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Old 04-18-08, 10:00 AM   #1
bdcheung
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What does it mean to "cover" a break?

If you're told to cover the early breaks, what does that mean? Obviously I go when a break goes, but do I work? How hard do I work? Do I just sit in on the break?
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Old 04-18-08, 10:04 AM   #2
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If your team has a specific goal is to keep a sprinter fresh and make sure the race is won from a bunch sprint, then you go with the break and sit on. If your team has a broader goal just to win the race and you don't have a sprinter that is the 'team leader' for the day, then work and try to win the race from the break.
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Old 04-18-08, 10:07 AM   #3
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You represent your team in the break. You work. Give your team a shot at the win out of the break.

If you don't work, you will be asked to leave, or be removed from the break.

You do this to take the pressure off of your team; by having a man in the break, they have no responsibility to chase later on in the race.
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Old 04-18-08, 10:08 AM   #4
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work that out with your boys ahead of time. it's a role I've oft filled and in the past on my team it was for me to do the following (loosely): 1)make sure it was worth covering, and if so, make sure I was in it; 2)ideally take our "leader" with me; 3)if he was with me, and it was worth being in - meaning it had enough horsepower and representation of teams to have a chance - drive it; 4)if he wasnt with me, sit on it, unless: 1) I was joined; 2) move looked good then work.
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Old 04-18-08, 10:20 AM   #5
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In some instances it means pack weld. In other words, don't try to make a clean separation, where instead you actually drag the pack up to the doomed break on purpose.
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Old 04-18-08, 10:34 AM   #6
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Yeah, "covering breaks" is adequate for a race report, but too ambiguous for a race plan.
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Old 04-18-08, 10:40 AM   #7
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You mean I have to talk to my teammates? For Christ's sake, I do cycling to get away from my wife...
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Old 04-18-08, 10:49 AM   #8
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please stand by for a highly informative 1,000+ word essay from CDR.
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Old 04-18-08, 11:05 AM   #9
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Usually you cover a break by being in it without working. Your team has an alternate plan and the break isn't part of it. Your responsibility, if you're covering the break, is to be there, be fresh, and do one of the following:
1. Act as a hopping step for a teammate's break out of the field.
2. Sit on, never pull, and be so discouraging that the rest of the break sits up too.
3. Sit on, pull sometimes, and wait to get caught. You're forcing lots of guys to work to catch the break and your team will be able to sit on.
4. Sit on, never pull, and when the rest of the break drags you to the finish, win the race.

#4 is controversial because you didn't contribute. But if you say "I can't work, my guy is in the field, AND I WILL SPRINT AT THE FINISH!" the the break doesn't have much to say. You'll be called names for a while though. However, if they drag you to the finish and you've told them you're going to sprint, their bad, not yours. If you tell them you're not going to sprint, you better not.

Sometimes the act of covering the break involves catching up to it. In the Tour du Pont tape, some Danish guy takes off. A few seconds later PDM launches a guy, so does Z, and they both bridge about a km later. Then they looked at the guys in the break like, "Yeah, so what?" and everyone sat up.

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Old 04-18-08, 11:06 AM   #10
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please stand by for a highly informative 1,000+ word essay from CDR.
hahahahaha

Missus just called. What are you doing?

Eating. Drinking coffee. About to go for a ride. But I need to eat a bit more, drink a bit more coffee.

(and answer all these open BF tabs that I haven't answered yet)

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Old 04-18-08, 11:07 AM   #11
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you still owe us about 750 words.
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Old 04-18-08, 11:28 AM   #12
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please stand by for a highly informative 1,000+ word essay from CDR.
hes probably the only poster on any forum ive been on that consistantly makes very long posts that i actually want to read.
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Old 04-19-08, 03:53 AM   #13
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If you don't work, you will be asked to leave, or be removed from the break.
Oh, they can ask you to leave, they can yell at you, and they can take the Lord's name in vain all friggin day, but if you want to sit on the break and you have the snot to hang on it's tough ****. You don't have to take a pull all day long. I once had some ahole do this in a race for 30 miles and then out-sprint me for a place. A pal of mine got in his face after the race and chewed him out, but so what?

Of course you won't make any friends riding that way. But considering the general value of Universal Loathing in bicycle racing, that may be perfect.

'Ask you to leave.' That kills me. Here's what I'll say if they 'ask me to leave' a break: 'Hey ahole, if you think I'm too slow for your Fing breakaway then drop my Fred ass, in the meantime STFU and ride your bike'. That's the only way to 'remove' a guy from a break, they essentially have to 'remove' themselves by riding away from the culprit. That falls into the 'if you want to ride faster pedal harder' category, a sophisticated cycling technique revealed to me by my old racing pal C. Lane.

If I'm too gassed to pull through in a break it's because I'm riding over my head, not because I don't want to. I'd always try to pull through. I'm not interested in dogging a break, even if I'm not going to work very hard to help it succeed for whatever reason. But there's not too much anybody can do about a rider who does what I described above.

You could put a pump in his spokes like Breaking Away, except nobody has frame pumps anymore. Maybe you could throw a CO2 cartridge at his head.

Bottom line: there's no USA Cycling rule that specifically prohibits riding like a total ******bag in many situations. When it comes down to it, short of riding the other dude into a curb, all's fair in love and bicycle racing.

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Old 04-19-08, 04:21 AM   #14
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Here's what I'll say if they 'ask me to leave' a break: 'Hey ahole, if you think I'm too slow for your Fing breakaway then drop my Fred ass, in the meantime STFU and ride your bike'.
of course, if you were in the break you'd be too gassed to speak

the post pcad responded too ignored far too many race dynamics to be of much value. there are 7 guys on my team who on most weeks this spring would be in a break and not work it at all, waiting for either it to be caught or for me to bridge to it. dynamics change and our needs will likely change from here out though. But no one would work a break without explicit instructions to do so.
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Old 04-19-08, 06:04 AM   #15
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Oh, they can ask you to leave, they can yell at you, and they can take the Lord's name in vain all friggin day, but if you want to sit on the break and you have the snot to hang on it's tough ****. You don't have to take a pull all day long. I once had some ahole do this in a race for 30 miles and then out-sprint me for a place. A pal of mine got in his face after the race and chewed him out, but so what?

Of course you won't make any friends riding that way. But considering the general value of Universal Loathing in bicycle racing, that may be perfect.

'Ask you to leave.' That kills me. Here's what I'll say if they 'ask me to leave' a break: 'Hey ahole, if you think I'm too slow for your Fing breakaway then drop my Fred ass, in the meantime STFU and ride your bike'. That's the only way to 'remove' a guy from a break, they essentially have to 'remove' themselves by riding away from the culprit. That falls into the 'if you want to ride faster pedal harder' category, a sophisticated cycling technique revealed to me by my old racing pal C. Lane.

If I'm too gassed to pull through in a break it's because I'm riding over my head, not because I don't want to. I'd always try to pull through. I'm not interested in dogging a break, even if I'm not going to work very hard to help it succeed for whatever reason. But there's not too much anybody can do about a rider who does what I described above.

You could put a pump in his spokes like Breaking Away, except nobody has frame pumps anymore. Maybe you could throw a CO2 cartridge at his head.

Bottom line: there's no USA Cycling rule that specifically prohibits riding like a total ******bag in many situations. When it comes down to it, short of riding the other dude into a curb, all's fair in love and bicycle racing.
I pop people off the backs of breaks fairly frequently. I wait until the target is a little stressed, and behind me. Then I ease up and create a gap, or I don't follow the next surge. Then I just play chicken with the guy, seeing who's willing to let the break get the furthest away. Eventually, I pop off a full on sprint, diving toward the yellow or white line, get a gap, and bridge back up by myself.

If he comes around to bridge himself, I wheelsuck him back to the break, then I attack really hard once we get there (since I haven't been working at all for a minute or so).

I haven't ever asked someone to leave a break.
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Old 04-19-08, 06:22 AM   #16
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Oh, they can ask you to leave, they can yell at you, and they can take the Lord's name in vain all friggin day, but if you want to sit on the break and you have the snot to hang on it's tough ****. You don't have to take a pull all day long. I once had some ahole do this in a race for 30 miles and then out-sprint me for a place. A pal of mine got in his face after the race and chewed him out, but so what?

Of course you won't make any friends riding that way. But considering the general value of Universal Loathing in bicycle racing, that may be perfect.

'Ask you to leave.' That kills me. Here's what I'll say if they 'ask me to leave' a break: 'Hey ahole, if you think I'm too slow for your Fing breakaway then drop my Fred ass, in the meantime STFU and ride your bike'. That's the only way to 'remove' a guy from a break, they essentially have to 'remove' themselves by riding away from the culprit. That falls into the 'if you want to ride faster pedal harder' category, a sophisticated cycling technique revealed to me by my old racing pal C. Lane.

If I'm too gassed to pull through in a break it's because I'm riding over my head, not because I don't want to. I'd always try to pull through. I'm not interested in dogging a break, even if I'm not going to work very hard to help it succeed for whatever reason. But there's not too much anybody can do about a rider who does what I described above.
You could put a pump in his spokes like Breaking Away, except nobody has frame pumps anymore. Maybe you could throw a CO2 cartridge at his head.

Bottom line: there's no USA Cycling rule that specifically prohibits riding like a total ******bag in many situations. When it comes down to it, short of riding the other dude into a curb, all's fair in love and bicycle racing.
pack attacking d-bag works.
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Old 04-19-08, 09:48 AM   #17
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You could put a pump in his spokes like Breaking Away, except nobody has frame pumps anymore.

I watched Freddy Rodriguez race the Brisbeen Highlands Circuit race for 75 minutes with a frame pump on his Rock Racing DeRosa a few weeks back. A Health Net racer (Roman somebody) had one as well. Pizza Man was in that race so maybe he can comment.

Of course Fast Fred did commute to the race by taking BART over from Emeryville, and then riding over the hills to get to the course. All he wanted for his third place was BART fare.

I have been looking to buy one ever since.
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Old 04-19-08, 10:08 AM   #18
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I watched Freddy Rodriguez race the Brisbeen Highlands Circuit race for 75 minutes with a frame pump on his Rock Racing DeRosa a few weeks back. A Health Net racer (Roman somebody) had one as well. Pizza Man was in that race so maybe he can comment.

Of course Fast Fred did commute to the race by taking BART over from Emeryville, and then riding over the hills to get to the course. All he wanted for his third place was BART fare.

I have been looking to buy one ever since.
Yeah, I won a race this season with a frame pump on the bike...
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Old 04-19-08, 10:20 AM   #19
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Yeah, I won a race this season with a frame pump on the bike...
So THAT'S what I'm doing wrong.
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Old 04-19-08, 10:27 AM   #20
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So THAT'S what I'm doing wrong.
Yeah, me too. And having around eleventy-billions watts. WR could drag a cinder block behind him with a chain and still out sprint most the field.
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Old 04-19-08, 10:54 AM   #21
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Yeah, me too. And having around eleventy-billions watts. WR could drag a cinder block behind him with a chain and still out sprint most the field.
Haha, that's even funnier because it's probably true.

Can someone photoshop that and make it happen? Pretty please?
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Old 04-19-08, 04:52 PM   #22
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Pfft! I think Compressed and Carpediemracing would work me in a sprint

I've got a good jump, but there's a lot more to it that that. I appreciate the props though
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Old 04-19-08, 04:57 PM   #23
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I haven't ever asked someone to leave a break.
I would really love to hear that conversation if it ever should occur.
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Old 04-19-08, 10:42 PM   #24
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My favourite little story from the Melbourne to Warrnambool (the longest UCI road race in the world) last year. Break goes up the road and some serious hammer gets put down (by the eventual winner) causing one bloke (class act in his own right) to ask 'Hey Tim can we slow down just a touch (they were humming at 56-58kmh) you are going rip our legs off.' (They still had about 210km to race....)

Decker calls out over his left shoulder 'Fark off mate. If you cant handle it go back to the farken bunch'.

That's gold! It wasn't a case of 'covering' a break so much as it was a privledge to just 'stay on'!
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Old 04-19-08, 11:59 PM   #25
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You represent your team in the break. You work. Give your team a shot at the win out of the break.

If you don't work, you will be asked to leave, or be removed from the break.

You do this to take the pressure off of your team; by having a man in the break, they have no responsibility to chase later on in the race.
Truth. Saves your sprinter agony to have one or two of his men up the road. Keeps him fresh for the sprint. If you're in a break, do your pull.
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