The break is established, How do you win?

The Break is Established, How do you win?

First of all this is not a team time trial because you are trying to achieve  two objectives:  Stay away and win.  Obviously, the problem is that the other guys might or might not have the same objectives.  Once the break has established itself, you need to start thinking about how do you win.  You need to get the group to work hard enough to stay away, but you need to save energy to win the race.  The key here is that you should not be working more than the other guys.  In fact you need to figure out how to work less.  The other problem is that not everyone is trying to win with this break.  You might have someone  from a sprinter’s team who is just monitoring the breaks and trying to disrupt the breaks.  You might have a few guys who are just hanging on and really excited just to be the in the break.  If the break is out of sight from the pack:  now you need to think about how you are going to win.  You now have a lot to think about, but hopefully you are not full of lactic acid. 

  • What do you know about the other riders?  Are their sprinters or is someone clearly the strongest?
  • Are there teams with more than one rider?
  • Is someone faking it and sitting off the back?
  • Are you the weakest?  Can you finish?
  • How can you start to recover and save energy?

If there are two or more riders from one team, they will most likely start attacking the breakaway once there are only a few laps left.  The non-attacking rider will sit in the break while his teammate attacks.  The other break riders must chase him down.  If they chase, the non-attacking rider will counter act as soon as they catch his teammate.  This can go on for awhile, and will wear down the break.  You must be aware of this tactic, and the only way to counter it is to burn as little energy possible, i.e. let the other guys chase the hardest.

Is there someone sitting on or should you start sit on?  If you are getting tired or need to start conserving, then you need to start missing a turn or two.  Use the drinking water excuse or a let a gap open up on a corner when you are last in line so that guy falling back takes your spot.

If you are weak sprinter and the state sprint champion is in the break, you need to think about how do you drop him or how do you get away from the break.  A top sprinter is a challenge for a break because everyone will know that they can’t beat him in a sprint.   You need to make sure that you start talking to the other riders in the break so that you get a few other riders to start to attack him or working to drop him like the two riders from the same team tactic.  As the finish gets closer, riders will start attacking.  If you are the strongest rider in the break, then the attacks will come from the back just after you have pulled.  Likewise, you should attack the strongest rider/sprinter just after he has taken a pull and the next rider is in front of him.  This will give you the advantage of him being tired and slightly blocked.

Do you lap or not?  If the break as been working well and the pack as giving up, the break will reach a point were the break can see the back of the pack.  This will create a little situation in the break.  A few guys will use this as a point to attack so that they might be able to seal up a win.  If he is able to attack the break and only lap the field and the other break riders do not lap, then he wins.  Most of the time, the situation that is created is that a one or two guys gets dropped as a few guys attack.  These guys were just hanging on and the attacking is just too much.  They guys that matter will lap the field.  Once the pack is lapped, the lead riders need to find their teammates so that they can help them with the sprint.  The teammates can escort them to the front and help ensure they beat their compatriots in the break.

No matter what the cat and mouse games will start during the last few laps.  This basically will come down to a long sprint.  A few guys will attack early and a few will know how to time their sprint.

Next Post:  Sprinting

Win,

Steve