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Old 07-15-08, 08:34 AM   #1
recursive
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Move up now vs Save it for the sprint.

It just occurred to me that the correct answer is pretty much always to move up now. Even if you totally blow the sprint, the position you pick up earlier will usually more than offset it.

That's it, I'm changing up my whole style. I've always been a conservative racer, always concerned with how much I have left in the tank. But screw it. I'm realizing my best results have come from going early, catching others by surprise.

Discuss.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:38 AM   #2
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Plus, the physiological systems utilized in a sprint aren't the same as when moving up in the field. So, maybe that matters too?
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Old 07-15-08, 09:28 AM   #3
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Moving up sometimes requires digging into the sprint reserve tank and therefore will affect your sprint. This is especially true on the last lap of a race - for me moving up in the last lap means going a pedal stroke or four at 800-1100 watts and that is definitely using up some of my sprint.

The question is what kind of sprint do you have - is it a jumpy sprint or a long drawn out one? Based on that you can assess whether or not it's advantageous to move up or not.

For example, since I have a jumpy sprint, and I have to have relatively fresh legs to sprint, I postpone moving up as much as possible. If I have to make more than a couple efforts in the last couple minutes of a race then I'm done. Sometimes I won't move up from the back of the field until the bell has rung for the last lap of the race. Other times, due to the pace etc, I'll start moving up a little bit at a time at 10 to go.

Pat Gellineau, a stalwart racer in the area, has a more power drawn out sprint. He prefers to lead out and will go from 300-400 meters sometimes. He may not win but he'll place well. I've made the mistake of letting him go when he jumps because I figured I could pass him later - and I either barely pass him or he beats me.

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Old 07-15-08, 09:33 AM   #4
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Recently I've kind of figured out that at our local races it only takes a tick more energy to be closer to the front. You can try to hide in the pack for a while after a prime or something, but the energy you spend making sure you're in good position for the sprint more than offsets the energy that it takes to get to the front on the last lap. 1/2 the time, if I try to get to the front on the last lap, I get boxed in anyhow and can't get up there. My new approach is be at the front for the whole damn time and drive the pace. If I blow up, who cares. If I'm still around at the end, then I'm golden.
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Old 07-15-08, 09:55 AM   #5
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recursive do you consider yourself a sprinter?
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Old 07-15-08, 10:21 AM   #6
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recursive do you consider yourself a sprinter?
By virtue of even more weakness in every other discipline, yes. I do.
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Old 07-15-08, 11:35 AM   #7
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Recursive, I don't have a good answer for you but I was sort of in the same situation. I had two crits in a row where I just sort of sat in and waited too long. I had a top ten in one of them but it was frustrating to realize that I had a whole book of matches when the race ended.

I decided on the next race to be super-agressive: I attacked three times, got in a 3-man break with 6 to go, we got caught with 2 to go, but I still managed to pull out a 3d place. But even if I'd only managed to come in 30th, that was more satisfying to take the race rather than let it come to me.
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Old 07-15-08, 11:50 AM   #8
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It depends on the race for me and position in the pack. Crits I think are almost always a 'move up now' race unless you are already in the top 6-10 spots. We have a weeknight race on an auto track that is really wide open. You can almost always find an avenue to move up, so waiting until the last lap is often a decent option.
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Old 07-15-08, 03:30 PM   #9
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Due to the lack of breaks that work in my category, staying close to the front is important should the pace splinter the field (that strategy works better than an attack, imo). I'm not a urgent moverupper, though because I'm realizing I've got a long finish keeping a decent position is key. I'm pretty sure I'm good for +400m, so my plan (for tomorrow) is to jump hard at +5-400m to get a gap and do my best to prevent someone from jumping my wheel (see WRI). If they do stick my wheel, I'm not so sure what I'll do then (I'm still learning)....but I know if my position is good from the jump I can finish strong and place somewhere with dignity.

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Old 07-15-08, 03:32 PM   #10
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I'm pretty sure I'm good for +400m, so my plan (for tomorrow) is to jump hard at 5-400m to get a gap and do my best to prevent someone from jumping my wheel (see WRI). If they do stick my wheel, I'm not so sure what I'll do then I'm still learning....but I know if my position is good from the jump I can finish strong and place somewhere with dignity.
Go for it. I won a prime doing this. I only wish I'd saved that move for the last lap--I might have won.
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Old 07-15-08, 04:28 PM   #11
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Go for it. I won a prime doing this. I only wish I'd saved that move for the last lap--I might have won.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I promise not to be lured by the fancy socks, cliff bars, but if it is a floor pump or cash...I may be tempted.
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Old 07-15-08, 04:36 PM   #12
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Hah. That particular race there were 7 primes, ranging from a new saddle (Spec. Toupe) to water bottles. Mine fell somewhere in the middle: lunch for two at a really good Mexican place. So glad it wasn't just a water bottle.
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Old 07-15-08, 05:18 PM   #13
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If I'm not within 20 riders of the front on the last lap... well I waited too long, cuz I'm not moving up through that kind of chaos!
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Old 07-17-08, 12:38 PM   #14
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When you cross you line - you always know whether you still had some matches, and regret begins to sink in. Don't let that happen. Either be off the front or off the back - never live to be pack fodder!
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Old 07-17-08, 01:56 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=simplyred;7080057] Either be off the front or off the back QUOTE]

What's wrong with winning a race in a pack sprint?
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Old 07-17-08, 02:07 PM   #16
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Move up, move back, move sideways. For a sprinter it boils down to who's wheel you are on. Pick a good wheel and cruz to the line, always in the money. Pick a bad wheel and It doesn't matter how fast you are.
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Old 07-17-08, 06:33 PM   #17
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What's wrong with winning a race in a pack sprint?
Nothing - [as per my sig img] - it's probably my favourite part of any road race. My post was specific to recursive. OP said they never get to sprint - so I said give it all to get up to the front and surprise the pack. I figured the OP would develop a new tactic in their toolbox or they discover that they need skills to stay in the pack until the final meters...
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Old 07-17-08, 07:45 PM   #18
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Due to the lack of breaks that work in my category, staying close to the front is important should the pace splinter the field (that strategy works better than an attack, imo). I'm not a urgent moverupper, though because I'm realizing I've got a long finish keeping a decent position is key. I'm pretty sure I'm good for +400m, so my plan (for tomorrow) is to jump hard at +5-400m to get a gap and do my best to prevent someone from jumping my wheel (see WRI). If they do stick my wheel, I'm not so sure what I'll do then (I'm still learning)....but I know if my position is good from the jump I can finish strong and place somewhere with dignity.
I totally blew it. Watched the winner jump when and where I should have. Placed 5th.
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Old 07-17-08, 10:35 PM   #19
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Move up. You have to go faster for longer for your sprint if you wait.
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