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Old 07-13-13, 08:38 PM   #1
JTownCitycycle
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Wind causing seperation

Is there an illustration available that shows what happened yesterday in the race of this effect of the wind getting between the bikers and causing the separation. I can't quite grasp this and it's seems to be a most interesting concept.
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Old 07-13-13, 08:45 PM   #2
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Old 07-13-13, 08:51 PM   #3
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thanks so are saying saying the team on the right is using the proper technique and thus gained because the riders were bettered rested in the pack then the other teams ?
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Old 07-13-13, 09:16 PM   #4
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No, the picture is just different types of pacelines. The one on the right representing a crosswind.

With no wind, riders go in a straight line and they all benefit from the leaders blocking the wind.
In a cross wind, you have to be diagonal to get protection, but since the roads are not very wide, not as many riders can get protection, and it is harder to close gaps when there are surges.
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Old 07-13-13, 11:40 PM   #5
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Yep, the one on the right is called an echelon. It is a paceline that is very effective at countering crosswinds. It is very common in areas like the Netherlands and Belgium. As pointed out by Homebrew though, the roads are kinda too narrow for the peloton to deploy a really effective echelon.
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Old 07-13-13, 11:54 PM   #6
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It wasn't the wind that caused the separation. It was a few groups forming an echelon and then hauling ass.
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Old 07-14-13, 12:01 AM   #7
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A detail not said and probably this will answer the question of the op.

The problem with really strong angled winds is that the guy that is off the echelon basically have no chances at all. The roads are narrow and teams do this angled formation, the guy that is next to the last guy from the echelon gets out of it and then he cant cover himself from the wind and the next he knows is that he lost the wheel and then bye bye, you have to be really strong to be able to catch with winds like that. Sincerely is the worst type of wind because if you dont have a friend in another team for example that wants to let you in the echelon you just go back like if you had an open parachute at your back, it really sucks.

In the case of the race 2 days ago, for some reason at that minute froome was at the other side of the road and kind'a 20 positions back, at the same time was coincidence that saxo had the whole team at the front, they noticed that froome was scratching his scrotum and the they hit full gas in a thing in my country we call Closed echelon. The few that were close to saxo were able to hook up the wheel but in the case of Froome was just too late, you have just 2 or 5 secs to catch the wheel of the last guy or you are just left behind. Cav sprinted to be able to make it, froome was behind him from what he said and obviously cav left him behind.

Like 2009 i believe it was, there was a 90 degree turn in a stage. As soon the made the turn the cross winds picked up and if they were not paying attention you were left behind, in that day contador lost like 3 minutes because he was not paying attention and sadly in those stages there is no way for you to catch up, never seen anybody catching up later on. Valverde this year is an example, w/o the cars in the middle he was toasted no matter how good the team was they were not going to last too long chasing, basically they died trying and they ran out of gas, just plain bad luck for valverde.
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Old 07-14-13, 10:24 AM   #8
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It wasn't the wind that caused the separation. It was a few groups forming an echelon and then hauling ass.
So the yellow jersey group wasn't in echelon formation, and that's why the breakaway was so successful? I too am having trouble grasping what the breakaway group did that was so different that enabled them to so completely drop the peloton.
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Old 07-14-13, 10:33 AM   #9
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The yellow jersey was right there. He just didn't catch the move when it went. Once they got a gap, they were driving it at ridiculous speeds. Even Cavendish had to literally sprint to catch them. He was the last man to bridge the gap. Froome was right behind him but couldn't make it.

I think you have to race in the wind to truly understand what this feels like. There comes a point where no matter how close you get, it's just not enough, and then you go backwards.
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Old 07-14-13, 02:16 PM   #10
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If the wind is straight from the front, everyone in the field gets in a line and everyone gets shelter. If a break goes up the road, there are a lot of sheltered riders in the field to close the break down.

If the wind is coming from the side, then everyone gets into the echelon formation, which is a slanted formation. The person at the most forward position of the slant is in the wind. The next person takes shelter behind and beside him, and it goes like that until you hit the edge of the road. This means, there are only so many people who can fit in the echelon formation. If you are left out of this formation, the only way to stay with the formation is to start another echelon behind the first. If you are left out of the second echelon, then the only way to stay with the field is to create a third. And so on.

The way this separates the fields is: if all the strong riders are in the first formation, and the second formation is made up of weaker riders, then the stronger echelon will form a gap to the second echelon. If the cross winds persist, then that first echelon forms a breakaway naturally. The "field" is broken up into secondary and tertiary echelons, with each echelon made up of more or less equal numbers of riders. The breakaway has a better chance of succeeding because the chase group is naturally limited to those riders in the second echelon. There is no way for the field to "have numbers" on the breakaway.
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Old 07-14-13, 07:40 PM   #11
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If the wind is straight from the front, everyone in the field gets in a line and everyone gets shelter. If a break goes up the road, there are a lot of sheltered riders in the field to close the break down.

If the wind is coming from the side, then everyone gets into the echelon formation, which is a slanted formation. The person at the most forward position of the slant is in the wind. The next person takes shelter behind and beside him, and it goes like that until you hit the edge of the road. This means, there are only so many people who can fit in the echelon formation. If you are left out of this formation, the only way to stay with the formation is to start another echelon behind the first. If you are left out of the second echelon, then the only way to stay with the field is to create a third. And so on.

The way this separates the fields is: if all the strong riders are in the first formation, and the second formation is made up of weaker riders, then the stronger echelon will form a gap to the second echelon. If the cross winds persist, then that first echelon forms a breakaway naturally. The "field" is broken up into secondary and tertiary echelons, with each echelon made up of more or less equal numbers of riders. The breakaway has a better chance of succeeding because the chase group is naturally limited to those riders in the second echelon. There is no way for the field to "have numbers" on the breakaway.
Brian is spot on here, the width of the road is as much a factor as the cross wind. On a narrow road and you are pretty quickly SOL. Start another echelon and hope some strong riders fall right in with you. Great comment by Cav, who was the last man on, after the stage he mentioned that you have about 5 seconds to see what is starting to happen and react.
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Old 07-15-13, 11:43 AM   #12
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thanks very much everyone, most interesting, from a person that has never biked in a group.
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