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Old 08-04-10, 01:31 PM   #101
MDcatV
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Originally Posted by Pedaleur View Post
OK, speaking of breaks...

In a recent race, a group got away with two of my teammates and two others. I hung out near the front of the peloton and tried to "cover." At one point, about 8 guys put in a big surge, and I sat on. Soon, this dwindled to three: me and two others from different teams. I sat on while they bridged up to the breakaway. That makes three from my team and four others.

Now, races here are pancake flat, and the break _always_ gets caught. We worked hard for a while (I put in a lot of work because one of my teammates is a strong finisher, unlike me), but we were caught a couple km later. One of my teammates chastised me (note: he didn't yell at me ;-), saying that three is too many and the field will chase the break down in that situation.

I tried to explain that I was sitting on a group of eight and then just continued, but he didn't really want to hear my explanation. So I ask the 33-collective: on a scale of 1 to 10, how bad were my tactics? And, what should I have done?
i think you did the correct thing. the break didnt not stay away because you came up to it with additional horsepower, it didnt stay away because the horsepower in the break < that in the field.

i've been in lots of flat races that breaks stay away. lots of them.
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Old 08-04-10, 01:32 PM   #102
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Also, there's that one time that the break won't get caught. I had a teammate in a solo break and he managed to get away just as the road turned on a long straight with a dead tailwind. He managed to stay away and got the win. I hung like a barnacle on the chase group and got a free tow to the line and got some easy upgrade points.
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Old 08-04-10, 01:40 PM   #103
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...
If your riding for someone else and you cover a break, what does that do for the rider your riding for? If the break stays away, your not really helping the rider your riding for, right? I mean, you probably won't work for the break, but how does that help the one your riding for?
...
shovelhd said it pretty succinctly.

First, you aren't working so much for someone, but you are working for the good of the team. When someone says they are working "for someone", it means they are doing things that will keep that rider well rested and therefore increase his odds of winning should the "predicted outcome" play out. IOW, if the predicted outcome is a sprint, and your sheltered rider is a sprinter, then you do things to save him energy. You tow him around the pack, you chase breaks that look like they might stick, you lead him out at the finish.

If there is more than one of you on the team working for a single rider, or if the predicted outcome is a breakaway, then you might cover breaks. Particularly the early breaks. The early breaks probably won't stay away, but in case they do, it is helpful to the team's goal of winning to have a presence in that breakaway.

When you cover a break, it means you are in the break but not doing any work to assist it. This has many implications. If the break stays away, then you are well rested and have the best shot at winning at the line. If a teammate can bridge, it means there are two of you, one of which is well rested, which dramatically increases the odds of winning if the break stays away. If the break is brought back, it means that your teammate didn't have to contribute to the chase; if your teammate is a sprinter, then he and his leadout riders didn't burn any matches worrying about the breakaway, if he is a breakaway artist, then he is well rested to counterattack with a break that might stay away.

Typically, when covering a break, you aren't really trying to actively slow the break down. All that happens then is it gets caught quicker and another breakaway, one which you aren't in a position to cover, goes up the road. You are merely being present in the break, getting a free ride to whatever end the break is destined.
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Old 08-04-10, 01:49 PM   #104
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And to be clear above I wasn't suggesting to actively slow the break down, but perhaps actively slow the chase down. That said if it were a chase that was separate from the pack I probably would have done the same thing and just sat on.
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Old 08-04-10, 01:50 PM   #105
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i think you did the correct thing. the break didnt not stay away because you came up to it with additional horsepower, it didnt stay away because the horsepower in the break < that in the field.

i've been in lots of flat races that breaks stay away. lots of them.
I dunno. The teammate had a good point. Breaks don't stay away because of leg power. The field can almost always muster up enough collective leg power to pull back anything it wants. A break has to be let go because people are disinclined to go chasing it.

Having three teammates in the break means that the other four riders don't really count for anything; it might as well be a break of three teammates. The teammates of the four other riders will chase the break down even though they have guys in the break. So basically, instead of having four teams not contributing to the chase, you are in a situation where it's one team against the entire peloton. Ideally, one or two of the weaker teammates drop back and the strongest remains. The guys who dropped back then work to disrupt the chase, and the remaining guy or guys works with the break to keep it away.

Ideally. But how often does "ideally" happen? If everyone in the break were rotating through at it still only took a couple km to bring it back, then it's unlikely that any tactic would have kept the break alive. Too many people took an interest in chasing right from the start. If that happens, no amount of tactics will make the outcome any different.
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Old 08-04-10, 02:02 PM   #106
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^ Pedaleur's team mate has a valid discussion point, but bottom line, a group of 4 is up the road. 2 of Pedaleur's team mates are in it so ignoring individual abilities, they have a 2 in 4 or 50% probability of winning.

when the 8-person chase group goes, Pedaleur is correct to jump on to it, because he has to assume that the break is going to become 12 strong, ignoring individual attributes, 3 in 12 is better than 2 in 11. that the chase became 3 including Pedaleur only strengthens this argument because 3 in 7 are better odds than 2 in 6.

when it becomes 3 in 7 and uncooperative, it's up to the 3 to thin the herd. if I'm one of the 4, assuming no other representation, i work, just hard enough to be fluid while paying attention to what's going on. I'll take my legs against 7 than against the field.
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Old 08-04-10, 02:05 PM   #107
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I thought my max HR was 184 until I was trying to hold onto some faster wheels and it hit 190. Everyone is different.
my 41 year old ass averaged 194 bpm on a 15k tt last weekend. everyone's different, and 220-age is a myth.
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Old 08-04-10, 02:06 PM   #108
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Honest question. I am not racing this year, although I have raced extensively in the past, and am seriously thinking about it for next year. Meanwhile I am working hard at getting back into shape via solo and group rides. Is it OK to post in the Training Status thread or is it frowned upon?
it's quite OK. the thread's there to keep you motivated and honest with yourself.
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Old 08-04-10, 02:09 PM   #109
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it's quite OK. the thread's there to keep you motivated and honest with yourself.
you must have the training status thread confused with something else.
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Old 08-04-10, 02:16 PM   #110
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OK, here's one I don't get.

I have these pedals on my bike and I'm always being told to change them. I like them and they work for me. What's the downside to them?
Similarly... Am I ridiculous for racing in Crank Bro's eggbeaters? Is there an advantage to something like Look or Speedplay that I'm not seeing?
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Old 08-04-10, 02:21 PM   #111
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Honest question. I am not racing this year, although I have raced extensively in the past, and am seriously thinking about it for next year. Meanwhile I am working hard at getting back into shape via solo and group rides. Is it OK to post in the Training Status thread or is it frowned upon?

I hope so. I've only done 1 race (a hill climb) and haven't yet done a mass-start (this weekend), but I read and post into that thread. As long as you're on topic, I don't think anyone minds.
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Old 08-04-10, 02:24 PM   #112
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I dunno. The teammate had a good point. Breaks don't stay away because of leg power. The field can almost always muster up enough collective leg power to pull back anything it wants.
I'd wholly disagree. If you've got real horsepower and enough guys working to keep the speed up, the pack can at best match your speed and that's it. Most of my races finish with the break staying away. Sometimes the break is just me. I watched the entire Toyota United team try to chase down Moninger in a crit, he ended up lapping them.

Sitting on a bridge that you think has a shot of making it up is a good move. You're delivering a set of fresh legs for your team and providing at least the same odds for your team to win, there's really no downside. Exception would be if you're supposed to be sheltering your sprinter.

It's likely that when the pack saw a large group heading up to the break, that's when they started chasing. You being in it wasn't any great trigger, unless you're the 800 pound gorilla in the field.
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Old 08-04-10, 02:28 PM   #113
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you must have the training status thread confused with something else.
Hmm.. I'll need to pay more attention next time.
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Old 08-04-10, 02:42 PM   #114
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Similarly... Am I ridiculous for racing in Crank Bro's eggbeaters? Is there an advantage to something like Look or Speedplay that I'm not seeing?
No you're not being rediculous. They'll work fine.

I can think of several reasons that you might not pick the MTB Eggbeaters as your ideal choice for Road racing, such as shoe choice availability, and to a lessor degree, cornering angle, and platform size. But if you already have them, and like them, there's no real need to change.
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Old 08-04-10, 02:52 PM   #115
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Similarly... Am I ridiculous for racing in Crank Bro's eggbeaters? Is there an advantage to something like Look or Speedplay that I'm not seeing?
Dunno about those, but I regret doing any racing with (mtb) SPDs last year - saw about 200-300 watt improvement in sprints when using Speedplays instead!

(my SPDs were not well cared for, probably loose, creaked at 800+ watts)
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Old 08-04-10, 03:15 PM   #116
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I'd wholly disagree. If you've got real horsepower and enough guys working to keep the speed up, the pack can at best match your speed and that's it. Most of my races finish with the break staying away. Sometimes the break is just me. I watched the entire Toyota United team try to chase down Moninger in a crit, he ended up lapping them.

Sitting on a bridge that you think has a shot of making it up is a good move. You're delivering a set of fresh legs for your team and providing at least the same odds for your team to win, there's really no downside. Exception would be if you're supposed to be sheltering your sprinter.

It's likely that when the pack saw a large group heading up to the break, that's when they started chasing. You being in it wasn't any great trigger, unless you're the 800 pound gorilla in the field.
But that's only because you cheat...you're a 50 year old cat1 racing in the 40+...this isn't fair you should be racing against the 20 year old cat 1s.
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Old 08-04-10, 04:58 PM   #117
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If i use my SwissStop pads on my alumminum rims do i need to pick out the little shards of alumminum before using them with my carbons? I've been told yes and no so i'm slightly confused.
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Old 08-04-10, 04:58 PM   #118
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I would think it's a good idea, but I have no idea.

How could it hurt?
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Old 08-04-10, 05:02 PM   #119
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Well i'm wondering if it would scratch the carbon braking surface which would also put the rims out of warranty. That is if there is visible proof of using something other than carbon specific pads.
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Old 08-04-10, 05:05 PM   #120
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If you can see bits of stuff from the alu rims then you should clean them or not use them. The SwissStop Yellows are supposed to be less prone to picking up crap from the rims, but ymmv.
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Old 08-04-10, 05:13 PM   #121
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Well i'm wondering if it would scratch the carbon braking surface
yes.
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which would also put the rims out of warranty.
Yes, for reynolds anyhow.
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That is if there is visible proof of using something other than carbon specific pads.
even using carbon specific pads with aluminium shards in it would void the warranty, the way I understand it.

What's hard about swappng pads?

BTW Reynolds have new pads which I'm told are better (at least on Reynolds rims) and cost half as much as SwissStop Yellows.
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Old 08-04-10, 05:35 PM   #122
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If i use my SwissStop pads on my alumminum rims do i need to pick out the little shards of alumminum before using them with my carbons? I've been told yes and no so i'm slightly confused.
I usually ride aluminum rims all week then Reynolds Assaults on the weekends for races and such (though the last couple of weeks I've been too 'lazy' to switch from the Assaults), but I do usually look at the surface of the swiss stops. i take off the pad holder, gently file down just the surface and look for little bits. most of the time i dont find anything, but one time the back pads looked like steel wool.....anyways I do it as part of a pre-race bike prep and its take just a few minutes.
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Old 08-04-10, 05:38 PM   #123
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descending whiteface lodged a bunch of aluminum in my yellow kings. I picked them out with a pin before going back to carbon rims
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Old 08-04-10, 05:39 PM   #124
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I got the greens for my alu rims, they work better with them anyway. I switch to yellows when I run carbon
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Old 08-04-10, 05:40 PM   #125
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thank you for this thread... the stupid in the 41 needed a relief valve.

Here's a 33 sorta question. I've been told that the better measure of power is normalized power vs. average power. What's the difference and how is normalized power calculated?
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