Moriyama Criterium: The Category-4 Races

This is the final installment about the races introduced earlier in Watching My First Cycling Road Race, cycling races held on closed streets in Moriyama, Shiga, Japan, about an hour's drive northeast from Kyoto.

After the youth races were some C4 races, races for inexperienced riders (or riders who are experienced but slow). If I were to ever try a race, I'd start in C4.

This event broke C4 into three different races: C4H for men above a certain age (40?), C4L for men below the certain age, and C4W for women.

C4H Rolling Start -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/3.2, ISO 110 — map & image datanearby photos
C4H Rolling Start

As before, I situated myself at a pinch point in the course loop, so I could catch them twice during each loop. Sometime during the first loop, the motorcycle pulls away and the race is on.

Comedian on the Backstretch folks seem to be laughing at something the guy at far right is saying -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Comedian on the Backstretch
folks seem to be laughing at something the guy at far right is saying
波多野一隆 さん Kazutaka Hatano -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
波多野一隆さん
Kazutaka Hatano

Kazutaka Hatano, whom I would meet a week later on my bullet train view ride, was in this race, and I happened to catch some photos of him.

Field Getting Strung Out during the second of four laps -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 120mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Field Getting Strung Out
during the second of four laps
Hatano-san Near the Front I'm at a loss to explain how or why he put himself here -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 130mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Hatano-san Near the Front
I'm at a loss to explain how or why he put himself here

As I discussed in the first installment, it's much more efficient to draft behind someone than to be the leader, who is essentially an air plow for those smart enough to follow close enough behind. I've never raced so my understanding is in theory and not practice, but generally one doesn't want to be the leader until the last seconds of the race, camping behind others conserving energy until releasing all the pent-up savings in a final explosive sprint to the finish.

“ Won't Someone Come Up and Lead? ” what I imagine the guy in black thinking as he finds himself in front -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 90mm — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Won't Someone Come Up and Lead?
what I imagine the guy in black thinking as he finds himself in front
Cartoonish Processing just playing around in Lightroom -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Cartoonish Processing
just playing around in Lightroom
Back in an Efficient Spot -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Back in an Efficient Spot
第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sprint Finish this guy was strong enough to break away a bit early and win by five seconds -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Sprint Finish
this guy was strong enough to break away a bit early and win by five seconds
“ Love Me Tender ” -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Love Me Tender
Fighting for Third seven seconds behind the winner, and two seconds behind 2nd place -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Fighting for Third
seven seconds behind the winner, and two seconds behind 2nd place

Something strikes me odd about this photo. I know it's a sprint finish and that these guys are all fighting against each other for a spot on the podium. They're giving everything they have, probably going 50~60kph (~35mph). Yet, other than the expression on their faces, there's no sense of movement or urgency in this shot. Even their body positions are not all that aggressive looking. Just feels odd to me.

Lone Woman -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 120mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Lone Woman

I didn't realize until it was over, but they started the women's C4 race a half a lap after the men's, so I totally missed it. )-:

Then it was time for C4L, the younger men's C4 race. Before it starts, I'll note that the winner of the older men's C4 race (Mr. Love Me Tender) would have placed 42nd, in the back of the pack, had he been in the C4L race.

Ionut, who we saw riding in the pairs race with Stephanie in the first post, would be in this solo C4L race as well.

C4L Rolling Start -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 110 — map & image datanearby photos
C4L Rolling Start
Ionut Sandu -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 125mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 110 — map & image datanearby photos
Ionut Sandu
第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 140 — map & image datanearby photos
The Race is On -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
The Race is On

I said earlier that one doesn't want to be up front (except during the last few seconds of the race), but a notable exception is when working as a team. Two or more riders working together might work to pave the way for the fastest sprinter to take charge during the final sprint. Until then, the support riders plow the way, burning their energy in the long leadup to the finale so that the sprinter can conserve.

I don't know whether that was the plan for the rider seen leading above, but there were two others behind him with identical jerseys, so presumably on the same team. If it was their plan, though, it didn't work, as the fastest among the three finished in 30th place (which perhaps sounds much worse than it is... 30th place was five seconds behind the winner).

Me Photographing Ionut who's in the middle of the pack during this first lap photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Copyright 2017 Manseki Kanemitsu
SC-02H at an effective 26mm — 1/67000 sec, f/1.7, ISO 400 — image data
Me Photographing Ionut
who's in the middle of the pack during this first lap
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu
Starting the Second Lap after a hairpin turn at the end of the long backstretch -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Starting the Second Lap
after a hairpin turn at the end of the long backstretch
Breakaway Attempt -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/3.2, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Breakaway Attempt

Another reason to not ride behind someone is if you're so much stronger than everyone else that you can ride faster alone than the others working in a group. This stronger than everyone else thing is usually more wishful thinking than fact, so it's common to see such attempts crumble as the energy is squandered.

Ionut Smartly in a Group down the front stretch of the second lap -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/3.2, ISO 140 — map & image datanearby photos
Ionut Smartly in a Group
down the front stretch of the second lap

After the stretch above, the riders disappear from my view for 30 seconds or so, to reappear at the start of the long backstretch...

What On Earth.....? -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/4, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
What On Earth.....?
Ionut Leading the Pack what on earth are you doing Ionut???? (besides plowing the way for the earlier breakaway rider who has now returned to the fold?) -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 150mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Ionut Leading the Pack
what on earth are you doing Ionut????
(besides plowing the way for the earlier breakaway rider who has now returned to the fold?)
Enough Energy to Smile -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 80mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Enough Energy to Smile

The reaction of me and those with me was oh no, Ionut, what are you doing!? Big mistake... get behind someone!. Those who had raced said that until you had experience, it was difficult to moderate oneself during the heat of the race.

However, yet another reason one might want to be at the front of the race is to control the pace, either setting it fast because you think you can burn out sprinters who might be fast at the end but who don't have the endurance to keep up a blistering pace for the whole race, or to keep things slow so that you yourself don't get burnt out.

It's this final reason, to slow the pace, that Ionut later said was his plan. But we didn't hear that until later, and didn't think of it ourselves at the time, so the whole time he was in front we were cringing.

Field Getting Strung Out on only the second lap (but they're still almost all faster than me) -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 150mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 110 — map & image datanearby photos
Field Getting Strung Out
on only the second lap
(but they're still almost all faster than me)
Spectator Shift to the other side of the loop -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Spectator Shift
to the other side of the loop
Tactical Game -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Tactical Game

After the hairpin that ends the loop, there's a descent (seen in the background above) where speeds can get quite high if someone attacks (tries to break away), so I imagine there's a lot of jostling for position during this section. Ionut is finally not leading, but he's also still not drafting so the performance penalty is the same.

In the Lead Again as his spectating friends shake their head in wonder -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
In the Lead Again
as his spectating friends shake their head in wonder
Starting the Last Lap still not drafting )-: -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 120mm — 1/1600 sec, f/8, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Starting the Last Lap
still not drafting )-:

In the photo above, Ionut isn't drafting, but someone is drafting him, the guy in the center of the photo in red and black clothes, with a GoPro slung under his white handlebars. He posted the video from the GoPro on YouTube... this link opens the video at the spot the photo above was taken; you can watch from there or move around to see the whole race or just the finish (he came in 9th, 1.5 seconds after the winner).

Final Sprint Mr. Blue won, Mr. Red Hat came in second, and Orange Socks came in third Blue is Satoshi Yoshida (吉田聡), Red is Masayoshi Hieda (稗田正佳), Orange is Seiya Iwata (岩田聖矢) -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Final Sprint
Mr. Blue won, Mr. Red Hat came in second, and Orange Socks came in third
Blue is Satoshi Yoshida (吉田聡), Red is Masayoshi Hieda (稗田正佳), Orange is Seiya Iwata (岩田聖矢)
Fierce Competitor middle-schooler Seiya Iwata beating Ionut and 55 other adults -- 第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1600 sec, f/4, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Fierce Competitor
middle-schooler Seiya Iwata beating Ionut and 55 other adults

Orange Socks — Seiya Iwata (岩田聖矢) — is in middle school (about 14 or 15 years old) and, according to my web research, has been racing like this for a decade longer than I've been cycling at all. He doesn't appear in any of the photos except these two at the finish because he was always tucked in behind someone, drafting, and not sitting photogenic (but inefficiently) at the head of a pack. He may well be the most experienced rider of the group. That's not saying much for a C4 race, I suppose. One expects that he should be moving up to C3, at least if the rules allow someone that young to do so.

In the photo above, Ionut is at the far left. He came in 6th place, 1.2 seconds after the winner. Full results are published here.

There were, of course, higher-level races held at this event, all the way up to the semi-pro C1, but I didn't see those races.


All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

Sometimes a particular photo will really strike me for reasons I can’t enplane. The unnamed photo between “Back in an Efficient Spot” and “Sprint Finish” is one of those. I don’t know if the photo just was that way, or you just processed it brilliantly, but the stark black/white with the silhouettes racing just slightly up hill is just freaking awesome. Zooming in gives you way more detail then you think exists in the whole photo, but I actually like it unzoomed more.

Cropped slightly top and bottom – making it a long panorama-type shot – would be a great poster. Cropping it severely top & bottom would be a great design for the bottom of custom stationary.

— comment by Marcina on April 3rd, 2017 at 12:34pm JST (8 months, 13 days ago) comment permalink

“… in the back of the pack, had he been in the C4H race.”

Don’t you mean “had he been in the C4L race.” ?

Yes, thanks, fixed. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ian on April 3rd, 2017 at 5:45pm JST (8 months, 13 days ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...


All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.


You can use basic HTML; be sure to close tags properly.

Subscribe without commenting