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Books or chapters on race tactics?(8 posts)

Books or chapters on race tactics?vindicator
Oct 14, 2003 7:35 AM
I've accumulated a few cycling books in the last year, but they all seem to focus on training or history/biography.

I get lots of race tips here, but of course it's one tip here, one tip there.

Are there any good books out there, or books with good chapters, or website articles, with some good detailed discussion of race tactics?

Ideally, something more than "stay at the front, but not IN front" "find a good wheel and stick to it" etc. In a perfect world, it would have detailed disussions about what tactics work when, and WHY, with separate discussions for different types of races and different levels of racing, ie, something the unattached Cat 5 rider can used when racing with no teammates in a local crit, something a club team can use to formulate team strategy for a cat 3 road race, and also something the fan can use to gain a greater understanding of what the pros are doing when watching OLN.

Any recommendations?
re: Books or chapters on race tactics?R600DuraAce
Oct 14, 2003 8:44 AM
I don't think so. Just go out and race and learn as you go. It all depends on your form and whether or not you can stick to your plan or can your legs handle it. A race is unpredictable with elements beyond your control.

As a cat 5 going to cat 4, I can tell you that you "should" speculate when and where breakaway will happen and "try" to catch on to the breakaway train. For cat 5 and maybe true with cat 3, breakaway or "serious" attack happens not far from finish. It is at this point you have to be in the front and get ready to jump to it. The problem is that do you have enough energy or legs left to make the jump at the end of the race???? You should always stick and stay with the pack thoroughout the whole race == don't get dropped. Knowing the course you have already won half of the race.
There's not much but...biknben
Oct 15, 2003 11:22 AM
One source I found was

He comes up in discussion occasionally around here. That's how I heard about him. His web site was once a good resource for race tactics and strategies. He recently put it all together and now offers it as an e-book for $35. I paid the fee recently and have been reading through it.

He thouroughly explains stuff like blocking and attacking and how to do it. He has some unique ideas and methods for winning a race. Unfortunately, most involve a strong team around you. Most of his tactics don't apply to an unattached 5's racer unless they are being used against him. Many of his stories involve races where he has a team of ten riders and there are other strong teams with great tactical knowledge. In my expierience, the 4/5 races are a free for all. The teams don't organize their efforts and the rest don't have a clue about tactics.

Sources for race tactics seem to be very rare. I know of nothing else on-line. I make a point of paying close attention to race commentary. You can pick up some valuable tid-bits and over time they can help to better understand what is really happening in a pro race.
Anything new?Keeping up with Junior
Oct 16, 2003 5:49 AM
Did Carl add anything new or did he simply compile all his previous articles into an e-book?

I have about half a dozen books from the library to scan through this weekend and will post which ones have some tactics in them.
Oct 16, 2003 11:57 AM
It looks like he just compiled all his stuff. I had read a lot of it before and I'm not noticing anything significantly different.
Here's a possible link.hrv
Oct 15, 2003 3:00 PM
Eddie B.'s book:

Never saw it but seems it would have some good tactics stuff. How much can tactics have changed in the last 15 - 20 years?

Watch videos of the classics, the Tour, Worlds, etc.Spunout
Oct 16, 2003 7:55 AM
So much can change, there aren't rules to follow in most cases. Always have a plan C, because A and B are sure to go out the window. Watch Mapei win classics in the '90s with three men on the podium. Of course, it is all about strong teams.

Bottom line, is that the strongest guy usually wins in the end. Teamwork and tactics add asssurance. Look at world's elite RR from Hamilton, the Italians controlled and were shut out. Astarloa went and none could follow.

Can a weak guy win with great tactics and a good team? Probably not. Can the strongest guy win without tactics and without a team? Maybe, but he could get blown by stronger team's tactics.

Summary(in my limited experience):

Attack when it hurts the most.

Never work at the front unless going alone.

It may be better to control a race by sending men up the road in breaks(Mapei, Nedlandts tactic) rather than policing the front of the pack(failed Italian tactic).

Go fastest earliest in your attack, the first few bike lengths gap are most important. If you start slow, you'll drag the race along with you.
Dr. Arnie Baker's Smart Cyclingjstonebarger
Oct 16, 2003 7:57 AM
Pick up Smart Cycling. A couple good chapters on tactics for road racing and time trialing, plus a better take on training than most. Good, no sh!t reading.

Second Coach Carl. His website is thought provoking. (I loved "here's why Lance will lose TdF '03...")

Eddy B's book is very interesting, even if dated. Just ignore his advise regarding horsemeat...