Im nervous for my first crit on sunday


Iv got my first crit this sunday and its a cat 2/3/4 combined. I had a cough in december so i dont feel very fit haha. I hope i dont get dropped.
Any good advice?


Make sure you are warmed up well, its flat out from the go.
Ride the course (if you can) noting pinch points or where riders are likely to drift/swerve/fall

You’ll probably get dropped and then find a few riders at a similar pace, don’t worry about it.
Keep a consistent line and let the quicker riders find a place past you but be realistic if you are all barreling into a turn together. No need to get into elbowing and head butting.
You’ll find yourself riding at a pace that seems barely maintainable but keep going.

Its a new experience so take it in and have fun.


Race it and enjoy it. If anything, you will learn loads just by sitting in and watching. Often, its riders like you that have no nervous energy to mess with the head, that mean you could end up putting a big dig in at the end and surprising yourself.
Every race is a learning opportunity.


Keep the rubber on the road, my friend!

Combining 2/3/4 is a huge variance in ability levels and experience!


A perfect opportunity to work on saving energy. Find the best draft. Find the fastest lines through the corners. Keep your position without fighting too much. Learn to float through the pack.

A cough in December probably didn’t affect [effect? Man this one always gets me.] you as much as you think. Your fitness shouldn’t make you nervous. It is what it is at this point. Racing a crit this weekend will only make you faster.


Try to relax if possible, and flow.
I recall being very tense in my first crit (also mixed cats, I also crashed on the last lap…). It’s the corners and pedaling through them that were the scariest for me.
You can do yourself a favour and take the bike outside prior the race and ride some tight corners, slalom around poles, lean against things, just to get the feeling and relaxation.


Not knowing you or the course technical advise is usually bad advise. You’ll overthink…

I would try and focus on right now and leave the thoughts of mid race what if’s behind; that will help you forget pre-race goals which are a huge distraction; remind yourself how lucky you are to be racing rather than in a hospital bed, or homeless, etc…; If all else fails think about sex. If you can think about that while the judge is blabbing on about free lap rules, wheel pit and sock primes, time will magically speed up and you will forget about the nerves. Positive thought man! :wink:


A 2/3/4 field is nuts!

The 4s are most likely outmatched fitness wise by the 2s, and the 2s don’t want to race with inexperienced 4s.


You’re looking to learn “the right level of assertiveness” and FWIW, I never found it. I never knew if I was too pushy or too passive, this is one of the reasons I gave up on crit and road racing, it’s not for me. When you’re out there on the first few, stay relaxed, try to keep your head clear, and not only watch for the riders adjacent to you but look 2-3 riders deep in proximity to avoid the domino effect.


Be predictable.


No doubt a handicap - if caught, the 2nds usually blast past the 4ths (picking up a few as they go). Usually works out OK.


We see 2/3/4 combined fields all the time in the US - very rare to see a handicap race

It will be hard at the start and then it will slow down. Everyone will be hurting, just remember it eventually will slow down. Be safe, hold your line, and stay ahead of the 4s


Combined - in RRs this is common in the UK (and is generally fine), but wouldn’t fancy it in a crit!


If you are to do one thing before Sunday, make sure you get out and ride outside your bike. The time to worry about your fitness is over. Now I’d be focussed on making sure your bike skills are as sharp as they can be.


One thing that helps me alot with nerves is to tell myself that I’m nervous because I want to succeed. For me this mental reframing changed it from a negative to a positive.

Also, I still get nervous before crits I think its a normal reaction.


Post a race report if you’re up to it after!


They have cancelled the event :frowning: I will possibly get another chance in two weeks time. The good news is i have set a new peak power pb for a spint of 1166 watts and my ftp is 40 down on what it was last summer so fingers crossed i can improve that figure. Thanks for the advice guys. I was really looking forward to the crit.


The crit went ahead today with nicer weather.
The legs felt good today and i felt comfortable for the first 10 minutes, i moved up from 20th to 10th quite easily with superior cor eeing technique but I somehow found myself near the back and the guy infront of me lost the wheel and a gap emerged, we couldn’t get back on and i spent the entire race in a group of 4 and then a group of 3. The course had a small hill and the lead group would only gain 2 seconds each lap. I didnt get lapped and im sure if it was truly flat I could definitely keep up with the bunch and sprint well in the last lap. I felt like i bad a little more to give because i was the strongest out of the 3 of us. I easily outsprinted the other two on the last lap. Im do glad i met my tyres down before the start because it helped me pedal around every corner. The leaders were constantly braking :roll_eyes: i know i will be a lot fitter in the summer so i will have another go and see if i can at least stay with the group. Being my first time it’s hardly surprising that iv been dropped by 2nd and 3rd cat riders.
All in al it was pretty good. The bike felt amazing. I had my best setup so no excuses there haha