New to racing? Shannon Miraglia gives some friendly advice and encouragement about trying your first Criterium (crit) race.

I’m challenging you all to try a Crit race this Summer.

The Ring series is the perfect place to give it a go .. they even have a new racer program, where you get to practice before actually doing the event .. The clubs that are organising this series have made sure there are 4 women’s grades (A, B, C and D) which is really quite rare, so please get on board, give it a go and support the clubs that are supporting women’s racing! (There were only 5 women total in the C and D grade Peter Clark race two weeks ago).

If it is your first time, I would recommend either the Gnangara or Rockingham circuits, as the corners are more ‘flowy’.
Three top excuses I hear from women regarding crits:
1. I’m not fast enough … yes you are – there are four grades of women and the best way to get faster is to race/ride with people faster than you.

2. I can’t corner .. if you can ride a bike, you can corner .. cornering confidently is another issue, however if you choose from the two circuits I mentioned above, you will be fine. Once again, the only way to get better at cornering is to practice ūüôā

3. What if I get dropped?? .. Yep, we all worry about this one .. but I’ve found that most people are just in awe that you gave it a crack .. If you fall off the back of the pack it’s prob because you were going as hard as you could, which is awesome! If it does happen, note how many kms you did with the main group and try and get a bit further next time .. if you come off with one or more people, suggest you work together by rolling turns to try and chase the leading group .. if it’s just you, it’s a fantastic opportunity to practice your corners!

You have the circuit to yourself (keep to the left and check behind you before cornering) but this is the perfect time to try stuff you may not normally in the group – cornering in the drops, taking different apexes, etc ..

The hardest thing is actually entering your first crit, so try and get a group of you and do it together (safety in numbers)!!
Any questions, please comment below – I’m def no expert and am still learning so hopefully some of the more experienced girls may be able to answer .. I hope you take up the challenge – post your photos and experiences so we can get more women out racing .. it’s fun!!

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