Advice please - racing

TimKendall

Speeding Up
Dec 28, 2009
129
0
36
Nagoya
#1
All,
I have my first race in a little more than 20 years this coming Sunday... Inuyama Crit. I've heard that the course is a s flat as they come, despite the city name.
I need a little advice on Tactics here in Japan. I am in a Vets/masters Category, so I am assuming that most will have experience of riding in a bunch. Of course, this assumption may be my first mistake!? Secondly, the race is quite short at only about 16km, so I am assuming that the pace will be high, which also suits me over this kind of distance. I am thinking that somewhere between 38 and 40kph will be the average speed, is this in the right ballpark? If it is much slower than this, is it worth attacking relatively soon?

Any ideas, would be useful.

Cheers
Tim
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#2
Tim,

Good luck in the race and I'm glad to see you got something sorted.

1/. Assume nothing.... Some of these guys will know thier trade, others join a race for a laugh once a year and ride like loonies. I find sticking to the front best as this is where the main competitors stick, you'll get the odd wildcard that holds on but then gets pulled back if the pace is high.

2/. Expect averages to be around 40-45kph, if it's not then go on the attack and go fookin hard mate try and get a massive lead and stay out, I know you mentioned you've done TT's so treat it like one if the Peloton is slow, you'll be quicker in and out of the corners so use it.

If there are sprint points every 2nd or 3rd lap and the Peloton is slow and you feel you can get out and stay out, hold back on the sprint for the line and then launch the attack straight after when they are blown and go hard for a lap, even better try and get on the back of the main Peloton.

3/. These races are won on the final corner, so if you find the Peloton is quick make sure you are 3rd wheel on the final lap and second/third wheel on that final corner and come out hard and use them as a lead out for the line.

Let us know how you do.....I'm racing Gunma CSC this Sunday.
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,514
213
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#3
I also find that the speed is super high for the first third of some of these races then eases off then goes super hard again... Some people get freaked out by the high pace and get dropped early.

But yes, the best advice is to stay in the front 5, front 10 at worst.

In the senior class there is usually one guy who wins every race he enters... He is very small, has a very aerodynamic style and he usually just goes to the front and TTs away and nobody can follow usually. (forget his name). Very hard to draft behind as he is so small and basically rides with his chin on the handle bars.

First race back after 20 years? Expect it to be harder than you would imagine...don't get hurt for the sake of trying to win if there are many dangerous riders getting in your way. I've bowed out of dangerous races many times...
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
1,666
1,311
133
Niigata
#4
James, is it your first time to race Gunma? What gearing will you be using?

If I use a 35x27, I can stay in the big ring for all but the final steep climb. A friend of mine did the course a few weeks ago with a compact 50x25 and never got out of the big ring.

If it's run clockwise (which I'm sure it will be) you should be about 3rd man at the top of the steep climb on the final lap. Also be careful on the tight right corner at the bottom of the descent, follow the line of the others, beware any loonies (a crash here almost every lap) and keep your right pedal up....

As you'd expect with a course built for cycling, it's fast and you can bomb around it without too much effort if you keep a good position.

Good luck!


Some of my experiences there:


http://www.jyonnobitime.com/time/2009/04/japan-cycle-tour-stage-one-rac.html

http://www.jyonnobitime.com/time/2008/04/saturdays-team-time-trial-race.html

http://www.jyonnobitime.com/time/2008/04/sundays-road-race-report.html

Andy
 

TimKendall

Speeding Up
Dec 28, 2009
129
0
36
Nagoya
#6
Thanks for the advice.
It seems that staying out of trouble id the main theme, and will certainly be doing that.
Good luck to all on the weekend

Best
Tim
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#7
Having done the course four times so far, I find that a compact crank works just fine. There aren't any steep or long down hills where you would find yourself mill grinding.

The most important thing on this course is to not lose the peleton, which can happen as it is pulled apart relatively easily on the downhill sections - may sound counter-intuitive, but this is very the course is the most dangerous and narrow, so it is easy to find yourself being part of a pack, but not the very front.

People are very afraid of losing the peleton on the long climb, but unless you are really slow that risk is quite low. Even when some get to the front, they usually lose it in the longer section until the start/finish line, and most people catch up quite easily on that stretch, often through the benefit of drafting in a larger group with faster riders continuously jumping to the front.

To win the sprint (as I have) it is important not to go to the front too early, but stay close to the front and jump as faster riders come by. Getting by others on the final stretch is easy because it is so wide, but it is important to have a good drafting position to save power until the last moment.

Good luck, James! Looking forward to hearing you have made it to A-class!
 

TimKendall

Speeding Up
Dec 28, 2009
129
0
36
Nagoya
#8
Thanks for the advice all.
Yes, there were 4 ex-pro keirin riders, and a few others that had riden at a fairly high level.
Still, I finished in the bunch, but am pretty confident that I will get better.
I did this on only 6 weeks training!!!
 

TimKendall

Speeding Up
Dec 28, 2009
129
0
36
Nagoya
#11
Only really two main causes for concern.
1). A sense of humour failure by some bloke when I attacked at the end of the first lap.
2) Course a bit dangerous... sand on a few of the corners!! And, a few crashes resulted
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#12
Tim,

1/. Don't worry about those types.... he is probably a regular for the past 100years and thinks it should all be done in a particular way..... no passion all science.

2/. I take this for granted that there will always be some dangerous aspects to a course, I have to admit though its unlike the UK where in wet conditions the roads become oily and slippery... most Crit courses here in Japan don't suffer from that.
 

TimKendall

Speeding Up
Dec 28, 2009
129
0
36
Nagoya
#16
Yes, all good stuff... I was almost coughing blood by the end! This feeling is what I used to live for... :bike:
You gotta love pain, or no point