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  1. #1
    Senior Member Xrisnothing's Avatar
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    I lost to my riding partner

    I'm thinking about racing this Summer and have started to increase my saddle time lately. I usually ride solo, but I occasionally ride with three other guys. I'm usually the fastest, just because I've been riding the longest and towards the end of our rides, I go all out along with 1 other person.

    So, there are about 3 miles left, a straight shot, smooth pavement, a few rollers and the 2 of us are clipping along at 25mph and I'm drafting behind my friend, letting him shield the wind for me so that I'm fresh for a sprint. At the last hill, halfway up I sling shot past him at such speed that I think that there's no way he's ever catching me. I crest the hill and ugh, the distance left is about twice what I expected and I started to lose my speed. I looked behind me and he was still a good distance behind me, so I just try to get as aero as possible and give it everything I've got left, which isn't much and he just slowly passed me.

    I obviously started the sprint way too early and burnt myself out at 30+ on a hill. How do you know when to sprint to the finish? If every second counts, isn't it better to be the first to go all out? I'd like to get some pointers before I humiliate myself like that again, but with spectators. I got razzed for the rest of the day for losing like that, when I'm supposed to be the fastest one of my group.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Stallionforce's Avatar
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    How long of a sprint did you try? Most guys are good for about 15 seconds in my estimation; but the length of a sprint varies for each rider. I'd go out and try some sprints and watch your computer and see at what distance (or time) you start to lose speed. Water rockets probably can give you some better tips than I; but that's where I'd start.

  3. #3
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    You're only going to be good for 10-15 seconds at truly max effort, I think. Say your sprint goes at 60km/h (for easy math), that's 1km/min, or about 16m/sec. If you can hold your speed for 10-15 seconds, that means you should start your sprint at 160-240m from the "line". Simple math, no? Of course calculating that on the fly isn't as simple, ignores gradient of the road, etc. Still from the above calc you can estimate based on different sprint speeds if you're good at estimating distances.
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  4. #4
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    I am a long sprinter and take a while to 'wind up' and never go more than 300m out which is considered far.

    200m is a reasonable disatance to sprint from.
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  5. #5
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    You can't win a sprint at the 1k mark. It's really funny when I see people going at 1k in a race.
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    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps
    You can't win a sprint at the 1k mark. It's really funny when I see people going at 1k in a race.
    Why is it funny? If you know you're not a sprinter then why wait for the field sprint? If you jump at 1km and can get a gap on everyone you just might find that the sprinters aren't willing to jump to chase because they're saving themselves for the 200 meter mark.

    Admittedly, I'm a junior racer but here's my justification for it. Suppose my maximum 10-second sprint power under ideal conditions is only about 1000 watts but I can hold 650 watts for one minute. Suppose my identical twin can hit 1300 watts for 10 seconds but can only hold 500 watts for one minute. In a head to head race against my twin, when should I jump?

    --Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by zimbo
    Why is it funny? If you know you're not a sprinter then why wait for the field sprint? If you jump at 1km and can get a gap on everyone you just might find that the sprinters aren't willing to jump to chase because they're saving themselves for the 200 meter mark.

    Admittedly, I'm a junior racer but here's my justification for it. Suppose my maximum 10-second sprint power under ideal conditions is only about 1000 watts but I can hold 650 watts for one minute. Suppose my identical twin can hit 1300 watts for 10 seconds but can only hold 500 watts for one minute. In a head to head race against my twin, when should I jump?

    --Steve
    If you know your not a sprinter you should be going at 5k-10k. your not going to get away at 1k to go the run-in will always be too fast. you will end up with a 10ft gap that will be closed in the last 500m.

    Maybe(I mean maybe) someone who races the kilo at track racing that is in a category way bellow their ability could make it to the line 1k out, but unless your chris hoy its probably not happening.

    How many field sprints do you see won at the 1k mark?

    Also a one minute kilo is a world record time.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimbo
    Admittedly, I'm a junior racer but here's my justification for it. Suppose my maximum 10-second sprint power under ideal conditions is only about 1000 watts but I can hold 650 watts for one minute. Suppose my identical twin can hit 1300 watts for 10 seconds but can only hold 500 watts for one minute. In a head to head race against my twin, when should I jump?

    --Steve
    after your twin, grab his wheel and come around him with 50m to go, easy right?
    Cat 1 o-meter 33%

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xrisnothing
    I obviously started the sprint way too early and burnt myself out at 30+ on a hill.
    Sprinting uphill at 50 km/h?

    Time to calibrate.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Xrisnothing's Avatar
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    Coming out of someone's draft, it's easily doable. As I said, it burns you out quite quickly.

    The distance to the finish was probably ~300m. Even the people behind me knew that I took off way too early.

  11. #11
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    sounds to me ur friends arent very smart racers either considering they'd let a known stronger rider draft them to finish line.

  12. #12
    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps
    If you know your not a sprinter you should be going at 5k-10k. your not going to get away at 1k to go the run-in will always be too fast. you will end up with a 10ft gap that will be closed in the last 500m. How many field sprints do you see won at the 1k mark?
    At 1k it's not a sprint. It's a last-minute (technically the last two-minutes) breakaway. You don't see very many of these succeed at the professional level because teams have very well organized leadout trains that can increase the pace and expend guys in the process. But you certainly see lots of guys on the Pro tour ATTEMPT a 1k breakaway. It happens all the freaking time.

    In lower categories (3-5), my experience has been that there are often races where the front is not being controlled by organized teams with "expendable" racers willing to burn themselves out before the line and therefore it's a lot harder to get a train working together to chase someone down if he sprints off at the 1km mark or so. In my meager career, I've won two races that way. Admittedly, in the higher category races with teams working together that tactic won't work as well.

    But let's say we're in a Cat4 race together and neither one of us has a significant contingent of team members in the race. With 1 mile to go you see me jump off the front, but your forte is sprinting. What do you do?

    Also a one minute kilo is a world record time.
    Agreed. My implication was that if I'm faster than someone for 1 minute I'll also be faster for 1km.

    --Steve

  13. #13
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps
    You can't win a sprint at the 1k mark. It's really funny when I see people going at 1k in a race.
    I call that a leadout...

  14. #14
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimbo
    But let's say we're in a Cat4 race together and neither one of us has a significant contingent of team members in the race. With 1 mile to go you see me jump off the front, but your forte is sprinting. What do you do?
    That's freakin' easy. I sprint for 5-7 seconds and get on your wheel. Ride you for 100 seconds as I check my HRM, get a sip from bottle and chuck it, check out the scenery, check distance to the pack, check distance to the finish wave at my GF in the stands, maybe even check my email and BF posts, then in the last 10-15s I come around you for the win!

    Heck, same strategy if you go 2-miles out, or 5-miles out; I'd just sit on your wheel unit the last 50-70m and come around you. If you can't sprint, forget about trying to win races (look up the percentage of races that are won by a solo breakaway). Or start training your sprint.

  15. #15
    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    That's freakin' easy. I sprint for 5-7 seconds and get on your wheel.
    Not so fast, dude. What makes you think I'm a good wheel to grab? What happens if I blow up after 100 meters? Now you're leading everyone out and they pull the same trick on you that you thought you were going to pull on me. If you join me, you're taking a risk. If you just watch me go, you're taking a risk. Either way, it's not what I would qualify as "really funny" because you're put at risk not matter what you do.

    Heck, same strategy if you go 2-miles out, or 5-miles out; I'd just sit on your wheel unit the last 50-70m and come around you.
    So you think I would just drag you around for 5 miles? Again, what makes you think I'm strong enough to stay away from the entire peloton without help for 5 miles? And if I am, as soon as we hit the first hill I'm likely to be able to drop you, no?

    If you can't sprint, forget about trying to win races
    See Ballan-v-Hoste, Ronde van Vlaanderen 2007.

    --Steve

  16. #16
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    So you think I would just drag you around for 5 miles? Again, what makes you think I'm strong enough to stay away from the entire peloton without help for 5 miles? And if I am, as soon as we hit the first hill I'm likely to be able to drop you, no?
    This is called nulifying the break, if you just sit in the break and do no work and make sure you dont lose wheels, either its going to be brought back or youve let everyone else in the break tire themselves out and you be fresh at the finish.
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  17. #17
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^^
    thats not the point he was making

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by riskus
    ^^^^^^^^
    thats not the point he was making
    Sorry I must have missed the point. Anyways this has gotten pretty off topic and honestly seem to me its a bunch of (myself included) new racers discussing strategy theyve pretty much only seen on cycling.tv.

    I'm leaving one last comment since this thread has gotten way off topic, I think that every run-in to a sprint I have been in has been waaay to fast to break 1k to go, and no-one can sprint from the 1k mark that I have ever seen.
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  19. #19
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    the point he was trying to make is that its not as simple as you make it sound. The guy that goes off at 1k inst necesarily attempting to sprint the entire 1k and there are a lot of variable when considering how exactly its going to play out.

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