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Old 06-08-12, 10:36 PM   #1
tylerwal
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Free Lap Question

I've never had to take a free lap before during a crit. I understand when the free lap occurs (crash, mishap, etc) but I'm not positive on the actual process of integrating back into the peloton. Let's say you have a flat and you get it fixed, when do you leave the wheel pit? When a ref tells you to? When the group goes by? Do you get a "running" start?

Thanks, silly question I know, but when the time comes I want to be able to take advantage of it.
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Old 06-09-12, 12:34 AM   #2
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There should be an official in the pit who determines whether you get back in and gives you instructions as to when and how.
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Old 06-09-12, 12:37 AM   #3
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if you do get your free lap, they'll normally hold you up and tell you to clip in. when the main group comes around, they'll give you a push so you can integrate in near the back of the pack.
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Old 06-09-12, 02:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zitter View Post
if you do get your free lap, they'll normally hold you up and tell you to clip in. when the main group comes around, they'll give you a push so you can integrate in near the back of the pack.
This is important. (Unless you flatted out of a breakaway, which they'll try and put you there instead). Keep in mind, sometimes, they misjudge and you'll have a good chase on your hands to regain the pack if they're moving good.
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Old 06-09-12, 08:21 PM   #5
tylerwal
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cool, thanks guy...I saw a pro rider take a free lap at the Air Force Classic today, they had him clip in and then received a push like zitter mentioned
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Old 06-09-12, 08:54 PM   #6
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...another good reason to practice sprints from a standing (slow rolling) start...
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Old 06-10-12, 02:01 AM   #7
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Try and shift your bike into an easier gear but in the big ring, so 53x19 or 53x21. A rear wheel change normally happens in the small cog (11 or 12) and if you try and start in that gear it's bit tough.

Be calm and patient with the mechanic there. The most unprofessional thing you can do is yell and scream and pant and stuff. Just get there, get off the bike, take a swig from your bottle, let them do whatever to your bike, and get back on (after you quickly shift the bike into an easier gear and give the cranks a quick spin, which you should be able to do in your sleep and if you can't you should practice).

Also when they hold you don't try and hold yourself up. Keep yourself vertical to the bike, and if the holder starts letting you tilt right, just tilt right. The holder will then be able to get your vertical. The biggest mistake with held riders is they wiggle to stay upright, so if the bike tilts right they lean left. The holder, in order to hold the rider, has to allow the bike to tilt right because the rider is leaned left so far that if the holder tilts left the rider will fall. So do not wiggle when being held.
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