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Race Great Miyagi Crit Race (クリテリウムみやぎ大会)

TokyoLiving

Maximum Pace
Dec 9, 2015
793
458
Thanks for the advice. I'm a bit concerned about crashing, especially with my new bike and all 😅
As you should be. Unless you are riding with seasoned crit racers chances are high for crashing. The one thing you got going for ya is if the corners are not tight that reduces the risk of crashes.

I have done many crits where we did 30-40 circuits with tight corners on every turn. Fun if you're towards the front.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,711
1,533
To be honest, I want to try it just to see whether I like it.
In my category we only do 6 laps, about 22–23 km in total, so I don’t think pacing or fitness should be an issue. My plan is to ride in the drops, elbows out, to make sure I have a buffer zone.
 

TokyoLiving

Maximum Pace
Dec 9, 2015
793
458
To be honest, I want to try it just to see whether I like it.
In my category we only do 6 laps, about 22–23 km in total, so I don’t think pacing or fitness should be an issue. My plan is to ride in the drops, elbows out, to make sure I have a buffer zone.
Oh perfect then. No worries. Time trial it and leave em in the dust.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,711
1,533
Oh perfect then. No worries. Time trial it and leave em in the dust.
I was thinking of just trying that. At one of the crit races I watched, that's what one of the racers did: he just TTed from lap 1 and the others accepted he was stronger than them.

My FTP is 322 W currently, and I weigh 74 kg. That should be pretty good absolute power in the Master's category, although I was overtaken at a hill climb with 50+-somethings even though my performance wasn't bad (upper 1/3 of E3, middle of E1).
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
2,932
3,102
I was thinking of just trying that. At one of the crit races I watched, that's what one of the racers did: he just TTed from lap 1 and the others accepted he was stronger than them.

My FTP is 322 W currently, and I weigh 74 kg. That should be pretty good absolute power in the Master's category, although I was overtaken at a hill climb with 50+-somethings even though my performance wasn't bad (upper 1/3 of E3, middle of E1).

That tactic rarely works, but when it does it's glorious
My best ever ride was 7 laps off the front at Gunma CSC.
JCRC S class 10 laps. I gave a whiteboard to a guy on the start/finishing straight and said "write my time gap on here each lap". He thought I was crazy.
I attacked on the descent after the start on the 2nd lap (everyone attacks on the climb before the finish) but I was caught on the climb
On the next lap I attacked in exactly the same place in exactly the same way. This is the trick. Everyone thinks they'll catch you again. But nobody is willing to do the work a second time. Once I cleared the climb I knew I had a chance. The guy gave me the splits, 10s, 20s, 30s... Then it was TT mode.
Remember, "sometimes you don't need a plan, you just need big balls!" (Tom Boonen)

Andy
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,711
1,533
That tactic rarely works, but when it does it's glorious
My best ever ride was 7 laps off the front at Gunma CSC.
Indeed, and I have no reason to believe it'd stick. Trying something similar to you might also be something, especially if I have a few extra matches to burn. My goals are to (1) not crash and (2) have fun (i. e. not caring if I can win or not). Hopefully my fitness allows me to pick up more of the clues, as opposed to the road races where I had to give it my all and lost situational awareness of the race.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,711
1,533
That tactic rarely works, but when it does it's glorious
My best ever ride was 7 laps off the front at Gunma CSC.
Indeed, and I have no reason to believe it'd stick. But like you said, those wins are glorious, although they go counter to the most advice you get from crit racers (minimize energy expenditure, etc.).
 

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
1,245
871
It rarely sticks because a peloton not trying very hard is about as fast as someone doing a VO2max effort.
My speed during a one-lap TT of the course at 360 watts was about the same as the average speed of the race, I think.
 

Elzico2012

Maximum Pace
Jan 29, 2014
135
177
Try some move to enjoy your time.

I am not a sprinter, and if possible, when still in the bunch during short races, I try to launch some short attacks, or escape during the last lap, which is the only chance to make any result. It never works, I know it (lack of power), but I finish with the satisfaction to have raced (not a wheelsucking day) and enjoyed the time, which fulfill my soul.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,711
1,533
So the race is over, and I had a very good time. First, a big shoutout to @baribari, who was a great crit senpai and just cool to hang out with. While I was noodling to the event, he was already doing his first race, the TT. And then there is the awesomeness that are Japanese teams, our team boss even brought a kakigori machine and a generator. I haven’t done any racing outside of Japan, but I have a hard time believing you’d find that elsewhere. I love this country and the people who share this crazy hobby of ours.

Overall, I enjoyed the event very much. The atmosphere was much more relaxed than the JCBF events, nobody checked bikes (there is not big advantage to weight weenie bikes in a crit race anyway) and for my first crit race, I thought the course was perfect. Even though on a map it looks as if there are tons of twists and turns, you can take them at speed (I think if you were by yourself, you wouldn’t need the brakes except possibly at one point). The field was nicely sized, not the 100+ participants like in JCBF races, there were 26 in our category. The only fly in the ointment was the weather, it was the hottest day of the year so far with the proverbial Japanese humidity. My race was just after noon at 12:30, so pretty much at the temperature peak. (I think @baribari said we had 39 degrees. A few hours later we still had 34 degrees.) We saw two guys in their early 20s who suffered from a heat stroke and had to be taken to the hospital. Their race was just after ours, and they were cooked.

My goals for the race were: (1) Don’t crash. (2) Have fun. (This came courtesy of @baribari.) And (3) just try stuff.

The race itself went great. Predictably, it emphasized my relative strengths (raw power, sufficient endurance). I was quite slow at the start, but the field was small. It was surprisingly easy to take the corners at speed. I really love my new bike, it makes me happy every time I ride it and I trust it. I had two serious bumps where someone‘s front wheel kissed my rear wheel while cornering. Once my rear wheel skipped a beat, but everything was fine. Still, it just goes to show what a different animal a crit race is. I worked myself forward, and I was in the top 3 while crossing the line on three laps. I took myself out of contention for the preem in the third lap, because I didn’t want to enter into the small sprint while not understanding what was going on, what was normal and what isn’t. Still, people communicated the way I know from mountain biking (“to your left”, etc.), and which I hadn’t seen in the two road races. I thought that was cool. Everything was awesome and I think fitness-wise, I was up there. @baribari and I did some hard pulls and I don’t think there was anyone capable of getting away from the field that day in our group. I don’t think he’s nearly as slow as he’d like others to believe ;)

My race craft is still on Level 1. As soon as I crossed the finish line for the last lap (I was in the lead), I felt like I was swarmed by angry, crazy hornets and I couldn’t follow what was going on. It felt like people were taking more risks than I was comfortable with, and after half a lap, I decided to simply hang back in the pack and not do anything stupid (remembering goal 1). So I made 11th place. The placement is not essential for me, I think I did my job.

The only bummer was that my Wahoo did not record the race. I could swear I pushed the start button, but well, the lack of a recording says otherwise. Powerwise, it felt good, I could easily drift in and out of VO2max. Although, given the super hot weather, I don’t think I would have been able to reach my peak numbers.

Despite drinking all day (I had a 3 liter bladder in my back pack, 2 large bottles and a smaller bottle, and I refilled all of them once), I lost 1.6 kg.

After seeing two guys having a heat stroke, I took it super easy on the ride home. I did not even average 25 km/h. And I took a konbini break with ice cream. But that was with good reason: I noticed that I’d cross my first ventilatory threshold at low Z2. And even though I was in between Z1 and low Z2, my heart rate was usually in the upper 130s. I took that seriously. Getting home was great: my daughter was in a great mood, I had access to a cold shower and I had an SIS recovery drink with milk and ice. And then I bought (supermarket) sushi for dinner, taking my daughter with me, explaining once again how traffic lights work and that the half moon is out. I love being a dad.

Apart from making sure to start my Wahoo before a race (yes, I mean it this time!), the only other thing I’d change would be to not rely on Wahoo’s app to plot a course to my destination. Several times it wanted me to take gravel roads (on my aero road bike with zero clearance and I had no desire to fix a tire on some dirt road in the middle of nowhere. It saw roads where there were none. Sent me up inclines where I had to walk just to find out it was a dead end. Ugh. No.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,711
1,533
Definitely.

@baribari and I were saying in the morning that the heat is bearable in the shade and on the bike at speed. Before our race when we pre-rode the course around noon, we figured out quite quickly that even going 35 km/h, it was HOT also on the bike. I don’t think I would have wanted to do 10 laps, 6 was enough. (I didn’t dare to drink during the race.)
 

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
1,245
871
Definitely.

@baribari and I were saying in the morning that the heat is bearable in the shade and on the bike at speed. Before our race when we pre-rode the course around noon, we figured out quite quickly that even going 35 km/h, it was HOT also on the bike. I don’t think I would have wanted to do 10 laps, 6 was enough. (I didn’t dare to drink during the race.)
You definitely should have drink on the bike. You can always go off the back to drink if you need to.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,711
1,533
You definitely should have drink on the bike. You can always go off the back to drink if you need to.
Sure, and I did. I just didn’t dare to drink. I was too scared to lose focus for a moment and cause a crash … Plus, I figured I could make it for the 30 minutes without drinking. But yeah, I wasn’t trying to save weight or anything.
 

Kangaeroo

Maximum Pace
Jan 24, 2018
891
1,056
So the race is over, and I had a very good time. First, a big shoutout to @baribari, who was a great crit senpai and just cool to hang out with. While I was noodling to the event, he was already doing his first race, the TT. And then there is the awesomeness that are Japanese teams, our team boss even brought a kakigori machine and a generator. I haven’t done any racing outside of Japan, but I have a hard time believing you’d find that elsewhere. I love this country and the people who share this crazy hobby of ours.

Overall, I enjoyed the event very much. The atmosphere was much more relaxed than the JCBF events, nobody checked bikes (there is not big advantage to weight weenie bikes in a crit race anyway) and for my first crit race, I thought the course was perfect. Even though on a map it looks as if there are tons of twists and turns, you can take them at speed (I think if you were by yourself, you wouldn’t need the brakes except possibly at one point). The field was nicely sized, not the 100+ participants like in JCBF races, there were 26 in our category. The only fly in the ointment was the weather, it was the hottest day of the year so far with the proverbial Japanese humidity. My race was just after noon at 12:30, so pretty much at the temperature peak. (I think @baribari said we had 39 degrees. A few hours later we still had 34 degrees.) We saw two guys in their early 20s who suffered from a heat stroke and had to be taken to the hospital. Their race was just after ours, and they were cooked.

My goals for the race were: (1) Don’t crash. (2) Have fun. (This came courtesy of @baribari.) And (3) just try stuff.

The race itself went great. Predictably, it emphasized my relative strengths (raw power, sufficient endurance). I was quite slow at the start, but the field was small. It was surprisingly easy to take the corners at speed. I really love my new bike, it makes me happy every time I ride it and I trust it. I had two serious bumps where someone‘s front wheel kissed my rear wheel while cornering. Once my rear wheel skipped a beat, but everything was fine. Still, it just goes to show what a different animal a crit race is. I worked myself forward, and I was in the top 3 while crossing the line on three laps. I took myself out of contention for the preem in the third lap, because I didn’t want to enter into the small sprint while not understanding what was going on, what was normal and what isn’t. Still, people communicated the way I know from mountain biking (“to your left”, etc.), and which I hadn’t seen in the two road races. I thought that was cool. Everything was awesome and I think fitness-wise, I was up there. @baribari and I did some hard pulls and I don’t think there was anyone capable of getting away from the field that day in our group. I don’t think he’s nearly as slow as he’d like others to believe ;)

My race craft is still on Level 1. As soon as I crossed the finish line for the last lap (I was in the lead), I felt like I was swarmed by angry, crazy hornets and I couldn’t follow what was going on. It felt like people were taking more risks than I was comfortable with, and after half a lap, I decided to simply hang back in the pack and not do anything stupid (remembering goal 1). So I made 11th place. The placement is not essential for me, I think I did my job.

The only bummer was that my Wahoo did not record the race. I could swear I pushed the start button, but well, the lack of a recording says otherwise. Powerwise, it felt good, I could easily drift in and out of VO2max. Although, given the super hot weather, I don’t think I would have been able to reach my peak numbers.

Despite drinking all day (I had a 3 liter bladder in my back pack, 2 large bottles and a smaller bottle, and I refilled all of them once), I lost 1.6 kg.

After seeing two guys having a heat stroke, I took it super easy on the ride home. I did not even average 25 km/h. And I took a konbini break with ice cream. But that was with good reason: I noticed that I’d cross my first ventilatory threshold at low Z2. And even though I was in between Z1 and low Z2, my heart rate was usually in the upper 130s. I took that seriously. Getting home was great: my daughter was in a great mood, I had access to a cold shower and I had an SIS recovery drink with milk and ice. And then I bought (supermarket) sushi for dinner, taking my daughter with me, explaining once again how traffic lights work and that the half moon is out. I love being a dad.

Apart from making sure to start my Wahoo before a race (yes, I mean it this time!), the only other thing I’d change would be to not rely on Wahoo’s app to plot a course to my destination. Several times it wanted me to take gravel roads (on my aero road bike with zero clearance and I had no desire to fix a tire on some dirt road in the middle of nowhere. It saw roads where there were none. Sent me up inclines where I had to walk just to find out it was a dead end. Ugh. No.
Great race! Well done! And well done, @baribari! Fantastic write-up, too.
 
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