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Road Racing Doesn't Suck - Continued

The more imaginative the better! The crit race is also ideal for spectators who can watch the entire field in action with PA systems playing “Raw Power” or “Who’s Next” for that extra touch of class. Race duration is typically determined by time (thirty minutes to an hour) or by lap cards with a total of laps decided by times. First across the line on the final Bell Lap wins it. Intermediate sprints or primes can be announced at random or at a designated interval, every X laps. Primes are small incentives to encourage sprints in the form of points (important in scoring a race series), small amounts of cash or bike swag. Races typically award places first through fifth with sometimes an additional award for the Most Aggressive Rider, MAR, who leads the pack for the most laps.

Crit races are typically fast and short with large packs and high speeds - comfort riding in with thirty to forty riders on courses with sharp corners is essential. Weekly crit racing provides crucial training in these skill sets. Cyclists comfortable riding in close formation with others enjoy the largest aerodynamic benefit and hence save the most energy, up to 60%. Riders towards the back of the field suffer from an accordion effect of braking and accelerating to match the pack’s tempo, whereas riders towards the front experience more constant speeds throughout the turns. Riders who fall off the back of the pack formation peloton can expect a shit ton of work to catch up. Likewise, riders making a break off the front need either make an effort that is concerted, extreme, decisive and surprising or risk dragging the pack around and wasting energy. A break utilizing the aerodynamic efficiency of multiple riders will stick longer than one involving a lone rider, though one rider can win if taken for granted. Longer courses with blind turns serve breaks better as a break out of