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What to do when off the front in crit races

JimboPlobJimboPlob Posts: 397
edited June 2012 in Amateur race
I did another crit the other day, and at one point found myself with a pretty big gap after putting a small dig on the front (I wanted to string it out but no one came with me).

I looked back and was pretty shocked when I couldnt see the bunch. Given it was only about 1/3rd of the way through the race I sat up and let them catch me.

Was this the right thing to do?
Should one just keep riding if they find themself on their own off the front?
Will people eventually try and bridge accross if you just sit there?

I really wasn't sure what to do so played it cautiously.

Thanks

Posts

  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    Depends. Hows yer testing?
  • JimboPlobJimboPlob Posts: 397
    about an hour man.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Only time I've done it was in last few laps, stayed away with one other. That early on unless you're a known rider I don't think many people would follow you. Probably wait to see what moves go as opposed to starting one.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Keep going at your hour TT pace, If there are sensible people in the bunch they'll come over to you - or at least try. Most likely of course in a 4th cat crit, some muppet will just tow everyone up to you, but sitting up is pretty pointless - there was absolutely no point in having your dig if you were just going to sit up. People are not tired out by some bloke "stringing it out" they're laughing at you. If there's not a gap, it's piss easy behind.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    JimboPlob wrote:
    about an hour man.

    If you put yer head down, you may get caught and find yerself bolleaxued. If you sit up, you won't. And sitting in the bunch at the end of the race, what would you give for one chance, just one chance, to go back to that point and tell the bunch that they may chase you down, but they'll never take your FREEEDDOOOM?

    tts.jpg
  • Pedal furiously, lap the field, sit in. Read newspaper till the finish.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

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  • racingcondorracingcondor Posts: 1,434
    Panic. Get over it. Put head down. Hammer myself into the ground. Blow up. Get caught.

    Pick any 6...

    I probably would have had a dig but I wouldn't have expected to stay away (see above!).
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    JimboPlob wrote:
    I wanted to string it out

    Why?
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    Have you tried pedaling harder?
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • JimboPlobJimboPlob Posts: 397
    Tom Dean wrote:
    JimboPlob wrote:
    I wanted to string it out

    Why?

    I am not a sprinter, so I figured that the best way would be to try and tire out some legs. I am guessing that "stringing it out" is something pro teams do when working for a rider but shouldn't be something a loan-some rider does in a crit???? Think I just learned another lesson
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    Yeah probably not a lot of point in stringing it out though if you are really strong and it's a tough part of the course - say an uphill drag - you might cause a split someone in the bunch. If you get off the front then just do as Jim says - keep going but not a full sprint - someone might come across to you you never know. It's hard in a 4ths race as the inexperience means people tend to be less confident about what to do so very often they do nothing and it ends up in a bunch sprint. If it does then don't be afraid to go to the front a little early and open your sprint early - it's safer and odds are you'll still pick up some points - though you are unlikely to win it that way it'll get you out of 4th cat if that's the aim.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    If I had my time again in 4ths I'd have been a lot more aggressive, in hindsight I have no idea why I just sat in every week waiting for the sprint. The weekend gone I was doing a crit and was away for much of the race, and when in the bunch I found it really boring and wondered how I put up with it for 10 weeks over winter. Getting in breaks and stuff is pretty fun on a crit circuit I think. Next step is to start doing that kind of thing in road races, as a lot of them tend to be won by breakaways.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    JimboPlob wrote:
    I am not a sprinter, so I figured that the best way would be to try and tire out some legs. I am guessing that "stringing it out" is something pro teams do when working for a rider but shouldn't be something a loan-some rider does in a crit???? Think I just learned another lesson

    It's not something pro teams do to tire people out directly, they do it to ensure the position, and to make other teams work really hard to get their riders in position. It doesn't tire anyone out unless they want to get their riders near the front. If everyone stays in line, no-one gets tired other than the guy on the front (and if you're really really strong, the guys in 2nd or 3rd)

    Accellerating is what tires people out in crits, 'cos when you're accelerating you're not on a wheel. To make people accelerate you need to get a gap. Gap's are how you tire people out, so there's lots of people in the wind, and lots of accelerations.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Jim is bang on!

    I could stick the pace in our break, but every time a certain rider came to the front (a 3rd cat according to sign on, but on another startlist for this weekend as an elite...) there was a gap as he was very strong, and it killed me trying to close it every time. Constant pace won't tire people out, look at Milan San Remo, Cancellara apparently 'going like a motorbike' for 3k on the flat couldn't gap Simon Gerrans, and they're almost chalk and cheese riders.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    okgo wrote:
    If I had my time again in 4ths I'd have been a lot more aggressive, in hindsight I have no idea why I just sat in every week waiting for the sprint.

    Errm, I thought you won your first race, in the sprint?
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    okgo wrote:
    I could stick the pace in our break, but every time a certain rider came to the front (a 3rd cat according to sign on, but on another startlist for this weekend as an elite...) there was a gap as he was very strong, and it killed me trying to close it every time.

    If he's opening a gap every time, he's not co-operating with the break. Why waste energy closing the gap to a non-attack? let him dangle
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Tom Dean wrote:
    okgo wrote:
    I could stick the pace in our break, but every time a certain rider came to the front (a 3rd cat according to sign on, but on another startlist for this weekend as an elite...) there was a gap as he was very strong, and it killed me trying to close it every time.

    If he's opening a gap every time, he's not co-operating with the break. Why waste energy closing the gap to a non-attack? let him dangle

    He could also be doing it deliberately, either to tire you out more - or to piss you off 'cos you do the same. As Tom says, you don't have to play.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Tom Dean wrote:
    okgo wrote:
    I could stick the pace in our break, but every time a certain rider came to the front (a 3rd cat according to sign on, but on another startlist for this weekend as an elite...) there was a gap as he was very strong, and it killed me trying to close it every time.

    If he's opening a gap every time, he's not co-operating with the break. Why waste energy closing the gap to a non-attack? let him dangle

    He was calling the shots, he needed us to help him stay away, he was certainly hitting the front and doing his turn, but I don't think he realized his turns were so strong.

    So much so he got in another break later in the race, my team mate said he should attack the break as nobody could live with him, but he didn't and got done in the sprint in the end out of that break I think, bit odd.

    Yes I won the first couple in a sprint, after that though I never got it right again, and in hindsight would have had much more fun attacking. After all you still need to win the sprint out of a break if it comes to it!
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • sub55sub55 Posts: 1,025
    Never could understand people sitting in all the race to sprint it out at the end. Surely better to die trying and make a race of it than to finish somewhere in the bunch in the final gallop for the line. Its a percentage game , the smaller the group your away with , the better the odds at the end. In all the races that ive ever won , think only two came from the group sprint , although would never would consider myself a sprinter. But lone breakaways lovely. Make the buggers chase , it was quite easy in the 3rd and 4ths , not quite as straight forward with the first though.
    constantly reavalueating the situation and altering the perceived parameters accordingly
  • Simon NotleySimon Notley Posts: 1,263
    As you have identified yourself, 'stringing it out' just doesn't work. I used to be under the illusio that by forcig the pace at the front, I might thin the group out and therefore have a better chance in the inevitable sprint. Suffice to say it doesn't work. You just tow everyone along for a bit then finish 20th.

    Contrary to what some have said, there might be some wisdom in sitting up if you get a gap so early in the race. Chances are you won't stay away on your own, but if you go back and try it again, you might get a few riders come with you and then you'll have a good chance. Three or four riders working together should stand a good chance against a 4th cat bunch (where inevitably the work will be left to a few riders who will eventually get annoyed and ease up). Alternatively you could go it alone and hope a couple of riders bridge across or you somehow stay out on your own for an hour... I never really mastered the art myself.
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