2013 - Salida Classic

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Friday, July 26, 2013
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Sunday, July 28, 2013

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61 Comments

Good point about the number

Good point about the number of fields diluting the racing. I personally think it would make more sense to have category 1-10 and forget about age grading. Look at the TT and hillclimb times for 55+ and you'll see times competitive in the 1/2 fields. Lets just have cat 1-10, and promoters can choose to combine, so for Salida you might have had 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10 for both men and women. A bigger race can cut the categories more finely. Allow juniors to choose a category, or race in a separate Junior race. You are assigned a category on your license, and you can go up or down one cat for any race. If you are a Cat 6 but suck at crits, then ride cat 7 for those. If you are a killer climber, ride cat 5 for hillclimbs.

Age grading doesn't make sense. It would make more sense to grade by number of hours worked at your job! Unemployed go into one category, people who work 10-30 hours in another, 30-60 in another!

Combining fields

There's any number of ways the number of fields could be reduced a bit, but however they do it, I agree part of the solution is allowing promoters of smaller events to combine fields. However may fields it makes sense to run at an event with 800 starters, it makes sense to run fewer at an event with 400. BRAC could still score combined fields separately for Road Cup purposes, but the racing would be better on course.

Too many fields

Agreed that the small fields are primarily driven by BRAC leaderships insistence on maintaining a large number of rigidly structured categories for BAR/BAT. What fits a few of the larger races doesn't work well for the majority of races in Colorado. Even at the larger races, rarely do any of the fields even come close to approaching the field limit advertised in the flyers. If we could reduce the number of BAR/BAT fields, the races could be longer because fewer start times would be required. Plus, racing in larger fields is a whole lot more dynamic and much more fun. Unfortunately many racers in Colorado never get to experience that.

If you want longer races and better racing send your input to the BRAC board and let them know that the structure of BAR/BAT is broken and needs to be addressed.

Racing in larger fields is

Racing in larger fields is more fun, IF there is a relative parity in talent. If large portions of the field are just pack fill at the start line but OTB after the first attack, it's not fun for them at all. They're just there to contribute their entry fees.

First, in a larger field,

First, in a larger field, there are many more places to hide and save energy early in the race than in the small fields. But if one is constantly OTB, is it possible they are in the wrong category and should consider downgrading?

On the women's side, it is more challenging to balance that equality because the numbers in cat 3 and above tend to be smaller and the fitness more diverse. However, with all the special men's categories, it makes it even more challenging to provide separate fields for the women as well within the real constraints associated with specific courses and length of day. Do we really need 3 cat 4 specific groups for men and 2 cat 3 specific groups for men?

I get your point, but... The

I get your point, but... The conversation has been mostly about combining fields to make larger fields. Lots of areas of the country do this, but could you imagine a 1/2/3 field here, for example? After a few races the 3s are going to get sick of donating their entries and riding in by themselves.

If they downgrade, then they're immediately accused of sandbagging. Or, they could just give up. Neither is optimal.

As for combining masters, I'm all for it within age groups, but not keen on combining age groups. Any brand new masters racer can always opt to race with the senior 4s. but if you've a 3 or higher for many years and don't feel like downgrading to race with the 4s, racing with the seniors is worse than racing guys 15-20 yrs younger than you. Yeah, I know, CO has a few super strong guys who race 1/2 by choice, but they are exceptional and that's why they are the exception.

So what about a 35+1/2/3 and

So what about a 35+1/2/3 and a 35+3/4. Yes the 35+3/4 might be a little harder than it is now but with the addition of cat 5, 4s are no longer the entry into the sport and there is always the option to race SM4s if the 35+3/4 is a little too hard. Many 3s can race with the 35+1/2s, especially if there are larger fields. This gives them the option to race the harder race where it suits their strengths or perhaps where the team aspect of racing can have more impact but then race the 35+3/4 for races where they might be OTB early on such as a long climbing road race.

So what about a 35+1/2/3 and

So what about a 35+1/2/3 and a 35+3/4. Yes the 35+3/4 might be a little harder than it is now but with the addition of cat 5, 4s are no longer the entry into the sport and there is always the option to race SM4s if the 35+3/4 is a little too hard. Many 3s can race with the 35+1/2s, especially if there are larger fields. This gives them the option to race the harder race where it suits their strengths or perhaps where the team aspect of racing can have more impact but then race the 35+3/4 for races where they might be OTB early on such as a long climbing road race.

Why even have a rank or

Why even have a rank or category system then. Just have open races or have A,B,C races where you place yourself.

Every time you sign up you can ask yourself "Do I want a challenge or sandbag, do I feel fast or slow today, what race has better prizes......"

Combining fields

You say that combining 1,2s and 3s into one field would be a terrible idea because the 3s would get sick of donating their entry fee.
it is no different in the 35+ categories! Look at the names of who is racing 35+ and 45+...there are a lot of ex-pros and ex-SM1s out there.

First, in a larger field,

First, in a larger field, there are many more places to hide and save energy early in the race than in the small fields. But if one is constantly OTB, is it possible they are in the wrong category and should consider downgrading?

On the women's side, it is more challenging to balance that equality because the numbers in cat 3 and above tend to be smaller and the fitness more diverse. However, with all the special men's categories, it makes it even more challenging to provide separate fields for the women as well within the real constraints associated with specific courses and length of day. Do we really need 3 cat 4 specific groups for men and 2 cat 3 specific groups for men?

You have hit the nail on the

You have hit the nail on the head and BRAC, their leadership, and board, are totally clueless about this. We do not have the field sizes here that require 20 different cats. 400 racers do not need 20 fields, eight 50 person fields would make a lot more sense, be easier on officials, and promoters. Why the board cannot get this is beyond me. In some area where there are more people maybe all these cats are needed, but we just do not have the numbers in CO

We have created this "special snowflake" mentality in CO, where so many people want smaller fields, with less competition, so they all can place, or get BAR/BAT points. Watching most field sizes at Salida in the crit was just painful. Way too many felds under 30 riders. We laos now have a generation of riders who cannot ride in a pack because they have never learned how to.

The only example of a

The only example of a combined field at the Littleton Crit that is out of the ordinary is the 35+ 3 and 35+ 4 racing together. THAT is a GREAT idea. I notice a 45+ cat 4, don't see 45+ 1-3. I guess if that group wants to race they'll have to enter the appropriate 35+ field. Not optimal, but it's common for the 55+ men to have to ride with 45+, so I guess it won't kill 'em this one time.

Otherwise, the combined 55+/65+ is common. Can't speak to whether the single combined women's field is new or common, as I just don't pay that much attention to the women's races.

The only example of a

The only example of a combined field at the Littleton Crit that is out of the ordinary is the 35+ 3 and 35+ 4 racing together. THAT is a GREAT idea. I notice a 45+ cat 4, don't see 45+ 1-3. I guess if that group wants to race they'll have to enter the appropriate 35+ field. Not optimal, but it's common for the 55+ men to have to ride with 45+, so I guess it won't kill 'em this one time.

Otherwise, the combined 55+/65+ is common. Can't speak to whether the single combined women's field is new or common, as I just don't pay that much attention to the women's races.

Only for non-cup

From the announcement on the BRAC website, the same day as your post: "Combined races will not be offered Cup points." I'm not sure, but think that has been the policy all along. The practical result is that you only see fields combined for the part of criterium race days that is not cup.

But the bottom line is that we can all stop wasting our breath, because after two years of discussion, the board decided to make no changes (except that SM35+ will now be called MM35+).

No need to race anymore

I get racing. I think it's a great way to push yourself and strive to win the next tour de france. however, since the late 90's, it was obvious people were doping and amateurs also acting like jerks while trying to go pro. I took some time off and raced mountain bikes; much more fun and laid back. back to road racing for a few years, but after spending 10,000 on equipment and misc. fees for a year I came back with a conclusion. 5 massive wrecks in crits (some riders were cat 2) and I wondered why I was paying for this risk. i'm not going to go pro (you really know this in your 20's) and I can find a group ride in boulder and "race" for a great, free workout. I think there are many more people out there like myself, but who knows. and after every race, the basic questions still linger, "are they all doping?" that gets old. note: rode 50 today, loved it.

Sorry, going off on a tangent

Sorry, going off on a tangent. Please stop treating group rides like worlds for you. It is your kind that make the local training rides dangerous. There are so many guys so desperate to hang on that they ride on the yellow line on a Tuesday group ride to get a draft, bolt out into traffic lanes on HWY 36, and dart across the front of cars to attack the first fruit loop.
FYI idiot, Tuesday and Thursday group rides are not races!

you have no idea

you are what is wrong with cycling. you see bad behavior in a group ride and think everyone does it. yet in this race there are tons of bad activities (cat 1's, 2's, etc...old guys passing a car and putting lives at risk for a local race). i'm sure you get dropped all the time, so quit being so negative to other cyclists. I think the OP is wrong to assume everyone dopes, and that is not good as well. but take the high road, you went to his level and that makes you just as bad. now train harder.

Simmer down old man. I've

Simmer down old man. I've been racing a long time, from jr development to collecting a check for turning the cranks. Trust me I don't get dropped the way you are assuming. I am however making an observation about what I see and I join a lot of different group rides. Busstop has a habit of this behavior but that just doesn't seem to be as prevalent in other rides for a multitude of reasons. Maybe it is the concentration of masters riders, maybe it is the lack of enough guys to keep things in line, maybe it is the "storied" history of that ride and guys thinking it is just as good as racing. If you are that guy, you know who you are, that looks at the Busstop and envisions glory day there is a serious disconnect from what is going under your helmet versus mine. Also, please stay on topic, I am talking about open roads with highway traffic on a weekday near rush hour, you can't seem to keep the idea of marked race course and weekday training rides separate.
In conclusion Mikey, you want to trade jabs about when and how someone gets dropped, come out to the race on Sunday. I'll be there in the 1/2 field and we'll see who does what.

I may be naive... yes really

I may be naive... yes really I mean that, but I just don't get the sense that races that I'm riding in are stacked with dopers. Maybe when I got here in 2011 I thought that there might be a bunch because I got dropped so hard so often, but in the last three years and especially in this year I feel like I've gotten to know so many of my competitors much better and I just don't get a sense from these guys that many (any?) of them are going to go to that extra step and cross the line to get a win. I know, I know, I AM gullible sometimes. But I ride with a lot of the same guys, or I swap jokes and props with them on Strava, or I talk with them after races and my biggest impression about the guys in my category is one of peer respect and admiration. We like to go out and do battle and we're bummed when we don't do well but we are also happy for the guy that prevails at the expense of our failure. Yes, there are poor sports and yes there are guys that take it all too seriously and yes there probably are some guys who want it so bad they will cheat everone else (and themselves) out of an honest race and dope. My sense is that those guys are the exception. Of the guys I race with and know, and that is a bunch of them, I don't get that rabid asshole vibe that I would expect from a doper. (Think Vino, think Ricco, think Lance). I can't speak for all racers and I can't speak for all categories. History proves the presence of cheaters and bad apples.

If you do find yourself asking "are they all doping" then I encourage you to stick around and make some solid efforts to get to know some of your fellow racers better. Reach out to guys who aren't on your team to give 'em a congrats or a high five for a solid dig. By doing that you may build a better sense of the makeup your peloton and a bit more faith in your sport. And just hopefully this isn't all at the cost of naivete.

I can't argue with your other reasons for not racing though. Crits are dangerous and bikes and fees are expensive. Unfortunately the sport is pricing itself out of reach for many and choking it's growth because of it.

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