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Old 03-27-14, 12:01 PM   #51
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There is no "culling the herd" to improve your odds. Again, that's just silly. You're just messing up your own race.
I've won a lot of races culling the herd down to people I could beat in a sprint, or removing the sprinters legs and throwing them in a trash can.
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Old 03-27-14, 12:04 PM   #52
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Indeed. If ones goal is to finish behind me, sprinting against me is a pretty good tactic.
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Old 03-27-14, 12:13 PM   #53
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more riders need to see this, learn it, live it.
Thinking of that Jordan quote about missing more than 9,000 shots. That guy used to come up with new shots he'd never tried before, while he was in the air during the playoffs, and miss most of them. All they show in the highlights are the amazing shots he made. Most NBA teams now have players who measure up to Jordan physically, but none who risk as much to win.

Wait, what are we talking about again?

The first time I tried a kilo attack, it felt like the dumbest move I could make, even though I'd spent my time with math that showed otherwise. I was still doubting myself with 10m to go, but I won.
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Old 03-27-14, 01:45 PM   #54
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The first time I tried a kilo attack, it felt like the dumbest move I could make, even though I'd spent my time with math that showed otherwise. I was still doubting myself with 10m to go, but I won.
I still want to try your move. When I've felt good enough I've waited for the actual sprint, when I didn't feel good enough I tried (because no point in waiting) and really failed.
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Old 03-27-14, 02:02 PM   #55
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The first time I tried a kilo attack, it felt like the dumbest move I could make, even though I'd spent my time with math that showed otherwise. I was still doubting myself with 10m to go, but I won.
I think you've mentioned it before, but how did you settle on this being your best shot at winning? Strictly 1' power numbers? I'm just curious as I don't think this will ever be my go to move but it's always good to have extra tricks in the bag
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Old 03-27-14, 02:17 PM   #56
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I used to be in the boat of not wanting to sacrifice my result in the bunch, but I've learned to let that go. Last year in a crit I unintentionally soft pedaled off the front. When I looked back I had a decent gap and just decided to give it a go with 7 laps left. I opened up a gap of about 20 seconds and it stuck there until I got caught on the last lap. I finished DFL, but it was one of the most rewarding finishes I've had. A lot of new riders need to learn to just let it out there and give it a shot. You really never know what is going to happen.
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Old 03-27-14, 02:30 PM   #57
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I remember my first attack in a Cat 5 race. It was a flat course with several tight turns (I banged my pedal several times when pedaling through one of them) and lots of pot holes.

The pace felt casual that day, so I decided to go for it even though everyone told me to just stay out of the wind. As I took off, I remember thinking, "What the hell am I doing?" Then I heard my wife holler, "What the hell are you doing?"

I was able to get a good half lap gap before I started fading. The field caught me on the final lap, just as I turned onto the final straight. I gave it everything I had. I finished 10th. It was a great race.
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Old 03-27-14, 03:17 PM   #58
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I think you've mentioned it before, but how did you settle on this being your best shot at winning? Strictly 1' power numbers? I'm just curious as I don't think this will ever be my go to move but it's always good to have extra tricks in the bag
Yeah, I had always thought I was a sprinter, was sure that would be my peak on the ewang chart. Never won a bunch sprint though, in spite of a lot of drag racing prowess in training (clearly I'm limited in my brain in sprints, although I also don't bring my sprint power to the 100m mark in races -- so a couple problems there). Anyway, got my power profile and saw a high 5", peak in 1', and descending back to where I belonged for 5' and FTP. Interesting. Sat on it for a couple weeks while I learned to train with power a bit. Re-tested, and my 1' peak went higher. I focused on maximizing 1' power for a couple weeks, just with technique more than training, and got it up into the pretty high rows on the chart. That was enough to convince me that I should give it a try.

Back then, the number was high enough that it was really just a big hammer, and I could use it with impunity in nearly any situation to win (several races in a row) as long as nobody managed to hold on for the 1400W launch. So I had an asymmetric fight for a couple months until the sprinters got sick of it and started shutting me down by going with me. A really strong leadout would shut it down too, but that season, none of the Cat 3 teams were working out a leadout beyond 500m or so, 800-1000m was plenty of room for me to work.

Clearly this works in some situations without the big hammer 1' number. So you can give it a run, thinking about your courses and tendencies, and likely get a result. Surprise helps a lot, going right before a corner REALLY helps a lot if the pack is eased a bit. Certainly worth trying, and also good to get "used" to an all-out-every-pedal-stroke 1-minute effort in training. You have to commit and not fark around, because once you start it, there's not likely to be any recovery and try again options. I did have a guy go at the same time as me once, and since he was still with me after 50m, I jumped on his wheel for 15 pedal strokes, then re-attacked, and won that one (he got 4th). You never know...

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The pace felt casual that day, so I decided to go for it even though everyone told me to just stay out of the wind. As I took off, I remember thinking, "What the hell am I doing?" Then I heard my wife holler, "What the hell are you doing?"
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Old 03-27-14, 03:28 PM   #59
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(1k stuff)
I thought it was this post
Someone post something I can comment on!
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Old 03-27-14, 03:37 PM   #60
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I thought it was this post
Someone post something I can comment on!


Freaking throwback Thursday right there
(that must have been right after a 5" test, with another 1' test on the way. I didn't remember having that profile shape, and the 1' ended up 1W/kg higher)
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Old 03-27-14, 04:09 PM   #61
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that sounds similar to a mistake I made last year. I didn't think I had a chance in the finish, but I wanted to go home with something. I left it on the table for a 5-to-go prime lap. I got the prime and continued on the front section (lots of headwind). I began to sit-up thinking I didn't have what it takes to last 5 more laps solo....only to find out that the group took a lap to catch me... I should've just kept going to see what would've happened.
That is how I won the biggest race of my career. I was so cooked at the finish that I couldn't hold my head up crossing the line.
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Old 03-27-14, 04:14 PM   #62
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Bike racing is about trying to win.
Attacking wins races.
Only one guy gets to win a bunch sprint; and it's probably not you.
So attack until you win.
7th place in a pack kick, is nothing more than 6th loser.
A good result for zilch.
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Old 03-27-14, 04:20 PM   #63
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There's an awful lot of crappy advice in this thread. I've won most of my Masters races by sprinting out of the break or solo. Saying that the only way to win is to hope that the race comes down to a field sprint and to win it is stupidity.
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Old 03-27-14, 04:53 PM   #64
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I think I'm like WR, except with a much smaller N (twss). My best 1 minute power is like 70% of my best 5s power. I won the race both times I committed to a 1k attack. Both times were out of the pack, and there was a corner in the final 1k.

Several times I have started a 1k attack and completely chickened out. A minute can be a really long time.

Several times I have been in good position but not felt like I had enough gas left to launch a 1k attack, but I also didn't have enough gas to sprint, so I should have just tried it anyway.

Several times I have been in a small break and tried to game out the finish, and not won.

Many times I have been in no position to launch a 1k attack.
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Old 03-27-14, 04:54 PM   #65
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There's an awful lot of crappy advice in this thread. I've won most of my Masters races by sprinting out of the break or solo. Saying that the only way to win is to hope that the race comes down to a field sprint and to win it is stupidity.

agree.

some of us can only win by attacking "too early".

I've been caught meters from the finish line twice at a local course. But the third time they didn't catch me and I won solo.

Guess which one I remember more.





Wrong. I remember them all quite clearly. No regrets! Trying to win and losing is nothing to be ashamed or scared of.
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Old 03-27-14, 05:07 PM   #66
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There's an awful lot of crappy advice in this thread. I've won most of my Masters races by sprinting out of the break or solo. Saying that the only way to win is to hope that the race comes down to a field sprint and to win it is stupidity.

No one has said the only way to win is to hope it comes down to a sprint.

What I specifically said is to not throw away your race with silly attacks that do nothing but wear yourself out and give everyone else a free ride.

The guy saying either be off the front or off the back was one of the guys I was referring to, as well as all of these other lifer 4s/5s. If someone is a Cat 3,4,5 and NEVER getting a successful break going then their attacks are pointless as they're not strong enough to make them stick.

I tried to do the same thing in 4s. I'd attack all day long for nothing. Once I finally started being patient stopped sabotaging my races and not wasting all my energy, I started winning. Then I started winning 3s races early the very next season doing the same thing. Then I was strong enough to actually make breaks stick so I did that in the 1/2s because once you're racing P/1/2 you really do have field sprints that you might not have a chance of winning.
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Old 03-27-14, 05:13 PM   #67
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I totally disagree with this. The way to learn to make smart, winning attacks is to try it and make mistakes. Even the perfect move is going to fail the first few times because you won't have the experience of "having been there before." You'll panic and go too hard or too easy or pace it wrong with the wind, the hill, or something else. Trying and failing develops the skill to know when to attack better the next time and its improving your fitness for exactly that type of effort at the same time. In bike racing, trying and failing is also a repeated, necessary step to trying and succeeding. And stupid, hopeless, pointless attacks may not work all of the time or most of the time, but they sure as hell work some of the time.

I've seen guys waste entire seasons trying to "learning to make smart, winning attacks".

In my experience, they very, very rarely work, especially in the 4s and 5s, and even in the 3s.

So if it comes down to a cat 4 asking for advice on when to attack and having the choice of making all of these "smart attack" attempts hoping to pull off a rare winning break or sitting in and learning how to sprint (the most useful thing you can possibly do when trying to move up the ranks), I would say 100% of the time to sit in and go for it.

The only exception being in relation to my first post; and that is when strong riders make a strong move on a very difficult part of the race.
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Old 03-27-14, 05:14 PM   #68
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Explain to me really fast how anyone wins a race without an attack.

Is this a serious question?
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Old 03-27-14, 05:16 PM   #69
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sitting in and learning how to sprint (the most useful thing you can possibly do when trying to move up the ranks)
That's a really good point. I think very few racers learn how to sprint. They either start out with a decent sprint, or they categorize themselves as non-sprinters and work on their other strengths.
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Old 03-27-14, 05:33 PM   #70
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Remember it's all relative.


Yes, you're right. This is probably the most specific. Guess it's impossible to try to project certain outcomes on to so many different situations.
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Old 03-27-14, 05:54 PM   #71
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No one has said the only way to win is to hope it comes down to a sprint.

What I specifically said is to not throw away your race with silly attacks that do nothing but wear yourself out and give everyone else a free ride.

The guy saying either be off the front or off the back was one of the guys I was referring to, as well as all of these other lifer 4s/5s. If someone is a Cat 3,4,5 and NEVER getting a successful break going then their attacks are pointless as they're not strong enough to make them stick.

I tried to do the same thing in 4s. I'd attack all day long for nothing. Once I finally started being patient stopped sabotaging my races and not wasting all my energy, I started winning. Then I started winning 3s races early the very next season doing the same thing. Then I was strong enough to actually make breaks stick so I did that in the 1/2s because once you're racing P/1/2 you really do have field sprints that you might not have a chance of winning.
Now that you put it that way, I agree with you. But what you really said was this:

Quote:
That makes no sense at all. What does it matter if you're sprinting against 10 or 100 if you're so gassed from silly attacks that you can't actually contest the sprint?

If you guys are serious about racing and serious about upgrading, then you have got to stop deluding yourself into thinking you're doing anything with these attacks but wearing yourself out and sabotaging your races.

Don't put your nose into the wind until the last 200 meters. That's how you place, that's how you get the points, that's how you upgrade. There are no points for leading the most laps or putting down the fastest attack. It's only about crossing the line. That's it.

There is no "culling the herd" to improve your odds. Again, that's just silly. You're just messing up your own race.
You can see why I said what I did, right?

Most of these guys aren't "lifer" Cat4/5's, they're Cat5's and newer Cat3/4's. They're just starting to figure things out.

My mantra has consistently been, know what you are capable of, know when to use it, and when you decide to use it, commit. New racers don't know what they're capable of. This is why I feel so strongly that guys like the OP are doing EXACTLY what they should be doing as a new Cat5. Forgetting about results and ewang at personal bests and Strava and all that noise and just going out there and crush themselves until they figure out what might work for them when the racing really counts. It's why I feel that all Cat5's should do their ten and not upgrade early. Ten chances to figure things out before it's about points.
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Old 03-27-14, 05:58 PM   #72
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So if it comes down to a cat 4 asking for advice on when to attack and having the choice of making all of these "smart attack" attempts hoping to pull off a rare winning break or sitting in and learning how to sprint (the most useful thing you can possibly do when trying to move up the ranks), I would say 100% of the time to sit in and go for it.

The only exception being in relation to my first post; and that is when strong riders make a strong move on a very difficult part of the race.
There you go generalizing again. With a qualifier of course. Winning sprints is about skill, positioning, and genetics. You can teach some of this but you can't teach genetics. Some of us, I'd say an awful lot of us, will never be competitive sprinters. That doesn't make us diesels, either. There are so many ways to win a bike race. Reducing it to two is myopic.
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Old 03-27-14, 06:03 PM   #73
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When to attack? When you feel like your legs are about to fall off. EVERY successful break I've been in has been AFTER the fourth, fifth, tenth, etc. attack or AFTER the big money prime or AFTER a hard chase to bring in another break.
I guess you haven't been in a break that laps the field. Those rarely go late in the race. Most of the time they go very early, the first or second attempt.
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Old 03-27-14, 06:15 PM   #74
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There you go generalizing again. With a qualifier of course. Winning sprints is about skill, positioning, and genetics. You can teach some of this but you can't teach genetics. Some of us, I'd say an awful lot of us, will never be competitive sprinters. That doesn't make us diesels, either. There are so many ways to win a bike race. Reducing it to two is myopic.
Yes, you're right. I am being overly general.

But here's the thing about sprints in the upper categories; they really are not all about top kick or top speed. They're about not having spent too much energy.

You can still top 3 a sprint with a 900 watt sprint in a hard race where everyone has gassed themselves out if you play it correctly. Or in a long, windy sprint, uphill sprint, etc.

And that's where a lot of people take themselves out of the running, thinking they don't have a kick. The last lap of a crit or km of a road race is full on power. Even if your kick sucks, laying it down for a minute or two and getting yourself towards the very front will pull you into a good finishing position. Everyone is hurting at that point and you can make up a ton of spots even if you never kick it in properly.
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Old 03-27-14, 06:18 PM   #75
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I guess you haven't been in a break that laps the field. Those rarely go late in the race. Most of the time they go very early, the first or second attempt.
That what you guess?

That's a silly guess.
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