Forcing breakaways

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by 11ring, May 2, 2006.

  1. 11ring

    11ring New Member

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    Just wondering, any tips on making breakaways happen, particularily in Crits. I find I can get away very easily but can't make it on my own. Other than yelling at people to come or chatting before a race, any tips on getting a few more takers. BTW I find many people race very conservativley- all seem to race like sprinters in Australian crits.

    I have tried coming in hard on the outside after someone attacks and hoping to have a (small) train follow, but no one seems to get away with me. Should i go slower and wait for a few helpers? Also, if you have a helper taking turns breaking the pack, do you make a big effort to force the break, and risk losing the helper or just come through smoothly and ramp up the pace till others crack.

    Maybey i should just bludge like everyone else then sprint it out, but i think it is far safer to get away early and make a good gap.

    More to the point, why do people attack if they have no intention to make a decisice move. It just seems like a waste of energy.

    Mainly posting this because I seem much stronger than other riders but seem to be missing something in the tactics area.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. GuyStevens

    GuyStevens New Member

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    If you are stronger than the others then launch your attack late in the race but before the sprint and try to make it to the finish alone.

    There is no guaranteed method for creating a break - you need to tempt riders to join you but if they are not interested there is not a lot you can do.

    Have you got any team-mates?
     
  3. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Team mates
     
  4. TrekDedicated

    TrekDedicated New Member

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    You only learn by taking chances.

    Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.

    I think experience will tell. The longer you race, the better your 'attack smarts' will be.
     
  5. mogulhead

    mogulhead New Member

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    Yeah it certainly seems to be a sprinters paradise in Australia, particularly in the lower grades. If you are stronger than the other riders then just go for the break by yourself. If you stay away for a long time or even win the race people will notice. Then next time, if you haven't been put up a grade, people will hopefully go with you. Alternatively go with the first attack if you can and just keep going whether the other riders do their turns or not. You might get a reputation as an honest toiler and people will again be more likely to go with
    you.
    If you get a gap off the front in a criterium with a helper a good thing to do is to try and just maintain the gap. If the gap gets smaller speed up. If the gap gets larger slow down.
    Why do people attack? I know I attack for many reasons, not all of them good. A few of them are Boredom, vindictiveness and to just test out the field. Early suicide attacks I think are done in order to wear down the field. Get rid of the fat sprinters by varying the pace.
    Take all this with a grain of salt as I am still trying to work this out as I've only been racing a year myself.

    If your a good sprinter then why not just go with the sprint. A bit boring but if you win a couple they will bump you up a grade where the racing may be bit more interesting.

    Cheers
     
  6. 11ring

    11ring New Member

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    No team mates really. Actually I can sprint okay but i am often too impatient to wait it out. The sprint is usually my plan B.

    I can go up a grade, but it becomes even more conservative then i think.

    BTW i also have another (related) gripe about Aussie racing. Too Too flat. Fat sprinters paradise actually.
     
  7. gitaarfreak

    gitaarfreak New Member

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    Just stay in the head of the peleton but don't ride in first position all the time. Don't use to much energy. If somebody attacks, just go with him. Launch your final attack at your "time-trial distance"; The point you attack in the race (5km to go, 10km to go, ... ) you should be able (but you don't need to, just maintain your gap with the peleton) to go all-out. You also should know the higher CAT you race in, the more difficult this type of victory is. When you have teams with a good sprinter in, these teams try to keep the peleton together and just lead in the sprinter to the last 500m or so. So also try to devlop your sprinting abilities. For sprinting, tactics are also more inportant than you think, but that is another discution
     
  8. slowdave

    slowdave New Member

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    I too find it hard to find guys to attack/work with. I am very new to the roadie game MTB is a just a big TT so the tactics are getting the better of me now. I cant sprint well enough to win the grade i race, but i can always place to 10 to five. I almost always attack and am probably predicatable i feel my best chance is to get away in the last 1km when a few guys are looking for wheels (usually not mine). I read somewhere that you should not attack so hard it blows people away but so u gradually gain time on the field this is so that people see themselves as able to ride with u not blow a few k's down the road. Also like an earlyer poster stated ride at the front and take advantage of others attacks.
     
  9. dm69

    dm69 New Member

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    What type of courses are you riding on? If they are crits then practice doing TT's of 2-8km's on a vacant unused block of land where you can practice cornering. If you can cut down your time seriously on that circuit in training then try it on the crit and see if anyone is good enough to chase you. If you get caught then go for the bunch sprint...at least most of the sprinters will be gone from your attack.

    If it is a road race then once again practice those short TT's on similar conditions you will face in a race (make sure you are already fatigued).

    The big problem in my races is not being attacking enough especially if I know im not the strongest, I say keep attacking over and over again aslong as its a full out effort to win. Look at guys like Jens Voigt, Michael Boogerd, Bettini who have made careers out of riding aggressively, If they had been defensive riders they probably wouldn't even be on a pro team except for maybe bettini.
     
  10. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    2 of the worst things about lower-category races (true here in the states for the cat 4's as well)-1. Most of the field wants to sit around and get smoked in the sprint, week in and week out.

    2. When someone attacks, people usually try to chase it down immediately. DON'T DO THIS YOU MORONS!!! Dragging the field back up to a dangerous breakaway is beyond stuipd, unless you have commited yourself to racing the whole race for a specific teammate (who can sprint). Instead, try to bridge! If you get across, you lend more horsepower to the break. And, if the field catches you anyway, you made other guys chase you down and use energy. If you're not going to try to bridge up, don't work. Let that fall to the people who want it to come down to a field sprint. If you pull that crap in higher category races, you'll most likely get a verbal beatdown as well as screw yourself by working when you don't have to.

    Anyway, sorry for the little rant. Anyway, if you really want to get a break in a flat crit, there are a few things you have to do:

    1. DON'T drill it all out as an "attack." No one will go with you, you'll hang out by yourself for a while, then blow up and come back.
    2. Attack just hard enough to get a gap. Do it where the course lends itself to a solo rider or small group-nasty corner, crosswind, etc. That way, you can open a decent gap and then settle down. The gap needs to be big enough that the field can't just sprint up to you in a single effort. Hopefully, if you attack at the right time, others will recognize that and go with you. Sometimes, though, everyone insists on racing like pansies. In that case, there's not much you can do.
     
  11. peterwright

    peterwright New Member

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    That is some of the most useful advice I have read in a long time - I have a real bad habit of going too hard and too deep when trying to get away and then ending blowing in the wind on my own :(

    Thanks.
     
  12. ewan52

    ewan52 New Member

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    ye thats good advice but is it a good idea to attack when theres a crosswind? i find that the best place to attack is with a tailwind because a crosswind or headwind just increases the advantage that the bunch has over a single rider.
     
  13. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    Cross wind greatly decreases the impact of drafting, especially if you put people "in the gutter" when you attack. This means that if the wind is coming from the left, attack on the far right side of the road so no one can get shelter on your right side.
     
  14. jyeager

    jyeager New Member

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    You hit early on one of the keys, you need comrades. Be sociable at the races and make friends/acquaintances of other riders. Try to train with them when possible. After you have this networking going you can show up at a race and before hand you can propose a cooperative effort. Then you can have a 3 man break pre-planned and you can trust them to do their part too.

    During the race itself probably isn't the right time to expect to get cooperation.
     
  15. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    I guess you are referring to the races at Heffron park. I was reading a report on one race they do there, A grade vs B grade vs C grade handicap. What it said was that the C graders just looked at each other and did nothing while the A graders worked together as one team with the B graders doing something inbetween. All 3 packs merged together at the same time and the A graders moved to the front and took the race. So when you finish building that nice looking bike of yours, you'll just have to move to A grade!
     
  16. 11ring

    11ring New Member

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    Good idea- this year I will move to A grade. I just need about 5,000 more k's and i will be fine. But then i will need to learn to sprint as i will never break away from the A's, on a flat course.

    I think actually i will turn up at night with a bull dozer and some quick set and put a cat 4 climb in the middle of the course. Then i think i will get a place every week.
     
  17. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Thats why I said that next time we are both coming back from Waterfall, we should go on the final hill and make sure that James doesn't follow us.

    I've entered a race. Ride for Life It uses the corner loop of Centenial Park. A fraction under 3k per lap with a hill going to the paddington exit, 12 laps for a total of 35k and the finish line is half way up the hill. Ideal for you except that you need to be 35+ to race in the vets race. PDF Promo Theres a map somewhere but I can't find it.

    Edit: Found the course map. The data on this site doesn't make sense, the 2005 Womans 35k calculates out at an average speed of something like 45kmh, where the 2004 Elite Men 80k has an average speed of something like 34kmh.
     
  18. 11ring

    11ring New Member

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    You do know he is apparently only 65 kg!

     
  19. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Actually 64 kg. 14 less than me. So its light weight vs strength.

    We would need to catch him unaware. So its a Vet (me) vs a C grader (you) vs a B grader (James). I guess that James would probably out sprint us.

    What about the other James and a couple of the Geoff's ?
     
  20. 11ring

    11ring New Member

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    Last time i saw James racing he was on the lowest handicap. When did he move to B. I also didn't know we was a sprinter much at all. I think i can actually outsprint him.
     
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