i mentioned early in some thread abut an ex-pro telling me to chil out with the attacks and breakway attempts. Best advice i ever got. I relaxed, and had so much energy that when i was in the break i could kill it, versus just holding on to the breakaway.
I've only done it twice. Both times were playing my strength.
First time was the last lap of a very hilly road race (Lago Vista). I scooted up the side and went all out when I got to the front. 3 people came with me, and that was the winning break.
Second time was the last 6 miles of a rolling course on a hot day. I attacked up the hill to a bottle of water, then popped it in the bottle cage and rode like hell. It worked, and I could tell the moment they gave up, leaving me with 3 miles to savor the victory.
A commonality I see between these two successful breaks and the hard group rides I do is that I have more relative strength later in the race/ride. I'm also lightweight so I use the hills to my advantage. I highly doubt I could hang on for more than 10 miles on a flat, crosswindy course.
The only thing I can suggest is to play your strengths and the course against the peloton.
Last edited by HMF; 02-19-13 at 11:54 AM.
I'll add one thing onto my hints...know your competition if possible. Some guys always seem to get in the breaks that stick (raises hand). You start to be able to read things after a while IF you actually consider why something worked or didn't.
OK, two things. 95% of the pack won't chase. A good time to go is when that 5% has just brought something back. Watch, note, learn.
SRM FS. Specialized S-Works arms, 172.5. 110 BCD. Will fit most BB30 frames.
Perspective of a relatively new racer (only 9 cat-4 races under my belt)In my last three races (collegiate b), i got into the break that stayed away in a hilly circyit, a windy crit, and a long RR.
I got caught in the crit with 2 laps left, having been dropped from the break (initiated it and held out for 15min).
I got caught with half a mile to go in the long RR as all i had was 260w going up the finishing climb. Was away for the previous 35 min in a chasing group of 4.
I stauyed away with the chasing group of three in the windy circuit race with a minute-long climb, having stayed away for 35 min and got third overall.
I'm fast twitch challenged, so i have to take the fight to the sprinters. As to how i got away, the RR was easy: people were knackered, and i went right before a climb. Ditto for the circuit as i attacked in the crosswind section leading to the climb. The crit is more interesting as it was the day after the RR and fwlt knackered going in. I think in the lower classes, people don't know how to corner. Couple that with a 165mn crank, i gapped people by pedalling through a turn and going hard theough the crosswind.
That i got caught hurt at the moment as i probably could have finished higher in the RR if i stayed in the group, but valuable lessons learned include knowing for how long i can go, which helps with my judgment in future races. Further, i think i had a better idea of when to the the dice as my attacks early in the season were fruitless.
As you can tell by looking at the words below my avatar, i'm a true believer of getting into breaks and aspire to be quarter the racer that Ex is.
Now a question. Say if you are the weakest link in the break, what's a good rule of thumb on pulling? Say everyone else is doing 30 sec, would 10sec pulls be okay? I have the feeling that i might have been able to stay away had i contributed less.
Last edited by echappist; 02-19-13 at 12:03 PM.
I lost my sprint mid last season, has anyone seen it?
Seriously, I had a decent sprint early in the season but only good enough to get me 3rd to 7th place every time. I was pretty fast at the time and hopefully will find myself stronger and faster compared to my competitors this season. I am just not a pure sprinter and never expect to win head to head like that.
So, in my last race I was determined to set the pace and found a friend who I met at the last race. At the whistle, I took the front and we swapped back and forth the entire race. There was a crazy 15mph+ headwind and a 2.5 mile uphill finish. We each did 50% of the leading (by choice), but no one was willing to move up front in that wind anyway.
So in order to hurt some people, I climbed every hill very steadily and stomped up the last 1/4th of each hill. I also railed through the corners as fast as I dared and then extended the exit sprints 5 seconds. On the second lap after a climb with a turn at the top, my friend yelled that we had a gap. Sure enough, I look back and we are 250-300 feet ahead going into a fairly fast section but with a couple of hills after that.
I contemplated going but we wound up deciding to ease up. This was one of those moments of choice that I wish I had at least tried to break away. My friend wound up getting a gap on the last lap and steep section (I was close to popping and he told me he had to go on the climb to avoid sprinting it out with a very strong sprinter who was there), and held me and the 5 or 6 guys left up front to win the race. I gassed and got 4th.
So two lessons for me...if you get a gap without even trying, take it! If you have anything left on the last climb near the finish, use it. If you can get a gap on a climb or technical section that is near the finish, the chasers will have to ride and work that much harder to catch you so if you can hold a reasonable pace despite being gassed, they may not have enough to reel you in.
I agree, experience and luck both play roles but sizing up your competition and paying attention during the race are key.
it would have been better if you just conserved energy and when you attack, flee as if you were an gazelle getting chased by a cheetah. Doing what you did is an excellent way of burning your own matches as they didnt get you separatipn, amd you are back at where you started with Sysphian moves like you described.
Agreed. I really have a problem going all out until the end. I find myself constantly monitoring and metering my levels and I think it is holding me back. I even do it on my training rides. I can ride the last mile just as strong as the first mile. It makes me very consistent but RR is about responding and attacking at other people's pace, not your own. I am working on correcting that and now am crawling home from rides after purposely blowing myself up sprinting hills. It sure makes for a better workout.
Last edited by Number400; 02-19-13 at 01:01 PM.
For breaks that I initiate, I find it to be much easier to throw down a solid 1' effort (like 95% of CP1) to get my gap and then recover a bit while I grind and see if anyone is going to bridge up. The other route is to roll off the front and try to hold a slightly higher speed for much longer, and that just doesn't work with my power profile.
For bridging, I launch all-out then go at my 5' power for about 3.5 minutes, and hopefully I've timed it right and that's enough.
Most of my successful breaks have been through covering/bridging the guys like Ex.
Regarding Walburg, the Cat 3 race is pretty often won with a break. Seems like 3-5 is the right number. When jb says this is a windy race, he is not farking around. Every year it just has ridiculous gusts and nasty steady wind the whole time. This is a great course for a break. It would be a good idea to have one or two big guys in your break, if they're the right kind of guys. They can dish it out in the wind, and will give you a bit more shelter.
Last edited by waterrockets; 02-19-13 at 01:05 PM.
I can't pull, at least not really. I have some history with this so usually guys don't expect me to pull too much.
I have tried to pull through if I get stuck at the front. It's a "pull and off". This is something that a long time racer told me would be better than just skipping a pull if I ended up in the rotation somehow. Apparently to him even a short break is better than no break.
So back to that road race - if it's that tough then gamble on a break based on historical references (when it goes, who is in it when it goes), try and bridge up to it when it's under 10 seconds away, then do your damndest to shelter super efficiently while it's developing. I have a feeling the guys in the break will be cooperating with each other regarding wind and the guys in the group will be guttering one another. Is that accurate?
Racer Ex ought to write a book.
Most of my wins come in the break, a few of them solo. It comes down to what I say over and over again. Know what you are capable of, then go out and do it. Race smart. Don't lose focus for a second.
As for lack of a sprint, that's just an excuse. Sprinting capability takes practice, lots of it. Work hard on improving it. You may not end up with a winning sprint but it will be better than avoiding it altogether.
Thanks to all for great tips.
i just want to say i've done pretty well in group sprints never breaking 700 watts (at over 150 rpms). as i've competed more and more in this silly sport i've learned that the key to success is being smart and racing so thast u have enough in the tank to go when you need to go. I've seen guys who are just as strong as me do jack **** in races becuase they attack constantly, at all the wrong times. They're amazed that i can just roll up with the winning break. It's all about knowledge that you get from racing. Race more = learn more = win more.
edit: remember 700 watts at over 40 mph. i can do over 1300 with the right gearing... pure sprint power only means so much. I've beaten a bunch of sprinters who's resumes make mine look like **** (well everyone's resume makes mine look like ****, but you get the picture).
Kwaki was at Bristol?
i once slept at a motel 6 in bristol.
The last time I was at Bristol, there was a beer bong party at the track entrance at 8am.
I should have mentioned before. Holding hands in a breakaway is bad form. Save that for afterwards.