Best Crit Advice
Last Post 03/04/2014 02:36 PM by Dave Kirkpatrick. 10 Replies.
Author Messages
Jimmy

Posts:27

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02/14/2014 04:10 PM
This is the best crit advice you are ever going to receive. I know this because it is my advice and I am a cycling God. OK, I was a cycling God. OK, I used to race and did pretty well sometimes and mostly in crit's. Plus I coached. So here you go... 1. Get to the race early and watch earlier races come through each corner a few times. Is the turn bumpy, off camber, have a grate or pothole to avoid? Make note of where you'd like to be, if possible, through the turns. 2. Get your a$$ in the front row for the start. This is entirely mental. Get rid of the "Well, I shouldn't be there" mentality. Being in the front row affords you with the chance to get off the line cleanly. If it goes from the gun super-hard, have a buffer of several riders to come around you as you get up to speed. This is far better than needing to move up from the second the gun sounds. 3. Start the race with your a$$ in the saddle. Then you can smoothly clip in because you have two points of contact (one foot and your butt) rather than just one. Should you miss the clip, you can readily keep pedaling and have vastly more control if you are already seated. I've found these three points to be the most overlooked yet most beneficial to a fast, efficient, and safe start in a crit. Good luck out there. I'll be cheering with a beer in hand!
79pmooney

Posts:1113

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02/14/2014 05:42 PM
And, when the race slows down, move up! I was a lousy crit rider (pure climber, no fast twitch). I rode a 1, 2, 3 crit to open a weekend stage race knowing I had to get the magic "st" beside my name. One corner had lousy pavement at the inside curb. I took that line every lap I was not near the front because I could pass several riders who slowed for traffic every time. And when the pace slowed. I used that time to put as many riders behind me as I could. Meant that I survived all the hot spells and never came out of the field. Placed 18th. st. Mission accomplished. Hardest f'ing 25 miles I ever rode.

Ben
Nick A

Posts:112

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02/20/2014 11:39 AM
Ah, what I made up for lack of talent! Move up when it's going slowly, so you can drift back when it's fast. Use little gaps to move up in the pack instead of going up the side. When a gap opens up from someone in front of you, you better turn yourself inside out, cuz, it's now or never baby! (I used to have ambition. I swear. LOL.) Oh yeah. Take off with two laps to go and get swallowed up with a half a lap to go. Except that one time in 50, when the pack gets lazy and steal one. LOL.

Nick
79pmooney

Posts:1113

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02/20/2014 12:13 PM
Nick, the penalty I paid that crit was a front wheel so out of true after hitting that pavement break hard at max lean 20 times that I had to true it before the time trial that afternoon. There were two concrete slabs, missing by about an inch vertically right at the apex of the turn. (Good reason for the field to avoid it like the plague.) Too much for that flimsy Super Champion Medaille d'Or (sp) rim. The rear Fiamme Ergal did just fine.

After the 60 mile road race the next day, a competitor and I rode 50 miles into New Hampshire and shared a motel room. We rode about 150 the next day to my place in Cambridge, Mass. Next day I went to work and he rode 80 miles home to Amherst. Those were the days!

Ben
BikeCzar

Posts:53

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02/20/2014 06:43 PM
When in doubt, attack.
longslowdistance

Posts:664

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02/20/2014 09:02 PM
Ben I remember those rims. Soft as butter. One train track crossing = instant flat spot. But soooo light - I think a lot lighter than what's sold now.
Gonzo Cyclist

Posts:202

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02/23/2014 02:12 PM
best advice for a Crit race is to bring your "B" bike, or a beater, it is not a matter of "IF" you are going to crash, it is more like "When"
I rode a ton of crits back in the day, horrific crashes, bodies and parts of bikes flying everywhere, yuck!! Crits were the main reason I gave up racing
Ron

Posts:34

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02/27/2014 05:12 PM
Ha, Gonzo. Last time someone asked me if I was doing the local crit I said no. Why? I don't have a bike I'm willing to crash.
79pmooney

Posts:1113

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02/28/2014 01:56 PM
Best crit advice? If you really want to win. (Can't resist!) Gotta be above 60%. Here we have a true winner.

http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/venezuelan-pops-for-63-percent-hematocrit-misses-chance-to-join-androni_318119

Bjarne Riis (Mr. 60%) now has to settle for 2nd.

Ben
Nick A

Posts:112

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03/01/2014 05:13 PM
63%??!! Dang, he must have sludge in his veins!

Nick
dkri

Posts:80

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03/04/2014 02:36 PM
Alas I'm screwed I had my hematocrit measured once, when I broke my leg. A paltry 43%. Makes me a good candidate for the hot sauce, huh?

I've always found the most demanding crits to be the safest ones, simply because everyone's on his toes and it's usually strung out. Random egg-shaped courses where you ride in a blob seem to be the most lethal.
formerly dkri


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