I'm planning on doing my first proper race on Friday (4th cat in Dunsfold)and I was wondering if anyone had any advice, estimated speed an tips.
Spelling mistake of the year
LOL - not telling the entire world first is probably a good start.
Ha, what's the distance and profile of the course?
Freudian slip, unfortunate typo or can you not tell a lie?
Apologies for the stupid spelling error... Whoops.
It's 48km around the dunsfold track so it should be pan flat.
24-25mph I reckons
If it is anything like the Mallory Park 4th Cat (inner, flat circuit) races then you should expect 26mph+ average speed and a bunch sprint.
Is it me or does road racing have a higher barrier to entry than other sports? 26mph average is flying. I wouldn't turn up for a pub football team and expect to have to perform at only a couple of notches down from pro level?
Good luck Liam - if you can hold onto that lot you're doing well.
My first race round Hillingdon track (Cat 4) averaged 27mph for an hour, it felt fast but in a bunch you get dragged round, it does vary though and has been less than 25mph before too. A strong club rider would be fine at that pace staying with the bunch, it's a step up in speed but unless you're in the wind it's actually not that bad.
To go out front and do a turn or try a breakaway however is another story as is getting anywhere in the sprint at the end.
My advice would be to stay in the pack, try and pick a good wheel, someone who looks like they know what they're doing and sit in the bunch, maybe with a few laps to go try and move up nearer the front if you have anything left and want to contest the sprint. If you're more than 12-15 riders back coming onto the last straight, I wouldn't bother sprinting as you'll have no chance of getting a place.
Also, another thing is to hold your line round corners, if you're following a wheel, follow their line round, if not pick a line and stick to it or you will get shouted at.
If you do get dropped though, the aim next time is to stay with them for an extra couple of laps until you're there at the end, and the more you race the better you'll be moving around in the pack, picking lines etc and the stronger you'll be so you can do work on the front and/or make a break for it!
Most of all (and sounds like such a cliché but) have fun, it's a rush going that fast for that long, sprinting, moving around in the pack, chasing breaks etc, enjoy it and good luck!