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  1. #51
    Senior Member aaronmcd's Avatar
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    My problem is I could do either, but I usually launch anaerobically and fairly quickly settle into a 5' pace, as this will leave me some to go with a sudden surge if we are caught. But this leaves me fairly close to the pack for longer, enticing them to chase me down when I'm halfway to the break, which usually ends up shutting down the break.

  2. #52
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    I think this partly depends on the particular talents of the individual trying to bridge. For you, settling in to TT up to a break is probably realistic in at least some situations. For me, trying to TT my way through a 10s gap is probably a bad plan most of the time, but my anaerobic capacity is pretty darn good even when I don't have good fitness overall, so getting across a gap as fast as possible is a better strategy. And CDR is probably tilted even more to the short-term power side of this. Probably a lot of guys in crits are actually in a similar boat, they have the capacity to close those gaps if they really dig, but either don't know this or are unwilling to go that deep. Most of the time when I see someone launch a bridging effort in a 3/4 crit at less than max effort, they fade long before they get anywhere close to crossing the gap.
    Well said. It's a perfect example of why I advocate trying this stuff in Cat5.

  3. #53
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    One thing I didn't get to experience until I was a stronger Cat 3 is just how fast the 2s and 1s go when they try to bridge to a break. The first time I tried to go with someone it was just insane how fast they went. I couldn't stay in the breaks - I'd just blow up after a minute or two - but it was a lot of fun bridging to them. That's when I realized that you need to get across to the breaks quicker than not.

    Part of it is the audience also - this is a Cat 3-4-5 type question. When a non-racer or a new racer (Cat 4-5) says "hey, let's catch that group", it ends up being a 23-26 mph effort. It's not a bridging effort, it's more like a "keep the same distance" effort. This is especially true on group rides. I'm sure everyone's done rides where a group escapes (or you end up in the 2nd or 3rd group), the riders with you work together to try and "catch" the group in front. Then when you get to the regroup point or the deli at the end of the ride you learn that you were down 5 or 10 minutes. It's because to bridge the gap requires an extraordinary effort, whether it's a short sharp effort or a drawn out one. The work required is tremendous and extremely uncomfortable. For me I get shelled if it's a drawn out effort so I have to make them much shorter and therefore much faster.

    In this clip I try to launch a teammate across what I thought was a 15 second gap. It was more like 25-30 seconds and he never made it. He got within about 7 seconds but it was a 15-16 second gap when I pulled off, and I think that if it was closer to 10 seconds he could have made it (he ended up hanging just behind the break for about two laps before he gave up). He's soloed for 7 laps at this same course before (trying to bridge to a break), got caught at 200m to go, led out the sprint and won the (field) sprint. I figured he might be able to get across even if it was more than 10 seconds but on this day it wasn't to be. I'm holding about 34-35 mph in the "boost" phase, I basically sit up super hard, and it takes a full minute for the field to roll up to me. The "pre-boost" is at about 10 minutes in.


    When I make efforts to bridge I made really hard efforts. That effort above is typical, it's not unusual. In races I rarely make those efforts because, frankly, even if I make it across I end up getting shelled later. On group rides though I love to let myself get gapped off, usually either unintentionally on a hill (I get shelled) or intentionally when the group gets frisky and ends up getting some separation (I just hang back). Then I do one massive move to get back to the front group.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  4. #54
    Senior Member jsutkeepspining's Avatar
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    ^I figured i should add in a bit about bridging. There was a race a couple of weeks ago where i let the winning break get about 30-40 seconds before i bridged, in an attempted (as a heavily marked rider) to discourage followers. The bridge took me 5-6 minutes to complete at 28.6 mph (with one super tight near 180 degree turn, and a series of other technical turns aka some coasting/slow time) I jumped from 23 mph to 36 mph (1290 watts) to establish some separation, and proceeded to average about 380 watts (2 hours into my ride/race and at 5.43 w/kg). Luckily that break wasn't going too fast (this race is slowly becoming a 2/3 race, not a 1/2/3 race), or i would not have made it across the gap. Also i was cornering like a mad man, losing traction in nearly every corner in an attempt to gain seconds (in a mild drizzle)

    A lot of times in the lower cats riders will focus on doing long "hard" efforts to close a gap, but in reality they almost always lose time. For example, 1 week ago i was in a race were a group of so-so riders put in nearly 40 seconds over the course of 6 miles due to riders taking 1-3 minute long pulls at "low" speeds, as opposed to the group working together with shorter pulls to at a higher speed to bring back the group. Or you will have a good rotation going, only to have everyone get really tired and just give up too early.
    cat 1-o-meter: wtf am i doing??????
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    You're not dumb. You're just less smart.

  5. #55
    Senior Member jsutkeepspining's Avatar
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    I should also note this is an example of staying within your means and taking a bit longer so you don't blow up and get dropped with 12 miles to go (still had a long way to go once i made the break)
    cat 1-o-meter: wtf am i doing??????
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    You're not dumb. You're just less smart.

  6. #56
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    I think my butt appears more times in CDR's clips than any other BF member.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    I think my butt appears more times in CDR's clips than any other BF member.
    Ha.

    Well the whole truth is that I don't race with many other BF members.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  8. #58
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Buzzkill.

  9. #59
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    Sorry, it should have read "Shovel is the strongest of the BF racers I race with regularly"
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  10. #60
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    That's not saying much.

  11. #61
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    Thanks again for more great information here guys, all of it is appreciated even if I'm just reading others experiences rather than asking outright questions. Thanks.

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