||12-06-13 04:57 PM
Originally Posted by MDcatV
of course, but point being, there are times that regardless of skillset if you dont have the legs, you dont have the legs. our district championship race comes to mind, there's a 5-ish minute climb that is gradual but kicks at the top, then a non-descent downhill (i.e. pedaling required) into a few rollers, couple turns, into a 3-ish minute climb that is kind of steep, then goes through a few rollers. if you're off the back of climb 2, getting back to the group is very difficult.
every year, the bigger teams drive it hard (30+ mph) into the first climb, hammer up that one, keep pressure on until the second climb and maintaining position at the front just holding wheels is big, big effort. center line makes it that much more difficult. last year, a local bigger team had their national elite guys, local elite guys, and masters elite guys for about 14 in the field and they did this lap after lap until everything snapped. MDcatV snapped 2nd time through despite being in the top 10 at the bottom of climb 2, it was all about the legs.
to bring this back on topic, maybe if i'd been in the drops i would have won :)
Having adequate fitness will always be important.
Just suggesting there are ways to fake it a bit more once you become aware of it. If you have two guys with the same fitness but one is keyed in to staying out of the wind and surfing the pack to conserve energy on climbs and corners and selection points, then that second rider will very likely have the better finish.
That's one of the cool (and sometimes really frustrating) things about road racing. It's not always who's the strongest that has the better result, but who uses what they have in the most effective and efficient manner for them.
I think that's one of the really interesting things you can notice about group rides versus races. You can see guys that kill it in group rides, winning sprints or koms and whatnot, but despite being so strong they're not anywhere near the front of a race when it matters. There's a skill there that comes from gaining that experience and the more you can hone in at that in the beginning, the faster you can pick up on it.