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  1. #1
    Senior Member spazegun2213's Avatar
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    Match sprint rules/tips?

    So, I'm thinking about racing friday and I've heard that not only will there be the regular c-d races, but also match sprints. While I understand the in's and outs of points races, miss-n-outs, etc I'm not 100% clear on the sprints. Specifically how one claims sprinters lane. For example, if the lead rider is riding above sprinters lane, say in the middle of the track, and the trailing rider is up top. The trailing rider decides to attack under the leader, and the leader also dives for sprinters lane what happens? I tried to look at a few videos and it looks like the trailing rider normally takes sprinters lane, but is this always the case?

    are there specific rules for yielding the lane or is it simply first come first served, and the lead rider "tends" to be surprised by the move that they don't have time to make it to the lane?

    This will be my first time racing, so I want to make sure I don't make any serious errors.
    '11 allez Comp, very specialized & '09 Pinarello Pista, that only turns left
    It doesn't hurt any less, you just go faster

  2. #2
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    At some velodromes I've raced at, the rule w/r/t the sprinter's lane starts with 200 meters to go. At other velodromes, it has been, "when the sprint is engaged," which in say a keirin can be with 500 or 600m to go. So that's a bit subjective.

    Anyway, the first person who takes the sprinter's lane is obligated to stay in it.
    Anybody attempting to come around that person is obligated to stay outside of the sprinter's lane until they are clear of the person who has claimed the lane.

    With match sprinting, it can go either way - it's not always the case that the trailing rider jumps first and claims the lane*. Sometimes both people try to force the other to claim the lane; or sometimes, they race to claim the lane.

    *People's tactics tend to align with their skill. Somebody who has a better jump (instant acceleration) is going to try to keep the pace slow, and then jump their opponent. Alternatively, somebody who has a better top speed might try to keep the pace high (to limit the speed differential should their opponent have a better jump) going in to the sprint. Somebody who thinks they don't have much of a chance in a sprint might try to catch their opponent off guard and "kilo" them, sprinting from a long way out (Forstemann did this to Hoy a few times in recent years).

    So, keep an eye on your opponents. Figure out who's better than you in what ways, and figure out what ways you're better than other people. And then try to shape the race to suit you.

    Me, I don't have much of a serious sprint, so I just try to stay on somebody's wheel desperately and then try to come around them late. But usually, reasonable sprinters can hold me off even if I stay sheltered.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  3. #3
    Senior Member spazegun2213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
    At some velodromes I've raced at, the rule w/r/t the sprinter's lane starts with 200 meters to go. At other velodromes, it has been, "when the sprint is engaged," which in say a keirin can be with 500 or 600m to go. So that's a bit subjective.
    Ok, I'll ask for some clarification at the event then... but sounds like there is some etiquette to it

    Quote Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
    Anyway, the first person who takes the sprinter's lane is obligated to stay in it.
    Anybody attempting to come around that person is obligated to stay outside of the sprinter's lane until they are clear of the person who has claimed the lane.
    this is what I've been taught and understand.

    Thanks for the other tips, I'm sure I'll know they types of riders the more I ride, and figure out what I'll become.


    Next silly question. I take it the leading rider must wait for the sprint to "start" to take off? I'm assuming this is a rule/etiquette because I've yet to see this happen in any of the videos. In some of the videos I've seen I think I have seen the trailing rider "push" the lead rider to up the tempo, but not start the sprint... but I'm not 100% sure on this.
    '11 allez Comp, very specialized & '09 Pinarello Pista, that only turns left
    It doesn't hurt any less, you just go faster

  4. #4
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazegun2213 View Post
    Next silly question. I take it the leading rider must wait for the sprint to "start" to take off? I'm assuming this is a rule/etiquette because I've yet to see this happen in any of the videos. In some of the videos I've seen I think I have seen the trailing rider "push" the lead rider to up the tempo, but not start the sprint... but I'm not 100% sure on this.
    No.

    Either rider can take off whenever they want to.

    In a match sprint, there is little etiquette, but rules are firmly enforced.

    In your example above where the trailing rider dives under and into the sprinter's lane:

    - That is a legit move.
    - If the lead rider beats you to the sprinter's lane, the trailing rider is screwed and has to go to the apron...but cannot advance his position from the apron, so he must slow down and ride even with the other guy until he's back on the track.

    Watch this as an example:

    Skip to the 1:30 mark to see the move where Theo Bos (in orange riding high) dives under Chris Hoy, but Hoy sees the move and beats Bos to the sprinter's lane and claims it first.




    Notice 2 things:

    1) Bos did not advance his position on the apron. He could have easily hauled-butt down the apron but he didn't. He came back on to the track. Which brings us to...
    2) He does a counter to Hoy's counter move by pushing Hoy back up track to slow and control him until the final sprint.

    These are advanced tactics that are really only useful when the racers are very evenly matched. At the local levels, usually competitors aren't that evenly matched. Generally the stronger racer will win no matter how bad his tactics are.
    Last edited by carleton; 08-30-12 at 01:55 PM.

  5. #5
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    A word of advice to someone doing their first match sprints: Don't be clever. Chances are that your opponent won't know how to react and you guys may make a mess.

    Just:
    - Ride it clean
    - Keep an eye on your opponent.
    - Wait for the sprint to engage (which usually happens as a Pavlovian response to the bell for the final lap)
    - If you are the lead rider: Hold your line.
    - If you are the passing rider: Pass cleanly without getting too close to your opponent.

  6. #6
    shut up and ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    A word of advice to someone doing their first match sprints: Don't be clever. Chances are that your opponent won't know how to react and you guys may make a mess.

    Just:
    - Ride it clean
    - Keep an eye on your opponent.
    - Wait for the sprint to engage (which usually happens as a Pavlovian response to the bell for the final lap)
    - If you are the lead rider: Hold your line.
    - If you are the passing rider: Pass cleanly without getting too close to your opponent.
    this is good, keep it simple.
    too often people overthink and try and make it too complicated after watching the experts with lots of experience who understand the nuances. to mix the sports metaphors, think less pro football offense i.e. running complicated plays and more tennis i.e. just hit the ball back over the net, respond to happens on the track.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    And if it's at the home depot center, don't try to go slow in the turns without a lot of practice.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  8. #8
    Senior Member spazegun2213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    No.

    Either rider can take off whenever they want to.

    In a match sprint, there is little etiquette, but rules are firmly enforced.
    Is there a place I can look for these rules? Again, not trying to figure out tactics or any of that, I just want to be safe and legal.

    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post

    2) He does a counter to Hoy's counter move by pushing Hoy back up track to slow and control him until the final sprint.
    Can Bos do that? and was that a legal move?

    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    A word of advice to someone doing their first match sprints: Don't be clever. Chances are that your opponent won't know how to react and you guys may make a mess.

    Just:
    - Ride it clean
    - Keep an eye on your opponent.
    - Wait for the sprint to engage (which usually happens as a Pavlovian response to the bell for the final lap)
    - If you are the lead rider: Hold your line.
    - If you are the passing rider: Pass cleanly without getting too close to your opponent.
    Thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    And if it's at the home depot center, don't try to go slow in the turns without a lot of practice.
    I've heard rumors, but this will be local racing in San Diego.
    '11 allez Comp, very specialized & '09 Pinarello Pista, that only turns left
    It doesn't hurt any less, you just go faster

  9. #9
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazegun2213 View Post
    Is there a place I can look for these rules? Again, not trying to figure out tactics or any of that, I just want to be safe and legal.
    http://www.usacycling.org/usa-cycling-rule-book.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by spazegun2213 View Post
    Can Bos do that? and was that a legal move?
    Yes he could...and he did. It's a perfectly legal move. He didn't physically push Hoy, he got in front and moved to the right. OK, there was a little "incidental" contact. The sprint was not engaged at that point.

    It's called "pushing" but it's more like guiding. If the bikes are overlapped, the trailing rider must protect his front wheel or he will go down. The leading rider can guide the trailing rider up as long as it's not a sudden move.

  10. #10
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    And if it's at the home depot center, don't try to go slow in the turns without a lot of practice.
    Yeah, this happens at DLV (37 degrees), too. People think that "Match Sprint" means "Go Slow" and slide off the track.

    The "Go slow then sprint hard" tactic doesn't work well for everyone. "Go fast early and stay fast" works very well at the local levels, too. That's how the Enduros usually beat the Sprinters.

  11. #11
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    +1

    For your first races of any type, put the priority on learning and being safe over winning.

    (That is what I try to tell myself to do at least)


    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    A word of advice to someone doing their first match sprints: Don't be clever. Chances are that your opponent won't know how to react and you guys may make a mess.

    Just:
    - Ride it clean
    - Keep an eye on your opponent.
    - Wait for the sprint to engage (which usually happens as a Pavlovian response to the bell for the final lap)
    - If you are the lead rider: Hold your line.
    - If you are the passing rider: Pass cleanly without getting too close to your opponent.

  12. #12
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    Feel free to stop by before the races to ask questions or get some tips. I'm helping to run the races and will be there from about 5pm on motorpacing. A number of other experienced riders will be there, too, who are always more than happy to give out some friendly advice. The races were actually set up for some of the UCSD kids going to collegiate nats to get some match sprint practice before heading to Frisco. It'll be a fun field.

    Most of the races on Fridays haven't been too tactical and have panned out pretty much like carleton said. There are a couple guys that have done elite level sprinting, but they're really tricky and will move you around the track without letting you realize it.

    It's not a USAC race, so we're not going to be too picky about a lot of the really technical rules. Basically, be safe and don't do anything overly sketchy and you'll be fine.

  13. #13
    JMR
    JMR is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    - Wait for the sprint to engage (which usually happens as a Pavlovian response to the bell for the final lap)
    LOL.

    JMR

  14. #14
    Senior Member spazegun2213's Avatar
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    Ended up racing with the C/D's however it was more like lots of B's, a few fast C's and me.... lol. I was not able to compete in the sprints because of my lack of racing experience, but they run for another 2 weeks, and maybe I'll catch the last one. It was still a great night.
    '11 allez Comp, very specialized & '09 Pinarello Pista, that only turns left
    It doesn't hurt any less, you just go faster

  15. #15
    Senior Member LeeRoySD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazegun2213 View Post
    Ended up racing with the C/D's however it was more like lots of B's, a few fast C's and me.... lol. I was not able to compete in the sprints because of my lack of racing experience, but they run for another 2 weeks, and maybe I'll catch the last one. It was still a great night.
    That was a faster "Friday Night" field than normal... Keep coming out and it'll seem slower and slower every week as you get faster. It's kind of funny but Friday's "C's and D's" races lately seem to be a little faster than the "C" races on Tuesdays. Glad you could come out and race.

  16. #16
    Senior Member spazegun2213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeRoySD View Post
    That was a faster "Friday Night" field than normal... Keep coming out and it'll seem slower and slower every week as you get faster. It's kind of funny but Friday's "C's and D's" races lately seem to be a little faster than the "C" races on Tuesdays. Glad you could come out and race.
    It was a ton of fun and I'll be back for sure! I figured the sprints made sure there were some faster people there, but it was still a ton of fun. I'm still getting faster and learning the ropes and the best part, having a blast doing it!
    '11 allez Comp, very specialized & '09 Pinarello Pista, that only turns left
    It doesn't hurt any less, you just go faster

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