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Old 02-20-06, 04:01 PM   #1
SpongeDad
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Slowing down the peloton

Assume your teammate is in a brake and you're back in the peloton.

How would you help your teammate / slow down the peloton if other teams are trying to close the gap?
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Old 02-20-06, 04:12 PM   #2
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I assume you mean break, not brake.

prevent other riders from going up the front, and just don't work, sit in the draft.
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Old 02-20-06, 04:16 PM   #3
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You can try to physically slow the pace when you get to the front. Chances are in most races this won't work at all - in which case you can just do no work at all.
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Old 02-20-06, 04:24 PM   #4
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get to the front of the group, and "block". Literally blocking the road, takes several riders(even with the center line rule) and is generally considered inappropriate. But you can block by subtly disrupting the chase effort. You get to the front, and then slowly let the pace come down, forcing others to go around if they want to pick it up. Or when you get to the front you accelerate just a little bit, creating the accordian effect disrupting the smoothness of the chase group. Also, you jump on and chase down people trying to bridge, discouraging them from putting forth the effort because they know they're just towing up more team help to the breakaway.

Essentially you work very hard to get to the front, and then very subtly decrease the work. It's actually very hard because you have to work to keep getting to the front of the Peleton
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Old 02-20-06, 04:43 PM   #5
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Passive blocking is pretty common, or at least it was in times past. Simply put positioning a couple team members near the front. However any type of aggressive blocking tactics that could endanger other riders are extremely discouraged.

That said; the best thing you can do to help your team is to keep all your riders out of the wind. Fresh and in position for your lead out.
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Old 02-20-06, 04:49 PM   #6
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Very easy if you're in a crit; get to the front and don't sprint out of turns. If you pick the best line through the turn, they'll follow you through it. The trick is to slow the pace down just enough so that the prospect of going off your chosen line is slower than just following you through it.
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Old 02-20-06, 05:59 PM   #7
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Saw (and criticized) a bad case of that this last weekend. There was a team that had 4 members (in jerseys) and one without. Their strategy, get up front, slow, stand, and moch sprint (swinging bike side to side while on the hoods) without giving appropriate room for clearance. I called BS on this twice. Response..."what, I'm just stretching my legs"..."my legs are tired, whatelse do you want me to do". Really surprised to see such $hitty tactics in a Cat5 race. Didn't work and they didn't win.

Each member of that team were given specific instructions as to their role. Fine, I understand that but risking the safety of other riders I believe to be a bit excessive especially at that level.
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Old 02-20-06, 06:06 PM   #8
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Just dont take any pulls, I dont fool around with any blocking crap, its just gonna get people mad at you. If the break is strong enough, then it will stay away, but if not just be rested and in good position to counter or chase down any bridges. Slowing down the chase by a few seconds is not worth getting people angry, using up your own energy, or screwing yourself over to cover any other attacks
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Old 02-20-06, 07:30 PM   #9
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Don't block, as in ride negativly. Don't work, as in add to the pace. Best to just hang out near the front and make sure you are on the back of anyone trying to bridge. If they make it up it's 2 on 1 or whatever, this keeps the odds in your team's favor. If you dont have numbers in a break then you shouldn't care if it succeeds anyway. Nothing is a bigger waste (and laugh) than seeing 5 guys blocking for a 4 man break with only one of their teammates in it.

The same thinking applies if you are unattached or riding solo.
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Old 02-20-06, 09:55 PM   #10
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Here's something I learned last fall which was GREAT for breaking up a chase group:

The team that is trying to chasedown your teammate has a couple of guys at the front pulling. As they start rotating, you get in the paceline as well. If theres a couple guys ahead of you and a couple behind from the same team, you can absolutely destroy their organization by launching a solo attack, or even accelerating out of the line.

Here's why: not only will the guys in front try to chase you down, but the guys behind you will be left out of the draft. This helps you in two ways, because as the first couple chase you down, they widen the gap on the guys behind you, who were probably recovering after their pulls. They then have to work when tired to catch the draft again. So you basically take the legs out of an entire team with one move.

Diagram:

You: o
Chasing team: x
Peloton: P

1) <---- x_x_x_x_o PPPPPPPPPPP

2) <---- x_x_x_o_x PPPPPPPPPPP

3) <---- x_x_o_x_x PPPPPPPPPPP

4) <---- o________x__ x___x___x PPPPPPPPPPPP
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Old 02-21-06, 06:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoo76
Don't block, as in ride negativly. Don't work, as in add to the pace. Best to just hang out near the front and make sure you are on the back of anyone trying to bridge. If they make it up it's 2 on 1 or whatever, this keeps the odds in your team's favor. If you dont have numbers in a break then you shouldn't care if it succeeds anyway. Nothing is a bigger waste (and laugh) than seeing 5 guys blocking for a 4 man break with only one of their teammates in it.

The same thinking applies if you are unattached or riding solo.
Blocking is not a waste of time and is a very useful tactic. At technical crits, it is simple, just slow the pack through the corners, without endangering others.

AT RR's or wide open crits, you have to be more subtle, but setting a light tempo is one strategy. And of course, jumping on moves discourages the riders trying to bridge and will sometimes get you across to a break without even having to work.

Never discount good blocking tactics, but never use them in unsafe ways.
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Old 02-21-06, 07:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YMCA
Blocking is not a waste of time and is a very useful tactic. At technical crits, it is simple, just slow the pack through the corners, without endangering others.

AT RR's or wide open crits, you have to be more subtle, but setting a light tempo is one strategy. And of course, jumping on moves discourages the riders trying to bridge and will sometimes get you across to a break without even having to work.

Never discount good blocking tactics, but never use them in unsafe ways.
Agree. Setting a Tempo is much more effective than just going to the front and stopping. Im not discounting the tactic, have used it on many occasions, it just seems to be very misunderstood and misapplied.
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Old 02-21-06, 06:04 PM   #13
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Absolutely. Get up front and set the tempo. If someone trys to go around, jump in behind them. Then they have no one who will work with them and are unlikely to bridge the gap solo. The crit corner suggestion is great, but in a Road Race, this does not work. Instead, go hard enough to string out two or three riders behind you and then slowly, and cautiously weave from side to side. Before I catch hell for this, I am not saying do anything nasty or dangerous. Just string out two or three behind you and slowly drift to the yellow line. The three behind you will want to stay in your draft, the pack over by the yellow line is cut off from attacking, and the guys by the white line now have to either fight up 5 or more bike lengths into the wind (where you can just pop over onto their wheels) or come across the peloton to the yellow line side . After 10 seconds of this, drift slowly back to the white line. Now that side of the pack is cut off, and the yellow line side has to do the same thing. It REALLY disrupts pace, is not dangerous or illegal, and it helps to wear down the peloton evenly so that no one just hides in one place. Just remember, keep the pace up on the front end so it is not easy for people to pass you, but still be slow enough where the break can gain some time (assuming they know how to work together). Oh, and even when there is no break, practice this. Before long you get a knack of how easy it is to control the entire peloton (up until the last few miles).

Oh, and invariably there will be some wheel sucking Sprinters in the middle of the pack five or six bike lengths back that complain about the slow pace. Yell back and tell them you could be happy to see them come up and pull. They never do.
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Old 02-21-06, 09:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinDeD
Very easy if you're in a crit; get to the front and don't sprint out of turns. If you pick the best line through the turn, they'll follow you through it. The trick is to slow the pace down just enough so that the prospect of going off your chosen line is slower than just following you through it.
I've seen this happen before. A good team or set of riders on the team who aren't represented / are under-represented in the break should use this as an opportunity to take an outside line and then make an explosive effort. While you're carving that perfect apex at a lower tempo, I'd have couple guys ripping by you on the outside. I don't care if you're on the best line - its still not going to be faster than a breakaway effort coming up the outside.

In the crits around here that tactic would work for MAYBE one corner. After that everyone is just going to sprint around you, trying to bridge or not.
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Old 02-21-06, 11:07 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell
Absolutely. Get up front and set the tempo. If someone trys to go around, jump in behind them. Then they have no one who will work with them and are unlikely to bridge the gap solo. The crit corner suggestion is great, but in a Road Race, this does not work. Instead, go hard enough to string out two or three riders behind you and then slowly, and cautiously weave from side to side. Before I catch hell for this, I am not saying do anything nasty or dangerous. Just string out two or three behind you and slowly drift to the yellow line. The three behind you will want to stay in your draft, the pack over by the yellow line is cut off from attacking, and the guys by the white line now have to either fight up 5 or more bike lengths into the wind (where you can just pop over onto their wheels) or come across the peloton to the yellow line side . After 10 seconds of this, drift slowly back to the white line. Now that side of the pack is cut off, and the yellow line side has to do the same thing. It REALLY disrupts pace, is not dangerous or illegal, and it helps to wear down the peloton evenly so that no one just hides in one place. Just remember, keep the pace up on the front end so it is not easy for people to pass you, but still be slow enough where the break can gain some time (assuming they know how to work together). Oh, and even when there is no break, practice this. Before long you get a knack of how easy it is to control the entire peloton (up until the last few miles).

Oh, and invariably there will be some wheel sucking Sprinters in the middle of the pack five or six bike lengths back that complain about the slow pace. Yell back and tell them you could be happy to see them come up and pull. They never do.
That's some good stuff and makes sense? I'll keep that in mind, thanks.
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Old 02-23-06, 09:47 PM   #16
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Having radio-communications with your teammates up in the break is really handy too. if they're running at 27mph, all you have to do is ride at the front of the pack at 26.5mph. It'll still feel fast and they'll have no idea the break is still pulling away. Don't be too overt with anything, just sit at the front and rotate through with everyone else. Just when it's your time to pull, just go at 0.5mph slower than your teammate out front.

Crits are even easier, just start coasting into the corners about 5ft earlier than necessary. Instead of sprinting out of the corners, accelerate slowly, but fast enough that the guys behind you won't want to try and accelerate even faster in order to get around you. Another teammate behind you can coast out of the corners and open up a gap behind you. This makes the pack sprint around him in open air to get back on your wheel...
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