What does attack means?

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by novetan, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. novetan

    novetan New Member

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    I used to hear the commentaries in a competition "now he is attacking" What does that means? I can see he is speeding up than the rest but what if he runs out of breath later. So he's no more in attack mode?
     
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  2. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    This is one of the many facets of bike racing - managing one's available energy resources appropriately.

    When a rider attackes, he is usually attempting to open a gap (a substantial space whereby nobody is able to draft). His effort, for a short time at least must be hard enough to initially open the gap (30 secs-1 full minute at a very high pace), and then for the next few minutes (3-5 minutes) increase the distance between himself and the field (a pace higher than normal but sustainable-not as hard as the initial burst to get away). If nobody works together to catch the break it may succeed in getting away. Escaping riders also often use the geography to their advantage, i.e. places where aerodynamics don't work as well for chasing riders, like climbs, or technical decents, ergo it's harder to keep the rider from escaping.

    If a rider goes too hard he may not be able to sustain the effort needed to get away, or if the attempt fails and the rider is caught, he may not have the energy reserves left to keep with the peleton once the race kicks into high gear. It takes not only fitness, but experience to successfully escape and stay away. Jens Voight, a pro, accurately notes these types of attacks rarely suceed for a win, but a small chance is always better than no chance. Sponsors like them because their brands are all over the camera, off the front of the group, unfettered by competing sponsor brands.

    Once a rider has a base of fitness, they may often focus on specialized intervals that help them maintain this capacity to go up and down at different speeds, and the ability to ride slightly above their threshold for a short time, and then just under it to recover. Much of the training is done because it actually improves the bodies ability to handle these loads, but also the lesser discussed reason to develop the familiarity of what it feels like to actually ride and prevail at these high intensities.

    Depending on a riders experience and fitness, usually only a finite number of these efforts are available during the race before a good nights sleep is needed to restore the energy reserves used up. Beginning riders may only have one or two such attacks in their legs, seasoned pros may be able to repeat these multiple times during a race (very often referred to as "number of matches"). Entry level riders usually only have one or two matches, pro's often have a whole box.
     
  3. novetan

    novetan New Member

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    Tks Dan for such a good detail insight. I'm just a commuter but enjoy watching pro rides.
     
  4. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    there is much more to pro cycling than doping scandals... ain't it
     
  5. cobooboc

    cobooboc New Member

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    I wish all the games are fair, no stimulants, no so-called attack.
     
  6. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    No attack? You know the discussion is about racing....
     
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