Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

Your Worst Race Finish....

2884 Views 47 Replies 41 Participants Last post by  OilcanRacer
I was pretty sure my worst race finish was about six years ago when I was racing novice and a woman who was six months pregnant beat me. I think she beat me about five minutes in a one hour race. ;)

My last race about a week ago racing sport I was passed and beat by a woman on a single speed. How embarrassing is that getting passed by a woman on a single speed? :eekster: Getting beat by a woman is one thing but on a single speed? One thing it gives me is a goal for the next race...dont get beat by that ss woman.

How about a DFL in Cat 5 thats almost as bad?
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
My worst race finish was in a short local road race where I think I finished 10th out of about 2 dozen racers in my class. I'd chosen to take a tactical gamble, and it just didn't work out. I was annoyed, but I learned from it.
About seven years ago, when I was in college, I dabbled in racing a little bit. I hurt my knee pretty badly and stopped riding as much because some other things seemed more important at the time. But I went to one last cyclocross race several months after that. I finished somewhere in the last quarter or so, but I spent about two laps trading places with a guy. Until recently, that was my best race ever despite also being my worst finish.
Generally on a bike I do O.K. but on XC skies I get my arse handed to me.

A couple of years ago in my first race I was dead last in my category by a fair bit. Enough to scary me off ski racing for a while.

This year after a lot of practice I came back for revenge. Same race a pursuite, 15km classic, 15km skate. At the end of the classic portion an old guy passes me. He has a quicker transition (doesn't switch boots) and has a fair bit of gap. All the ways through skate ski I am closing on him, finally on the last hill I launch a devistating attack and nip him for the win (of our battle, the winner of my category was 30 minutes in front of me).

Turns out he ended up winning the 70+ category.
My very first road race ever; Cat 5. Had been moving up through the mtb ranks, and now had a road bike and had been doing quite a bit of training. Went to the race with a whole bunch of friends and we all had our great roadie plans for that first race to work as a team and make attacks like Lance, etc, etc. I was the first one dropped on the very first climb and rode the rest of the course by myself, finishing in dead last.

Though it provided some super motivation for my next few years of racing there where I either won the the race or podiumed each time I've raced there since.

I usually don't get too down when I perform a poorly at a race, usually it provides enhanced motivation to head back and wipe clean the past performances.
About 8 or 9 years ago, trying to be a good dad/husband/son, I didn't get a chance to pre-ride a course. Got all pissed off on the line when some douche backed into the front row in front of me. Figured I would show him and went out real fast beating him to the singletrack, only to crash on a log, break my frame, and suffer a mild concussion.
About 3 weeks ago I got DFL in a Masters CAT 3-4-5 road race.

Gastrointestinal cramps on the final long climb to the finish. It was pretty unreal, went from the tail end of the lead group to losing 40 minutes at the end.

Even the beginnerish junior racers past me. I actually kind of enjoyed doing so bad, it's all pretty funny now!!!
Last weekend

I had one of my worst on Saturday. Miserable 40 min hill climb....14th out of 16, and I fought like heck to not get DFL. In fact, I was in DFL for half the race. All the guys I smoke on hills during training rides beat me by idea what happened.
I actually did reasonably well at my last race, but felt like crap the whole time. Turned out I was getting sick.

How are you doing today?
After finishing mid-pack in my first XC race, I finished dead last and got beat by a couple on a tandem bike. Got cocky and did to much pre-riding. When the gun went off i was dead.

AndrwSwitch said:
I actually did reasonably well at my last race, but felt like crap the whole time. Turned out I was getting sick.

How are you doing today?
Nice bit of a sinus cold today. Might have been part of it. I have to say that I've after the second kiddo came last fall, I've given up on ever being healthy again...It's either too sick to ride, or just sick!

I have to add that my worst finish was my first Sport Race in the MSC. After being blown to dead last I then proceeded to crash 3 times on the way down. By the time I DNF'd, I had a broken seat, twisted bars, bent rotor, and seriously bruised ego.
I have finished last twice. Once at my first race ever, got to the startline too late, everybody was gone, no warmup, first time on a mountain bike of the season and of course, I had to stop to fix my chain, ask how many laps I had to do and how many I had done... I ended up doing an extra lap but they didn't count it, so I finished last fair and square.

The second one, I was on time, did a good warmup... then hunger striked, ate way too much right before the start and after about 15 minutes while riding mid-pack, I got bad cramps that never really left...

But, these races actually did some good, they were great learning experiences... I think the worst finishes I had were two DNF's, one because of a cracked frame, the second one, I just didn't feel like racing but when my older, not too well maintained bike started to chainsuck everytime I downshifted, I finished my lap and called it quits. Not finishing is the worst finish IMO.
Any race I finish is a good one. Done better in some than in others...but in the end all I care about is I finished clean without any major issues. :thumbsup:
I showed up at the Firecracker 50 last year ready to do some damage as I was talking some smack to my brother about how far ahead of him I'd finish. He's a REALLY competitive guy and doesn't regularly race. Well there's one thing I underestimated - the altitude. I realized I was in trouble when I was relaxing in the parking lot and my HR was 105+ bpm. Coming from 800 ft above sea level compared to my bro living at 7500 ft and regularly in the mountains it wasn't even close. He got me by 28 mins and I finished in my category DFL. I'll never hear the end of this one. I was feeling so badly that there was some broken glass on the initial pavement climb that I contemplated running both tires through so I wouldn't be able to finish.
The last 4 races I've done have been my worst. First race, I was in pretty good contention on the climb, but as soon as I hit the decsent, I pinch flatted and flew over the bars. I had no pump or tube and was about 10 miles from the finish. Luckly, someone gave me a tube about an hour later. Second was a road race over the highest peak in the bay area. Of course I had to have a really bad head cold with light fever and kept filling up with snot every 5 seconds. I got dropped in the first 5 miles. Soloed almost all the way to the finish. Third XC race wasn't soo bad, but I ended up stuck behind a bunch of guys who were pretty slow and wasn't aggressive enough to pass. Fourth race I was doing OK, but all of a sudden found myself skidding on the ground on my head. WTF happened? I guess I didn't see a rock on a flowy section. I felt a little dizzy and went pretty mellow the rest of the way. I haven't had much luck this year so far, but am having fun.
i'm riding in the with the other 2 guys going into the last lap. we make up the top 3 in the Expert race. we're all looking and feeling good. less then half way into the last lap, my crank arm falls off! i jump off, and reattach. i'm now some where in the top ten. about a mile later i flat. thank god i have the things to fix it. i jump off again, oddly cool and collected. UNTIL i can't get the effing tube off the seatpost because i wrapped it about 4-5 times with electrical tape and couldn't find the beginning of the tape or break the tape because it was so thick.

to hell with it...i'll ride in the flat. it's only half a lap and i need to make the top ten to qualify of Nats. ZOOM...other racers are passing me like i'm a child. i finished 20th out of 23. rear wheel totally trashed. after the whole tape and seatpost issue i made a webbing and vlecro strap to use in the future. NOW i make a ton of them and lots of people like them.
in case your interested, see it here

To add it all up:
7 hours in a car
$35 race fees
New rear rim
New crankset
NO GO for XC Nats
See less See more
Competition At The Back Of The Pack

I would agree that DNFing is very disappointing after maybe a long drive and paying the race fees. I was totally bummed after breaking a chain and realizing the time it took to fix it would put me in last place. I have fixed a chain twice when they broke near the start of a race. I have had more chain problems than flats-four chain breaks and no flats.

Running near the back of the pack has its funny moments though because the competition isnt too fierce after an hour or so. Last year a couple of guys ahead of me pulled over and took a break and pulled out a couple of bottles of beer. In a winter race I saw one guy stop after a couple of laps and go to a campfire and drink a cup of coffee. Earlier this year while finishing in a snow storm in Campo, Ca some of the racers pulled over before the finish and took some pictures of the snow and riding in it. Campo is pretty near San Diego so that was a bit unusual.
DNF at the Edmonton canada cup last weekend. It was a bit higher entry fee than a normal local race, and I was really excited about it. The course was almost in my back yard (literally took me under 1 minute to ride my bike to the start line). I was so excited to get to be in a high profile race (even if it was just novice race earlier that morning) with media attention and pros (and on the trails i ride every day) that I trained my ass off for months I found out from a race organizer the exact course months in advance and probably road the course 40 times in the months preceeding the race. I trained hard and it all paid off. I was in the top 10 (out of 68 novice men) going into the single track and I was about 13 or 14 on my second lap and feeling stronger and had just caught up to a group of 4 guys (15th was my previous best and that was in a field of 31 guys) and i was feeling strong. Then my chain broke. I got flustered and pushed the pin all the way out and lost it and just couldn't get it back together. after 20 minutes I saw the end of the novice field and just gave up.

I was happy with my performance while i was riding my bike, but it was the most dissapointed i've ever been at a race.
See less See more
Chain Breaks....

Since I have broken a few in races carrying the quick links saves some time in case of a break. The other thing I have learned is consider putting a new chain on a couple of days before a race if there is any stretch. A really worn chain can break more than once in a race.. In race conditions you might be putting 10-20% more stress on the chain. . If you are a cheap person you learn these things....:D
Last year at our local championships it was my first and only race of the year. I hadn't done much training but felt like I was in decent shape. Drove up to the race in the pouring rain and almost contemplated not even starting. But I took a look at the course and it held up really well to the rain so I gave it a go. The race started right up a ski hill and most were off the bike due to a lack of traction (only for the 1st lap due to congestion) and by the top of the hill I found myself close to last place. I cruised around for 2 laps and coming into the third and final lap I still hadn't passed anyone but been passed but plenty of others. I went through the feedzone, got a bottle hand up from my family who cheered me on. About 30 seconds later I could hear some girls wildly cheering on another girl to keep pushing. I decided it was my goal for the final lap to not get passed by her no matter what. I pushed and pushed, built up a little cushion, then blew a few sections only for her to catch up. I sprinted it out to the finish line and managed to keep about 20 seconds on her at the finish, feeling a sense of accomplishment with myself. Of course, I was in the 30-39 mens sport and I had a 2 min headstart on her from the womens category who started after us! DFL in my category but the last lap was the most fun and we gave each other a high five afterwards because we made a miserable situation into fun for each other. (BTW she was last in her category too so we were pretty much racing for last place for the day!). So that was my worst race but it was fun "racing" somebody....there is nothing worse than riding around alone knowing how bad you suck!
See less See more
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.