Would you field sprint for 25th?

Few questions have been posed, this brings me to the question.

Will you sprint for 25thth out of 50 in a crit.

  1. Your out of the money
  2. Your no where near the front, its strung out and your 25th going into the last corner with 300m to the finish line.

Are you laying it on the line to move up 5 spots or you backing off and living to fight another day.

I am 100% throttling down to fight another day. I did this in a race this year, chance to sprint for 11th, we made a right hand turn onto a road that they had cones on the narrow the road to 3’ wide. I was not about to sprint 8 guys for 11th, the result means nothing to me.

Lets hear your take.

I race MTB.

Never give up. I was off the podium and way back in a motorcycle race years ago. I backed off, figuring I would save my energy for a race later in the day. A rider wrecked ahead of me, and was able to get back on and finish just ahead of me because I backed off instead of staying at 100%.

If I am racing, I am racing.


If it’s safe, sure. Why not try to set a sprint PR or see where you’re at at that point into the effort for future knowledge? If I can sprint 1300 watts at the beginning of a training ride but only 800w at the end of a crit, I probably need to work on something.

In that situation, I think I would take a pass.


I would just pedal strong all the way to the line. Don’t sit up and cause a crash. And I wouldn’t try to jockey with 8 other guys for a final corner to get 11th as described above.


I often sprint for 25th not that I can ever see 24th or 26th being a TTer


Same here. If inexperienced (I happen to be…), I would sprint to just for the in race experience to figure out timing, positioning, etc. If I had raced a few hundred crits like coach Chad or Pete, or had another race coming up later that day, then maybe not.

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Sprinting #1, know the finish line is, wind direction the incline ,last bend.
Sprinting #2, Know your competition, who goes long or a short sprinter…
Sprinting #3, expect someone to come past you in the last 200m, so never ease up.
Sprinting #4, practise the above at every opportunity

So unless you are a hazard to yourself if completely out of energy, get the best finishing position you can. You never know when your sprint may be called into action for a podium or a win.

No. Not in a crit. People in front of you will be realising they’re out of contention and sitting up. Accelerating into that scenario is a recipe for disaster.
You won’t learn anything about your potential- the reason you aren’t sprinting for the win is because you lost position or didn’t have the base fitness to be in contention so whether you do 1300w is pretty moot.
If you regularly end up finishing races in that position- try a different tactic like a one or two lap flier until you figure out how to be in the front train of the field at the key moment.


If you can sprint at the end of a TT, you didn’t go hard enough :wink:


Not worth it to risk it for a chocolate biscuit :rofl::rofl:


My local race director specifically discourages it. He sends out the below note before every race:

“Tomorrow is a bike race. Not a triathlon. Not a gran fondo. It’s not about scoring a new personal best. It’s about placing: top 10 in the Cat 1-2-3 race, top 5 in the Category 3-4 and Category 5 races. If you finish 11th in a race with 10 places it’s the same as finishing 111th - you didn’t place. Try again next next week but please don’t sprint for 25th place - it looks silly and it’s dangerous.”


No. If there’s no omnium or upgrade or team placing points, I don’t sprint if I’m out of it in the final turn. Mid pack is where shit goes wrong, and if I’m 40th or 25th going into it, I’ll safely hold my line pedal it in.


Should responses include racing experience?

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Yip that’s half the reason I am cr@p at TTs. I’ve been a little better at it the last two seasons but I still can’t get to that totally spent state.:rofl:

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In a crit? Not a chance. In a mtb or cx? Better bet I’m sprinting as hard as I possibly can for any position at the line…. Staging in the next race is dependent on your past results.


I haven’t raced a crit in several years, but this was always my mentality. I’m not so worried about looking silly, but the danger is real. 20+ places back is no place to sprint. Some folks sitting up, some sprinting, I just want to get as far away from that crap as possible.


My mate broke his collar bone a few years back and there was quite a few other breaks when someone decided to sprint through the pack from 20+places back and it wasn’t even a sprint point or near the end of the race :exploding_head:

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For crits, 100% this.

That being said, be aware of your surroundings and the behavior of others. You are probably better off pedaling it in at a hard pace than you are cutting the engine and coasting in, for the purpose of safety.

For MTB and CX, it’s full gas to the end.


Being British and old I naturally view crit racing as some post-apocalypse, Mad Max, Thunderdome madness.

But as a triathlete I sprint to every finish line. I mean, why wouldn’t you?

No way.