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Old School tactics vs New School tactics.

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Old School tactics vs New School tactics.

Old 04-23-10, 05:48 AM
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EventServices
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Old School tactics vs New School tactics.

It seems that things have softened greatly in the way in which riders protect a breakaway.
The conversation after last night's World Championships presented differing opinions.

You have a rider in the breakaway, and you need to block the chase efforts.

Some people were saying: you sit in fifth or sixth position while the non-represented team does a team time trial in front of you. You don't disrupt it. You just sit on and enjoy the ride.

Others were saying: you move up through the team time trial and ease off on the throttle when you reach the front, OR fail to pull through.

Old school riders were saying: You go right to the front and overtly ease up. And that's what I remember from the old days. Riders would gain position on the front and gently take you to the curb, OR get to the front and hit the brakes in the corners.

Which one do you agree with?

Here's a short clip of Bob Mionske (Saturn) doing the chop thing during Superweek (@ about 3:52 into the clip). It goes by pretty quick, but you can see him do a sketchy little swerve to discourage anyone from passing him, then he slows down as he passes the apex.
I wouldn't yell at anyone for doing this, but I know guys who would go ballistic.
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Old 04-23-10, 05:56 AM
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First, though it's usually more like 3rd wheel. I can shut a masters race down by myself because if I don't pull through very few guys are going to work the chase.
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Old 04-23-10, 05:56 AM
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Why be coy about it?
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Old 04-23-10, 06:25 AM
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ironic that he would turn into the bike safety lawyer
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Old 04-23-10, 06:28 AM
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first. it's less negative and still effective. blocking curb to curb is kind of bush league and disrespectful to the guy otf, and the rest of the field in my opinion.
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Old 04-23-10, 06:28 AM
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I think I would let the other team do their TTT unless they were too stupid to have a gatekeeper, in which case I'd just rotate through and ease off just a bit when I hit the front. It would not be obvious though.

Why should I be their gatekeeper?
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Old 04-23-10, 06:56 AM
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Depends on the situation. If I'm pretty damn sure my guy can win out of said break, I'll mess up the rotation. If he's up there just to take pressure off me and the rest of my teammates, then I'm going to conserve as much as possible, which means sitting just behind the rotation.
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Old 04-23-10, 07:40 AM
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What Ze said. I saw a team do that very effectively a few weeks ago when they had some of their girls up in the break. Every time we tried to organize a chase they just wouldn't pull through, or would get to the front and ease off just a little bit.
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Old 04-23-10, 07:49 AM
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Overtly block seems to be the tactic around here. Works well when you have the evil empire with it's huge number of minions to throw on the front. It's obvious and i have always felt it's OK. We know what's going on and if we don't like it we can do something about it.

Messing up the rotation is much more subtle and more effective IMHO.

Sitting out is the tactic that I take though.....usually it's because I have no fitness though.....so...yeah....that's my "tactic".
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Old 04-23-10, 08:01 AM
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Some bike racers are brain dead and if you don't play your cards overtly, they won't realize what you're doing or why.
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Old 04-23-10, 11:14 AM
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The one time I had the opportunity to do this I just sat on the back of the chase group and enjoyed the ride.
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Old 04-23-10, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
Some bike racers are brain dead and if you don't play your cards overtly, they won't realize what you're doing or why.
+1
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Old 04-23-10, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
It goes by pretty quick, but you can see him do a sketchy little swerve to discourage anyone from passing him, then he slows down as he passes the apex.
I wouldn't yell at anyone for doing this, but I know guys who would go ballistic.
Some guys go ballistic at anything. One race I had a teammate in a small group OTF, and I got in a little chase group (just me and two other guys from the same team). It's a no brainer... I wasn't going to pull... but these guys were LIVID. They both spent the rest of the race trying to take me out... even when we were back in the pack. *******.
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Old 04-23-10, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
Some bike racers are brain dead and if you don't play your cards overtly, they won't realize what you're doing or why.
I was the braindead one. I didn't think about the fake pull-through.
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Old 04-23-10, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
Depends on the situation. If I'm pretty damn sure my guy can win out of said break, I'll mess up the rotation. If he's up there just to take pressure off me and the rest of my teammates, then I'm going to conserve as much as possible, which means sitting just behind the rotation.
Same here.

Another fun thing to do is to surge when you take your pull, then pull off as soon as they close the gap. I only do this if it really looks like the workers are getting tired -- don't want to set a new higher tempo for anybody.
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Old 04-23-10, 02:34 PM
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Event, first off where did you find a clip showing Saturn with a dude actually in the right break? That's a rare gem right there. Wern't they ususally the TT chasing it after they missed the Coors Light move?

Second, my opinion the right tactic is somewhere in between. You want the chase fast enough to discourage attacks, just not quite fast enough. Overtly slowing down the field too much or too often means a lot more rested riders behind you. All getting a little boored and a little pissed off.

edit: hard to beleive that was almost 17 years ago. crap

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Old 04-23-10, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
Same here.

Another fun thing to do is to surge when you take your pull, then pull off as soon as they close the gap. I only do this if it really looks like the workers are getting tired -- don't want to set a new higher tempo for anybody.
This is real "gold" when the person you want to "pop" is on your wheel.
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Old 04-23-10, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rruff View Post
Some guys go ballistic at anything. One race I had a teammate in a small group OTF, and I got in a little chase group (just me and two other guys from the same team). It's a no brainer... I wasn't going to pull... but these guys were LIVID. They both spent the rest of the race trying to take me out... even when we were back in the pack. *******.
Job well done.
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Old 04-23-10, 03:39 PM
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I think overt blocking is more of a less educated way of blocking, like top level American racers before they realized "how it should be done". Or lower category racers (3-5, and I can say that because I'm part of that group). It's for desperate pro-level teams too - I remember Domina Vicanza (sp?) getting yelled at when doing everything possible to disrupt a chase in the Tour (the break got caught in the sprint).

I think the passive waiting (i.e. sit on wheels but don't pull through) is the proper way to do things. It's less effective immediately but doesn't get you chopped at the next race. This is the more sophisticated, more respectful way of racing. You see this more at the Pro-Tour level, where racers see each other all the time, where one year your arch rival may become a teammate the next. In that small environment you need to make and keep allies. They need to respect each other. Teams chasing don't get bothered, but the teams benefiting are waiting right there.

You'll also see pros talking about this kind of respect even in the domestic pro races. That clip of Bahati getting taken out - I was reading some of the comments. Another pro said that Fly V was doing the work and therefore the racers should fight for the Fly V sprinter's wheel. Bahati was apparently fighting for the leadout guy's wheel, i.e. fighting the Fly V sprinter himself. The comment from the pro watching all this said that basically if Fly V is taking responsibility for powering the race, the others ought to respect that and fight for the wheels behind Fly V. This is like sitting 2nd or 5th wheel on someone working.

Bahati was exposed because his team couldn't make the same kind of effort (which I think is a reason why the team was not selected for Tour of CA). His team was too weak so he had to fight himself. If he'd fought for the Fly V sprinter's wheel, I think it would have been a good battle at the line.

cdr
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Old 04-23-10, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
I think the passive waiting (i.e. sit on wheels but don't pull through) is the proper way to do things. It's less effective immediately but doesn't get you chopped at the next race. This is the more sophisticated, more respectful way of racing.
Plus it's really fun when people think you are just an idiot who doesn't know how to rotate properly.

Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
You'll also see pros talking about this kind of respect even in the domestic pro races. That clip of Bahati getting taken out - I was reading some of the comments. Another pro said that Fly V was doing the work and therefore the racers should fight for the Fly V sprinter's wheel. Bahati was apparently fighting for the leadout guy's wheel, i.e. fighting the Fly V sprinter himself. The comment from the pro watching all this said that basically if Fly V is taking responsibility for powering the race, the others ought to respect that and fight for the wheels behind Fly V. This is like sitting 2nd or 5th wheel on someone working.
I believe it was UHC.
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Old 04-23-10, 04:05 PM
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Word from the domestic peloton is that Fly-V is a bunch of d'bags always whining for others to do work for them when they shouldn't and have no reason to. I thought they were fine while being around them last year during Superweek - some of my teammates were even doing handups for them and I offered them a place to stay when it looked like they were SOL one night.

That said I have casually mentioned that they have always seemed.... awfully....uh...prepared. I have never had anyone racing with them disagree with me.
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Old 04-23-10, 04:22 PM
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I don't think a lot of us have large enough teams to block line to line, so we have to go to the next thing.

Getting into 2nd-3rd wheel is my choice, and then just soft pedal when the guy in front of me pulls off. It's rare enough to see a team do a true full mass team TT chase to bring back a break. If a true team chase gets organized, I would stay out of that team's way (especially if they stick a gatekeeper in the mix), but one guy per team from 3-4 different teams is going to find me in the middle of it if they don't protect their chase.

I also like WR's idea of punishing the chasers by gapping them on the front. I like to do that in corners a lot. If someone isn't holding the wheel through the corner, I'll do what I can to gap them there and push for enough seconds they need to dig to get to me, and once they get there I ease up. Doesn't really speed up the pace, but those little digs will accumulate fatigue.
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Old 04-23-10, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
Riders would gain position on the front and gently take you to the curb, OR get to the front and hit the brakes in the corners.
In case anyone missed the memo, it's amateur bike racing. Which means a lot of the field have mediocre reaction times and worse bike handling skills. Pulling this kind of stuff means either you're clueless to that fact or you don't give a carp about other people's safety. Quick, how many idiotic 3/4/5 chain reaction crashes have you seen because someone did something erratic and the guy three bikes back wasn't looking up the road?

And the pros don't do this anymore, at least in the P/1 stuff I've ridden. Mostly they go out and see who's left after an hour of vicious attacks. The breaks go because everyone else is on the ropes. that's been the same in most of the 1/2/3 Master's races I've done over the last few years.

People actually race their bikes instead of diddling each other.

Originally Posted by tspek View Post
Why be coy about it?
Ask the guy who face planted and died in a pool of his own blood last year at one of our crits.
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Old 04-23-10, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
Ask the guy who face planted and died in a pool of his own blood last year at one of our crits.
going off of a tangent here, did you write about it in a thread? if not, could you shed some details on what happened? i'd never imagine people die from crit crashes.
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Old 04-23-10, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mcjimbosandwich View Post
going off of a tangent here, did you write about it in a thread? if not, could you shed some details on what happened? i'd never imagine people die from crit crashes.
Here was a thread about it. I know it has come up in other threads too
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