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  1. #1
    Senior Member chris675D's Avatar
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    1st Omnium race in 2 days.

    Do you guys have any tips or strategies that would be helpful?

    EDIT: sorry guys I got confused. I meant to ask about a points race, but Ignore this thread.
    Last edited by chris675D; 07-09-12 at 10:44 PM.
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    Ride a straight line. Be predictable. Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut, and by this time next year you'll have a fair understanding of bicycle track racing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member chris675D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Ride a straight line. Be predictable. Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut, and by this time next year you'll have a fair understanding of bicycle track racing.
    Doesn't seem too hard to do that, what about during the sprint lap. Should you start going faster a whole or half lap before to get more points?
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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    To me, it seems that every track has a slightly different style of racing points races.

    chris675D, if you are a new racer (which it sounds like you are) I'd recommend that you watch as many local points races as you can, even the races that happen right before yours.

    Some basic tips:

    - Don't go 100% on any sprint but the last one. Most beginners sprint really hard for the first sprint...then blow up and have to retire from the race. Anybody in the field can win the first sprint of a long points race. The key is to do a sub-maximal sprint so that you can recover and sprint again soon. In beginner races, very often many of the guys who scored points in the first sprint aren't around in the end. I know, I as (and still am) one of those guys, haha.
    - After the sprint lap HOLD YOUR LINE and maintain your speed through the turn then look back and see what's up and see if you can swing up track and/or slow down. All too often a new racer will sprint then sit up or swing up immediately when racers are still charging in hard behind him/her.
    - Know how deep the points are awarded for the sprints. If only the top 4 people get points, there is no sense in sprinting for 5th place except at the end of the race. If on a sprint lap 4 guys are ahead of you and you aren't going to catch them before the end of the lap, relax and know that they will slow down after the sprint and you'll catch up with them then.
    - Expect the field to be disbanded quickly. In the lower categories, ability levels can be really spread out. This is evident in longer races like points races. This means that there will be traffic. Either you will have to ride around traffic or you will be traffic. Be sure you know what to do in each case.
    -- If you are overtaking traffic, pass on the outside. A "stick" or "stay" is helpful in the lowest category as some new racers have an urge to swing up to get out of the way and actually cause drama.
    -- If you *are* traffic then just go to the sprinter's lane and pursuit your way to the end of the race solo. The faster riders will overtake you. It is their responsibility to pass you safely.
    -- If you find a wheel and start trading pulls, you have to know how to do this with other people on the track, too.

  5. #5
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris675D View Post
    Doesn't seem too hard to do that, what about during the sprint lap. Should you start going faster a whole or half lap before to get more points?
    Just sit in the pack and just hang on and you'll feel what's happening. I know that sounds vague but just think of it as a group ride where you are just trying to stay with the pack. When you feel comfortable, you'll start seeing the opportunities to sprint. Then you'll also start understanding how to setup your positioning a couple of laps before the sprint. It really is an evolutionary learning process that begins with you just sitting in the pack and watching the race from within it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris675D View Post
    Doesn't seem too hard to do that, what about during the sprint lap. Should you start going faster a whole or half lap before to get more points?
    Mass start sprinting is as much or more about positioning and timing as it is about going fast. As Carleton pointed out -- watch a bunch of the higher category races to see how things work.

    Also, when you die, and you likely will, hold your line in the sprinter's lane and let people go around you. Don't ever try to get out of the way of overtaking riders!!

    If you're dropped and going to get lapped, hold your line in the sprinter's lane and let the pack catch you. Accelerate as they approach, but *don't* go up track and wait, and *don't* try to get out of the way for them to come through. If you're dropped, they're going much faster and will commit to a line before you realize they're there. If you try to get out of the way, it causes chaos and can be dangerous. I've been on both sides of this, and it really sucks to get taken up to the rail by someone going half as fast who swerves into your line.

    Also, go here: Accelerated Class Summary and scroll down to the bottom section "Tips for Racing in LA". Note particularly the note about double switching in pacelines-- it makes it a lot safer for everyone if you pull through, even just a few pedal strokes, rather than trying to double switch.
    Last edited by bitingduck; 07-10-12 at 12:19 AM.
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  7. #7
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    First points race - I'll offer my advice for first any race: don't try to win. Sit in, watch how it goes, try to stay with the front, but don't dig yourself too deep that you can't learn what happens.

    In most points races, points go four deep in each sprint. That means if you're burning a match trying to get 3rd or 4th place but wind up getting 5th in a sprint, that's a huge wasted effort. Basically, don't sprint unless you're confident you'll get points. It's better to suck wheel right behind the sprint, and then be fresh for a counterattack or a chase. This is pretty much what Carleton said, but I'll echo it because it's the right advice. It boils down to being smart. It's easy for to catch contagious excitement and sprint, but don't do it if it's not going to net you anything.

    Re; holding your line or don't try to get out of the way of overtaking riders - always shouldercheck before making lateral moves on a track.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chris675D's Avatar
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    sweet thats a lot of replies. I'mma post this flyer for the event tomorrow so you can see what my options are while I read these great tips. thx guys

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6...c3bo1_1280.jpg
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  9. #9
    Senior Member chris675D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    Mass start sprinting is as much or more about positioning and timing as it is about going fast. As Carleton pointed out -- watch a bunch of the higher category races to see how things work.

    Also, when you die, and you likely will, hold your line in the sprinter's lane and let people go around you. Don't ever try to get out of the way of overtaking riders!!

    If you're dropped and going to get lapped, hold your line in the sprinter's lane and let the pack catch you. Accelerate as they approach, but *don't* go up track and wait, and *don't* try to get out of the way for them to come through. If you're dropped, they're going much faster and will commit to a line before you realize they're there. If you try to get out of the way, it causes chaos and can be dangerous. I've been on both sides of this, and it really sucks to get taken up to the rail by someone going half as fast who swerves into your line.

    Also, go here: Accelerated Class Summary and scroll down to the bottom section "Tips for Racing in LA". Note particularly the note about double switching in pacelines-- it makes it a lot safer for everyone if you pull through, even just a few pedal strokes, rather than trying to double switch.

    They told us to just stay in the paceline and wave the riders behind to pass.
    I read the accelerated class summary and the info was really helpful thanks. I didn't know what double switching even was or ever heard of it before, but I never assumed that was something people would ever do.

    by the way I'm going to encino not the carson velodrome.
    Last edited by chris675D; 07-10-12 at 11:51 AM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    After the field breaks up, which it will. Try to get with some one else and take turns pulling to build your way back up. Even if the person you are working with is a bit slower than you you will save a lot of energy and be able to build and hold.

    The lap before a point lap the speeds of the leaders will increase, if you are chasing them just hold your speed, don't try to go faster to match them. Usually after the sprint lap the whole lead group will slow off, and you can gain ground on them.
    If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him

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    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Whats a snowball?

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    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    Every lap the top two riders score points, each lap the amount of points increase. Lap one is 1,0 Lap two is 2,1 lap three 3,2 etc. Similar to a tempo but increased points, so an early flyer does not work out usually.

    Why do you ask?
    Last edited by Kayce; 07-10-12 at 04:31 PM.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris675D View Post
    by the way I'm going to encino not the carson velodrome.
    I know, but if you develop bad habits there you'll take them to Carson and get yelled at. Expected riding behavior is mostly consistent between the two, but there's less reinforcement of good habits/negative reinforcement of bad habit at encino.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayce View Post
    Every lap the top two riders score points, each lap the amount of points increase. Lap one is 1,0 Lap two is 2,1 lap three 3,2 etc. Similar to a tempo but increased points, so an early flyer does not work out usually.
    I've seen them a lot of different ways, and commonly it's only the first person across gets points, and it increases by one each lap. A lot of officials like that way because it's easy to score. It's a terrible race though, because it's often pretty much over fairly early. I like the way you describe better, and have also seen it where the points go deeper with every sprint, e.g.:
    First Sprint: 1
    Second Sprint: 2,1
    Third sprint: 3,2,1
    Fourth sprint: 5,3,2,1
    etc., with sprints not every lap.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member chris675D's Avatar
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    I decided I'm doing the C-class Omnium. I'll be reading this thread over again tomorrow at work. Thanks for the advice. I know you're not supposed to make big changes before a race, but I'm switching from really narrow drop bars to wider ones but they're basically the same shape, but the narrower ones didn't allow me to sprint too well. Hope it feels better
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  16. #16
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayce View Post
    Every lap the top two riders score points, each lap the amount of points increase. Lap one is 1,0 Lap two is 2,1 lap three 3,2 etc. Similar to a tempo but increased points, so an early flyer does not work out usually.

    Why do you ask?
    It was one of the races mentioned in the attached flyer above.

  17. #17
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris675D View Post
    I decided I'm doing the C-class Omnium. I'll be reading this thread over again tomorrow at work. Thanks for the advice. I know you're not supposed to make big changes before a race, but I'm switching from really narrow drop bars to wider ones but they're basically the same shape, but the narrower ones didn't allow me to sprint too well. Hope it feels better
    For your first season, you are mostly learning tactics. Take it easy, do as many races as you can and try to stay away from the very front, but in the in the top 1/2 of riders. That way you will get a good feel for what is going on and learn tactics.

    In Detroit, we have a 6 day race later in the summer. I'll do 3-4 races every night. It is a killer routine, but after a week of that I get as much experience as in a whole season of racing.

  18. #18
    Senior Member chris675D's Avatar
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    So I did the races but my results weren't too good. The unknown distance race I got stuck in the back and couldn't get past the wall of riders. The points race I had a good strategy planned to attack and try to lap everyone after first sprint but it was only 2 sprints ever 10 laps, not 5 like I was expecting. I was 1st the whole time and kept waiting for someone to come up so I could draft but everyone just sucked my wheel for 8 laps then attacked and I couldn't match the attack and eventually got pointed out to get off.

    The miss and out is the only one i did decent in. There was 18 off us on the rail, but the other races there were more. I started off in the back but moved up quickly. I lead for a couple laps. And kept sprinting for the finish line. I stayed in like 13 laps, and I ended up 5th befrore I got eliminated.

    I have to become more fammiliar with all the different types or races and how they work. It seems like to me that rail position is pretty important. And the best part of it all was that my number was pinned on pretty damn well. 0 percent flapping. Good thing I read the whole thread on pinning numbers XD
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  19. #19
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris675D View Post
    The points race I had a good strategy planned to attack and try to lap everyone after first sprint but it was only 2 sprints ever 10 laps, not 5 like I was expecting. I was 1st the whole time and kept waiting for someone to come up so I could draft but everyone just sucked my wheel for 8 laps then attacked and I couldn't match the attack and eventually got pointed out to get off.


    Remember this. You'll read this a few months from now and have a good laugh at yourself.


    This reminds me of a funny story. I had to walk maybe 2 miles to my high school every morning. My neighbor and I would walk together. One morning my shoe came untied soon after we got started. I handed him my backpack to hold as I tied my shoe. He was so busy telling me a story that he forgot to hand it back to me while we continued walking to school. He didn't realize until we got to campus that he'd carried both mine and his backpacks the entire way. I wasn't gonna say a word. I was grinning the whole time.

    Staying on the front of the pack is rookie mistake #1. No one (except a teammate*) is going to relieve you of that duty voluntarily

    They took advantage of your generosity and spent maybe 30% less energy than you did as they followed you around for 8 laps.


    *team tactics are in Chapter 5.

  20. #20
    Senior Member chris675D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post


    Remember this. You'll read this a few months from now and have a good laugh at yourself.


    This reminds me of a funny story. I had to walk maybe 2 miles to my high school every morning. My neighbor and I would walk together. One morning my shoe came untied soon after we got started. I handed him my backpack to hold as I tied my shoe. He was so busy telling me a story that he forgot to hand it back to me while we continued walking to school. He didn't realize until we got to campus that he'd carried both mine and his backpacks the entire way. I wasn't gonna say a word. I was grinning the whole time.

    Staying on the front of the pack is rookie mistake #1. No one (except a teammate*) is going to relieve you of that duty voluntarily

    They took advantage of your generosity and spent maybe 30% less energy than you did as they followed you around for 8 laps.


    *team tactics are in Chapter 5.

    That was a funny story. I stayed in the front bc I didn't want to get stuck in the back like the unknown distance race but when I realized everyone was just going to draft me, I slowed down and tried letting someone get past so I could draft but no body would until the 8th lap or so when the smart guys attacked.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris675D View Post
    Doesn't seem too hard to do that, (Ride a straight line. Be predictable. Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut, and by this time next year you'll have a fair understanding of bicycle track racing) what about during the sprint lap. Should you start going faster a whole or half lap before to get more points?
    Hopefully my advice makes a little more sense now.

  22. #22
    Senior Member chris675D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Hopefully my advice makes a little more sense now.

    Actually the part about keeping my mouth shut was horrible advice . never had to yell stay or hear it yelled so many times before
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  23. #23
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris675D View Post
    I stayed in the front bc I didn't want to get stuck in the back like the unknown distance race but when I realized everyone was just going to draft me, I slowed down and tried letting someone get past so I could draft but no body would until the 8th lap or so when the smart guys attacked.
    The only time someone is going to take over the lead in a situation like that is when they can blow past you so fast that there's no chance you can get on their wheel... It's the beginning of them taking a lap or a sprint.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris675D View Post
    Actually the part about keeping my mouth shut was horrible advice . never had to yell stay or hear it yelled so many times before
    Because everyone was missing the first 3 pieces of advice...
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  25. #25
    Senior Member joshpants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post

    Staying on the front of the pack is rookie mistake #1. No one (except a teammate*) is going to relieve you of that duty voluntarily

    They took advantage of your generosity and spent maybe 30% less energy than you did as they followed you around for 8 laps.

    This is one I still make. Constantly. Definitely not for 8 laps, but I still do way, way too much work out front.

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