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bunch sprint

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Old 04-04-08, 02:10 PM
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bad_mojo
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bunch sprint

Observation: So it seems that in lots of races (at least the lower cats that I do) the sprint usually comes out of the left side of the bunch. The space for the sprint opens up along the left as a race goes from 1 to 2 lanes. The people who are pulling the bunch or leading out hold their lines that they had while the race was in just the 1 lane.

Does this typically hold true? Is it a good idea to just naturally work myself to the left of the bunch?
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Old 04-04-08, 02:15 PM
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Dubbayoo
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Wouldn't that depend on whether the course is right hand turns or left and how far the finish is from the last turn?

If the final turn is a right hand turn it seems everyone would be lined up on the left so you'd need to go right to break out.
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Old 04-04-08, 02:21 PM
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cmh
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I think you must be talking about road races with the centerline rule that opens up at 200m to go.

In my experience the top 3-4 of the bunch sprint most often stays to the right of the centerline and can come from left, right or center of that lane. The guys using the left side of the road went too late and are duking it out for 5th - 10th place. It just takes too long to head way out into the other lane and by then there isn't enough road left to pass the winners.

It does depend on corners if there are any coming into the final sprint - usually the case in crits, but not the case in road races.
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Old 04-04-08, 04:02 PM
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I'm surprised Waterrockets hasn't commented on this thread. I would also expect a 1000 word essay on this topic from cdr. I guess they are out riding thier bikes - you should bump this thread back up on Monday morning.
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Old 04-04-08, 04:33 PM
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Hello,
My name is Waterrockets. If you have a 2000 watt 5s power like I do, it doesn't matter where you are when you start you sprint. Good luck.
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Old 04-04-08, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by wanders View Post
Hello,
My name is Waterrockets. If you have a 2000 watt 5s power like I do, it doesn't matter where you are when you start you sprint. Good luck.
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Old 04-04-08, 06:17 PM
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lots of factors at play in a bunch sprint, but the side you should be on is the non-wind side, i.e. if wind is from the L, you should be sprinting out of/up the R side of the bunch and vice versa.
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Old 04-04-08, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cmh View Post
I would also expect a 1000 word essay on this topic from cdr. I guess they are out riding thier bikes - you should bump this thread back up on Monday morning.
I write at least 2000 words, then cut back before I post. This way I only retain the pertinent stuff. You should see what I edit out

If you have a yellow line rule and then the road opens up for the sprint, I think by default there will be more openings to the left. The guys on the right won't be able to do anything and in fact may not be able to drift back (because there are guys behind them). In races where it's curb to curb into a headwind and no room to move up, the second row of riders (i.e. the first row of losers) is usually softpedaling, coasting, braking, and swearing, while the guys up front are dying side by side but getting 1st through 10th. I placed 11th in a sprint like this by jamming my front wheel up by other peoples' cranks at the line.

On the left side though things are more fluid. A smart team could lead out on the left side, the leadout guy peeling off as the road opens up, semi blocking some of the newly opened road while releasing his teammates to continue the effort. Virtually any time there is more room to move, racers will take it.

So it makes sense that the left side seems to birth the winning sprint. It's the side where you can actually sit in *and* still be able to go around people during the sprint.

btw I was riding but not nearly enough. I'll have to see how the racing goes this weekend.

cdr
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Old 04-04-08, 06:24 PM
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Yes it seems to surge out the left, but if you are a couple bikes back, you can zip right up the right by the leadout guys that are just coasting now... It has worked for me a couple times
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Old 04-04-08, 06:36 PM
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I agree with fuhrermatt. This is one of those funny cases where a tactic creates its own exception. IMHE, so many guys want the left, that it's piss and blood to get a good position there and hold it. And when the road does open up, guys are all over the place. On the other hand, I've seen cases where you can just roll up to second wheel on the right hand side, b/c everybody's trying to get left. So you've got one guy to get by on the right, but after that, it's a clean shot to the line.
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Old 04-05-08, 11:55 AM
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I'm starting to like the right side better. When 200m comes up and you're on the yellow line, some guys may jump early and if you're the honest type you'll get boxed in as they come up on your left. When you're going on the right side, people tend to shift left as the road opens up, usually leaving a lane open on the right. But, it's a tough call. You really have to watch how it's playing out.
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Old 04-05-08, 03:53 PM
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for me it's 50/50, if I see an opening, I gun for it, whichever side it's on. I'm very passive on the bike to a fault until the last 1000 meters, where some switch goes off in my head. At that point, if I think a bike will fit, I try to make it happen. But anyways, I typically jump very early and try to hold it, so it might be different if you have a shorter sprint.
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Old 04-05-08, 08:01 PM
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jfmckenna
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Originally Posted by obra3 View Post
I'm starting to like the right side better. When 200m comes up and you're on the yellow line, some guys may jump early and if you're the honest type you'll get boxed in as they come up on your left. When you're going on the right side, people tend to shift left as the road opens up, usually leaving a lane open on the right. But, it's a tough call. You really have to watch how it's playing out.
I've seen that happen so many times and it sucks. The rules say the road is open at 200M but you can be sure that the slackers that surfed the whole race are the ones who are going to 'sprint' around you at about 300M and then just freekin die because they never belonged there in the first place. Then your F'ed.
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Old 04-05-08, 09:18 PM
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cmh
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Originally Posted by obra3 View Post
I'm starting to like the right side better. When 200m comes up and you're on the yellow line, some guys may jump early and if you're the honest type you'll get boxed in as they come up on your left. When you're going on the right side, people tend to shift left as the road opens up, usually leaving a lane open on the right. But, it's a tough call. You really have to watch how it's playing out.
The two sprints I was in so far this year so far were both won out of the right side (BB1 and PoC). That is only a sample of 2, but I can think back to the bunch sprints of last year and it seems they were all won from the right 1/2 of the road even though it opened up at 200m. It just seems like the openings that happen on the left are happening too late.

I think MDCatV has a really good point that I didn't consider in my reply - you want to come up the leeward side.
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