Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Senior Member Lspade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chaska, MN
    My Bikes
    2013 Specialized Tarmac
    Posts
    111
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Do road tactics exist in cyclocross?

    In road racing I have heard that a weaker cyclist can beat a stronger cyclist by employing smarter race tactics (such as drafting, etc).*

    Would I be correct by saying this does not apply to cyclocross? Since each racer's fitness level and bike handling abilities dictate how fast they will ride the course I do not understand how tactics could mean the difference between a first-place finish and a mid-pack finish like in road racing.*

  2. #2
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Beaverton, OR
    My Bikes
    2013 Kona Jake, 2008 Kona Major Jake, 2013 Kona Jake the Snake, 1999 Kona Muni Mula, 2012 Ridley Excalibur, 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker
    Posts
    6,972
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In the lower cats riders hardly ever ride in packs, but in the upper cats they do. You have to be going pretty fast for drafting to be a significant factor, but it happens. Even so, the groups tend to be more like packs of 5 or 6 rather than a large peloton.

    Different strategies come into play in CX, but you can still use tactics to get an edge against your nemesis. The interesting thing about CX is that when somebody with good bike handling skills is racing against somebody with more raw speed (for instance) there can be a lot of back and forth through the course as to which of them will have an advantage. A key tactic is to watch your opponent and figure out where you have an advantage and then use that information to choose the spot to make your move. For example, if your advantage is in bike handling you don't want to make your pass in the last corner before a long straightaway, but if you can hang on through a long straightaway and make a pass just before a series of corners you might be able to drop him and move on to the next guy.

    Overall though, I'd say you're right. You can't get from mid-pack to a win with tactics. You can, however, make it from the back of a bunch of similarly placed riders to the front.

  3. #3
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    6,159
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    Overall though, I'd say you're right. You can't get from mid-pack to a win with tactics. You can, however, make it from the back of a bunch of similarly placed riders to the front.
    This.
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lspade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chaska, MN
    My Bikes
    2013 Specialized Tarmac
    Posts
    111
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the confirmation guys.

  5. #5
    Senior Member billh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Posts
    1,254
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    there is psychological benefit from sitting on someone's wheel for a lap. like mentioned about, you learn quickly where that person is fast or slow . . . unless they are faking it to fool you. I've experienced "hearing the footsteps" in two races from the same guy. I have a fast start and he usually reels me in about mid-race. The anticipation of the catch is just excruciating. Both times, when he finally clawed his way back to my wheel, I lost focus, and made a mistake, once running over a plastic stake, and the second, wiping out on a mound of mulch I had ridden successfully all the previous laps. But when someone is on your wheel. It's added pressure. that part of the mental race I have to work on.
    "The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one" JD Salinger, Catcher in the Rye, 1963

  6. #6
    Senior Member Number400's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    South Central PA
    My Bikes
    Scott Addict, Raleigh Rx, GT Timberline
    Posts
    559
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    and fresh off the road roadies fly on the open stuff and crash going into the first technical corner afterwards

  7. #7
    Senior Member billh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Posts
    1,254
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've seen other road-like tactics in upper level races . . . eg. the fastest guy is in a lead group of three with two pretty fast guys from another team . . . the two pretty fast guys are just fast enough to hang on his wheel but not win the race on their own. So they start "double-teaming" him . . . that is, taking turns attacking, so the fast guy has to go out and chase the attack down . . . when he catches one guy, the other guy takes off . .. then fast guy has to chase again. Repeat, rinse, dry. Pretty soon fast guy is worn down, and the freshest of the other guys takes the win.
    "The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one" JD Salinger, Catcher in the Rye, 1963

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    My Bikes
    80s Rodriguez handmade lugged steel road, 1996 Bianchi Reparto Corse cyclocross, 1982 Cyclepro mountain bike, Xtracycle
    Posts
    454
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well I'm new to this so don't have too much to add, but yesterday's race was pretty fast paced, it was surprisingly dry and there was a long, flat, hard packed stretch off the back that let you get into your upper gears (let's say 46/14 or so). I don't know at what speed drafting starts really working and for how long you need to benefit, but I got myself too far behind the lead pack on the first lap to catch up to the tail end and I was riding by myself, or least I thought I was until I looked over my shoulder I realized this other guy was sucking my wheel the whole stretch! He passed me on the first turn at the end of the stretch. I'm sure he would have passed me eventually anyways, but he decided to go ahead a suck my wheel for a minute or so before making his move.

  9. #9
    Senior Member NatUp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    My Bikes
    1989 Simoncini, Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro, No-name aluminum 29er hardtail, Univega Winter Beater
    Posts
    83
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Most races I'd agree that fitness is king, but on windy, flat courses there is no question: drafting can make a huge difference. My one and only appearance on a podium this year was because I shamelessly sucked a guy's wheel the WHOLE race, lost contact near the end from fatigue, then overtook him at the line because he mistakenly thought he was alone. Better fitness most assuredly did not win on that day.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •