Team Racing in Men’s B-grade

The 2014 road race season is almost upon us and the Race Committee has decided to experiment with something new.  For a number of years now we have talked about ‘getting our act together’ in B-grade to counter the rise of sponsored teams, and this year we’re going to give it a stab.

SPR dominating the podiumRoad racing is a team sport. Tactics are planned, changed and abandoned depending on what happens on the road.  Different courses play to different individual strengths and teamwork can capitalise on this. SPR has a strong contingent of members who now race regularly in Men’s B-grade.  Therefore, it is proposed that riders racing in Men’s B-graded races in SPR colours should ride as a team.  People may be asked to act as “domestiques” to bring back the break.  Some may be asked to protect the designated sprinter.  Others may be asked to try and solo away for the win. The aim, for everyone, is to get as much SPR green on the podium as we can.

What’s in it for me?  Why should I bust my @#*&s so someone else can take the win?  Hopefully, success for the team will be reward enough, but for the materialistic inclined we will ask that any winnings will go into a kitty for an end of season celebration for everyone who contributed!  (Although being cyclists that will probably mean 2 beers each and in bed by 9:30pm!)

We will implement the B-grade Men’s team for the following races (at this stage handicaps will be excluded)

  • Pemberton Classic – this weekend
  • Tom Lowry Memorial – 3&4 May
  • Peter Clark Classic – 11 May TBC
  • Pickering Brook Road Race Series – 25 May, 22 June, 24 August
  • LiveLighter Dardanup Tour – 6 September
  • Pinjarra Classic – 21 September
  • State Championships – TBA

For the lone wolves out there, of course you can still race, but if you turn up in SPR kit, we would expect you to race in the team.

Unless we get a lot of ‘constructive’ feedback on this we will proceed with the proposal.  We are keen to know your thoughts, so please post comments below if you have a view, particularly if you are man who races B-grade (or is thinking about it).

19 thoughts on “Team Racing in Men’s B-grade”

  1. Andrew, I think this is great. I am racing C grade at Pemberton, but I’m going to give the rest of the year a go in B grade. I don’t see myself winning races on my own, so glad to help and be a part of a team and build some camaraderie.

  2. If I make it up into B i’ll be happy to do what I can to ensure some SPR glory.

    I did email cyclingwa to go up into B late last year but they wanted to see me record a top 10 placing before letting me go up. I guess that’s priority one for me then. After that hopefully I can do my bit later in the racing calendar.

    1. Alistair. I’m in the same boat as you, very keen to be involved but graded in C.
      For the Pickering Brook series we can compete in B grade no problem.
      For the others, I can see a collaboration in C grade, similar to Pinjarra last year, where SPR went 1,2.

    2. If I can stay upright, I’ll be your domestique in C grade Alistair. Shift work allowing attendance to some races this year. Deal ??

    3. sounds good julian & nigel. until we’re old enough to play with the adults we can have a go of doing something similar in C grade.

  3. That sounds like a great idea. Racing gets far more interesting when tactics are involved. Id love to jump on this train when I can.

  4. Great initiative race committee. I competed in my first ever Road race over the long weekend at the Pemberton Classic in C Grade, loved it and want more.
    Am I now stuck in C Grade until I get a big result?
    As there seems to be decent interest from current C Grade riders I propose a similar initiative to help C grade riders learn and implement effective tactics as a team. Talented C Grade riders moving up through the ranks would help to bolster the B Grade team in the future. I am happy to help co-ordinate this with some guidance from the race committee.
    I can currently commit to at least two club rides a week to practice roles and tactics with a B/C grade team.
    Let me know how I can help.
    Thanks, Graham

    1. Hi Graham, it was great to see you down at Pemberton, even though you probably didn’t realise I was there. (I was wearing a grey elephant kit rather than SPR kit).
      Did you notice the tactics that SWCC used on the second lap? They had the advantage of having a large contingent in the field and they managed to capitalise on it and score a spot on the podium. There were a few things that I did to try and neutralise some of their moves that I anticipated they would make. There’s still a lot for me to learn in reading the race and I took a lot away from that race.

      1. Thanks Mike, good to know you were there even if I didn’t recognise you at the time. Haha! Yeah I took a lot away from the race too and have a few things in mind to try for my next race.
        SWCC did have the power of numbers but if we continue to get stronger and more co-ordinated we can show them how we roll 🙂

  5. well I emailed them again, whoever this WestCycle mob is, and they’ve said no probs this time, so it looks like I’m a B Grade cyclist now.

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