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Motivation

Old 04-01-08, 07:53 PM
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Motivation

Tuesday Nights are great and all, but tonight was more frustration than anything else.

This is probably universal across the board, but my experience racing B's has been that riders still don't quite understand how to work together (as a team), and the peloton chases anyone that even looks like they are gonna try and get away.

I was more than happy to see that there was actually a cohesive team (Gateway Cycling) that moved 4 guys to the front and started working together. They started a rotation and I joined in, even going as far as taking my turn at the front (a couple times) to show that I'm willing to do some work in hopes that they'll let me slip away as long as I've got one of their guys in tow. There were about 6 of us at the front that buried ourselves and we succeeded in stringing everything out and shaking off those who weren't worthy, but anytime we'd get anything more than 5 bike-lengths ahead someone from 10-15 wheels back would make a suicide jump, bring the whole pack along, and then stop, usually right in the middle of the rotation, and then proceed to do zero work.

This happened at least 3 times.

I realize that you make your own "luck" and I should have taken more risks, but I'm just not strong enough to do it by myself. Me + 2 equalish riders would've been able to make a move, but alas, no cooperation.

My new motivation for training is to actually be able to race with people who understand race tactics.
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Old 04-01-08, 08:00 PM
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there's nothing more frustrating than riding with riders who think they know what they're doing, but clearly don't.
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Old 04-01-08, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
there's nothing more frustrating than riding with riders who think they know what they're doing, but clearly don't.
Agree'd

On one hand I feel a bit elitist even starting this thread, but I know I'm not the only one out there who has experienced this.
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Old 04-01-08, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
there's nothing more frustrating than riding with riders who think they know what they're doing, but clearly don't.

Just yell at me next time
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Old 04-01-08, 08:49 PM
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There's nothing elitist about your post. You're talking tactics.

I also see no need to yell. Maybe those other teams are trying to keep the group together for their Boonen. (I'm generously giving them the benefit of the doubt here.)

More likely, they just don't know how it works yet.
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Old 04-01-08, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
There's nothing elitist about your post. You're talking tactics.

I also see no need to yell. Maybe those other teams are trying to keep the group together for their Boonen. (I'm generously giving them the benefit of the doubt here.)

More likely, they just don't know how it works yet.
When racing yelling or talking with a stout voice is a good way to get riders to do what you want. There tired and will listen to anybody
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Old 04-01-08, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
Just yell at me next time
i'd rather yell at your teammate.
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Old 04-01-08, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post

I also see no need to yell.
Yeah, definitely no need to yell. That would probably exacerbate the situation.

Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
Maybe those other teams are trying to keep the group together for their Boonen. (I'm generously giving them the benefit of the doubt here.)

More likely, they just don't know how it works yet.
The one team that was working cohesively (Gateway) actually told me, after the fact, the only way I was getting away is if I had one of their guys with me. I shrugged and said, "I know, thats what I was going for!"

The other team that always has a huge turn out is That Team. You guys have all seen That Team. Around here That Team is sponsored by That LBS (you know, the one everyone immediately thinks of when you say "bike shop"), and everybody rides for them. The best part? None of the B's on That Team have even the slightest idea of how to work together.

Case in Point; After a prime lap, a rider from That Team attacked at the base of the small climb. The guy puked and died before we even crested the hill!

Case in Point #2; The one wreck, on the last lap, involved a rider from That Team.
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Old 04-02-08, 06:07 AM
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We have "That Team" here. Any time a new rider shows any kind of strength, That Team invites him/her to ride for them. Sadly (for them), they race like complete idiots. But because they have 20 guys in the field, they get an occasional result which feeds their collective ego.

They'll get 1st place, but their next placing might be 12th. And they call that a successful day.

The real good teams will put two riders on the podium, then they'll have 4 or 5 guys in the top 10.
Coors Light used to be the king of this: 2 guys in a 3-up breakaway, a solo rider (Chris Huber) chasing, Phinney wins the field sprint.
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Old 04-02-08, 06:16 AM
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Besides a lack of racing experience, by far the bigger reason you don't see 'tactics' in lower category races is the lack of the snot required to execute same. In order to ignite a breakaway, you need a rider who has the VO2 Max to execute one. You get that in Cat 2/3 and vets races due to the higher level of talent. You'll even see it in Cat 4 races or Cat 5 events, but much more infrequently. The more talent in the peloton, the more likely 2-8 guys (or whatever) will attack and stay away from the pack.
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Old 04-02-08, 06:17 AM
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weve got like 3 of "that team" in the dc area
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Old 04-02-08, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Besides a lack of racing experience, by far the bigger reason you don't see 'tactics' in lower category races is the lack of the snot required to execute same. In order to ignite a breakaway, you need a rider who has the VO2 Max to execute one. You get that in Cat 2/3 and vets races due to the higher level of talent. You'll even see it in Cat 4 races or Cat 5 events, but much more infrequently. The more talent in the peloton, the more likely 2-8 guys (or whatever) will attack and stay away from the pack.
spot on

the fitness just isnt there in the lower races to organize anything. Once guys get that fitness they are upgrading.
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Old 04-02-08, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Besides a lack of racing experience, by far the bigger reason you don't see 'tactics' in lower category races is the lack of the snot required to execute same. In order to ignite a breakaway, you need a rider who has the VO2 Max to execute one. You get that in Cat 2/3 and vets races due to the higher level of talent. You'll even see it in Cat 4 races or Cat 5 events, but much more infrequently. The more talent in the peloton, the more likely 2-8 guys (or whatever) will attack and stay away from the pack.

Hard for tactics to work in lower CAT races because they are so short..... For most racers they are running near V02max for the entire race and its just about hanging on.
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Old 04-02-08, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
Hard for tactics to work in lower CAT races because they are so short..... For most racers they are running near V02max for the entire race and its just about hanging on.
That's just it.

I wasn't close to having the needle pegged at redline. (I'm not saying I'm some sort of superior athlete, I'm just saying that my dial goes to "11" )

The whole reason I didn't just go out and bury myself alone is because that would've been a suicide mission in last nights wind.

Additionally, I only had one teammate last night, and while his an ox of a rider, his background is running Ironmans so he isn't the greatest tactician.
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Old 04-02-08, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Lithuania View Post
Once guys get that fitness they are upgrading.
Yep.

I've now realized that the more important reason for getting an upgrade is to race with the guys that understand how to race.

This will really be an interesting season for me.
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Old 04-02-08, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
They'll get 1st place, but their next placing might be 12th. And they call that a successful day.
I used to be on a super team of 10 solid racers. We had one goal. Win the race. Isn't 1st what we should have been shooting for. We could have cared less if other teammates got a top ten, as long as one of us won the race. That is a real team. If we tried to score a few guys in the top ten, we'd end up with 2nd, 5th and 8th, but not the win.

Team results should look like this:
1st place
other 9 riders happy they played a part
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Old 04-02-08, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
I used to be on a super team of 10 solid racers. We had one goal. Win the race. Isn't 1st what we should have been shooting for. We could have cared less if other teammates got a top ten, as long as one of us won the race. That is a real team. If we tried to score a few guys in the top ten, we'd end up with 2nd, 5th and 8th, but not the win.

Team results should look like this:
1st place
other 9 riders happy they played a part
There is one key difference between the team you just described and That Team; your super team probably worked extremely well together, That Team is still in the mindset of riding solely for themselves.
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Old 04-02-08, 11:02 AM
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But that is not always what's most important. Look at pro teams even, it's just as good to have 4 in the top 10, then to have 1 win it and everyone else in mid 40's.
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Old 04-02-08, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
I used to be on a super team of 10 solid racers. We had one goal. Win the race. Isn't 1st what we should have been shooting for. We could have cared less if other teammates got a top ten, as long as one of us won the race. That is a real team. If we tried to score a few guys in the top ten, we'd end up with 2nd, 5th and 8th, but not the win.

Team results should look like this:
1st place
other 9 riders happy they played a part

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Old 04-02-08, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by merckx89 View Post
But that is not always what's most important. Look at pro teams even, it's just as good to have 4 in the top 10, then to have 1 win it and everyone else in mid 40's.
I don't think most pro teams would agree with this. They would much rather have the win.
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Old 04-02-08, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by carlfreddy View Post
There were about 6 of us at the front that buried ourselves and we succeeded in stringing everything out and shaking off those who weren't worthy, but anytime we'd get anything more than 5 bike-lengths ahead someone from 10-15 wheels back would make a suicide jump, bring the whole pack along, and then stop, usually right in the middle of the rotation, and then proceed to do zero work.

This happened at least 3 times.

I realize that you make your own "luck" and I should have taken more risks, but I'm just not strong enough to do it by myself. Me + 2 equalish riders would've been able to make a move, but alas, no cooperation.
I think you have two choices in this situation. 1) Try to talk to someone on the team controlling the race and get just a single rider (or 2) from that team to go with you. It sounds like you were getting off the front, but with several riders from a single team. This usually spurs people on to bring it back. 2) Attack hard and see if you can get a gap. If you are solo, stay out there in hopes that someone might bridge up. If anyone comes with you - its hammer time.

Edit: A third choice is to sit in and position yourself for the sprint. But this is only a choice if you are a good sprinter.

Last edited by cmh; 04-02-08 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 04-02-08, 03:52 PM
  #22  
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Yelling is one thing but there comes a point, like Sundays San Dimas Crit, when a guy needs to be told to shut up..I felt compelled to be that guy. It annoys the hell out of me when guys are yelling about how everyone else should be riding their bikes. Or how fast the we should be going. I politely rolled up to him and said 'if you don't like the pace then get your ass up there and make it harder' and "I'll ride my bike and he can ride his' he shut up after that. Some guys do this to get free ride, I'd rather not hear the commentary while I'm racing.
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Old 04-03-08, 06:57 AM
  #23  
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I don't know your terrain so if I'm off base then ignore or otherwise harrass me.

But, to me, a 4-6 rider rotation is not an attack per se - it's a serious waste of energy. In fact, as the "Boonen" of my team, I *love* it when teams do that. Well usually anyway. If I'm not getting dropped then the rotation team is simply doing what my teammates need to do - keep things together. Better for me, worse for them.

If such a group got a 5 length lead, a simple jump will close it. And, since we're outnumbers 6:1 (or whatever), the *dumbest* thing to do would be to work with the overwhelmingly powerful team.

In a Pro example, a Canadian pro team showed up in incredible force at the Hartford Crit in 2007. At about 5 to go they put EIGHT guys at the front, drove the pace to 30-35 mph or so, and totally strung out the field. Apparently they have a decent sprinter or two so the announcer hams it up. I turned to my fiancee (at the time) and whoever else and said "No way it'll work. A team with a good sprinter will just sit on this train and kill them with 200 meters to go." Canadian team hammered at the front, very impressive, I wish for such leadouts (albeit slower - I'd get dropped at their pace). Bell rings, maybe 5 Canadian guys left at the front. Half way down the backstretch (you can see it from the S/F line) two local pros go rocketing up the side - a rouleur and a sprinter. They disappear from view, they come around the last turn, local pros are 1-2, leadout peels off, sprinter goes mad. Canadians get 2nd and 3rd I think (they're in white with black sleeves, one is right behind the winner).



You do a rotation at the front, everyone who has any tactical sense will just wait. Therefore I think that the racing went as expected.

Regarding the "1st and then 12th" comment on placing riders in a race... A strong team (i.e. lots of strong riders) can do virtually anything in a race. 1-2-3 in PR, win the break and the sprint, etc etc. It's when a team of weaker riders collectively work together to get a win which impresses me. My team was like that in 2005, and they worked selflessly together to help me win (a spring series, but, hey, at least I won). In fact, in that "1st and 12th" scenario, NONE of my teammates won any points, but because I won enough points on my own, we also won the team prize (each team's top 3 riders in GC's points totaled up). To me, to beat all these Masters Cat 3s who win very hard Masters races, to beat other guys who normally annihilate me, that was most rewarding.

For the OP - instead of doing a "rotation", *jump* (hard) to a 100-150 meter lead. *Then* you do the rotation. Jump over and over, swapping riders, until you have some guys off the front. Then watch whoever else is now forced to do a rotation. In other words, put the other guys in your (rotational) place. Only pros have the time and luxury and power to go to the front, pull a CSC/QuickStep/etc, and literally ride everyone off their wheels. It takes a long time to do this, with a lot of accumulated fatigue helping out.

For us amateurs racing less than an hour (a total joke, according to Lance, who considers anything less than 2 hours a "non-ride" in his first book), it's not about grinding your opponents into the ground. You slash at them with your sword, you gut them with your shotgun. You want gaping wounds, not a little bleeder. No little 3" knife body blows 30 at a time. You want to destroy them all at once. A strong jump, a 20 second lead, then 25-28 mph. After 5 minutes you'll either be back in the field trying to recover or you'll be 40 seconds off the front.

btw I can say all this but I can't ride like that. But I know it works because that's how I get knocked out of contention before the bell lap. I love it when teams try and grind the race down. Perfect for me, bunch of guys acting as my teammates. I hate it when they gut the field, i.e. race like they're supposed to. I can only get 7th or something then.

cdr
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Old 04-03-08, 07:31 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post

For the OP - instead of doing a "rotation", *jump* (hard) to a 100-150 meter lead. *Then* you do the rotation. Jump over and over, swapping riders, until you have some guys off the front. Then watch whoever else is now forced to do a rotation. In other words, put the other guys in your (rotational) place. Only pros have the time and luxury and power to go to the front, pull a CSC/QuickStep/etc, and literally ride everyone off their wheels. It takes a long time to do this, with a lot of accumulated fatigue helping out.

For us amateurs racing less than an hour (a total joke, according to Lance, who considers anything less than 2 hours a "non-ride" in his first book), it's not about grinding your opponents into the ground. You slash at them with your sword, you gut them with your shotgun. You want gaping wounds, not a little bleeder. No little 3" knife body blows 30 at a time. You want to destroy them all at once. A strong jump, a 20 second lead, then 25-28 mph. After 5 minutes you'll either be back in the field trying to recover or you'll be 40 seconds off the front.
This all works in theory, but on Tuesday nights I'm usually there alone as the majority of my teammates work at the bike shop and Bossman hasn't changed their schedules yet so that the non-racers are working Tuesday nights. And the team that was functioning like a team (Gateway) are too full of themselves to actually see the real benefit of cooperation with a non-teammember. "You want to what? No! If anyone is going to break-away its going to be us! We're the strongest!" *team collectively thumbs their chests*

The next "tactic" I'm going to try makes me understand why the training that people like DrWJO and Duke do; longer intervals that increase the "duration of the flame" when you "light a match."
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