TCC amateur racing team

#1
I have been seeing some threads about trying to make TCC more club like and I got to thinking. We have Team Osoi and the Half-Fast team. Team Osoi is all the way in Chiba and makes it impossible for those of us living in the west of Tokyo to make it to their practices. I was thinking maybe it's time that the TCC have a team that trains near the Arakawa and Tamagawa rivers. I have wanted to get into racing here in Japan but I haven't been able to find a team that is "close" to my area or is competing at the lower rank levels. I would like to see if TCC administration would allow a TCC race team and if there are any people interested in joining or coaching such a team. Although it might be a little late for this season, perhaps we could begin training with next season as our debut?
Let me all know what you think!

Cheers,
Eric
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
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www.roadfixie.com
#2
I'd volunteer to help coach. My methods might be old compared to some, though, I did send 2 members of my old Junior team to Olympic training camp and 1 member raced full season in Europe as a domestique. Main thing is just getting any kind of team organization in place. Plus need to consider insurance and other legal bs. Not sure how it is in Japan, but in EU and US you register your team with the affiliation (USCF, UCI, etc) and after proving the proper organization and credentials, you can enter races as a bonafide team. Plus anyone joining the team would need to have corresponding membership of good standing in the affiliation.

Bear in mind, racing as a team requires a team. And this means alot less ego than is typically found on the streets of Tokyo. Plus a good team will be able to field at least 4 - 10 riders for each event, otherwise racing as a team is pretty much moot. Fielding 4 riders will generally mean you need at least a pool of 6-16 riders to pull from. And you need alot of backend support like DS, Trainer, Mechanic, sponsors. Some of this can be consolidated into the archtypical 'soccer mom' , but others must be accounted separately. This is why most amateur teams are closely aligned with a bike shop, who acts as the main benefactor.

In short, it's alot of time, effort, commitment and work. Plus alot of money. If you just want to get 3 or 4 guys together and race as privateers that is generally a good way to go. Then get one of us old timers to drag out and help with some riding skills, training and strategy.

You're correct about timing. But now is a good time to get ready for winter training and put together a core group. You'll know from the summer season who is likely to be a team player and also who shines out in the various skill sets. So, you can come up with some basic organization to lead into the pre-season (next year) training focus.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
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#3
No No No Tim..... stop thinking pro tour :D

I raced the JCRC series as a one man show, also racing in the JCF and JBCF I can pretty much give you the heads up on this.

Basically there are a lot of hoops to jump through to get a team registered with the JCF and JBCF but once you have the team registered and paid the dues your riders will then need to get a Japan UCI licence that also covers insurance.

There are no races here where I have seen support cars on the roads following the peloton and support is normally given by the Mavic neutral support team. Any other support is done at the feeding zones. or at the side of the road by team mates, wives, girlfriends or all of the above (normally though they try to keep the girlfriends and the wives seperate ;) )


JCRC -

Does not require a racing license or a team, has a good turnout of armchair riders for the low categories and the atmosphere is brilliant. Many TCCers claim that the lower classes of the JCRC are a crash-fest but I would actually disagree. It’s the norm for amateur races to have some crashes…. Hell you get them in the Pro Tour all the time and it comes with the territory! But you normally get these at the criteriums ( Which I love!) Kawagoe, Yokkaichi, NATS

Once you get above ‘C’ Ranking the distance and the pace change a lot and so does the level of the riders. So they no what to do if they blow out or propper riding eticate.

The Ranks go from X (Where they select your level) and starting from the lowest F through to A and then S class and SS class (S class and SS class race together and the SS is for riders that have won a stage at S class level) I would say C class is very similar to the JBCF E3 level. (Cat 3 in Europe) A and B Class are again about E2 and E1 level.

S- Class is tricky as you get a lot of Pro’s racing in this category as a form of race training for the JCF and JBCF so sometimes the Peloton gets blown out of the water. Last August in Shuzenji only 8 of us finished the race as we lapped the peloton and awarded them all the DNF prize.

JBCF- Japan Elite Tour E3 – E2 – E1

You need to register a team and each rider with the JBCF and there are rulesand regulations regarding team wear and the likes. Very competitive and although you can enter as a privateer you might not be able to get promoted. Even smaller teams might not get promoted as you need a minimum of riders atthat class to get promoted and/or until other riders in your team have also scored enough points to get promoted.


Japan Pro Tour

Exactly what it sounds like – Only 22 teams allowed to race ( and they will reducethisagain in 2012) and they must either finish in the top 18 to automatically qualify for a spot or prove that they have the budget or the ability to race at this level. Teams in the top 5 will normally get awarded wildcards to race in the Tour of Japan and other JCF UCI 2.2 races.

On another note there are already a lot of guys here that race, they are more soloists that just go to races together and then race basically against each other, apart from at rides like the Tokyo Endurance. But at the end of the day it gets pretty expensive. I worked it out that on average it wascostmeas a privateer about 25,000 Yen per race. Thats entry, travel overnight accomadation and food. So the question is if you are paying out of your own pocket to enter, travel and stay and race are you prepared to giveup a shot of winning to help another rider?
 
Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#6
Whenever you put on a TCC jersey and enter a race you are riding as a team. (even solo)

All you have to do is get some riders to join you in the same race which seems to be the only problem with TCC so far.

Start it out in JCRC and if it takes off develop it further.

Have always wondered why more TCCers don't race in JCRC.

A nice start would be the weekend away down at Saiko in November.

Get 4 or 5 of you who have never raced in Japan... all enter in X class... and see how you go.
 
#8
Thanks guys for the very useful information!
I would deffinately like to start a team that trains at the arakawa. Perhaps finding some riders to start in the x-rank will be the best plan of action. I think Tim's suggestion of getting a group of 4 or 5 and riding as privateers is a great idea until we get more organized. I don't think my collar bone will be fully healed for the august race but I'm going to go on a 600k bike trip in Washington state and see how things go. If there is anyone who wants to try the November race with me, maybe we can start from there?
 
Oct 15, 2010
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#9
Living on the Tamagawa, it is about 50 or 60kms to the Arakawa, one way, so I can not get there on a regular basis for training. If there is a group that wants to meet on the Tamagawa as well, that would be cool. Early morning is best for me.
 
Oct 15, 2010
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#11
I would like to do some racing. I am best at mashing along long distances on the flat, and worst at climbing. I am riding nearly every morning this summer - 45 to 60kms on the Tamagawa before 7:00AM to get in better shape. Work schedules can make things tricky, but I would like to train and race as a team. I think it would be a lot of fun and highly motivating. Let me know when you are back and up for a ride. Have fun in the States.
 
#12
I guess that makes two of us. I wouldn't consider myself a climber but I can do most climbs without having to stop ( I just crawl along). I would say my strength is like yours in time trialing. I'll let you know when I get back and we can get started. Hopefully we will be able to get a few more riders interested!
 
Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#13
Actually I would argue that Saiko is actually the worst race of the series!

August in Shuzenji is much better.
Shuzenji is very challenging for a first time racer!
Do they have a TTT there like Saiko?

I love Saiko...it is my favorite course and suits me. I'd probably want to give up cycling if I tried to race at Shuzenji. Doesn't suit me at all.

Our club usually introduces our beginners at Saiko or the Seo festival.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#15
I'm going to aim at doing the saiko race as my first. Do you have any tips about the course or preperation for it? What kind of training should I be doing?
Basically it's a 10km winding course around the lake. The first 3 to 4km are downhill. The last 2km are slightly uphill. At the 8km point there is a 90 degree left hand turn and a bit of a sharp incline for 150 to 200 m. People get dropped here if they are not up to par. You need to go into that corner near the front and let people pass you here if you like and just take it easy.

The final sprint is a long one and deceptive. There is a car park (bat caves) ( I forget the exact distance) about 600 to 800m away from the finish and this is where a false sprint starts. You need to go with the first 10 people here to win. If you are a Cavendish type just wait.... if you are a Cancellara type you need to escape just before the bat caves and go for it.

Easy beginners are only 20km to D class.
C class is 30km.
B 30 or 40??
A 40
S 50km...

It's a bunch sprint...unless you are really good and break away. I managed to catch a 2 man break away and finish 3rd in my best result there.

Best to be on the right hand side of the peleton for the last lap so that you don't get trapped on the curb and you can see any breaks and catch them from that side.

It's a fun and exhilarating 10km lap.

2km, 6km, 1km, 1km, interval training... 2 easy, 6 hard, 1 harder, 1 extremely hard-->sprint...repeat repeat repeat...
 

PeteC

Warming-Up
Aug 20, 2010
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#16
Guys,

Now that I'm getting back into riding I'd be up for a go at x class, I've done quite a bit of racing and tend to be best at critirium or road races that aren't to bumpy.
Having a goal to train to is always good as it keeps me out of the pub! (and shrinks the waistline!)

Ikedawilliams- I live right near the Tama river close to Tamagawa train station, a couple of early morning (home for 7am) training rides a week would be perfect for me. Where/when to meet?

Cheers
Pete
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
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#18
I've had Saiko in my sights since David recommended it to me when we laid out our remaining plans for this year after finishing Toito.
I'll be there!

As training goes, I've been away from the bike and look forward to hit either the mountains or things like the 10k TT that James announced. For speed training, I think Arakawa is vastly superior top Tamagawa CR, which is just a way to get somewhere else (junk miles)