2011 City Park Criterium

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29 Comments

It is a good race, it has

It is a good race, it has been around for a long time, and I will be there on Sunday. But the new finish location just makes me shake my head. If you said to me take a look at this course and determine what is the worst possible, and most dangerous, location for a finish I would chose where they are moving the finish to.

It would be nice if someone from the promoting club explained the move, why they think it is a good one, and if they think it is safe. They said they were going to make changes to the course this year, so I guess what that meant is the exact same course, but moving the finish?

I'm glad they went back to

I'm glad they went back to that finish line. I coudlnt imagine the carnage of 8-wide cat 4's group lining up for that finishing straight!

I do love the kids race, will bring them down for sure!

As always it was a good

As always it was a good event, well run, nice prize list and the like. A big thank you for moving the finish back to where it was. That was the right call. Saw everal broken collar bones later in the day even with the change, but that other finish location would have bene dangerous.

See you in 2012.

ACA Members why the low turnout?

I raced yesterday and had a good time, good event. But man the fields were small. Men's pro/1/2 and 3's were really small (433 finishers in 2010 and like 230 this year per ACA site). That is not a good sign.

I am not sure why, too much focus on BAR/BAT? 2 crits in a weekend? Wrong mix of catagories? People just taking a weekend off after a lot of racing and larger event last weekend? Too hot? People scared of City Park? Too many ACA members are now "specialists" who only race 6 or 7 events per year?

I do not know, but it bummed me out to see low numbers at a good event. If we do not support promoters we are going to lose races and it will be our own fault.

Crits are American Racing.

Inexcusable? I don't really agree there. There seems to be a wane in popularity when is comes to fast technical crits. I raced both e-rock and city park and had fun. They were both demanding races which require strategy and bike handling ability.

I have read a lot of the HTFU attitude on this website and that is not where I am coming from. We NEED races like this to sharpen our skills as cyclists. The cat 3 races I attended over the weekend had more crashes than I would deem acceptable. People locking bars and crashing in mass while going in a straight line (sm3 city park) etc. The 35 +3 at e-rock was just as bad.

How do riders expect to do well at Vic's (state championship) one of the most technical courses out there without primers such as this. Not to mention Bannock. We also appear to have lost Niwot this season?

I really cant blame folks for not wanting to subject themselves to the meat grinder. I absolutely salute each and every rider who finished those races. About half of the sm 3's dropped out (city park). I can't understand why anyone would quit a race they paid 40 bucks for. Get in the chase group. Keep working. Get faster. They were not pulling riders at city park.

Crits are american racing. We invented this type of racing. It's like Nascar and apple pie. It's what we do. Embrace it!

They pulled from the 4s at

They pulled from the 4s at City Park. My buddy who wasn't that (30 sec? far off the back got pulled. It was his first crit. I'm not sure he will try another one because he was so demoralized not to even be allowed to finish.

I've done 2 Cat 3 crits so far (Uni Hill and Morgul) and I got pulled halfway through both. That was more than enough to get me to think twice about doing more crits. Not only is it demoralizing, but its a waste of half a day's stress and prep. I'll probably do more crits, but when on the bubble about wanting to race or not, Its not hard for me to skip the crit and save my race pass (with the wife) for a road race where at least I know I'm going to get a good ride in.

HTFU does nothing for me. I race for fun.

Getting pulled is better than quitting or not attending.

I can't necessarily disagree with you. Getting pulled sucks. It's up to the official when or when not to pull riders. Easy for me to say not to be demoralized.

Bike racing is expensive and tough. Crits are not for everybody. My point is that if Coloradans want to be better crit racers, then we need technical crits to practice with and on. Crits will improve your bike handling and make us all safer. Yvonne will not upgrade someone from cat 4 to 3 without results in some sort of crit. There is a reason for that. Road race results are not enough.

Crits need to be attended and defended. I hope that your friend will reconsider and enter another.

I've never quite understood

I've never quite understood the mindset of folks who get dropped in a crit, who then keep soldiering on, solo, for the remainder of the race. You're never going to catch up, and riding laps around the course by yourself isn't helping. If you get dropped, soft pedal till the pack comes around, get back in and try to hang on to the group. Riding in the group is the only way to learn pack skills and get faster. Riding the course alone won't do either. If you get dropped again, call it a day. If you hang on till the end, drop out at the bell lap so you don't possibly mess up someone else's race. It's the best, if not only way to get faster.

For the sake of safety, in

For the sake of safety, in most crits you'll get pulled before you get a chance to jump back in again.

Having been dropped a lot this year, I will always go as hard and long as I can so that a) I feel like by working after redlining I'm doing the fitness good so that maybe next time I wont get dropped, and
b) I get to wave at the wife and crowd each lap and thereby racking up the sympathy points for when I try get out of chores that evening.

My personal opinion is that racing is expensive and it seems to me that half the field finishes a crit these days so people are getting demoralized and starting to pick and choose their races.

I can see how this is a problem

I agree - this is a problem with crits. I am new to the sport, but it seems most crits end up with around 50% pulled from the race. Sonic Boom was especially bad, but part of that was due to the pace, and the fact that only the fittest riders were able to keep that pace.

My only question is whether these racers being pulled all the time are training to improve, or just expecting improvement. In other words, are they getting pulled later and later into the race? If so, they should take this as a sign that they are getting stronger, and continue to race.

It seems that there are around 30 racers who consistently race the SM4's, and the rest are those who race occasionally. I think a lot of the people pulled from the races are guys who are not racing much, and as they say, nothing gets you into race shape like racing. A lot of the guys who get dropped seem to be the racers who are just not seen racing much. If think it is a feedback loop, where by not racing much, they do not do well, get dropped, and then this discourages them from racing.

A couple of comments: A) I

A couple of comments:

A) I was in the SM4 race in City Park, and ended up crashing around the corner last corner before the start line (it was in lap 3 or 4). It was all my fault (I was at the front of the pack when it occurred), but as I rounded the corner, I tried to pedal a bit to pick up speed. My back wheel lost just enough traction from the torque, and then I slid out. Luckily I took no one out but myself, and they gave me a free lap to catch back on.

However - exactly because of that, I gained some experience and lessons in bike handling, that will come in handy. The fact that people stay out of a race like this because of its reputation as a crash fest is too bad.

B) The policy in ACA crits are generally, once lapped or near lapped, you are pulled. They do this in part to keep the race safe. The last thing they need on a technical criterium is the pack having to constantly deal with dropped riders. As for finishing the race when dropped? Well, I ended up getting off the back with about 6 other riders with about 6 laps to go. It sucked, and I knew my chance at a good result was likely over...but:

1) I paid to race, and paid to push myself as hard as I could.
2) It is invaluable training to continue to ride hard, deal with the technical corners, and in general, learn to work as a team (if people are willing), or learn to race those in the chase group. I think of it as an interval session where I am going to push myself harder than I likely would on a training ride.

3) You never know what might happen. A mass crash could happen, or potentially even the pace may slow down ahead for various reasons, allowing you to get back into the race.

C) It is exactly because of the "lap" rule that on a technical crit like that, I prefer it if the pace gets going really fast, early. I want the pack to shrink early on, as it makes it safer (generally, those who cannot keep up in the race are also those who have the least amount of pack handling skills, and can make it more dangerous).

D) Finally - I am just frustrated in the overall participation rates in a lot of these races. I am sure there are a whole host of reasons people stay out of races, but given the number of licensed races in the front-range, would expect more racers. We have the benefit (unlike a lot of people in other parts of the country) to have basically a race every weekend within a reasonable driving distance from our homes. This is not always the case in other areas of the country, where hotel costs have to be factored into the cost of racing. Here, it is $30 a week.

OK, so I am new to racing

OK, so I am new to racing and was caught behind the crash you mentioned. I started chasing and caught on with a few others and we worked our asses off until we were lapped. I did it for the learning experience, was hoping to hop back on to improve my skills, and was there to HTFU but was disappointed to be pulled as not all groups had riders pulled (seemed to only be the bigger groups... Saw SM4 and SM35+ riders pulled).

You received a free lap when you hit the pedal on the ground? So would the rest of been better sitting up, riding to the pit, and waiting for the pack so we could have jumped back in?

Well, they pull riders in

Well,

they pull riders in well attended fields for safety. When the starting field is 25, this is more manageable, and so they likely get to make the call.

As for the crash. Well - for one - I did not hit the pedal to the ground. But that is beside the point. If you were pulled, it was because you got lapped. A single crash is not going to cause you to get lapped. Later in the race, I was behind another wreck on that same corner. I caught right back on with the pack. So we were both in the same situation. If you got lapped, it had nothing to do with the crash.

There is no reason you should have been lapped unless you could not keep the pace (which is fine...it why we all train and work to get better). But to not blame getting lapped on a single crash (especially when I was literally the first rider, which means the entire pack was impacted. This was not a crash mid-pack, which allows for the front group to gap the rest who have to maneuver around the crash).

This is my first year of

This is my first year of racing and I'm in the 45+4 cat. I paid money to race and I won't give up until I am pulled or cross the finish. Sonic Boom was seriously demoralizing getting pulled 10 minutes in. An expensive free beer. The smaller field for this race made it worthwhile to be in the pack. I even won a prime. That was a rookie mistake. Gassed myself and got dropped three laps later. Fought until late in the race when I was getting lapped on the second roundabout. I moved to the outside of the curve and hit the seam. Lost it and kissed concrete. (see photos posted in my cat). Bike was not rideable so I walked my bike to the finish line for my finish (the pack finished as I was walking the final straightaway). I didn't give up. I was not a hazard while walking my bike. I finished. I'm not a quitter. I have raced in most of the races this year to gain as much experience as I can so I am ready to rock next year.

It is called not belonging

It is called not belonging in the pack if you soft pedal and try to get back in the pack after you have been lapped. It is also called not being a quitter when you soldier on. Use it as a training ride to push your solo limits.

I raced both days

There are a lot of races on the calendar this year & I am thankful for that. I can afford to race often, but I relaize that not all can. When I first started racing 3 years ago (getting lapped & getting pulled in the SM 4's) there seemed to be fewer races altogether. I race what I can BAR/BAT or not because I love to ride/race. I like the technical courses (I actually prefer them) because of the bike handling skills, tactics, adrenaline rush, etc. I will continue to support where I am able with family commitments.

As far as the crashes; there will always be crashes in technical crits. Did you see the huge crash in the Philly Liberty Classic in the last Kilometer?? Wow. Major Carnage! I went down in the SM 3 race @ City Park because a rider went down in front of me on the corner after the first round-a-bout. He mis-judged his line & his back tire slid out from under him. I got back up & placed in the race... it is what it is. At E-Rock, there was just sloppy riding, BUT I accept that as the nature of what we do.

I want to say THANK YOU to all the promoters for your hard work & PLEASE continue putting on these reat races in Colorado!

I think they were pulling

I think they were pulling riders in City Park. They even announced at the SM4 start line the lapped rule, and I could have sworn I heard them pull a rider near the end, calling out his number and telling him to leave the race).

Racing is Pricey

Racing isn't cheap and it's even worse for young guys like me (24). I tend to focus my money on the BAR/BAT events as I can't afford to do them all.

I think City Park is the

I think City Park is the older race in the state of CO. So wise A$$ do you think we would lose anything if it went away? Maybe not and that is your right, but I think we would be losing something.

That is such a stupid comment. 430 riders did this race in 2010, about half of that did it in 2011. If you are a racer that should concern you.

Roundabouts

3 roundabouts per 1K lap. That's why I didn't do it.
I'd they get the long course around the lake back, I'll probably do it again.

Isn't the challenge of this race the technical nature

Well,

I guess to each their own. But the highlight of this race is the fact that it is so technical. Because it is so flat, this course's challenge are the technical corners and roundabouts, which result in a race with a lot of surges out of the corners and position in the pack is crucial.

From my perspective, this is why this race is fun. Much like Sonic Boom, I enjoy a crit with lots of corners. Keeps things interesting.