Question on race etiquette

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Kestrel12, May 5, 2009.

  1. Kestrel12

    Kestrel12 New Member

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    Ok, so I have a question on race etiquette that I thought I would post to get peoples views on the issues. Its been bugging me for some time as it has happened to me more than once (and twice in two days recently)

    Scenario 1 - You are in a road race and have been dropped well before the finish. You continue to ride quite strongly and pick up several other riders. None are willing to work and you are more than happy to continue to work as its all good training. Coming into the finish one or more of your passengers decide to sprint you for 20th place.

    Question - should you expect that the other riders would not sprint considering you have done all the work or is it fair game??
     
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  2. JAPANic

    JAPANic New Member

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    I say it is OK as he is training as well. Never lose the killer instinct.
    Never a nice feeling to be passed by a wheel sucker but it's a skill that wins races.

    You should also make him feel guilty about it by calling him a wheel sucking arsehole as that's what may psych him out next time he tries it.

    I race every Tuesday night and I'll always contest the sprint whether it is for the win or not. It's just in my veins to go for it. Nothing can stop me.

    If 20th place was as important to you as it was to him your tactics may have been different. Never under estimate your opposition. They will try anything if it's in the rules to beat you.

    If 20th place wasn't important to you, there is nothing to care about.
    I think to avoid this kind of situation you just need talk to everybody in the tail end pack and make everybody work together to improve all your times and say. 'Let's all help each other now and finish together....'

    If somebody wheel sucks and breaks away just yell out DICKHEAD...

    When you go home and people say how did you go...It's always better to say I came 20th rather than 21st...

    If somebody gets to the finish line before you, then they raced better than you..that's all.

    If I get dropped really badly I'll just get off the course as a DNF...

    I'm sure people will disagree with me here...

    A better thing to do is beat the guy who tries it...that really puts them in their place.
     
  3. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Fair? Yes it is fair to use such tactics, however someone that continues to use these methods can sometimes be tagged as a wheelsucker and is afforded little or no help from others in the future.
    Train hard and drop his sorry a** on a hard climb next time.
     
  4. gggossel

    gggossel New Member

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    You are (or were) racing, afterall. The politeness and unwritten etiquette that group rides often have usually doesn't apply. If it were a teammate that sucked wheel for 30 min while I dragged them along and then decided to jump, that would be a different story. Otherwise, it's game on if you're content to sit at the front and not make the others earn their keep by playing chess too.
     
  5. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    +1 on this and the similar responses above.

    If you entered a race, expect to race beginning to end. And expect everyone in the event to race to their strengths. That means the time trialists will try to get away and hold steady high paces, the climbers will try to dump you on climbs, the sprinters will try to get to the end and sprint. It's the way the game is played and the wheelsucking sprinter isn't outside of acceptable behavior any more than the climber who takes it easy till the climb and then splits the field into splinters on the ascent. And the honorable rider that pulls the entire field mile after mile and chases down every attack with nothing to gain and no team mates to protect but then gets dusted in the sprint or dropped in a hard section is just foolish and not playing the game very well.

    I'm always amazed when riders start the bitch session after a race about this guy or that who didn't "do enough work" and won a field sprint. It's not a club ride, it's a race. The sprinter's job is to get to the sprint as fresh as possible, everyone else's job should be to drop the sprinters or take the legs out of the climbers before the big hills or to get away alone or in small groups. Sure if you sandbag while away in a break and the break gets reeled in or you sucessfully wheelsuck till the sprint then don't expect a free ride next time and expect to get worked over if you make it into a future break. If you go into club ride mode and tow folks along then expect to get passed in the sprint, next time drop them if getting passed for 20th place bothers you or use the final kms to work on your own end game tactics and sprint.

    There are plenty of social cycling events where folks expect to work together and share the load. But if this is a sanctioned race and not a club ride or century then expect to race from start to finish or don't be upset when someone else races to their strengths regardless of the placing. But if it's any consolation you probably got the better training workout by towing folks along while they sucked your wheel which might pay off in the weeks to come.

    -Dave
     
  6. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Bravo! Bravo! It's as if you were in my head and took the words right out of my mouth, Dave. Prior responders have the correct sentiment as well. Not going to beat a dead horse, but I'd like to offer just a couple of my observations on this matter.

    It's always the guys that can't sprint well, or the gals that think there are moral victories in finishing behind 'wheelsuckers' that want to complain about this aspect of racing. You'll never hear this complaint coming from sprinters.

    Those who are good tactical racers make sure to race their strengths and do nothing to compromise this. For instance - I'm a sprinter. I'm going to do the least amount of work possible in order to get to the last 400 meters as fresh as possible. That means I will stay out of the wind/off the front/taking no pulls as much as humanly possible. Will I suck your wheel? You're damn right! Should you try and drop me if you get an opportunity? You'd better give it a go, otherwise I'll see you at the finish line. A race is a race is a race...

    I can understand and empathize with you in your situation (sprinting for lesser placings), but it's always better to be the player, than the playee. If you're satisfied with the training you got out of towing the others to the line, let the matter go...
     
  7. Kestrel12

    Kestrel12 New Member

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    Many thanks for all the responses.

    Now that I have read them it makes perfect sense. Whilst I am actually a good sprinter I dont personally get anything from sprinting for 20th place, but accept that in a race others want the bragging rights of winning a sprint or finishing 20th rather than 21st. I guess if it really mattered to me I would just sprint for the placing.

    Cheers and thanks
     
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