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Race Tactics: What should I have done(5 posts)

Race Tactics: What should I have doneYeti
Jul 9, 2001 12:26 PM
I'm new to roadbike racing, but to make a long story short, I was in at 50 miler road race 6 of us broke away and stayed away. We were working into a 10-15mph head wind, I knew 1 of the guy's in the group is faster in a sprint then what I was. So with a 1/4 mile left I tried to break, I was going hard as I could saw the shawdows in the grass and I didn't drop anybody needless to say all's I did was be a lead out to the sprint I beat one guy out of the 6! I guess what was my options at that moment in time?
re: Race Tactics: What should I have doneJim Hubbard
Jul 9, 2001 12:54 PM
How far from the finish did the 6 of you break away?
What was the course like? any hills?

I think that your problem was that you were coming to the finish with 5 reasonably fresh guys. This is always a bads move if you are not a sprinter. Your best plan of attack would have been to put in a couple of testers a wee way out see how the others are going to react. If they are jumping straight back on your wheel that is a sign of fresh riders. The best place to attack is over the top of a hill as it flattens out this is the time when most people ease up. Or the other is through a corner. Or after the bunch has pulled back another break. If you have to attack on a flat straight bit of road, don't do it from the front do it from the back, jump to the other side of the road so that there is less chance of the others using your draft to chase back up. Give it 90% if it looks as though you are going to be caught ease up. If you have the energy go again straight away this normally will snap some legs. However once you try this it flags you as a strong rider that needs watching so always try and make it stick the first major attack.
Some additional thoughtsKerry Irons
Jul 9, 2001 6:41 PM
Two other comments would be to 1) try to get on the sprinter's wheel and see if you could come around at the end. 2) when you make your break, be sure to slingshot from the back of the group so that you are already going much faster than them when you come by. At least that way, you can measure your effort and make them jump really hard to catch. You can try the "tester" approach suggested by Jim, or you can totally commit to your break and hope nobody gets on your wheel. Sometimes they will all be looking at each other seeing who will jump to catch you, and you can get away. However, into a head wind, you might try shortening the distance to the finish before you do this - it's pretty hard to hold off against a group with a mile to go. Try half of a mile or so, depending on how strong you're feeling. And sometimes, there's no getting around it - you're going to lose to a better sprinter.
The sprint starts far earlier then you think.MeMyselfandI
Jul 10, 2001 10:03 AM
The instant the break was secure, you should find the LARGEST person in the break and get on his wheel. Best way to do this is by skipping pulls. Then, when you start working again, time everyone's pulls. Maybe everyone is doing 20 second pulls or so. Then you do 15 second pulls. No one will notice. This might also be a good time to play with their mind. Because if you convince them that you are stronger, by beating their mind, you won't have to beat their body. You can do this by either starring people down, trying to size them up, smiling instead of grimacing works too. Or you can do this by laying down a couple of pseudo attacks to see how strong they are. Also looking for distracted people is a good way to reduce the size of the group. The best possible situation here is that they guy pulling the group decides to take a drink. If you attack, he won't get on your wheel, and he will hold the people up behind him as well. If you are pulling and you can keep a good view of the people behind you if anyone takes a drink, up the speed a little bit and they will be forced to close that gap.
Finally your attack, if they were on your wheel right away it sounds like you didn't get a gap at all. Once you found them on your wheel you should swing off, or just stop pedealing and make them come around you. Make sure when you attack you drop back about half a bike length of out the draft and then accelerate into it, and then around your competition, that way you are already going faster then you and they will have to close the gap.
re: Race Tactics: What should I have doneBig D
Jul 10, 2001 10:59 AM
If I felt threatened by one sprinter I would be watching him on the paceline. If I was going to make an attack, I would do it from the back of the paceline as soon as your threatened sprinter finishes a pull.