Team bike racing question

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Frank Burke, Jan 23, 2003.

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  1. Frank Burke

    Frank Burke Guest

    I'm sure this has been discussed before, and would be happy to be directed to an appropriate source.
    The FAQ does not address it. Here's the question. In bike racing, what, other than drafting, is the
    advantage of having teammates with a lead group on a mountain stage. I have watched or read the
    coverage of the TdF, Giro, Vuelta, etc. , and the commentators make a big deal about the leader
    being supported by teammates. They talk about one or two riders "doing all the work" for the leader,
    but obviously the leader is ascending at the same speed, so physics dictates that, except for
    drafting, they are doing the same work. Is drafting an significant factor on the big climbs? If
    drafting is the issue, all the other riders in the group are getting the same advantage as the team
    leader, so the "work" being done by the domestiques would seem to benefit the competition as well.
     
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  2. Ken Papai

    Ken Papai Guest

    "Frank Burke" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I'm sure this has been discussed before, and would be happy to be directed to an appropriate
    > source. The FAQ does not address it. Here's the question. In bike racing, what, other than
    > drafting, is the advantage of having teammates with a lead group on a mountain stage. I have
    > watched or read the coverage of the TdF, Giro, Vuelta, etc. , and the commentators make a big deal
    > about the leader being supported by teammates. They talk about one or two riders "doing all the
    > work" for the leader, but obviously the leader is ascending at the same speed, so physics dictates
    > that, except for drafting, they are doing the same work. Is drafting an significant factor on the
    > big climbs?

    If you're going over 20 kph, then yes, drafting is an issue uphill. Also teammates protect you from
    crosswinds, loan you a tire instantly if you flat, or even give up their bike.

    Teammates can go back and give you food & water too.

    Teammates can chase down "false" attacks and demoralize opponents. ....stuff like that.

    > If drafting is the issue, all the other riders in the group are getting the same advantage as
    > the team leader, so the "work" being done by the domestiques would seem to benefit the
    > competition as well.
     
  3. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "Frank Burke" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > In bike racing, what, other than drafting, is the advantage of having teammates with a lead group
    > on a mountain stage.

    Pros climb MUCH faster than they look like they're climbing on TV. Drafting is something of a help
    at these speeds. It is also a psychological advantage because if you have a teammate in front of
    you, you don't have to worry about chasing him down or him attacking you. And other riders have to
    worry that if they attack your teammate can cover it and instead of both the other rider and you
    getting tired from working harder, your team mate absorbs the punishment. He can also attack other
    riders for you.

    And of course after you get over the top you have a team mate with you in case you have to chase
    back on to the lead group or in case you're far enough ahead you have a team mate who can lead you
    for as far as he can while you draft.

    Road cycling is a team sport of the first water. Although some racers have won with only marginal
    teams (LeMond '89), it requires that the other competitors underestimate you and allow you to hang
    on instead of attacking you. In '86 LeMond was on the strongest team in the race and La Vie Claire
    finished 1, 2 and 4th. That pretty much says it all.
     
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