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Your game plan. Risky attack or pack fodder sprinter?

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Your game plan. Risky attack or pack fodder sprinter?

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Old 06-23-10, 09:04 PM
  #1  
asmallsol
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Your game plan. Risky attack or pack fodder sprinter?

So what's your racing tactics. This year, I am feeling extremely strong in the threes, and I can honestly say I'm one of the stronger guys in the field. I'm both a good sprinter but can bridge gaps and hang in the breaks. My game plan this year is go for the epic moves. With those moves, typically they result in epic fails, but I would much rather be extremely aggressive attacking off the front then be one of those that sit in the pack all day and just sprint at the end.

Whats your theory?
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Old 06-23-10, 09:07 PM
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Right now, I am a pack fodder non sprinter haha. I want to try and start attacking more, but I needed to get the fitness to finish with the pack before I had the confidence to try and go OTF. But, once I have the fitness to do so, I plan to attack a lot, because sitting in definitely can get boring.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:22 PM
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When I feel extremely strong, I attack.
When I don't feel extremely strong, I attack to make it look like I'm extremely strong.

I paid money to ride a race, not a group ride.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:28 PM
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I agree with the group ride comment, but honestly, for some of us, it's a race just trying to sit in.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:30 PM
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Ever read Moby Dick? Epic, but doomed to failure.

An anecdote: I spent 3 hrs in a solo break on saturday, only to be caught 15min from the finish. Waste of energy.

Make moves that make sense, not just cuz people will tell tales of your guaddage if you pull something epic off.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:34 PM
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I've done both.
2 races OTF attacks: very tough conditions.
In one race 2 of my teammates (3 of us) attack mile 2 in a 45 mi gravel/sand RR. Took 2 others with us. Dropped a teammate and the other two. Team went 1-2, I was 2.
In another race, myself and another teammate attack off the line in a very rainy crit. 2 others come with us. sprinted for 2nd. (teammate 3rd).

2 races sprint:
long non-technical crit, sat in all race long (day after the above 2nd race). 1 km attack, held off the field, 1st.
Very hilly 50 mi RR. Sat in the entire race, upped the pressure for about 2 mi at mi 30. Followed moves, but nothing got OTF for long, since another team was closing ass down. 500 meters to go, yellow line rule disappears, road open, sitting aero-style sprint, managed to raise the pace such that no one could sprint around, 1st.

The epic breakaways are more fun than sitting in, but winning beats 2nd from a break. I've got a pretty good idea what I'm capable of now. I'm not capable of soloing off the front of anything for more than about 4-5 minutes. I've spent the entire season thus far learning how to "finish" a race.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
Ever read Moby Dick? Epic, but doomed to failure.

An anecdote: I spent 3 hrs in a solo break on saturday, only to be caught 15min from the finish. Waste of energy.

Make moves that make sense, not just cuz people will tell tales of your guaddage if you pull something epic off.
Was it worth it in terms of learning your limits for the next race? Experience is valuable. I'd rather have tried and failed than not tried at all (for non-A races, A-races deserve A-strategy).
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Old 06-23-10, 09:37 PM
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In that respect, definitely. For every race I do the rest of the season, if there's a break that sticks, I know I should be in it every single time.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:54 PM
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I sit in.
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Old 06-23-10, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
I sit in.
Gooood one.
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Old 06-23-10, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
I sit in.
... before the gun goes off.
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Old 06-23-10, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Scummer View Post
... before the gun goes off.
More like... sits in his car till the start of the race.

Racer ex is the chuck norris of BF racing. You know the race has started when rx attacks.
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Old 06-24-10, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by asmallsol View Post
So what's your racing tactics. This year, I am feeling extremely strong in the threes, and I can honestly say I'm one of the stronger guys in the field. I'm both a good sprinter but can bridge gaps and hang in the breaks. My game plan this year is go for the epic moves. With those moves, typically they result in epic fails, but I would much rather be extremely aggressive attacking off the front then be one of those that sit in the pack all day and just sprint at the end.

Whats your theory?
You know, there are more than two choices, and more than two kinds of rider.

Personally, I'm not fit enough to race to my strengths. Too small a motor to win solo OTF. Not quite enough jump to make sitting in worth it, though my jump is one of my better qualities. Being constantly under-trained has given me a pretty firm understanding of my weaknesses; so the goal becomes aggression with purpose. I ride to get me whatever result I can, or to help my team get whatever result we can. It's won me a bag of coffee so far this season. Not much, but it tells me I've gotten something out of it.

As for preferring to be aggressive vs. sitting in and sprinting - I would actually prefer to win, if possible. If sitting in and sprinting yields some greater probability of winning than attacking, then - assuming that winning is your goal - attacking would be a pretty foolish thing to do. Jens Voight doesn't attack because there's something to be learned from it, or because it is honorable, or because it is impressive. He attacks because the minuscule chance he has of winning out of a breakaway is infinitely greater than the no chance whatsoever that he has of winning out of a field sprint.
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Old 06-24-10, 05:46 AM
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I'd rather attack and fail spectacularly than sit in and fail modestly.
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Old 06-24-10, 07:05 AM
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Keep in mind that sitting in for the sprint still involves a "risky" attack. You can't go for a win w/out attacking. If your attack is 25m to go, it's still an attack, and it's still a results risk because there are probably still 7 guys in front of you.

So, the real question would be "when do you attack?" Well, if you're riding domestique, that wouldn't be the question. If you're trying to win though, you need to attack -- it's just a matter of when. During on-line signup and 6 or 17 times after that? Top of biggest hill? Last lap bell? 50 meters?
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Old 06-24-10, 07:11 AM
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if you're racing, there are only things you should ever be doing:

1 - attacking, or
2 - planning your next attack

refer to WR post above re: sprints, you're still attacking, you just spend more time planning it (i.e. setting it up).

if you're doing anything else in a race, you're along for the ride. unfortunately, as a 2, i'm often just along for the ride.
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Old 06-24-10, 07:34 AM
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I dunno, MD... at the Williamsport crit, I pretty much spent the last 75% of the race neither attacking nor planning my next attack. My main focus was on preventing other people from attacking and letting the breakaway get as much time as possible. How would you classify that?
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Old 06-24-10, 07:36 AM
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^working for someone else, i hope. otherwise you were along for the ride. consider "you" and "your" plural in a team sense. i'm assuming someone on your team was doing option 1.
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Old 06-24-10, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
So, the real question would be "when do you attack?" Well, if you're riding domestique, that wouldn't be the question. If you're trying to win though, you need to attack -- it's just a matter of when. During on-line signup and 6 or 17 times after that? Top of biggest hill? Last lap bell? 50 meters?
I was riding mostly to support my teammate last weekend. My question was always, when do I do work at the front to pull back breaks vs. let them come back on their own.

As for the OP's question, I'ce done some suicidal attacks this year just to work on attacking/testing my ability to sustain an effort off the front. Working on being smarter about when to do it.
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Old 06-24-10, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Tinton View Post
When I feel extremely strong, I attack.
When I don't feel extremely strong, I attack to make it look like I'm extremely strong.
this

Originally Posted by grolby View Post
You know, there are more than two choices, and more than two kinds of rider.

Personally, I'm not fit enough to race to my strengths.
Being constantly under-trained has given me a pretty firm understanding of my weaknesses; so the goal becomes aggression with purpose. I ride to get me whatever result I can, or to help my team get whatever result we can.

As for preferring to be aggressive vs. sitting in and sprinting - I would actually prefer to win, if possible. If sitting in and sprinting yields some greater probability of winning than attacking, then - assuming that winning is your goal - attacking would be a pretty foolish thing to do. Jens Voight doesn't attack because there's something to be learned from it, or because it is honorable, or because it is impressive. He attacks because the minuscule chance he has of winning out of a breakaway is infinitely greater than the no chance whatsoever that he has of winning out of a field sprint.
Good post G, well said.

I'm quite undertrained this year (at least, since April 5th or so), so attacking and either going solo or in a small group I'm simply out-gunned.
I can attack and get up the road multiple times a race, but almost nothing stays away around here in the 4s and I don't have the legs to sustain a break. (I've been in about 8 to 10 breaks this year that were away for any significant amount of time, and the only one where the other dudes could/would work was when it was me and one teammate (we won the race).
So, my goal this year is learning how to attack and make it work with fewer watts, and hopefully carry this knowledge forward when I do get some training time.
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Old 06-24-10, 09:08 AM
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A local racer-ex-esk stud has taken me under the tips of his feathers (I haven't really made it under the wing). He doesn't miss an opportunity to tell me that me, or any of my cat 3 peers, don't know how to race.

Everyone wants to sit in until the last lap when they begin diving on each others wheels because they all think they are Mark Cavendish. I still try to utilize my sprint which is a little better than most but my most gratifying podiums this year had nothing to do with a sprint.
 
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Old 06-24-10, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
^working for someone else, i hope. otherwise you were along for the ride. consider "you" and "your" plural in a team sense. i'm assuming someone on your team was doing option 1.
Yes, and he won
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Old 06-24-10, 09:25 AM
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If you're not fit enough to race enough to race to your strengths, then that's not a strength atmo.
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Old 06-24-10, 09:32 AM
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I love the epic moves. If you have the engine to pull it off go for it. I don't have the sprint to even compete in Cat 5, so I depend on the break to get my results.
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Old 06-24-10, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
If you're not fit enough to race enough to race to your strengths, then that's not a strength atmo.
strengths are relative to each person - and I never claimed to be strong.
ATMO:
Sprint = Terrible
TT = Poor
Uphill Jumps = Eh

none of them are strengths, but I know that some are better than others - so I race to those.
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