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2012Rutgers

Rutgers Weekend

Race Reports

Rutgers

Well…. Once again we began the decent into madness. The utter psychosis that is collegiate cycling. The wind and swirling colors manifesting into form and function. The unending suffer festival of the unforgivable mounds and the sweet joys of gravity induced speed.

Conclusion:

Bean Bag (AKA Neal) needs to upgrade soon. Our lovely ladies had an awesome showing, allowing the rest of us to slack. A mail truck.... really!

But anyway I got there late and missed the ITT, which worked out fairly well because of the pouring rain. But the rest of the DFTC was nice and soaked. After getting my numbers, pinning up and watching Tom, Bean Bag, and California scurry off. I did my best to be distracting and annoy Alyssa prior to her FIRST EVER RACE!

My race began in typical fashion, starting off well only to overheat in 40 degree conditions. My chain dropped on the first major hill, and never recovered. Good news: I felt awesome on the decent and did not finish DFL.

…Landmark post race for some delicious greasy food.

Sunday was a strange day, ridiculously cold to luke warm to ridiculously cold. Dangerous Ds led off, to no surprise after NCSU and the RR the day before, Bean Bag did awesome! Tom finish strong, and Calahan finished! I on otherhand went on to lead the first lap and once again began to overheat in 40 degree weather.

I ended up 25th out of 31 starters not bad for racing into shape.

-Brendan Diener


So here are my notes from the weekend of what I observed watching the racing.

  • Race Reports: Wow, so disappointed, the ones for NCSU and Duke were

good and there were so many of them. As fun as Brendan's are to read
where are the rest? Everyone did well this weekend especially Alyssa,
Julia and Neal. Alyssa rode the intro race with way under inflated
tires (you're all on notice for letting that happen, me included),
Julia had an amazing road race hanging with some strong riders the
whole time after having a rather exciting night prior, and Neal had
fun toying with the D field for a weekend before he upgrades for this
coming weekend. Calahan gets the "badass of the weekend" award for
going so hard in the ITT that his nose was bleeding and he didn't even
notice, plus he has a beard that would make any pro athlete with a
playoff beard jealousy. Brendan was the only one to live up to the
DFTC name and made up for the rest of us being on time the whole
weekend.

  • Primes: Oops, sorry Neal should have explained what they are to you

before you raced. But more important is the strategy around them. In
any races with primes, even if you are not sprinting for the
primes/prizes, it is a good idea to still be up near the front. There
are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that because of the
increase in speed, there is a good chance that people will get dropped
from the field and some of the lower categories a field split will
happen. Something that Joe pointed out last year (read the RPI race
report for more details) is that in a smaller field its not a bad idea
to set the decent pace for the prime to prevent the field from
bunching up (can lead to people that shouldn't be at the front being
at the front) if there isn't a large team controlling the race.
Another thing that can happen is that someone will attack right after
the prime because the field is at high speed/tired and if a couple of
people go with that person they can stay away. This brings me to my
next point.

  • Attacking the Field: In almost every race people will attack and

breakaways will happen but most won't stick. If you watched the A
race there was a breakaway with two people away for a lot of the race
that had a large gap (at one point 40 seconds) but eventually got
brought back pretty easily towards the end. The reason for this is
that the break got away when the pace was slow in the field. Anyone
can get away when the pace is slow but what that means is that its
very easy for the field to get back up to speed and catch you when
they want. If you attack when the pace is high and can get a gap to
stick it will be a lot holder for the field to bring you back,
therefore increasing your chances of success.

  • Watching the Upper Category Races: The criterium was not too

technical this week but there still can be things learned by watching
how the field rides around and what goes on during the race. Grants
Tomb is a really good race to observe what happens during a race (I
suggest watching at the upper hill corner by the church since you can
see a large portion of the race from there). Watching an upper
category can show you how to take lines through corners and pack
dynamic. I learned a lot my first year racing from watching Joe,
Adam, Chris Hair, and Stefan Grecu race in the upper categories.
Sitting in the car really doesn't allow you to watch the races that
well.

  • Packing: Always pack plenty of cold weather gear, I probably pack a

little too much but its important to have enough clothes so that you
can be outside and be warm.

  • Standing around in Cycling Clothes: Bad things happen when you do

this, once you're done racing change out of your gear fairly quickly
unless you're about to go riding again. Otherwise bad things happen.
Previewing a course: Its a good idea to drive around a road course
before you race it to get to know the course and where the
climbs/descents are and what they are like. Especially this Saturday
when the roads were wet in the morning, its good to know where there
might be slick spots that could lead to crashes. For a criterium,
sometimes they will allow you to ride the course beforehand but don't
count on it. If you can't pre-ride it at least walk around the whole
course so that you can see every corner and see if there are potholes
or sewer grates anywhere on course that should be avoided. You don't
want your day to end quickly with a flat because you didn't know there
was a large pothole on the inside of turn 3.

  • Free Lap/Pit: During a criterium, if you get a flat, crash or have a

mechanical issue (your gears not shifting don't count) you can go to
the pit and get a free lap. Normally the pit is located by the
start/finish area. What this means is that if you get to the pit in a
timely manner you won't be down a lap because they allow you to have
one lap to get back in (sometimes 2 if the course is short). If you
get in another crash you will get another free lap. I forgot to
mention this on Sunday but it never happened so I'll say it now so
everyone knows in the future; I will have a set of wheels in the pit
if I'm at the race for the team to use if they get a flat. If there
is neutral support at a race then they will give you a wheel if you
don't have one in the pit. If there aren't wheels for you, some teams
are nice enough that they will let you borrow one of theirs for the
race (this happened in the B race on Sunday, Rutgers gave a wheel to I
believe a Brown team member to allow him to continue the race).

-Tim Manzella

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Page last modified on June 30, 2012, at 05:15 PM