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Small packs and coming up with a strategy....some assistance please

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Small packs and coming up with a strategy....some assistance please

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Old 06-15-10, 06:56 AM
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Smallguy
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Small packs and coming up with a strategy....some assistance please

I pre-rode a course I'm racing on Sunday

the winds were pretty strong with a mix of cross winds and head winds..although who knows what they will be like on race day

there are no long grueling climbs on the course.. one 5% climb that is short and then the rest of the course is rollers after the climb and flats and a few descents but nothing long.

the course leading up to the climb is fairly flat a few rollers but going into the climb is a hard 90 degree turn

on our training ride I came out and nailed the climb hard attacking it and then got back into my rhythm at the top.. all felt fine.

my issue is with the strong winds I don't think it will be wise to break away on the climb with out help especially with it being 12km into a 28 km lap... my teammate is weaker on climbs than I am though

so far this season the packs have been small in my CAT ... half dozen or so and a few juniors

so with the climb begining 12 km into a 28 km lap (we only do 2 laps and I don't plan on making any moves till the 2nd lap) would it be better to hold off on the climb and allow my teammate to stick with me so we can work together ?

This seems like the best strategy to me ?
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Old 06-15-10, 07:09 AM
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I'm assuming this will be raced like a cat 4/5 pack. There are a couple things to keep in mind
1) If the group has anything at all left they will chase
2) Any plans you have of "attacking the hill and dropping the group" is a plan everyone else has too.
3) The group will probably roll up to the hill slowly (no one wants to pull to the hill) then everyone will attack up it, then the pace will mellow again.
4) People will probably get dropped on their own accord, you shouldn't expend any energy to actively drop these people.

The way I'd run it, sit in until the hill on the second lap, don't be in the wind at ALL up until this time. Obviously, early in the race if someone weak attacks, let them go; someone strong, follow them. Set a vicious pace up the hill on the second lap (someone else will probably do this for you anyways). Then keep the pace high for a few minutes after the hill. The group should be whittled a bit by then, so play it by ear. See who's left, and play your endgame accordingly.
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Old 06-15-10, 07:17 AM
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With a field of 6-10 people, its likely the Hill will shatter the race, and a good chance that everyone will be on their own or in groups of 1-3 riders.

If you have the fitness, I'd drill it the first time up the climb, and see what happens. If you get away alone, and the field behind is shattered, keep going. If you're alone, but the field is intact, then see if someone will bridge up alone. If not go back to the field.

Then repeat on the second lap.

In my experience in entry level races with small fields the strongest rider usually wins, and solo efforts often work because there isn't a pack to chase.

Unless you know you can take everyone in the sprint, I'd definitely attack every opportunity on the hill, if you think you're stronger than most of the other riders.
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Old 06-15-10, 08:18 AM
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In a field that small, two dedicated guys can ride away. Unless the other half dozen are very motivated/organized/plain ol' strong, they won't catch.

Merlin is right about the first climb - if you have the fitness, pound it. Just stay within yourself.

Second lap, maybe try sending your buddy (the worse climber) up the road a few minutes before the climb. If you're the strongest, you can bridge to him without anyone else on the climb. If you're not, at least you're making everyone else (particularly the strongest guys) chase for a bit, and you can attack them on the climb anyway.
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Old 06-15-10, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
Second lap, maybe try sending your buddy (the worse climber) up the road a few minutes before the climb. If you're the strongest, you can bridge to him without anyone else on the climb. If you're not, at least you're making everyone else (particularly the strongest guys) chase for a bit, and you can attack them on the climb anyway.
That's good thinking right there!!!
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Old 06-15-10, 11:14 AM
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thanks for the tips
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Old 06-15-10, 02:53 PM
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The generic advice is to "eat of the other guys plate before you eat off your own". If you are in a small group try to work it so that everyone else has to do the work and you just sit in. Having a teammate up the road is ideal.

If you have to work, do as little as possible. This might require subterfuge. How are your acting skills? Can you make them believe that you are barely hanging on when you are actually recovering?
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Old 06-15-10, 07:34 PM
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Stop thinking and start attacking
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Old 06-20-10, 08:56 PM
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end up 2nd my teammate 3rd

we hit the top of the hill on the first lap and opened a gap on the rest of the pack.. unfortunately we worked with the rest of the pack too long and let a lead rider get away.... closed the gap but couldn't bring him in.

The winner took off at the start, So I tried to get something going with a chase group but no one except my teammate and I were really working.. speeds between pulls were droping 5km/h when others were pulling
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