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Velodrome teamwork in a pursuit?(3 posts)

Velodrome teamwork in a pursuit?TFerguson
Aug 2, 2002 5:55 AM
If you are doing a 3-man pursuit with one definitely weaker rider and want to tow that rider, how do you make the switch between the faster 2 riders? I am assuming that the faster 2 riders are switching the lead every ½ lap by going up the track in the curve and using the "down" to accelerate in behind.

1 – Lead rider goes up the track and the third rider makes a space for the lead to drop back into. The third rider has to then accelerate on the flat to speed back up.

2 – The lead rider and the third rider go up the track and drop back down together with the lead now second and the third behind.

3 – The weaker rider attaches to the back wheel of one of the others and stays there, going forward and back with that rider. It would be like only 2 bikes, except that one is a "tandem".

Also, does a drafting rider significantly help the front rider at cycling speeds and mass as they do in auto racing?
re: Velodrome teamwork in a pursuit?rollo tommassi
Aug 2, 2002 12:12 PM
The weaker rider should still take a pull, to keep confusion out of the rotation. Even your stronger riders need the rest/draft to recover for full effort the next time around.

The group must practice this before competition.

The length of the pull should be based upon pedal strokes, and not just a 1/2 lap quasi-measurement. A "1/2" lap marker (start finish to Turn 1) is a traditional way of doing exchanges (to maximise banking) but depending on the track, exchanges at the 500m mark are not out of the question.

The reason for pedal stroke count as a basis for the exchange is should anything happen - loss of concentration, whatever - and the lead rider fails to pull off at the 'half', chaos ensues. If the pull-off is predetermined at 30 pedal strokes for your stronger riders, and only 15-20 for the weaker rider, then your exchanges can happen in Turn 1 or Turn 4.

Your gearing rollout and rpm's will determine your pedal stroke count. Rider #3 should be geared so that he accomplishes the exchange point without blowing out physically or slowing down the pace.

The point here is that you need to integrate the strength of the 3rd rider (despite his relative weakness to the others) so that the group operates as a whole, and not just 75% of the team dragging the other third around...

Re 'mass draft', I think this has been downplayed even in NASCAR circles (previous theory that drafting made the front guy slow down!). There may be some concommitant elongation of the draft from the lead vehicle over the second vehicle, but this has more to do with the second vehicle occupying disturbed air space behind the lead. I don't this relates to cycling in any way, the speed is too slow? Someone will tell you if I'm wrong on this!
No waySherpa23
Aug 2, 2002 2:01 PM
There is no way that the weaker rider is going to last if they take pulls, no matter how short. The first thing that I found out when I started racing in UCI World Cup track races is that the hardest part of a pull is getting back on after dropping down the track. It sounds easy, right? It's friggin hard. Your pull does not end until you are firmly on the pole lane in the draft and the hardest part of the pull is pulling up track and dropping down and recovering. The weak rider is going to use up so much energy by pulling off and getting back down that you will have to go much slower than if they stayed planted on the pole in third position. And as you know, your time will be judged by this third rider. I have seen several teams do relatively blistering 4000k's with the weaker of the three staying on the pole and leaving a gap for recovering rider to drop into.