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Old 03-29-10, 11:53 PM   #1
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when is it OK to exit the sprinters lane?

So I did my first training session tonight and had a blast. At the end we dd some mock races, scratch and points, and in both I found myself off the front putting in work the whole time.

From what I remember being told when you're in the sprinters lane you aren't supposed to exit it until you get passed and you aren't supposed to soft pedal... so how can I get back to sucking wheel after winning a sprint in a points race? Should I just stay between the sprinters lane and the stay line to avoid getting locked into pulling the pack or is there a way to get out of the sprinters lane?
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Old 03-30-10, 12:56 AM   #2
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So I did my first training session tonight and had a blast. At the end we dd some mock races, scratch and points, and in both I found myself off the front putting in work the whole time.

From what I remember being told when you're in the sprinters lane you aren't supposed to exit it until you get passed and you aren't supposed to soft pedal... so how can I get back to sucking wheel after winning a sprint in a points race? Should I just stay between the sprinters lane and the stay line to avoid getting locked into pulling the pack or is there a way to get out of the sprinters lane?
After you cross the finish line, you are not obligated to stay in the sprinter's lane anymore. BUT you should stay there through turns 1 and 2 because there are still people barreling in behind with lots of momentum. You can let off the gas some and by the time you get back around to the back-straight (opposite the finish line) do a shoulder check to see if anyone is in your back pocket next to you. If not, then roll up turn 3 and get on the back of the train and take a rest.
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Old 03-30-10, 09:56 AM   #3
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My understanding is that the sprinter's lane rule goes into effect when the sprint is in effect. You are certainly allowed to come off the front in the leadup to the sprint and after it is all over. The rule basically states that during the sprint, if the guy leading out the sprint drops doing into the sprinters lane, he has to stay there until he crosses the line. Because the sprinters lane is the fastest path around the track, the only motivation for the guy leading out the sprint to leave the sprinters lane is for malevolent intent (trying to hook or otherwise impede the path of the guy coming around you).

Once the sprint is finished, just check that nobody is on your hip and gradually move uptrack out of the sprinters lane.
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Old 03-30-10, 10:22 AM   #4
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OK, some clarification is required here. The concept of a specific "sprinter's lane" only applies in match sprints. In mass start events you are not required to stay in any particular lane or place on the track. Furtheremore, you are not required to overtake other riders in any particular place, and you can pass them either uptrack (right) or downtrack (left), provided you do not leave the bounds of the track. However, to avoid unnecessary carnage, you should observe the practice of holding your line and not moving uptrack until you can see that you are clear to do so. As far as this nonsense of not soft-pedalling after the sprint, **** that! The riders behind you can pass you uptrack, if you just hold your line. In fact that is the preferable course of action, since nobody has to guess where you are going to be and you can drift easily to the back. After a sprint, everyone slows down anyway unless there is a counter-attack.
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Old 03-30-10, 10:49 AM   #5
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OK, some clarification is required here. The concept of a specific "sprinter's lane" only applies in match sprints. In mass start events you are not required to stay in any particular lane or place on the track.
I think Sarah Hammer would beg to differ. She got relegated from 3rd to last in the Women's Omnium Scratch Race last week for being in front but drifting out of the sprinter's lane when she exited turn 4 during the final sprint.

Once the sprint is engaged, be it a match sprint, scratch race, points race going for points, etc, the person in the sprinter's lane is obligated to stay there from the 200M start mark till the finish line OR unless he is overtaken by another rider. Not just passed, but the guy passes you then drops into the sprinter's lane.

I'll find the exact rule in the rule book when I get back from the track...
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Old 03-30-10, 11:28 AM   #6
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Carleton, I think you are mis-interpretting what I said and what the rules say. I did not say that a rider could move out of the sprinter's lane if that would impede another rider seeking to pass. This has nothing to do with 200m, it applies anywhere and anytime. You are not allowed to make unsafe moves or impeding other riders, period. Indeed, the same rules apply in road sprints, especially criteriums. You are allowed to move out if it is safe and it does not impede another rider. Also, the OP's original question pertained to conduct after the sprint was over, and my response was in that context. From the USAC rulebook:

2B1. Leaders must occupy the sprinters lane unless far enough in the lead so as not to interfere with competitors seeking to pass. If the leader is below the sprinters line, the following riders may not pass underneath [relegation or disqualification].
2B2. A competitor overtaking another must pass on the outside unless the rider ahead is riding above the sprinters line. A rider who passes another must not in any way impede the progress of the passed rider [relegation or disqualification].
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Old 03-30-10, 12:36 PM   #7
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Carleton, I think you are mis-interpretting what I said and what the rules say. I did not say that a rider could move out of the sprinter's lane if that would impede another rider seeking to pass.

2B1. Leaders must occupy the sprinters lane unless far enough in the lead so as not to interfere with competitors seeking to pass. If the leader is below the sprinters line, the following riders may not pass underneath [relegation or disqualification].
2B2. A competitor overtaking another must pass on the outside unless the rider ahead is riding above the sprinters line. A rider who passes another must not in any way impede the progress of the passed rider [relegation or disqualification].
I think the problem is that in your earlier post you said "only applies in match sprints". The sprinters lane concept actually applies in all mass start races as you quote above, but with slightly more explicit rules and restrictions in a match sprint. If you remove the word "match" from your previous post it's probably the best answer given so far- I don't know that I could explain much better; I agree with your comment about soft pedaling.

Basically, if the sprint is over and you want off the front: look and make sure it's clear, then move smoothly off the front. If you're boxed, go ahead and float/ease up and let people past you.

And as you say, it has nothing to do with the 200 m mark-- even in match sprints the rule is "once the sprint has begun". In a match sprint the sprint can often start well before or well after the 200 m mark, and sometimes even starts, aborts, and then restarts.
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Old 03-30-10, 03:40 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the input, I appreciate it.

So just to check that I've got it straight, in the context of best etiquette/safest riding. On the sprint lap once I've dropped the hammer I should stay in the lane, granted I'm off the front, unless I get overtaken, and have a clear line up track. If I win the sprint, I can exit the sprinters lane after the sprint so long as I'm clear to move up track and the safest places, in general, to do this would most likely be after turn 2 when the other rider's momentum has died down post sprint, granted they aren't attacking.
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Old 03-30-10, 04:02 PM   #9
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Sounds like you're getting it.

The best thing to do next is watch a lot of races with more experienced riders in them to see how things flow. Universal has all of this years worlds online: http://www.universalsports.com/video...ds+day+morning , and you should watch the more advanced riders on your local race days.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:43 PM   #10
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I always tell new racers to "Be predictable." Your races will be won or lost by seconds if not tens-of-seconds in the short races, and minutes in the long races. So, being predictable is more important than being "clever" (not to imply that you are trying to be clever). The objective of all beginners should be to obey the rules, learn to handle the bike at speed in a pack, and to finish the race. Don't worry about winning (not saying that you are).

Most crashes at the track come when a rider does something that's unexpected. When in doubt, hold your line and the folks behind you will adjust and go around you. If you get trapped behind a slower rider, wait for the train to pass you both, do a shoulder check, then step out and get on the gas. Forcing your way out will cause drama that beginners may not know how to handle.

You are right to come here and get clarification. Share this info with your fellow beginners so you all know what to expect each other to do.

Bitingduck is right in that you should watch lots of races. He's right about a lot of stuff. So is Tejano. Watch races at your track to see the local flavor of racing and watch videos online to see how others do it.
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Old 03-30-10, 08:33 PM   #11
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best thing to do is stay there after the sprint (if you won and are in the sprinters lane) and start to soft pedal, any attacks will then have to come around you the long way.
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Old 04-04-10, 05:58 AM   #12
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I think Sarah Hammer would beg to differ. She got relegated from 3rd to last in the Women's Omnium Scratch Race last week for being in front but drifting out of the sprinter's lane when she exited turn 4 during the final sprint.

Once the sprint is engaged, be it a match sprint, scratch race, points race going for points, etc, the person in the sprinter's lane is obligated to stay there from the 200M start mark till the finish line OR unless he is overtaken by another rider. Not just passed, but the guy passes you then drops into the sprinter's lane.

I'll find the exact rule in the rule book when I get back from the track...
There are no longer set marks for the Sprint Rules the rules apply from when the Sprint is judged to have started. This also applies to sprints during a race you cannot swing up after crossing the line you can when everyone has finished sprinting.
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