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TTT stragegy; I'm clueless(7 posts)

TTT stragegy; I'm cluelessshirt
Mar 13, 2003 10:59 AM
Yesterday afternoon my team did a low-key two-man time trial. There were six of us which made three teams. The fastest guy was paired with the slowest (me), the second fastest with the second slowest, etc.

"Aaron" and I (I'll call him "Aaron" since that's his name) didn't talk strategy at all. We just waited for the clock and took off on the 9 miles back into town. I told him I was weak, having not ridden for 3 of the last 4 weeks, and he told me he'd already done 4.5 hrs of intervals that day (he's not lying.)

In our uncommunicative state, I simply figured that I'd ride his tail, and take a pull when I felt I had the strength to give him a break. There was no plan, such as, "you pull for two minutes, I'll pull for one." I made the bone-headed mistake of flying by him on one lead-change as I was feeling much better than I anticipated, then he had to sprint to catch up.

So my open question is: what are your tactics for a team time trial? What sort of signals do you give? How do you work it so you both have left everything in the past at the line? What's the relationship between the stronger rider and the weaker rider?

thanks,
/shirt
TTT : the hardest disciplineeurochien
Mar 13, 2003 12:31 PM
I've read Eddie B.'s chapter on this since he used to excel in it and spent a lot of time training with his teammates b ack when TTTs were the s**t in Eastern Europe. From what I remember he advocates training together as much as possible to get very comfortable with each other, because you need to ride very, very close to the other guy's rear wheel. Then the drafting-pulling through should take place without slowing down (on the principle that the rider about to take over is sheltered from the wind, the rider pulling just keeps the same speed and only slows down when completely overtaken). Recently in the Tour (and the Vuelta?) it looks like different strategies have been used by teams (Once, USPS). Some make the strongest rider pull more, others make sure that the minimum number of riders crosses the line, which would make an Armstrong or Zülle or any other TT specialist chomp at the bits. It's definitely not an easy skill since everyone's working their ass off in a TTT while concentrating 100%. I wish there was more of those in amateur races.
re: TTT stragegy; I'm cluelessVeloflash
Mar 13, 2003 1:44 PM
In a TTT any changes in pace should be gradual so as the other member(s) are not doing turns trying to catch a wheel. This should be more observed coming out of slow turns and over the crest of hills. If a stronger rider is taking over from a rider who has dropped the pace, the acceleration to the higher pace should be smooth and delayed.

Every change of turn will cost the team a bike length. You have to weigh that cost against the (maybe) additional speed obtained from short turns. I prefer sharing longer turns as it gives more time to recover.

Individual track pursuiters sometimes find it harder to ride in a casual team pursuit due to the movements in pace. This together with the loss of ground due to bike changes can produce team pursuit times to be slower than individual pursuit times.

In a TTT you are only as fast as the weakest of the minimum riders you require to finish and you can only ride at an optimum pace to keep that rider on board. Over extending him/her and having to slow down is time costly.

Also a good point to save weak climbers from doing long turns before a hill.

Signal for change of turn is usually a flick of the elbow in our team.

The team that finds the optimum consistent pace to get the minimum number to the line will produce its best time.
re: TTT stragegy; I'm cluelessbrider
Mar 13, 2003 2:30 PM
For a two-man especially, it's paramount to keep EVERYTHING smooth. If you feel good and want to boost the pace when your turn comes, don't accelerate until your team mate is COMPLETELY in your draft, and even then do it slowly. That does two things: keep soyur team mate from having to sprint to catch a draft, and gets you accustomed to feeling the wind before you go balls out. Look at it this way -- of COURSE you feel good, you've been drafting!

It's always best to work out some strategy before the start, but barring that, a signal that you're pulling off will suffice. Don't wait until you're wasted. And don't try to make an exchange going through a corner.
re: special rules for mastersRIAN
Mar 14, 2003 3:37 AM
1) Choose a young, fast but impressionable youngster for a partner. The bigger the better. Do not consider anyone under 6ft /200 pounds and who cannot do better than a '21' for a ten mile time trial.

2) Make sure they realise what an honour it is to ride with you, and impress on him/her the importance of starting off 'very steady'. This will have no effect whatsoever, but at least it puts you in the right when you have to gasp for mercy in the first mile.

3) Once you have got your second wind, and are bowling along at 30 mph you might be tempted to take a spell on the front. Resist the temptation all costs as this would be a serious mistake. The fact that you are able to think this way only proves that your pacer is not trying hard enough. Any spare breath should be used to cajole, threaten or otherwise encourage your partner to greater efforts.

4) There are strictly limited circumstances where you must take a turn at the front. These are at places where marshals and spectators gather. Fortunately, these will be at intersections where the pace will be fairly slow. You should take the shortest possible spell, BUT MAKE SURE THAT AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE SEE YOU AT THE FRONT. This is the most difficult part of the whole race, calling for observation, timing, and in extreme circumstances a little hard pedalling.

5) At the prize giving, remember that it's the senior member of the team who decides how the money is shared out. 10% is a fair payout to a raw youngster, rising to 15% or even 20% for someone more experienced.
Who told you about my tricks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! nmMR_GRUMPY
Mar 14, 2003 11:43 AM
re: TTT stragegy; I'm cluelessyeah right
Mar 14, 2003 1:31 PM
in college races we do four man ttt's almost every weekend. It's good to have an even match in skills but that not being available, there are things to keep in mind.

1. Talk to each other during the race to know where you're at in terms of strength. It also helps when you change directions and drop into echelon.

2. Know each other's strengths. I won't pull going up hill, but going down I'm the guy on the front.

3. Use head or arm signals when you're going to finish a pull. Wag your elbow or your head.

4. If you're stronger, don't go faster, pull longer.

5. Keep a 1 minute (+/-) rythmn, regardless of the number (2-3-4) most suggest that you go through a rotation in a minute.

6. Get as close as possible and be steady.

7. Know when to drop or not drop a teammate. Depending on where you are in the race, you may want or not want to drop a teammate.