Why do races start slowly?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by [email protected], Mar 18, 2006.

  1. I am just watching the Commonwealth Games on the telly.
    I am not a cycling fan but could you tell me why the velodrome racing
    starts are done so slowly. I am sure tactics are involved but, sorry, I
    just cannot understand. How can records be broken if the riders are
    going as slow as possible for part of the race.
     
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  2. On 18 Mar 2006 01:05:59 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

    >How can records be broken if the riders are
    >going as slow as possible for part of the race.


    Because a lot of timed intervals, such as they are, aren't at the
    beginning and records aren't the point anyway? Which event are you
    talking about?

    Curtis L. Russell
    Odenton, MD (USA)
    Just someone on two wheels...
     
  3. RonSonic

    RonSonic Guest

    On 18 Mar 2006 01:05:59 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

    >I am just watching the Commonwealth Games on the telly.
    >I am not a cycling fan but could you tell me why the velodrome racing
    >starts are done so slowly. I am sure tactics are involved but, sorry, I
    >just cannot understand. How can records be broken if the riders are
    >going as slow as possible for part of the race.


    It depends on the event. In many of the timed events a flying start is the rule
    and there's no reason to rush that. Better to save energy for the fast bit. In
    sprinting against another rider the advantage usually goes to the rider in back.

    Ron
     
  4. In article <[email protected]>,
    Curtis L. Russell <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On 18 Mar 2006 01:05:59 -0800, [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > >How can records be broken if the riders are
    > >going as slow as possible for part of the race.

    >
    > Because a lot of timed intervals, such as they are, aren't at the
    > beginning and records aren't the point anyway? Which event are you
    > talking about?


    Hm. A slow-starting track event? Match sprints, perhaps?

    What happens in a one-on-one sprint is this: for evenly matched
    opponents, being the rider behind is a big advantage, because you are
    drafting the lead rider, meaning you are doing much less work, and can
    slipstream up behind him at speed and come out from the slipstream with
    more speed than the lead rider. Also, you can react to the easily-seen
    rider ahead of you.

    Because of this, most of the event is spent jockeying for positition. In
    a 1000m sprint, only the last 200m is timed.

    Wikipedia explains this reasonably well:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprint_(cycling)

    Note that current rules specify that riders must move at at least "a
    walking pace," thus preventing some of the trackstand duels of yore,
    where both riders might be completely stopped, balancing their bikes,
    waiting for the other rider to make a move.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau [email protected] http://www.wiredcola.com/
    "I don't want kids who are thinking about going into mathematics
    to think that they have to take drugs to succeed." -Paul Erdos
     
  5. Thanks very much. Now I understand. I had no idea that only the last
    200m were timed.
     
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