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Please explain this crit "faux pas" please:

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Please explain this crit "faux pas" please:

Old 08-05-16, 09:03 AM
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Please explain this crit "faux pas" please:

Last night at the local race night in the park, the following happened and I'm trying to understand it.
Here's the scene:

The race is in a local park, on smooth black-top - the path is "closed" for the purpose of holding these races every Thursday. The track is just a hair over a mile long, and the race is 30 laps for Cat 1 &2. There are a couple of modest hills, and it's a moderately curvey course, which is to say it's not an oval - it has some curves in and around the park property.

So, about 23 laps into the race, there was a breakaway by 3 riders. They were maintaining about a 75 meter/yard lead over the peloton. As they were completing the 3rd last lap (which is a prize or points lap) they were coming down the home stretch, and one of the breakaway riders yells out, "That's b...sh..! You don't attack on a break!!!"

After the peloton passed by, one of the race officials commented that, "he's right, but he (the complainer) broke the rules by using foul language." ...or words to that effect.

So afterwards, I went over to talk to the officials to inquire as to what the guy was complaining about.
I was told that in a breakaway, the guys are supposed to work together to stay away from the peloton. They share the work by sharing the lead (sure, I knew that). It's not illegal, but it's considered bad form to attack (for the points) when you're supposed to be working together to stay up on the group.


I know in baseball that when your team is up by a large amount, you're not supposed to bunt or steal a base. You don't want to "rub it in". It's considered poor sportsmanship. It's sort of like the victory is almost conceded - no need to steal a base or bunt.

But in this particular bike race, these 3 guys were not on the same team (or perhaps even ANY team), and there were points involved.
I don't understand what the problem is with the 2nd or 3rd guy in the breakaway making a sprint for the 1st place points on that lap?
I thought you were supposed to try for as many points as you wanted. I thought you were racing to win.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-05-16, 09:14 AM
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I got yelled at last week for doing this, attacking in a breakaway on a prime lap. but we were in the 1/2/3, and all the heavy hitters were with the pack. we had no chance.. I mean the only reason I was in the break in the first place was to get the prime. After I got the prime, I followed up with a pity lead out (if you can call it that) until the pack caught us later that lap.

i think if someone's going to be butt hurt about staying together and not attacking in a breakaway, they should communicate that with the breakaway and get some type of agreement, before they can expect any type of compliance.
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Old 08-05-16, 09:15 AM
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The idea is that for the breakaway to succeed, everyone needs to work together. Sprinting for a prime is the opposite of working together.

Prepare to get yelled at if you attack the break for a prime/points, unless everyone in the break has decided it's ok for the rider to take it.

The other option is for the break to roll through like there is no prime, and whoever happens to be pulling gets the award. If it's cash, it would make sense to split it, but that isn't always the case (it would need to be agreed upon earlier).
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Old 08-05-16, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
The idea is that for the breakaway to succeed, everyone needs to work together. Sprinting for a prime is the opposite of working together.

Prepare to get yelled at if you attack the break for a prime/points, unless everyone in the break has decided it's ok for the rider to take it.

The other option is for the break to roll through like there is no prime, and whoever happens to be pulling gets the award. If it's cash, it would make sense to split it, but that isn't always the case (it would need to be agreed upon earlier).
This. It takes a lot of work to keep a pack at bay, and once one guy doesn't cooperate the whole thing usually breaks down.
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Old 08-05-16, 09:28 AM
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ok yea, with 3 laps to go and a ~10s lead, it's better to stick together, and let the shenanigans happen on bell lap.
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Old 08-05-16, 09:31 AM
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Hahahahaha...that dude is a whiner. You can do whatever you want. You can 100% attack a break. It might win you the race. It might lose it for you and everyone in the break. Whatever. It's racing.
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Old 08-05-16, 09:34 AM
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Sounds like the T-town points race throwdown. Think track race on a crit course. I'm sure that affects the tactical game but I'm not sure how exactly, my race brain nous boils down to bludgeoning people to death.
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Old 08-05-16, 09:35 AM
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I was in a break in the 1,2,3 at one of the new britain crits a few years back. we had like 40 seconds and were sure to stay away. We had horsepower, and a guy with a very good team who was working for him. Some younger guy sprinted for a prime, once and got yelled at (he had to sit on to recover) and then again. At that point the whole thing went to hell. It was attack, chase, sit on, attack chase sit on. And before you know it our sure thing break was done.

So to sprint when trying to establish a break for a prime is sure to doom it. Best form is to agree to split it and just roll through. No rules broken for sure, and unless it's agreed upon in the break it's every man for himself.
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Old 08-05-16, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Stratocaster View Post


But in this particular bike race, these 3 guys were not on the same team .....
This is where you went wrong. They ARE on a team, albeit a short lived team of convenience. Breaking away is a tough team challenge and requires trust that all will work to the single purpose of getting the three to a position where they might slug it out for podium positions.

Once someone decides that he'd rather go for the prime without revealing it in advance it's like a double cross. If you aren't sure that your mates can be trusted, there is no team, just a free for all, which doesn't benefit anyone.
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Old 08-05-16, 09:39 AM
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I guess it depends. What are the points for and where did that guy stand in the points? If he's looking to keep things going for the team, then he may have been somewhat obligated to get the points.


We have a similar season long points driven omnium out this way and when points primes come up, guys will attack for it out of the break.


It could have been that the attacker felt the break wasn't going to survive and that was a last ditch effort to get something extra for the work. It could have been that the guy was an ******* and just didn't care. Ultimately, if you want the break to succeed and carry the gap to the line, it makes sense to not attack the break. But again ... that all depends on your motive for being in the break.
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Old 08-05-16, 09:44 AM
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I agree with MattM's assessment, BUT, I'm hard pressed to call that much of a break though. They're 75 meters up on the field on a 1-mile-long course. That's not very far, and if the field wanted to put an effort in to chase, it wouldn't take much.
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Old 08-05-16, 09:45 AM
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You can do what ever the hell you want. Just don't be surprised if the break decides to ride you off the back for not cooperating though. There are very good reasons why someone would attack from the break.
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Old 08-05-16, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
This is where you went wrong. They ARE on a team, albeit a short lived team of convenience. Breaking away is a tough team challenge and requires trust that all will work to the single purpose of getting the three to a position where they might slug it out for podium positions.

Once someone decides that he'd rather go for the prime without revealing it in advance it's like a double cross. If you aren't sure that your mates can be trusted, there is no team, just a free for all, which doesn't benefit anyone.
they were on the same team? I sense friction
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Old 08-05-16, 10:03 AM
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I've never heard of not attacking the break for a prime as some kind of unwritten rule, but it IS generally a dumb thing to do and not in the best interest of the dope who does it. I would expect some yelling about it, but I would just expect that yelling to not so much take the form of "you don't attack a break," and more "WTF don't do that you idiot." It's not an etiquette thing, it's a don't race like a dummy thing. Like @hack says it's not like attacking a break is never justifiable, but most of the time when people do it they're not helping anyone, including themselves.
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Old 08-05-16, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by canuckbelle View Post
Hahahahaha...that dude is a whiner. You can do whatever you want. You can 100% attack a break. It might win you the race. It might lose it for you and everyone in the break. Whatever. It's racing.
This is also true; there is no rule here if you don't care about the break sticking.

But, you have to be strong enough to be able to hold everyone off solo if you decide to attack the break.

Someone has to attack the break eventually, the only question is when. Usually the last lap is when that happens.

Here's a race I won from the break; we worked smoothly together for ~30 mins. In the last two laps, attacks started, which is to be expected.

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Old 08-05-16, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
This is where you went wrong. They ARE on a team, albeit a short lived team of convenience. Breaking away is a tough team challenge and requires trust that all will work to the single purpose of getting the three to a position where they might slug it out for podium positions.

Once someone decides that he'd rather go for the prime without revealing it in advance it's like a double cross. If you aren't sure that your mates can be trusted, there is no team, just a free for all, which doesn't benefit anyone.
Yes, I mentioned that just to convey the fact that there was no "obvious" connection (other than the fact that they were in the breakaway together).
Yes, the "slugging it out for the podium" suggestion seems right.

And to TheKillerPenguin - yes, it was at the park across from the T-town (man I hate that nickname - it's TREXLERTOWN) velodrome.


By the way, the "complainer" ended up winning the race. The offender finished back...maybe around 15th.
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Old 08-05-16, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by canuckbelle View Post
Hahahahaha...that dude is a whiner. You can do whatever you want. You can 100% attack a break. It might win you the race. It might lose it for you and everyone in the break. Whatever. It's racing.
I'm reminded that you're a very good bike racer, but also still very new to it. Race like a chump in the break, and you WILL hear about it. Do it more than a couple times and people won't want to cooperate with you in the future. There's a dude in the 3s around here who is strong as hell and would be amazing to roll a break with if he could settle down and work together with someone. Instead, he tries to ride you off his wheel, then pulls off to flick his elbow at you to pull through. Right after he's just spent the last 30" trying to rip your legs off at 600w or whatever. So now no one ever wants to go with him, he attacks like crazy and always gets chased down. No one who knows him will even bother trying to work with him anymore.
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Old 08-05-16, 10:52 AM
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Meh, it depends. With 7 laps to go, and them being so close doesn't sound that break was going to succeed anyway.
Another scenario if there is someone in the break who is competing on points with a team mate who is not in a break. At that point my priority would be him not getting the points.

So there are scenarios when attacking the break is "OK". Might not win you many friends in that particular break thought, but if overall you contribute it's not the end of the world.
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Old 08-05-16, 10:54 AM
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From the description this was Bob Rodale points race. It sounds like it was the last points sprint before the finish. From the context it sounds like they were back together so the guy had already sprinted for the points and came back to the break for the last couple of laps. With 3 to go I don't really see any reason for yelling in that situation.
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Old 08-05-16, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
I'm reminded that you're a very good bike racer, but also still very new to it. Race like a chump in the break, and you WILL hear about it. Do it more than a couple times and people won't want to cooperate with you in the future.
Moreover, race like a chump in the break and the break has far less chance of succeeding. As a sprinter (as I recall Canuckbelle is), you'd be likely to win any sprint among the members of the break. Dunno why you'd attack (or go for a prime) before the sprint; it would diminish greatly your chance of a win.
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Old 08-05-16, 12:01 PM
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Old 08-05-16, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
I'm reminded that you're a very good bike racer, but also still very new to it. Race like a chump in the break, and you WILL hear about it. Do it more than a couple times and people won't want to cooperate with you in the future. There's a dude in the 3s around here who is strong as hell and would be amazing to roll a break with if he could settle down and work together with someone. Instead, he tries to ride you off his wheel, then pulls off to flick his elbow at you to pull through. Right after he's just spent the last 30" trying to rip your legs off at 600w or whatever. So now no one ever wants to go with him, he attacks like crazy and always gets chased down. No one who knows him will even bother trying to work with him anymore.
I don't understand? You are supposed to go hard on the front. What I hate is the guys in the break that get on the front and soft pedal. Pedal hard on the front, do your share of the work, then take a rest.
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Old 08-05-16, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
I don't understand? You are supposed to go hard on the front. What I hate is the guys in the break that get on the front and soft pedal. Pedal hard on the front, do your share of the work, then take a rest.
There's a balance though; if you make your breakmates surge/go faster than they were going, it's a great way to make the break fail.

Go hard yes, but not too much harder than everyone else.

What strong beginners often do is go too fast when it's their turn, thinking they're helping the break just go faster. While technically this may be true, usually what happens is they're going too hard for everyone else and it will just fall apart.
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Old 08-05-16, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
I don't understand? You are supposed to go hard on the front. What I hate is the guys in the break that get on the front and soft pedal. Pedal hard on the front, do your share of the work, then take a rest.
"Go hard" =/= "pedal at your 30 second max and then signal the guy behind you to pull through." Believe me, I've had the frustration of dudes who make the break with you and don't understand that they need to work really, really hard to establish the break. The guys who pull at threshold when you've got six seconds on the field. There's a difference between going hard on the front, and what this guy does. He's very strong, but it's not like he's so strong that he literally is riding people off his wheel at threshold.
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Old 08-05-16, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Stratocaster View Post
By the way, the "complainer" ended up winning the race.
Did the complainer get warned or, if he'd done it before, disqualified?

I remember a guy yelling while in the break. He was telling the other guys to work harder. The guy yelling was the former Olympian (not for the US), multiple former Masters National Crit/Track champion (in the US). Someone else, on hearing about it, pointed out that that guy was known for doing that. He's a crafty racer and knows a lot of tricks to try and get things to his advantage. I don't know if the break won or not, I'm positive I wasn't in it by the end of the race, but it could have won, I dunno.

At the same time there was a different race where I got slammed in a turn when the guy to my inside lost his balance, clipped a curb or something, basically high sided into me. I was semi-prepared for the impact but it was pretty significant. It caused me to slam into the guy to my outside, who happened to be the crafty racer. He grumbled under his breath and shot me a look, but other than a lot of "holy ****" kind of stuff around us nothing happened. After the race I went and found the crafty racer and apologized for the very significant impact. He shrugged. "I saw it was you and you know how to ride so I figured there had to be a reason."

So what you hear in a break may not be indicative of the person's whole personality. However it's probably an indicator of part of it.

I just realized that I could give that crafty rider one solid push somewhere in some race and use my "honor equity" to have him think it was accidental. Heh.
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