This Sunday SUVelo have womens only grades at their monthly crit race. We encourage all female riders to experience the thrill of racing. Day licences available for those that don’t have a racing licence.
SUVelo will have two grades racing this Sunday at their races. 7:30am will be the start time for the Womens B Grade, which is a great race for those who are new to racing and riding. 8:30am will be the A Grade start time, this is for more experienced riders. Riders can sign on from 7am.
The cost to race is $10 if you have a 2013 Gold Racing Licence, otherwise a one day licence can be purchased for an additional $33.
Heffron Park crit circuit is completely car free. It is a relatively flat course with only one small bump that takes 4 pedal strokes to get over – the whole course can be ridden in the big chain ring, so it is very different to our road races. Heffron Park is located off Robey Street, Maroubra. The track is located behind the Aquatic centre, so enter through the carpark to the aquatic centre.
For those that are new to criterium racing – criterium racing is a multi lap race that is either measured by time or laps. The racing may take the form of 40 minutes plus 2 laps or some other variant or time or laps – such as 14 laps plus 1. That means the riders ride the course for any number of laps during that 40 minutes before a bell is rung signalling that there is one lap remaining.
In some races there is a ‘prime’ mid race and this is just a short sprint, with the first over the line on that lap scoring a prize – this could occur on any lap during the race. A whistle generally signals to the riders that this is a ‘prime’ lap.
The tactics of a crit race are varied, often the pace can be quite high throughout the initial period as the stronger riders try and get rid of as many riders as possible, so that when the final laps come, there are less riders to compete with. Other riders who consider themselves a sprinter, might just hide in the bunch throughout the initial period, saving themselves for the final lap and sprint. So there are plenty of tactics for riders to consider.
Mens C & D Grade will be racing from 7:30am and Mens A & B Grade from 8:30am. The grades are popular, so get there early to sign on.
Heffron can be a technical course for many riders and so here are some general safety and racing etiquette tips – this applies to all riders particularly the men:
- There is no drafting off other grades allowed. Let the other group pass and let a gap between the grades develop. This is not the time to use the other group to move up through your own grade or use them to lift the pace. They are a separate race. the riders at the front should ease up and let the other grade pass.
- If you suffer a mechanical prior to the last 2 laps, you may have a lap out while you fix the problem and re-enter the race at the same position within the group as when it happened.
- Everyone’s primary obligation is their safety and that of their fellow riders. Your actions within the group impact on everybody!
- Into the corners maintain your line, do not change your line mid corner and be aware of riders around you.
- Do not change direction suddenly! This particularly applies to riders who are near the front and no longer want to be on the front – do not suddenly veer across the track, like you have been watching the TdF – this is a good way to wipe out riders behind you, instead just slow and wait for a rider to come around you!
- Do not pedal through the corners, unless you are very experienced on the circuit and know the corner very well. Keep your inside pedal up – to avoid it hitting the ground.
- Do not decide to move up at the last minute by cutting in underneath riders, leading into or during a corner – this is a great way to cause an accident. You aren’t being smart by doing this – rather you are endangering every rider.
- Do not contest the sprint from the back of the bunch – this can cause accidents as riders at the front slow and riders from the back – who are unlikely to be racing for the win sprint up from behind.
- Sprint in a straight line and keep looking ahead and not at the ground – by changing your line once you start sprinting you are endangering yourself and other riders. This can lead to a DQ and a painful trip to the medical centre.
- You may be new to racing and riding, therefore listen to advice from others. You may be a strong rider – but without race experience, your actions can endanger yourself and others. Don’t be offended if people give you advice, you may have read about racing on the internet or watched it on TV – but that doesn’t translate into real riding and racing exeperience, so keep your ego in check. We want everyone to enjoy their racing and to finish the race in one piece and their bike in as good a condition as when it started the race.
- Smile, laugh and enjoy your racing – that is why we are riding our bikes.
- Appreciate the marshals and volunteers – they are helping out so that YOU can race.
For MWCC female riders we also have womens specific bibs and jerseys available to keep you looking stylish on the road. Please contact the Club Secretary for club kit.