

I’d go inbetween your suggestions. Do everything you can NOT to get dropped. When that happens, go z2 (rather than full recovery), then when they come to lap you, go hard again until or if your dropped again… repeat til your too smoked to do it anymore then just spin easy and be done.

I had a crit in my training back when I worked with a coach. It was the only workout for the weekdays and we came in fresh. Saturday was the only other workout/long day. Ideally, you wouldn’t be dropped and treat it like a race. I think since you believe getting dropped is inevitable, it’s better to do as I suggested and make it a solid day (bc place bc means nothing when you’ve been lapped! Lol). Good luck

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My $.02 (no change accepted :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)…you can ride your “race pace” pretty easily anywhere. What you can’t get are the constant, but varied accelerations / surges that come with racing. So why use that time training for something you can easily do elsewhere?

When you get dropped, pull the cord and wait to get lapped. Do everything you can to stay with them again…later, rinse repeat as necessary.

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I race in a similar Tuesday crit that has 3 speed groups, although these start at different times. Depending on who turns up it sometimes ends up as one fast group with people like me dropping off occasionally.

For me it depends on how much off the pace I am. If I’m close to the group pace I’ll probably take it easy and rejoin as soon as possible. If I’m way off then I’ll do a TT effort and maybe try to join the main group again.

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