March Road Races – Breaking it down
It finally time to get out there and reap the benefits of all those hours spent on your trainer. To help you decide which races to participate in, here’s a break down of the local races for March. These races are also posted on https://www.strava.com/clubs/pedalRACING under Group Events. Let your teammates know which races you’re planning on attending by selecting “I’m In” for each of those events.
Where; North of Fort Collins
Course; An out and back approximately 11.4 miles distance over mostly flat terrain with some rolling hills.
Summary; This course is always very windy, often cold, but is very safe. It is not a bad first race for those new to racing. However, the following week’s TT is probably better if you don’t have TT specific gear given it’s more of a hill climb where that equipment doesn’t help.
Sunday 8th, DU Criterium
Course; City Park provides a pancake flat .75 mile triangular loop with two roundabouts including two hairpin turns ensuring a technical and fast race.
Summary; Single race for all men’s CAT 4 & 5 for all age groups. Women are also combined into a single race. Because of this and the technical course, we don’t recommend this one for new racers.
Saturday 14th, Oredigger Classic- Lookout Mtn Time Trial
Course; A four mile individual time trial on the legendary Lookout Mountain. Start at the pillars and finish at Buffalo Bill’s Grave.
Summary; This is an excellent first race because you are likely already quite familiar with Lookout Mountain and there is no mass start – just you at the start time they tell you online a few days before (start is between the pillars). There is usually ample parking on the hill leading up to the pillars but give yourself plenty of time to pick up and pin your number at the area in the parking lot right near the pillars. They should tell you how they want your number pinned, but if they don’t be sure and ask. If they say left or right, that means sideways, up around the middle of your back, on either the left or right side of your back (to the side panel), with the number facing out so that the camera or person at the finish can easily read it. We also suggest bringing a trainer for warm-up because that is tricky on the hilly area around the start. If you can’t do that, there is a fairly flat road around an apartment complex that is just south of the hill you climb to the start, which is accessed about a half way up that hill. Don’t be late for your start time because your time is calculated from your assigned start time until you cross the finish line, despite when you actually start. And last of all, don’t be discouraged if you don’t place as well in this event as you wanted. That doesn’t mean you won’t be good at other types of events (especially if you aren’t skinny – I know that one first hand), and you will gain a lot of skill throughout the season that will lead to improvement. Just lower the bar and have fun on your first race!
Sunday 15th, Oredigger Classic- Criterium
Where; Golden / School of Mines
Summary; Since this Crit is on a hill, you will spend most of each lap climbing, and then spend a few seconds on a fairly steep descent into a fairly tight corner at the bottom. That makes it quite hard for most folks. However, the climbing does break up the group so if you don’t like riding in a tight bunch and can climb, this may be the Crit for you. If it’s not, sign up for the Hill Climbing and Descending Clinic and stick around after (or meet us there) to watch some of the racing with the rest of us. We will squeeze in lunch somewhere depending on who from pedal is racing and when. We don’t want to miss a chance to cheer them on!
Saturday 21st, CSU Circuit Race (Canceled)
Where; Ft. Collins
Course; 6 mile flat to gentle slopes, with Giddings Rd (eastern road) and Douglass Rd (south road) paved and Co Rd 13 (western road) and Co 56 (northern road) are dusty gravel until a paved inclined sprint finish. (25c to 28c tires preferred)
Summary; This is a great race on a solid course (slight rollers, a little dirt and good length). The only negative is the lack of individual age groups.
Sunday 22nd, CSU Oval Criterium
Where; Ft. Collins
Summary; The oldest running criterium in Colorado and is often been cited as the best crit courses in Colorado. With men’s Category 4 & 5 combined for all ages, if you don’t mind racing with others of various skills and ages, this could be a fun event.