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Old 05-05-07, 12:50 AM   #1
BlackTie
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the best time to attack

I'm not talkng about a simple answer like... "when the main group catches a breakaway." I wondering if it's better to attack going against the wind? right after corners? etc.

I don't understand how anyone could survive lone breakaway. That would mean I would have to ride 2x as fast to both get away and stay away. Riding 2x as fast as a chasing group is 10x as hard. damn
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Old 05-05-07, 01:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackTie
I'm not talkng about a simple answer like... "when the main group catches a breakaway." I wondering if it's better to attack going against the wind? right after corners? etc.

I don't understand how anyone could survive lone breakaway. That would mean I would have to ride 2x as fast to both get away and stay away. Riding 2x as fast as a chasing group is 10x as hard. damn
When you're feeling like it. If you feel strong and the riders around are looking all in then it's a reasonable time. Sometimes it's not just you, if the peloton can't be bothered to chase, if you're perceived as not a threat, if they don't think you'll last out there.
I've seen riders attack and the peloton have a discussion about weather he's worth chasing down, I've been in discussions where we've decided to lift the tempo to keep him at 100 or 200 meters 'just to make him suffer'
If you've got team mates in with you you've more chance than if you're a loan rider.
I don't think there a 'best' place to attack it varies from race to race, when I raced in continental Europe there was a lot of hard riding out of corners which I first thought of as attack, but it was just they way they rode in that region. Into the wind is a great place in my book, because personally I think you've got to be a little crazy to try it (being a little crazy helps when attacking ).
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Old 05-05-07, 03:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BlackTie
I don't understand how anyone could survive lone breakaway. That would mean I would have to ride 2x as fast to both get away and stay away. Riding 2x as fast as a chasing group is 10x as hard. damn
If that's what's going on in your mind, it's not time.
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Old 05-05-07, 05:49 AM   #4
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you dont attack into a strong headwind. when you attack you want it to be at a point where effects of the pack (ie drafting) are minimalized. this will happen at the base of climbs as well since drafting will no longer be important. i was never told this, just something i picked up after my whopping 5 races of experience. anyone with more experience like to comment on this?
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Old 05-05-07, 06:31 AM   #5
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Yeah, attacking when there is a huge draft benefit is a lot tougher (flats, descents, headwinds), but I've seen it happen successfully.

My first success was last Tuesday, and I went at the bottom of the last in a series of hills. I figured the pack was soft, and there was enough grade for a selection. I went from the very back of the pack so I wouldn't need to go hard to get a speed differential (starting at the further up front, the fast guys are too close to your speed and may hop on). If you can hit the front of the pack going 15-20% faster, those guys won't go with you. Here's the thread, in case you missed it: It worked!

I've started one other successful break many years ago, but I wasn't strong enough to stay with it, and that was from the bottom of a hill as well. I went way too hard to get away -- it just wasn't needed.

The idea is to go faster than the pack at the beginning and get a gap. After that, all you have to do is go as fast as the pack, but it's best if you can go faster for a while at least. There's often a sweet spot at the beginning where the 3 or 4 riders interested in chasing you will give up (depending on category and team interest). If you can last until that point (4 minutes or so?), you're probably going to be away for a while, but the finishing surge can be really strong, and lots of riders will be working that.

If it was easy, everyone would do it... and you'd have a pack finish
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Old 05-05-07, 07:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stea1thviper
you dont attack into a strong headwind. when you attack you want it to be at a point where effects of the pack (ie drafting) are minimalized. this will happen at the base of climbs as well since drafting will no longer be important.

If you got the legs then attack the climb, some down or there might not be any. I find a break into the wind can work out because people are much less motivate to burry themselves to chase you down unless they are riding support for another guy and their sole purpose it to chase you down.
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Old 05-05-07, 07:21 AM   #7
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the only breakaway that i have ever maintained was a 3 person that later became a 2 person and it was initiated on accident. that being said, this is my perception:

two basic types of breaks

1) early on, survive because the peloton takes its foot off the gas.
2) late in the race, get away because of surges/brute force

obviously, there are different requirements for each break, so evaluate your strengths to determine which is for you. plus, the course and conditions will also be huge.

early breaks seem to get away more by luck/good teamwork in the peloton (teammates taking pulls in the peloton that are slightly slower than they should be) if you are a known commodity, it is unlikely that they are going to let you go. the mid race breaks provide more interesting oppurtunities for strategy. breaks typically happen on climbs, in crosswinds, and after attacks. again, knowing yourself is important here. i am very skinny with the legs of a 12 year old girl, so i am gonna be attacking on the climbs, hope a couple other skinny ones go with me, and then rev up the sprint if the break holds. strong riders can attack in winds, especially if there has been some significant activity at the front. (look to see who is taking pulls, often only 20% or less of the field ever pulls. if these guys are getting tired, you stand a decent chance)

the more the course features some of those afore mentioned draft negators, the better. for example, if i break on a hilly course, that could be trouble, but not so much if it is a flat windy course and very little chance if i am by myself on a flat windless course. a 195 lb. cat 4 triathlete is dangerous if he can break on a flat windy course, but not so much on a hilly course, etc.
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Old 05-05-07, 07:24 AM   #8
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You don't mention your strengths and weaknesses relative to your competition, and I think most would agree that defines what is an opening for _you_ ... Personally, the only time I attack is 200m +- 50m from the line... Provided I make it to 200m +-50m from the line...
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Old 05-05-07, 12:46 PM   #9
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Shockingly, the most successful of my attacks come when I'm suffering the MOST! Let me explain.

When I'm hurting badly, I know that others must also be suffering. At that point (and this is key), you must have the mental toughness to fight through your pain, and just GO all out. Most will be discouraged just given their physical state. Most will assume that you are better than they are, as you are going hard and they are suffering like dogs .... most.

It hurts terribly, but this tactic can work out very well. Give it a try sometime!

... Brad
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Old 05-05-07, 02:50 PM   #10
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If there's a big field, never attack after a corner, always attack just before. One rider can always go much faster around a corner than a group. Attacking so that you reach your max sprint speed about 25-50 feet before the corner is a good thing to shoot for.
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Old 05-05-07, 07:41 PM   #11
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Attack according to your strength. If you are a slippery little dude, go for the headwind. If you are a monster who turns over a huge gear, go for the tailwind. Also, logic is faulty. If the peloton is averaging 25, and you attack and average 25.1 you win. My best advice is get a big gap early. Once you have a big gap (15-30 seconds) the peloton gives up and starts racing for 2nd place. If you are dangling 8 seconds off the front, they are just giving you your pain and maybe even breathing an internal sigh of relief. "There is one less we will have to worry about later because he is fried NOW."

Attack often, attack hard, and if you are really good, attack your attack.
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Old 05-05-07, 08:25 PM   #12
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getting out of sight is a huge advantage for winning break. Out-of-sight out-of-mind.
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Old 05-05-07, 08:27 PM   #13
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Over the tops of hills (when everyone has that momentary breather at the top) or when turning into crosswinds are the best spots to attack. This is textbook stuff. Hills and crosswinds are what smashes fields to bits, not head or tailwinds. Make your attack count too. Don't put in one of those wussie 50m jumps down the road. Look at pros like Armstrong and Rebellin when they attack. They put the gap in first time every time.

Rarely would circumstances dictate that its a good idea to attack into a headwind.
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Old 05-05-07, 10:33 PM   #14
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Whoa thanks for the great advice!

Sorry, I forgot to mention that I'm a skinny, limber guy and I race Cat5 crits - so there are no hills to attack on.
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Old 05-06-07, 11:33 AM   #15
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attack when it's least expected, and when you know you and everyone else is hurting the most.
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Old 05-06-07, 11:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackTie
Whoa thanks for the great advice!

Sorry, I forgot to mention that I'm a skinny, limber guy and I race Cat5 crits - so there are no hills to attack on.
I would second the "attack before the corner" advice. I race a lot of crits and if I'm going to attack I try to make it corner entry to the next corner exit if it's set up that way. It gives me 2 corners of accordion to build time.

Give it a few tries and see what works for you.
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Old 05-06-07, 09:52 PM   #17
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never attack from the front. best place to attack is from 5-10th place.
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Old 05-06-07, 11:09 PM   #18
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Attack at the start line when everyone else is just chatting waiting for the start gun..... Although the officials won't like it.

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Old 05-06-07, 11:24 PM   #19
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Attack when it hurts the most, because everyone else hurts just as much. The strong may go with you, but you'll get away, even if it's not solo.
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Old 05-07-07, 06:40 AM   #20
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Attack when it hurts the most, because everyone else hurts just as much. The strong may go with you, but you'll get away, even if it's not solo.
+1, attack when the race is hard, or just after a hard stretch and the pace lets up slightly (i.e. counter).

Also, IME, how you attack depends on your strengths. I've not been successful in solo efforts, and good lawd have I tried. 1st step is getting away from the pack. For me, getting away from the pack is best done from about 4th - 10th position. This allows me to hit the front of the pack at speed and going too fast for the 1st few riders to respond. In crits, this works very well on a mid to late prime lap when folks are starting to think about finishing as opposed to the can of gu they could win. Good time to get away, staying away is another issue. Also, I'm better at following moves and bridging to work with a good mix of riders in a break (like 3+ others) as opposed to soloing.

That being said, I'm sure I'll continue to beat my head against the ground trying to solo for wins. I'm strategically stubborn (or inept) I guess.
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Old 05-07-07, 06:44 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
If there's a big field, never attack after a corner, always attack just before. One rider can always go much faster around a corner than a group. Attacking so that you reach your max sprint speed about 25-50 feet before the corner is a good thing to shoot for.

+1.

I did this yesterday. I find that I corner faster than average, and 1 rider can get through a corner faster than a group. So it's a good way to get that initial seperation cleanly.

Unfortunately, I never got more than 20 seconds, and when a couple of people tried to bridge they towed the whole pack up.
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