's Forum Archives - Racing

Archive Home >> Racing(1 2 3 )

what are strategy options for breakaway of 3 in a crit?(47 posts)

what are strategy options for breakaway of 3 in a crit?ishmael
Jan 7, 2003 7:31 AM
Two friends and I are determined to try to win a local 20 mile crit in a beautiful breakaway. Last year when this crit happend I feel I wasted the opportunity. Better to have tried hard and failed than not tried at all. Cat 4/5 races dont seem to have any organized teams which is to our advantage but everyone also seems to have to need to hunt down anything off the front. The average speed last year was only 24.5, but then again no one did anything, but the course has lots of corners and I think it's ripe for a breakaway. So this is the year. We've come up with a couple strategies. Which do you recommend?
1. lining up early and going hard from the start thereby taking advantage of those who are fast but slackers and wait till the last minute to line up.
2. Soon after it starts go to the front and set a mellow pace and then sink back a bit and get a flying start off the front on a long straightaway.
Other than these strategies we plan to take off with three laps to go or else leave early for the sprint with our small train of three. But we really want the full breakaway from early in the race (dont we all.) Any thoughts on these strategies or do you have any others that have worked for you?
re: what are strategy options for breakaway of 3 in a crit?brider
Jan 7, 2003 8:49 AM
When the first prime winds up, get tucked behind the guys who are gunning for it, draft in, but don't try to contest the prime (maybe be 3-5th going for the prime). When the sprinters sit up to get back in the pack, that's when you take off full-tilt. It's an all-or-nothing proposition. If it doesn't work, you won't get another chance (the pack will be expecting it). You have to make your sprint decisive, or the pack will just reel you in. You have to keep the speed SIGNIFICANTLY higher than the pack and settle into a rotation quickly, well past when you're out of sight of the pack.

Another option is to have a couple scapegoats. When you go for the breakaway, have a couple people tag along until you get just passed the front of the pack. At that time, these two peel off and block. Nothing too obvious, they just drop off your wheels and make it more difficult for the pack to catch on -- make it look like you were too fast for them. If you pick up one or two more who get in on your break, fine. Make them do the work to help the break stick.
those riders who jump on the breakishmael
Jan 7, 2003 11:34 AM
I've seen people not do anything and just sit in. What can we do? I'll be bent if someone comes for the ride and nabs it at the end. What are strategies for dealing with this?
I'm not sure if there will be primes. Do officials have to tell if I ask? Will they reveal the laps and prizes?

No blocker is going to work for us but maybe some slacker will try to follow and it will end up effectively blocking.
I know it all depends, but what average speed do you think would give us a winning shot? I'm looking for a an answer, something to shot for, but I know it isn't really there.
those riders who jump on the breakbrider
Jan 7, 2003 12:55 PM
You need some schooling in race tactics, I see. If you have one tag-along who won't work, you can do a few things:

1) You're doing a rotating paceline. This guy will either (a) back off the back of the line to stay in the back of the paceline, or (b) not pull through strong. In either case, he may be blocking for a team mate, trying to slow your pace down. In the (a) case, what you do is take your normal pulls, and as you drift back, don't immediately jump into the space he opens up. Wait a bit. Make him open up a wide gap. Then jump back on hard. He'll have to accelerate three times for every one of yours (once for each rider) to stay on the break. In the (b) case, make sure his pull doesn't come up going inot a corner, as that gives him the greatest opportunity to disrupt your rhythm. Once he gets to the front, the whole line goes around him immediately, and the last guy opens up a bit of a gap (but not so much that he can get in there). When the guy tries to get behind the last rider, that rider accelerates back to the break. This guy will be more tired from being in the wind and will have to work harder to stay on.

2) If he isn't working, you can get a bit nasty and ride him wide around the turns and such. He'll either get nasty back (in which case you'd better be a good bike handler), or fall in line. When the sprint comes, one of you may need to sacrifice yourself to let the other two take the top spots.

As for comments on breaks working in cat 4/5 races -- yes they do, and I've done several. From 3-ups to solos. Helps to have a team that knows what's going on, but it's not impossible. If you're going to go solo, you'd better be a damn good TTer. I've been in two-ups that have lapped the field. In the case where a small break laps the field, they then put every one on the same lap, and the sprint happens at the same time for every one.

As for primes, yes, the official DOES need to announce whether they will happen, and how many (unless it's specifically stated that they WON'T be announced), and usually when, though it can be at the official's discretion. You'll have a bell on the lap prior to the prime sprint. Crits are usually done on time plus one or two laps. They'll announce the approximate time of each prime, or how many (and you do the math), but it probably won't be on a specific lap number (hey, this ain't a tempo race). If the official is particularly sadistic, they'll put primes on successive laps (I've seen this done on the track, but never in a crit, but it could happen). But if you're in the break, don't try to out sprint each other for a prime. Just stay in your normal rotation and split whatever you win. They may make a specific prime for the field to try to shake them out of complacency.

As for speed, that depends on the competition. If you've got some goos TTers you're racing against, then the speed will have to be above threshold. Way above threshold. You need to establish a gap between you and the TTers, and maintain it. True sprinters will tend to take their chances that the break won't stick. If you're going after a prime, you just slingshot off the sprinters and keep going. If the non-sprint average of the field is 24.5 (I think that's what you said in your initial post), you'll probably need to go 26+ at steady state, with an eye on the gap, and be ready to boost it up if necessary. As for establishing the break -- you're going to need to red line it, and make that at least 32+.
those riders who jump on the breakishmael
Jan 7, 2003 3:12 PM
do those tactics for beating up a hanger-on work? It seems risky to be exhurting any energy that isn't directly going towards helping the break untill late in the race when the break looks as if it'll stick. And even then it still seems that the three doing all the work will be...doing all the work, and therefore more exhausted then the hanger-on.
So youve succeeded in breaking away and having it work. Thats great. I've got till April to get ready. I'm not so worried about myself, it's the other two who need to get moving. How often do you think we should switch it up? I was thinking the less often the better since we'll be drafting instead of two in the open. Any more advice?
those riders who jump on the breakbrider
Jan 8, 2003 8:09 AM
When resorting to dirty tactics, you're really intimidating the guy and making him expend a lot of nervous energy. I wouldn't attempt this unless you're REALLY sure of your own bike handling (in the case where he pushes back), or have some really quick reflexes. You can ride some one wide around a corner pretty easily, but mind you I'm not talking about running him into the curb or a tree or anyhting like that. It's subtle, but effective. What you do is this -- stay in the inside of the guy going into the corner, and while you're going around, adlust your line slightly come out wide. If you start getting close to the curb (or even look like you might), he will end up braking, losing momentum which he has to make up to stay on the break.

When you say "switching it up," are you referring to your paceline rotation? If that is the case, then yes, you want to keep your pulls on the short side, but be aware that the course profile can dictate how you rotate. On one particular course here in Seattle (Volunteer Park, for any one familiar with it), I was in a 2-up break that worked pretty well (the guy I was with dropped off with about 4 laps to go, and I got caught with 1 to go, so it wasn't successful in a podium spot, but I got the sponsors name over the PA system A LOT, which made him totally happy). He was a good descender, and I was a wiry climber with good TT ability. I towed him up half the course and across the finish area, he took over at the round-about and down the hill. Our pulls were about 1/2K each (1K course). What you want to avoid is having the "pull" portion being a solo guy (two rotating back with one pulling through), which becomes almost a reverse paceline (you're sprinting to the FRONT of the line). Get some practice setting up for corners as a paceline. You can use corners to work your way back similar to how a pursuit team uses the banking on a track to do exchanges. Just don't lose so much speed that you have to sprint to stay on the break.
those riders who jump on the breakallervite
Jan 8, 2003 2:11 PM
Very good read Mr. Tactics. I enjoyed it. Two other things to do to get rid of the dead weight.

1. Take turns attacking him near the end of the race

2. When he is at the back of the line (or dirfiting back if he is faking pulls), the rider in front of him lets the gap open and turns to him and says "There goes the race, go get em." Then your rider drafts him back to the bunch.

Yes, you may loose a rider with either tactic.

I once saw a paceline get rid of a guy by the last rider in front of the loafer letting the gap open up then jumping back up to it leaving the loafer way back in the wind. The Rider that did this was a big strong TTer though, and the pace of the line was very high. I know, I never quite bridged up to it.
those riders who jump on the breakishmael
Jan 8, 2003 5:18 PM
What do you mean by take turns attacking? If one of us were to attack (go off the front of our group) he'd just sit with the remaining two. You must mean something else but I dont see it.
those riders who jump on the breakDougSloan
Jan 9, 2003 7:50 AM
Teammate A attacks. B and C don't go. Opponent is forced to go hard with A, or stay back with B and C.

If you regroup, next, B attacks. Same thing. Every time Opponent must decide to go hard with the leader, or stay back and risk getting gapped. It wears him out.

Jan 9, 2003 7:59 AM
The teammates who do not attack, and stay back, don't pull Opponent; in fact, they pull in behind opponent; remember the goal of your team is to get one guy on the podium to win, not to get everyone there. That would be a different and more difficult strategy.

Jan 9, 2003 8:02 AM
I'm still thinking.

In this scenario, there is, in fact, a good chance that if it is 3 on 1, and no other involved, all three will do well (ask Hincapie).

If one goes off the front, and Opponent does not go, then the other 2 don't work for Opponent. Opponent must choose to either fall back to the main group, or go hard to catch the leader; if he does, he is then pulling the 2 teammates up to the leader, while all the time the 2 teammates are resting relative to Opponent, enabling them to have more power to blast past Opponent at the finish. This is exactly what happened to George in 2001 Paris Roubaix.

talking of pushingishmael
Jan 8, 2003 5:22 PM
whats fair game? If he's in my way can I start nudging with my shoulders? Pushing him out of the line? I dont feel safe trying but can I? What about boxing him behind us at the end of the race? What about rubbing his back wheel? What about hoseing him down with my water bottle over my shoulder? that last one is surely nasty. I play fair but what is fair?
it will be funmore mud
Jan 8, 2003 9:36 PM
so, being as clueless as you are it will be interesting to see if you can pull this off. do you relize that there are going to be a lot of guys on the starting line with the same exact plan as you.......

good luck though, that possibility of a break like that working is what keeps us all showing up ever week.....

I second that oneNo_sprint
Jan 9, 2003 10:16 AM
At least here in SoCal, racin' 4s with fields sometimes at 130, you'll have entire teams with as many as 15+ trying to employ their own tactics. Perhaps things are different where you are, however, it's a pretty big bite to take to think you and another guy or two is going to succeed in a break against 127 other dudes, some of whom are ex 2s that after a couple years off got back in as a 4 and still kick some serious butt. Also, maybe against the world or national class triathlete who cross trains in 10 or so crits a year or the seriously over trained 4 captain who is on a strict Friel regimine and is self employed and doesn't need to work very much and rides 15,000+ miles per year. Or maybe against the Shroeder or 7UP or Mercury dev. riders who are really at a 2 level but are in the process of working their way up.

Not to pop your bubble, it can work, I say go for it. I have before. Parity is pretty strong here at least. In my opinion, at least here, even a 4 racer is one hell of a serious athlete.
Ok, now I'm scared to come ride with you in a few weeks! (nm)allervite
Jan 9, 2003 1:10 PM
LOL No worriesNo_sprint
Jan 9, 2003 1:14 PM
You'll be fine. I'm certainly not one of those guys to be worried about.
You forgot the "wink wink nudge nudge" (nm) :)Mike-Wisc
Jan 9, 2003 1:16 PM
One race last yearNo_sprint
Jan 9, 2003 1:29 PM
A 7UP dev. rider played us all like a fiddle. We must have had 12+ in attendance for that race, he was solo. Comes up to us and says, "hey, you guys takin' over?" We laugh and talk tactics amongst ourselves, he sticks around and says, "hey, can I tag along with you guys today? I'm runnin' solo" Of course we say, and he does. Sticks in front, sprints himself to what didn't appear to be too tough a victory for him. We didn't talk about it when it was over. Burned...
Jan 9, 2003 2:06 PM
You should have talked about it afterwards though. What could you have done different to take advantage once you realized his level, how you could have had him pull a little more, how your team might have tried to test his finish, how you might have countered his finish sprint by maybe picking up the pace-to-sprint sooner. Don't know, but I'd chalk it up to experience. I assume your crew took the rest of the podium though?
Jan 9, 2003 2:17 PM
You're probably right. A few in the top 10, I think one 3rd. I am as my nick says: no sprint. No joke. I ride around a bunch and do a lot of work for my teammates who are much better riders and better fit and younger. I'm no longer serious about racin' and just out there to have some competitive fun.
What team do you ride for?853
Jan 9, 2003 2:32 PM
I'll be racing 4's this year - no team yet tho
What team do you ride for?No_sprint
Jan 9, 2003 2:39 PM
email me at no_sprint(at)yahoo dot com if you'd like. You doin' MLK or Mothballs?
What team do you ride for?853
Jan 10, 2003 7:40 AM
No, first race for me is Valentines day Massacre
talking of pushingbrider
Jan 9, 2003 9:49 AM
You're talking some pretty obvious stuff here (aside from the boxing in) that could potentially get you DQ'd. You have to be very subtle about it. Here's a couple that i've done (not in a break situation, but you'll get the idea):

Scenario 1:
Road race in LaGrande. Fairly hilly, but the climbs were shallow and long, not real grinders. One team kept sendin riders up the road one at a time (one rider would go, then get caught, another would go, etc). While a rider was away, one of their team would immediately jump to the front, weave around (not wildly, but making it not-too-attractive to get around) and soft-pedal, thus slowing the pack (kind of stupid to do this in the first 5 miles of a 50 miler, but no one called them smart). Well, I got tired of it, and when they sent the next rider up, I followed to the front of the pack and waited for the blocker. Sure enough, he came up as well. I just stayed glued beside him, and one time when he was trying to swing left, I held my line. He bumped into me, then went left again. Okay, so we've got officials in a follow car just LOOKING for people to cross the centerline for a DQ (we'd had some pretty blatant violators the day before, so they announced that ANY centerline violation was an IMMEDIATE DQ). So I just slowly squeeze this guy to the centerline. Once his wheels were at the line, he tried to hold there. I just kept going slowly over, bumped an elbow, and he lost his nerve and drifted back. End of story? Not yet. Two of his team mates decide they're going to get me. About a quarter mile later, they come up to me, one on each side and try to squeeze me. I see it coming, take a glance back real quick (it was clear), give them a grin, and hit the brakes. They ended up bouncing off each other. At that point, others in the pack were catching on, and the entire pace picked up, we caught the solo flyer about 200 yds later, and we never saw one of that team again for the rest of the race. I started a break on the hill to the turn around, it formed up on the descent, and stayed away.

Scenario 2:
Training race at SIR in Kent (now called Pacific Raceways). This one goof ball keeps attacking, but not going for a real flyer. All he's doing is to up the pace trying to shed people (not a smart thing to do if you have no team mates and don't have the savvy to pull it off). But he's trying to block people from passing him by swerving in front of them Any way, this goombah had been on a few of our team rides, and just never "got it." So, again I'd had enough of watching this guy do this for miles, and thought I'd intimidate him into submission (I was a real ass then, you probably would not have liked me). I come up the side of the strung out pack, get in beside him, and just look completely sideways at him. Not looking ahead at all. I just stare into his eyes and start drifting over to him. This time, it's toward a concrete wall. He knows it's intentional, gets scared (it's funny to see it, handling gets progressively squirrely, then he backs the speed off), and spends the rest of the race at the back.

Okay, I was a total prick. But it worked. Better tactics would be as I described -- drift wide around corners, keeping out him in the breeze. Ride close but don't touch (don't rub his back wheel or YOU'LL likely go down). Boxing him in can be done pretty effectively, but again you'll be sacrificing two riders to get one up the road.
don't forget danger, thoughDougSloan
Jan 9, 2003 9:57 AM
People do sometimes get seriously hurt and even killed in bike races. Rough tactics only increases that likelihood. I could not live with myself if I caused someone to get hurt in questionable efforts to win a race or retaliate for another's conduct. I would hope that everyone sees it the same way.

talking of pushingDeadGame
Jan 10, 2003 5:29 AM
brider, have you ever been 580'd employing your tactics?
Not familiar with the term "580'd", but...brider
Jan 10, 2003 11:09 AM
if it means a DQ, then the answer is no. It's rare that any contact even happens. Usually the other guy gets nervous and backs off WAY before any contact happens. I'm just comfortable enough on the bike that, if any light contact DOES happen, I'm not going to the ground. The biggest intimidation factor is that the other guy then knows I'm WILLING to make contact, and generally they're not comfortable enough with it (especially in a cat 4 field). When I took a track class (rather early in my racing) I was paired with one of the instructors when we were doing bumping drills. During the drill, I asked him if what we were doing was in any way representative of what REALLY happens on the track. He then proceded to body-slam me. I stayed up -- barely. But I DID learn how make contact safely.

Don't think I did this all the time. It was actually pretty rare. But it was often enough that people soon learned not to pull stupid crap in races when I ws there.
hardest guy to know down in the 4s?????more mud
Jan 10, 2003 1:28 PM
well, i guess everyone needs their claim to fame?
Not familiar with the term "580'd", but...DeadGame
Jan 10, 2003 1:31 PM
5 knuckles 80 miles an hour
Okay, I think I get it now.brider
Jan 10, 2003 3:03 PM
No, no one ever tried to deck me either. Aside from the one time those two guys tried to squeeze me in a race, I've never been the direct target of some one's aggression. I've probably prompted some guys to make an attack (which I also took advantage of) out of frustration or anger.

I hope all this isn't painting me to be some sort of cycling bad-boy. My whole team at one time was viewed as kind of the sheriffs of the cat 4 peleton. Then we all upgraded. It was a lot of fun, really. Many of them are still racing (and I plan on getting back to it either late this year or into next year).
No, just position your shoulders in front of himJames Curry
Jan 10, 2003 10:53 AM
Works every time. Know where he is, and if he is trying to get into the line, gently move over to the advancing line and dieregard him. He'll back off or go down because your hips are now touching his handlebars. If this is taking place on the right hand side and there happens to be a curb on the right as well and you "push" him as you say, you'll get DQ'd. LLike Soccer, no hands. Official sees you do it you're outta there-especially if he goes down.
This is ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!REPO42
Jan 12, 2003 1:51 AM
I can't believe some of the replies for getting rid of dead weight. How dare anyone want to intimidate, bump, nudge or think of doing anything like that.... HELLO!!!!!! this is only for fun... Personally I don't make a living doing this so I intend not to have anyone intentionally injure me during a race.. What you might want to do is after the race ask this person what was he doing/tactics wise. If he was neither blocking or disrupting for another teammate then explain the proper thing to do is to pull through as best as you can during a break or drop back to the pack...
Does this mean he will listen? Probably not. Eventually after enough people keep telling him the principle of a breakaway then maybe his sorry butt will get the picture. Now what if he is a newbie, or just hangin' on trying to finish. Did you stop to think about this?..... Well enough said. I would like to say I have a 6 month old son, and I hope there is enough decency in this sport to not try to physically injure me for making errors in judgement... thank you all.... remember it's just a sport, not a proffesion......
I don't think anyone is saying intentionally hurt anyoneishmael
Jan 12, 2003 12:43 PM
I think you make a valid point though, It's up to everyone to follow more than just the rules. The rules dont make it a safe race, it's up to the racers. But I'm comforted knowing that professional racers who are motivated by a lot more than ammatures, get hurt a lot less than the amatures. I think that reveals that you can be as aggressive and competative as possible without people getting hurt.
This is ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!allervite
Jan 13, 2003 10:18 AM
You are right. No one should ever intentionaly hurt anyone in a race. However, bullying, intimidation, and physical contact are a fact of racing. I have never instigatd this type of thing, but if you are going to race, be prepared for it to happen. I have been yelled at, cussed out, shoved, challenged to fight, and I was even kicked once in a sprint as I came around a guy.

I have yet to try to hurt anyone before, during or after a race (although I was considering it with the guy who kicked me). Also, these occurances are not common. However, if I am in a break and a guy is sitting on and complaining that he is too tired or too much of a "newbie" to pull through, chances are, I am not going to believe him. And I am going to try and "Flick" him off the back if I get the chance.

I also only race for fun, and now days only make about five races a year, but I will try to win each if I think I can. I will not intentionaly try to to hurt anyone, but I'm not going to trust in the good nature of too many people either-
unless they are on my team that is.
You trust in my good nature??? :-) nmshirt
Jan 13, 2003 11:44 AM
I suppose this one was really directed at me...brider
Jan 13, 2003 10:40 AM
so I'll give it a reply.

First, realize that, as some one else said, these events are EXTEMELY rare. I raced in 60+ events a year, and I could give you, what, three examples?!?!

Second, I'm not talking about riding some one into a curb. You will have to draw the line yourself as to where tactics become dirty. I opening a gap and then closing it dirty? Is taking some one wide through a turn dirty? I've actually been COACHED to cut people off the inside of turns in crits, when I'm only a half-wheel ahead (the advice was "Whoever is ahead has the right of way"), but I refused to do it. I'm not talking about causing injury, I'm talking about intimidation, and being willing to make body-to-body contact. If you're anything near competent on a bike, it's not going to result in a crash. And the ways to stay safe on a bike should be taught in EVERY CLUB EVERY YEAR. We did bumping drills regularly. If we had some one who was nervous in a pack, we'd do a rotating pace line AROUND that rider to help get them comfortable with people on all sides.

If some one is a newbie and is strong enough to get in a break, he's strong enough to pull through. If they're just trying to hang on, they have no business in the break. How many times has some one faked being tired and just hanging on, only to pull out a blazing sprint at the finish? So I don't buy that one at all.
agree, mostlyDuane Gran
Jan 13, 2003 1:54 PM
I think the conversation has jumped right past doing cordial things to getting physical with dead weight in a break. Here is the advice I was given about the cordial thing to do:

When you think you have some dead weight in your breakaway, ask the person if he is blocking. If so, work him over and accept that someone is doing a tactical move, no matter how much you don't like it. If not, sternly tell the person to rotate or agree to take last wheel all the way to the line. There are no guarantees, but cycling is a tight-knit sport and people who disrepect a breakaway can be effectively shamed.
Practice 3 man TTT: 30 mph pulls, one minute eachJames Curry
Jan 10, 2003 10:33 AM
Coastal Cyclists Mike Klatt, Paul Wood and Bob Hasbrouck could hold a 30 mph TTT for about 20 mins. Each pulling thru for one minute, relative wind conditions.

Definately DON'T try a break away in the longest straight. Everyone will see it, and as you already pointed out, 4/5 riders ride collectively-no team work involved because there are few team everyone is going to sprint after you and probably some tools will close the gap.

Yes, try the break after the prime, certainly before the big sprinters have recovered. They dudes who JUST sprinted will do all the blocking for you when they screw up the line getting back on.

I would say first corner after the break, go for it, but not in the last laps. Go on the first Prime. If you can hold the TTT for 20 mins you'll be out front far enough I bet. 3 riders coast through turns losing little speed whereas peloton loses much collective speed.

Eddie B's book said there are elements to a break. Roughly they are:

1. Explosive jump, Controlled so that you don't blow up
2. 50 kph speed for 3-5 km

He said if you can do that effort you'll be successful in breaks more often than not. You wanted numbers, those are what I figure.
re: what are strategy options for breakaway of 3 in a crit?Mike-Wisc
Jan 7, 2003 9:02 AM
I don't race crits, but I do like watching them, and with that in mind how about the following three thoughts:

1. Crank hard at the start and bust away and try to lap the bulk of the field. Everyone will think the three of you are nuts and will blow up and maybe won't try to catch you. And if you're in a race where lapped riders have to drop out imagine the impact of lapping the whole field and bringing it to a three-rider race.

2. Wait until about 3/4ths of the way through the race when many weaker riders will be spent, then pull off and try to take an inside line on a wide corner and drop the field and try to hold your lead.

3. Hover up front or way back and wait for a crash to take advantage of when everyone else is dodging you then take that as your queue to take off. Everyone will be paying attention to the crash and hoping they don't get clipped down, and the better riders will be looking to take off during the mayhem.

I don't think taking off on a long straightaway is good because it's too hard to break off from the field to make an escape, and there's too much potential for another team to slipstream up the side of the field and slingshot off of that to catch or overtake you.
I saw a lapped field at this same race the year beforeishmael
Jan 7, 2003 12:03 PM
it was in the p/1/2 race. I think they made the whole race a lap shorter. If anyone knows what happends please tell.
re: what are strategy options for breakaway of 3 in a crit?No_sprint
Jan 7, 2003 10:15 AM
I don't know how much experience you have racing or watching crits, however, at least in my area breakaways have .01 chance at succeeding in all but the Pro/1/2. You better plan on recruiting some more guys to join in the fray. 4/5s are the most notorious at hunting everything down. I don't think I've ever seen a 4/5 breakaway succeed. If 10 guys go off the front, I'd put money that half the field will jump on in a second. Furthermore, 20 miles is short even for a crit. Depending upon the geography, I'd guess everyone is planning on a 30 minute full bore sprint as it is.

If you and your pals are baggin' 3s, then it's a different story.
20 miles in 30 mins??? do the math......triple shot espresso
Jan 7, 2003 1:04 PM
If there are a lot of corners it will slow the pace. It is a lot easier for 3 guys to go through corners than it is for a field of 50 Cat 4s.

You really need to work off a team mate rather than trying to get all 3 in the break together. If only two go you can have one guy attack a couple of times and let everybody chase and then counter attack with the 2 guys. Then the guy that's left in the field can try to block and slow the field down goiing through the corners. He can also jump on anybody that tries to bridge up to the two guys making the bridger do all the work.

It can be done, good luck.
another suggestion - know thyselfDougSloan
Jan 8, 2003 3:34 PM
I read a story in one of my bike books about a racer who tried a solo break and was reeled back in. She was off at 28 mph, but blew up. She tried to justify it to her coach. The coach said, how fast can you time trial? (which was something like 25 mph) Point is, know yourself. Don't expect to last long off the front at 30 mph if you can't time trial anywhere close to that.

Applies to the 3 of you, too. Go and practice doing a team time trial on a crit-like course for 20 minutes. See what your average speed is. If it's 28 mph, the realize in the race that if you try 32 mph, you won't last long.

Another suggestion, watch some race videos and learn. Watch what happened to Hincapie at Paris Roubaix in 2001 (I think?). He got totally thrashed by 3 opponent team mates (Mapei?), and had no chance against them as a group.

THATS what the sport is aboutishmael
Jan 8, 2003 5:14 PM
Even I, who've been riding for a couple years now, never really was watching the sport. It's in the tactics. It might as well have been a running race as far as what I was looking at. I'd love to see that break youre talking about; if you have anymore info on where or when let me know.

The training part we can figure out. It'll just take some time. I assume anything, but how much better can someone, or a group, perform in a race situation?

By the way, I'm teaching now! First day today. 20 bucks an hour, three days a week. Hell of a lot better than Starbucks or some other crap for 8. I'm more concious of my grammar now. I've been going over the book you sent me. I think I can get by with the simicolon above.
Tactics won't do squatNo_sprint
Jan 9, 2003 10:17 AM
if you don't have the motor to begin with.
I am not concious of what a simicolon is. :-)shirt
Jan 10, 2003 2:11 PM
good job on the jobDougSloan
Jan 10, 2003 2:28 PM
I can tell you've been working; we've seen much less of you here. :-)

Rent or buy the video of the 2001 Paris Roubaix. They have them at It is instructive.