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Lack of 1km fliers in world tour racing

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Lack of 1km fliers in world tour racing

Old 03-10-15, 09:22 AM
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flats
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Lack of 1km fliers in world tour racing

Maybe this should be in the professional forum, but I think it is an interesting discussion for amateur racing too.

Why don't we see more 1km or even 1 mile fliers on flattish stages of world tour stage races? For certain types of riders in amateur racing, and also in one-day professional racing, late attacks seem to work well. Why doesn't this translate over to stage races?
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Old 03-10-15, 09:26 AM
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My guess is at the 1k or so point on flat stages the sprint teams' trains are pushing the pace so hard that it would be quite difficult to get away.
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Old 03-10-15, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by hack View Post
My guess is at the 1k or so point on flat stages the sprint teams' trains are pushing the pace so hard that it would be quite difficult to get away.

pro teams have plans and actually execute on them. Amateur races are susceptible to guys at the front looking at each other, or at the one dominant amateur team, while a solo guy rides away to win.

should also note how exceedingly rare 1km fliers that work are. I've seen 2 in like 100 races.
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Old 03-10-15, 09:41 AM
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^ True, you do get an attempt every now and then though. I thought one of the stronger guys (Cancellara maybe??) tried it at the end of Stage 1 of the Tour de France last year. Jumped at 1k and caught at like 400m to go. If anyone could have stayed away, it should have been someone like that. Too much pace, too much real organization.
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Old 03-10-15, 09:45 AM
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Gilbert is the only pro I can think who succeeded at one...

I'm sure there have been others, but my pro cycling knowledge is very low.
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Old 03-10-15, 09:55 AM
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It's a hard to compete against a sprinters train, that's 3-4 people putting in max effort.
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Old 03-10-15, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
Gilbert is the only pro I can think who succeeded at one...

I'm sure there have been others, but my pro cycling knowledge is very low.
Though not at a world tour level

and yes, Cancellara pulled something similar while wearing the yellow jersey. His Milan San Remo win was similar, but that was from a much reduced field

Phinney pulled something similar in a stage of Tour of Poland, but that was further out.

All in all, so very exceedingly rare
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Old 03-10-15, 10:48 AM
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i've read about more of these succeeding on bf than i've seen in over 10 years of racing
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Old 03-10-15, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by hack View Post
My guess is at the 1k or so point on flat stages the sprint teams' trains are pushing the pace so hard that it would be quite difficult to get away.
This - when you have 2 or more sprint trains going, no single rider is fast enough to hold off multiple domestiques who are going all-out.
If you watch enough pro racing, you will see plenty of attempts but very few successes.

Also: I never tire of watching this video:

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Old 03-10-15, 11:37 AM
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There's a lot of talk about attacking hard from 1k here, albeit not as much as there used to be, but against any remotely organized group (which is what you have at the WorldTour level) it's not likely to succeed. In a large bunch finish, there are too many big teams driving the pace really high to the finish. In a sprint from a small break, the racers are usually hyper-alert to attacks, going that early is usually going to get everyone jumping on your wheel and swarming you at the finish. Still, these are the scenarios in which a last kilometer attack actually are most likely to work in the WT. But from a full-sized and fully-organized, committed field? No way.

As already mentioned, it's not like it's super-common in our amateur races either. And what you think of as a last k attack might not be. A kilometer is a LONG way out for the kind of effort you typically need to make if it's going to stick. I've had a couple decent results in the last couple years by launching well before the sprint proper - once 4th, the other time 2nd. I think the longest one was maybe 800 meters out, the other one was more like 300 or so to go. Things these races had in common: small, chaotic fields of around 16 riders, a 1 or 2 rider break up the road and a challenging finish due to a steep climb (4th place) or lots of corners in the final 150m (2nd). And I didn't even get away clean when I got 4th - I launched really hard on the uphill on the backstretch, made it to the final corner where one guy caught me for 3rd. Heck I didn't get away clean for 2nd either, the field was breathing down my neck, but I was able to hold them off by cornering at lunatic speeds while taking better lines. The point being that it's hard to do even when everything is in your favor. The only time I can recall someone launching a real 1km attack and sticking it was the 2008 Philly Phlyer Circuit Race, Category D Div I, and that was with the help of a fairly steep exit ramp to use as a launch pad.
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Old 03-10-15, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
There's a lot of talk about attacking hard from 1k here, albeit not as much as there used to be, but against any remotely organized group (which is what you have at the WorldTour level) it's not likely to succeed. In a large bunch finish, there are too many big teams driving the pace really high to the finish. In a sprint from a small break, the racers are usually hyper-alert to attacks, going that early is usually going to get everyone jumping on your wheel and swarming you at the finish. Still, these are the scenarios in which a last kilometer attack actually are most likely to work in the WT. But from a full-sized and fully-organized, committed field? No way.

As already mentioned, it's not like it's super-common in our amateur races either. And what you think of as a last k attack might not be. A kilometer is a LONG way out for the kind of effort you typically need to make if it's going to stick. I've had a couple decent results in the last couple years by launching well before the sprint proper - once 4th, the other time 2nd. I think the longest one was maybe 800 meters out, the other one was more like 300 or so to go. Things these races had in common: small, chaotic fields of around 16 riders, a 1 or 2 rider break up the road and a challenging finish due to a steep climb (4th place) or lots of corners in the final 150m (2nd). And I didn't even get away clean when I got 4th - I launched really hard on the uphill on the backstretch, made it to the final corner where one guy caught me for 3rd. Heck I didn't get away clean for 2nd either, the field was breathing down my neck, but I was able to hold them off by cornering at lunatic speeds while taking better lines. The point being that it's hard to do even when everything is in your favor. The only time I can recall someone launching a real 1km attack and sticking it was the 2008 Philly Phlyer Circuit Race, Category D Div I, and that was with the help of a fairly steep exit ramp to use as a launch pad.
Sounds like an interesting course?
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Old 03-10-15, 11:45 AM
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Vinokourov won from a very late attack out of the pack at the Olympics. Stannard's winning attack at Omloop this year was about 1k out, though that was out of the break -- you see plenty of late attacks out of breaks.

But a 1k flyer can only work if it's a surprise. It's really easy to shut down if there is any organization at all, or if even one strong guy sees it coming. So, by definition it's a rare one that succeeds.
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Old 03-10-15, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
Vinokourov won from a very late attack out of the pack at the Olympics.
incorrect...
first of all it was Uran who attacked and Vino followed to form a 2 up break.
second, they were closer to 10k to go.

and Stannard won a 2-up sprint.
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Old 03-10-15, 12:05 PM
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Draft a school bus at 40mph for 3-4hrs and try to sprint around it and stay there for 1k.

Enter a p/1/2 crit with a couple of organized teams and try to pull that off. Then realize the teams at the protour level are collectively so much stronger than that.

The horsepower it takes to pull something like this off is huge. There are a handful of people that are actually capable of doing it, and most of them are on sprint train duty.
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Old 03-10-15, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
Gilbert is the only pro I can think who succeeded at one...

I'm sure there have been others, but my pro cycling knowledge is very low.
he definately tried at KBK this year....from 4km to go



in regards to the original question - watch all the GT sprint stages - guys are always attacking at the end if given a slight pause.....it never works though because of the organization
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Old 03-10-15, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
The horsepower it takes to pull something like this off is huge.
1 horsepower =
745.699872 watts



Looking that up makes me feel slow (and fatter)



I have nothing to add to this conversation.
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Old 03-10-15, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Wylde06 View Post
1 horsepower =
745.699872 watts



Looking that up makes me feel slow (and fatter)



I have nothing to add to this conversation.
My first thought - I bet you still do ok on a w/kg basis. Not that I have weighed horses.
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Old 03-10-15, 01:05 PM
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Can you imagine the number of Kcals a horse needs? Sheesh.
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Old 03-10-15, 01:10 PM
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There is a lot of radio involved and 9 guys (if they are lucky) following plans set out in front.

If you had no radios and no teams - things would be different - I suspect.
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Old 03-10-15, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by flats View Post
Maybe this should be in the professional forum, but I think it is an interesting discussion for amateur racing too.

Why don't we see more 1km or even 1 mile fliers on flattish stages of world tour stage races? For certain types of riders in amateur racing, and also in one-day professional racing, late attacks seem to work well. Why doesn't this translate over to stage races?
Most of the answers seem to be similar, and I agree. Sprinters' trains, at full bore, are almost full on sprints on their own. When a train uses at least 2 guys in 800m to get the sprinter to the 150-200m mark you know they're not holding anything back.

The better leadout men are good sprinters themselves. There are situations where the leadout man went so hard that the sprinter couldn't get around him, or the sprinter let a gap go because he wanted the leadout man to win. Or the leadout man sits up with 20m to go, puts both hands up in the air, and still gets 9th in the stage. Etc.

There's a question of motivation as well.

Also, a stage race is a bit diluted in that there are teams/individuals going for particular goals. So a Froome/Sky won't go absolutely bonkers to try and get away in the last km, which, if you thnk about it, is the only way a Froome/similar will win a flatter stage. Instead they're just waiting for the hilly stuff. Likewise the sprint teams (no GC rider) know that they only have this or that stage for a chance to win. They save it for "their" days.

It makes winning outside of your specialty stage very hard. The sprint teams are desperate to keep things under control in the flatter stages and therefore the last km flyers don't work very often.

If you want to see a nutty sprint just watch a non-trade team race, or one where everyone thinks they have a chance - the World Championships. It's totally nutty because everyone and everyone is thinking, "Okay, if I can win this then I just made my career."

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Old 03-10-15, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by hack View Post
Sounds like an interesting course?
You'd be surprised. It was a disused NASCAR track (Nashville Fairgrounds), most of it was on the actual 1/4 mile track, but the last little bit looped through the pit and infield areas. Looks cool, not super fun to race on. But the corners through the infield were challenging.
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Old 03-10-15, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
incorrect...
first of all it was Uran who attacked and Vino followed to form a 2 up break.
second, they were closer to 10k to go.

and Stannard won a 2-up sprint.
Forgot Vino and his Champs Elysee win in the 2005 (or is it 2006) TdF. He and McGee bridged to a late attack within 2km to go, and only he and McGee managed to stay out in front. He then outsprinted McGee for an asterisked victory.
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Old 03-10-15, 03:05 PM
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Subtext: why don't pro tour riders race like cat 4s?
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Old 03-10-15, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
Subtext: why don't pro tour riders race like cat 4s?
Smooth ones?
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Old 03-10-15, 03:13 PM
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for your viewing enjoyment


and


apparently i mis-remembered some of the details
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