Thread: Big Gears
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Old 06-27-17, 08:09 AM
  #19  
bitingduck
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
My frame of reference this year has been big, fast fields for UCI races at TTown. It changes the calculus and it's a whole new learning experience. Hard to explain, but compared to local or regional races, it's just a consistently high pace instead of sprints and lulls.
That's how the big races were here in LA when I was still racing -- things like Elite nats and the nats qualifier, and sometimes elite states. When they still had qualifiers to get into nats, we scheduled ours to be almost the last and people would show up from all over and it would be as fast as nats. Those are the kind of fields where the race is really fast, except when it's even faster, and I'd just put on a big gear and not worry.


So instead of the predictable "front vs devil," everybody is constantly surging toward the front, even if they're safely midpack. The unknown factor, plus the fact that there were 40 riders on a wide track, meant that there wasn't a "front vs devil" dynamic - not yet, not for those first twenty laps. It was just speed and chaos, and having a little extra to push against in order to make a surge around the outside really really helped.
Yeah, the full P/1/2 miss and outs here were like that. The race basically started at the ramp as people were fighting for a good position at the rail, and then coming off the rail it was already full blast on the neutral lap. I'd always use those races as an example in the accelerated class as how "neutral" doesn't mean "slow" (kids and 5's tended to have a neutral lap slide in the first race of the day), but a 24 rider P/1/2 race starts before the neutral lap and doesn't have any slow bits.

Those are fun races though, because they really do have three distinct parts - the beginning where the track is crowded, the middle where the field can almost fit side-by-side across, and the end where there's lots of room but people are getting a little thrashed.
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