I've been racing at Northbrook on Fridays on my road bike. I've never done anything long, since I race in the lowest possible category; my max has been 5 laps.
Anyways, there's always this one guy who beats me on the sprints. In one race I literally drafted off him for 4 and 3/4 laps, and then he pulled away. I was hardly expending any energy--I had to coast sometimes to keep from hitting his wheel. He dropped me on the sprint, though. I tried gearing up to a 52-14 for the next race (I was at 52-16 for the first) and it worked a lot better, although only if I could draft off someone.
Why does such a ridiculous gearing feel better? I was looking at track gears, and I saw 48-16 as the gearing (albeit for specialized track only). Do sprinters gear their chainrings differently, or am I just weird? Granted, I'm lousy at spinning, and I row, which is a much more of a low speed, high power sport than high-speed, low power sport.
Also, in the first race, did I get beat on tactics, strength, or gearing? Or, most likely, some combination?