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Old 03-23-07, 02:49 PM   #1
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Gapping in a group (on purpose)

Have you ever intentionally caused a gap in a group? During our Tuesday nighter this week, on the last lap, I was in a chase group of about eight. But only three of us were doing any work. I only let that go for about three pulls before I decided to see who was feeling weak.

So, I gapped the other two working riders after my pull. They got about 4 bike lengths ahead of me before there was any reaction from behind. One guy attacked hard, and I went with him, blowing by the first two riders. The other 4 or so in our group completely shattered at that point, so it was two chasing two. That worked out quite nicely.

Prior to the last 12 months or so, I was never strong enough to play games in a pack, but I’m having a good time with it this season. This kind of riding is pretty new to me, but I knew it went on with the stronger riders.

Pretty fun
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Old 03-23-07, 02:53 PM   #2
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You can gap people very effectively at the back too. Leave a gap & as they pull in behind you close it.
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Old 03-23-07, 03:11 PM   #3
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I have played that game. I was in second and tired on the last lap. The draft I had seemed small. I let a gap grow between me and the first place guy. A couple worked hard to close the gap and gave me a break in their draft. The sprint was on, I was fresh, the others not so much because of my little game. Be wary out there. Someone is gona play games.
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Old 03-23-07, 03:34 PM   #4
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I've let people slip off before, but it was more a matter of letting them get behind me, slacking off for a bit, then bridging back up to the group. Those without the legs would be left behind.
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Old 03-23-07, 03:41 PM   #5
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I've let people slip off before, but it was more a matter of letting them get behind me, slacking off for a bit, then bridging back up to the group. Those without the legs would be left behind.
Yeah, that was my plan until this guy attacked. I also figured that if I let the gap get big enough, they'd probably eventually come around me to try to make it back up to the leaders. I could let them either make it, or die trying, and then come around myself.

The attack was really nice turn of events though.
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Old 03-23-07, 05:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterrockets
This kind of riding is pretty new to me...
Pretty fun
I know the feeling.

last season was my first season racing; I spent my first 18 races getting shelled. either all that time off the back made me stronger, or I just got more comfortable in the pack, but all of a sudden I started staying in front where I can actually do something or at least watch the tactics play out.

It IS pretty cool—my last race I took turns attacking with a teammate. about 6 attacks each in 35 laps, probably stayed off the front most of a lap each time. had I been looking at the lap cards I might have gotten away for good (or so they said) but I was just so thrilled about actually doing something and breaking legs that I forgot about the lap cards. I let the pack catch back on with 1 lap to go. 'doh.

the race before that I was pulling when a train of 3 teammates went by. just managed to jump on and we stayed away for a little while, but we stuck together and the rest of the race was about trying to break us apart.

jeez, now I'm excited to race again.
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Old 03-23-07, 05:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steaktaco
I know the feeling.

last season was my first season racing; I spent my first 18 races getting shelled. either all that time off the back made me stronger, or I just got more comfortable in the pack, but all of a sudden I started staying in front where I can actually do something or at least watch the tactics play out.

It IS pretty cool—my last race I took turns attacking with a teammate. about 6 attacks each in 35 laps, probably stayed off the front most of a lap each time. had I been looking at the lap cards I might have gotten away for good (or so they said) but I was just so thrilled about actually doing something and breaking legs that I forgot about the lap cards. I let the pack catch back on with 1 lap to go. 'doh.

the race before that I was pulling when a train of 3 teammates went by. just managed to jump on and we stayed away for a little while, but we stuck together and the rest of the race was about trying to break us apart.

jeez, now I'm excited to race again.
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Old 03-23-07, 06:13 PM   #8
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Can't wait to have a team.... wonder what that will be like.
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Old 03-23-07, 06:29 PM   #9
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I wouldn't feel bad about forcing their hand. It's good practice to learn how to do that in case you find yourself in a breakaway with people unwilling to work.

No pull, no pity. buh-bye.
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Old 03-23-07, 06:55 PM   #10
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on my last group type ride i tried to drift off the back and then recatch the group. It didnt work too well for me.
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Old 03-23-07, 07:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadVW
Can't wait to have a team.... wonder what that will be like.
Having recently ridden against a couple strong teams, it makes a HUGE difference. Solo or small team riders just have to hope a break forms and they're in it. Otherwise they're just fodder.
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Old 03-23-07, 07:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steaktaco
I know the feeling.

last season was my first season racing; I spent my first 18 races getting shelled. either all that time off the back made me stronger, or I just got more comfortable in the pack, but all of a sudden I started staying in front where I can actually do something or at least watch the tactics play out.

It IS pretty cool—my last race I took turns attacking with a teammate. about 6 attacks each in 35 laps, probably stayed off the front most of a lap each time. had I been looking at the lap cards I might have gotten away for good (or so they said) but I was just so thrilled about actually doing something and breaking legs that I forgot about the lap cards. I let the pack catch back on with 1 lap to go. 'doh.

the race before that I was pulling when a train of 3 teammates went by. just managed to jump on and we stayed away for a little while, but we stuck together and the rest of the race was about trying to break us apart.

jeez, now I'm excited to race again.
Sounds pretty good if your category actually races. The last three cat 4 races I did were just slightly faster versions of cat 5 races.....lame. Nobody would do anything and if you went to the front to try to up the pace, the guys leading would just sit in refusing to go faster than they wanted to. They even slowed the pace down 2 miles before the finish. Think I'll switch to Masters.
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Old 03-23-07, 07:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by spunky
Nobody would do anything and if you went to the front to try to up the pace, the guys leading would just sit in refusing to go faster than they wanted to.
Now why on earth would you go to the front to up the pace? That makes no sense. If the group is going slow and you feel that keeping the field together works against you (i.e. you don't like your chances in a field sprint) then attack. Don't just go to the front; start far enough back that you can build up some speed, move to the far side of the road from the guys leading, and get some separation. It takes no more effort for you to stay 100 yards up the road than for you to pull the group along. If they catch you, drift back, rest up, and then go again.

If you find that you're not strong enough to stay away by yourself or nobody will come with you to help then you are better served by having the pace be slow.

--Steve
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Old 03-23-07, 10:13 PM   #14
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It was too early in the race to breakaway. The pack just let me go without me even trying to jump. Upping the pace before the final sprint is good for helping to weed out the weaker riders so you don't end up with 50 person downhill finish line sprints....messy.
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Old 03-23-07, 10:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steaktaco
I know the feeling.

last season was my first season racing; I spent my first 18 races getting shelled. either all that time off the back made me stronger, or I just got more comfortable in the pack, but all of a sudden I started staying in front where I can actually do something or at least watch the tactics play out.

It IS pretty cool—my last race I took turns attacking with a teammate. about 6 attacks each in 35 laps, probably stayed off the front most of a lap each time. had I been looking at the lap cards I might have gotten away for good (or so they said) but I was just so thrilled about actually doing something and breaking legs that I forgot about the lap cards. I let the pack catch back on with 1 lap to go. 'doh.

the race before that I was pulling when a train of 3 teammates went by. just managed to jump on and we stayed away for a little while, but we stuck together and the rest of the race was about trying to break us apart.

jeez, now I'm excited to race again.
Thats a great post. Got me reved up just sitting here on the sofa..
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Old 03-23-07, 11:43 PM   #16
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Interesting tactic, very ingenious. Probably too crafty for my marsupial brain.

I prefer to unleash with all the manly and savage puissance I can muster.

Which is not much more than your average ocelot.
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Old 03-24-07, 05:01 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by zimbo
Now why on earth would you go to the front to up the pace? That makes no sense. If the group is going slow and you feel that keeping the field together works against you (i.e. you don't like your chances in a field sprint) then attack. Don't just go to the front; start far enough back that you can build up some speed, move to the far side of the road from the guys leading, and get some separation. It takes no more effort for you to stay 100 yards up the road than for you to pull the group along. If they catch you, drift back, rest up, and then go again.

If you find that you're not strong enough to stay away by yourself or nobody will come with you to help then you are better served by having the pace be slow.

--Steve
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Old 03-25-07, 01:45 PM   #18
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Good thinking Waterockets. Yep, gapping works.

The classic gapping gambit is two against one in a 3 man break. You and your teamate against another guy.

You and your teamate line up one and two, enemy will of course sit in. So now, #2 guy blocks and lets #1 gets a gap.

Enemy now has to chase because if he doesn't, you will just sit on his wheel and let your teamate solo. So enemy chases, you get his wheel. If he catches your teamate, you immediately attack. Now, enemy has to chase you because now your teamate will just sit in and let you solo. Repeat often.

Do this to the enemy only a couple of times and two mediocre riders can drop even a very strong rider.

If you are the enemy, about the only defense you have is to not take the bait if two guys are trying to work you over. Go after them one by one. Don't chase, let one rider get fairly far up the road and then play cat and mouse with his teamate, sprinting as hard as you can so he can't get on your wheel and eventually dropping him. If you can drop him, then bridge up to his teamate and now its one on one.
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Old 03-25-07, 01:56 PM   #19
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Yes!, One of my favorite games to sit 4 men back in the tuesday training ride, then let the front 3 do work on a hill and i drop a little bit with a few guys on my wheel then I attack back up to the front 3. leaving it just the front 4.
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Old 03-26-07, 06:09 AM   #20
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It warms my heart to see this thread get to nearly a full page without anyone griping about elitism.
I though for sure by now someone would have chimed in about how kicking someone out of a training ride was exclusionary.

It is. And it's fun.
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Old 03-26-07, 07:21 AM   #21
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ES, it's all good as long as you don't yell at people and grab their shirt.

I have used this technique as well on a mid week race training ride with other teams present. Four teammates lined up at the front with me being the last one. The heavy hitters for the sprint are behind me getting ready. The speed is already high. The three guys in front of me punch it hard while I only slightly accelerate. It's too soon for the sprint so the heavy hitters continue to sit in not realizing that a gap is forming. Three seconds and a ten foot gap later, and it's too late. Victory for one of our guys.
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Old 03-27-07, 07:59 AM   #22
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You take all the fun out of it, sver.
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Old 03-27-07, 08:05 AM   #23
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ES,
I can't tell the tone of your post, so just to be on the safe side, I was absolutely kidding with my comments about the yelling and shirt grabbing. That was a GREAT thread. (I suppose I should have put a 'lol' in there to indicate humor.)
I surely do not want to take the fun out of it.
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Old 03-27-07, 01:19 PM   #24
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I'm with ya. Knew you were kidding. I was too.

That thread should be a screenplay.
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