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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a couple races coming up and at each there is a strong team that can place 3-4 in the top 10 on any given day. they may have as many as 10 guys in my race. despite being cat 4, they ride together enough to have shown that they can coordinate attacks and blocks. But I have never seen them succeed with a successful break away(it is cat 4 after all). I have watched them send a guy up the road 100m and then 5 guys fan out across the front "blocking". they have the execution right, even if it doesn't really work for them( I think they fail because the attackers aren't strong or committed enough). In any event, seeing 5 guys side-side at the front of cat 4 race doing 22mph is sort of comical. if the mood struck me, how do I "mess" with their coordination without 1) being dangerous 2) without burning my matches needlessly 3) without pissing people off too badly ?
I will have some teamates in the race as well, but we don't ride together enough to know each others strengths and coordinate a plan. so whatever I do, I am really on my own
 

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Blocking like that is lame. I'm glad I haven't seen that in my races. Either they are too hilly or masters don't do that here.

You should try organizing your teamates. Email before the race to talk tactics, or meet up before the race. Decide on a plan and a backup plan, and then try to execute it. Maybe have your guy who is the best at close-quarters riding get right behind the blockers and wait for a tiny opening to squeeze into. Then he can move a blocker over and make room for another teamate to get through and attack.

Frankly I would not worry too much about getting the blockers mad. I'd guess that the rest of the pack isn't too pleased about the blocking either, and breaking it up would get one a lot of friends in the group.
 

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+1

Sounds like my local Tuesday nighter.

5 guys can't cover a whole course (at least on most courses) - there's always an opportunity here and there to get by. Once you're by them, attack, they'll have to give chase (because they are lame-o's, that's what they do). When they chase, they'll string out, giving others a chance to move up and mess with their line.

Also, call them on it. When they do it during the race, heckle them, call them lame-o's, ask if they can't win fair and square just don't race, etc. At least that's what I do. But I'm a jerk.
 

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just dive in on them in the corners. Eventualy they will chicken out on the road block plan.
5 guys isn't enough to block a whole lane yet alone 2 like we often get in a crit. come up the middle of them and start moving over forcing one into the other. Do it gradualy as you're not trying to wreck them but you'll sure discourage them from playing those games.

one of the best ways to block is to just get to the front and set a lame tempo. Or, lead a corner and brake a bit too heavy before hand (but not enough they shoot by) Real blocking is an art because if you're doing it well it won't go very noticed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I should have been more clear: they don't actually block the road so that no one can get by, that's not an issue. its more the posturing of "blocking" in an attempt to slow the peloton, as opposed to physically denying anyone getting by. I supposed half-wheeling them to death would work without burning matches. in my experience with these guys there is no point in bridging as they don't have the real star who can escape. they do have numbers though increasing the odds that that land top 10's in most cases
 

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Two things:

1) That's really not how blocking is done. Typically, when someone attacks properly and can get away, the blockers will keep the pace high (usually high enough for it to be single file at the front) but not high enough to pull back the attacker. This does two things - it discourages many people from trying to bridge because the pace is high and they might think that the guy is going to come back and secondly, because of the high-ish pace, if someone does try to bridge it is fairly easy for the blocking team to grab the wheel and ride it up, thus further discouraging a bridge.

2) If a team is fanning out 5 across at 22mph at the front of the field, that is giving you the perfect opportunity to attack. If the pace is that slow, it would be very hard for them to immediately latch onto a strong, will timed attack and because they are plugging up the road, it also makes it hard for others as well. IF you went hard enough for long enough, I would think that they might be discouraged from following.

The key is to attack hard initially, then back off to a manageable but decent tempo . Based on my power files, an average of 700w to 750w for 30 to 45 seconds and average of 450w for 4 minutes is usually enough for me for open up a decent gap for a successful break in a solid P,1 field. It's been a while since I've raced in the lower categories but I would think that an first 30 of 600 to 650 and 4 minutes of 325 to 350 might get you a gap in a cat. 4 race, at least here in Colorado. I would think that at sea level, the equivalent numbers are 15% higher, although we do have some good racing here so maybe you don't need as much power, depending on where you race.
 

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That's not a block.

It's just a bunch of cat 4 noobs. Just attack the crap out of them.

A "False tempo" is a real block. So is riding your team fairly fast near the front, so that any time an attack or counter goes off, you get two MORE guys in the counter, so everyone else has to chase.

PHYSICALLY interfering with another team's attempt to chase is a good way to find out how the dirt in the gutter tastes.
 

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What argentius said. A real block is 1-2mph slower than the breakaway...25-26mph instead of 27. Also, if someone else is chasing, riding 2nd wheel so when he pulls off, it takes more time for someone else to man up and continue the chase. Also have someone cover every attack, like argent said, to make sure more of your guys enter the break if it is successful.

Lots of people have tried physically blocking and also learned how to physically meet the ground.
 

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Sherpa23 said:
Two things:

1) That's really not how blocking is done. Typically, when someone attacks properly and can get away, the blockers will keep the pace high (usually high enough for it to be single file at the front) but not high enough to pull back the attacker. This does two things - it discourages many people from trying to bridge because the pace is high and they might think that the guy is going to come back and secondly, because of the high-ish pace, if someone does try to bridge it is fairly easy for the blocking team to grab the wheel and ride it up, thus further discouraging a bridge.

2) If a team is fanning out 5 across at 22mph at the front of the field, that is giving you the perfect opportunity to attack. If the pace is that slow, it would be very hard for them to immediately latch onto a strong, will timed attack and because they are plugging up the road, it also makes it hard for others as well. IF you went hard enough for long enough, I would think that they might be discouraged from following.

The key is to attack hard initially, then back off to a manageable but decent tempo . Based on my power files, an average of 700w to 750w for 30 to 45 seconds and average of 450w for 4 minutes is usually enough for me for open up a decent gap for a successful break in a solid P,1 field. It's been a while since I've raced in the lower categories but I would think that an first 30 of 600 to 650 and 4 minutes of 325 to 350 might get you a gap in a cat. 4 race, at least here in Colorado. I would think that at sea level, the equivalent numbers are 15% higher, although we do have some good racing here so maybe you don't need as much power, depending on where you race.
That's good advice, except that you really haven't been racing in lower categories :). I believe that the 4 minute schedule you give for cat 4's roughly corresponds to a 4:00 3K pursuit, which is fast for cat 4's (or else they won't stay cat 4's for long) and that's an event where you are rested at the start, as opposed to doing it in the middle of a race. Also, the plan of going out hard for 30 seconds that you suggest is what is often used by novice pursuiters (based on the breakaway principle and "feeling good" at the start) with a huge decay in power output by the 3rd minute. My friends and I were the "nerds" of the pursuit and we were often amused at districts to see random roadies wing it and lose it big time in the final laps. However, some random roadies also crushed us :). In order to do a great pursuit, you have to feel like you could walk next to the bike for the first 2 laps.

Anyway, a 4 minute lone attack is probably too long for inexperienced riders.

-ilan
 

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If they constantly block using bodies use the classic diamond formation (super old) at the side of the road. Head of the diamond then squeezes the opposing riders into the road and everyone slips to the side. If they block the head the two sides surround a single rider and squeeze him back. Make sure attacking rider is tail of diamond. Either he will have one or tow leads depending on how the jerks block.

Forgot: after you break, the remaining three use a stern tempo to prevent a chase... just make sure you are riding faster
 

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I just started cycling and racing this season coming over as a 14 year inline speedskater.
Something I've noticed(this could just because I've been in Cat 4/5 races)
In speedskating when you're racing, if you see somone or a team making a break you yell out "flyer left/right" so the rest of the pack is aware of what's going on. I've seen plenty of attempts at flyers in the 5 or so races I've been in, but I've never heard anyone yell out "flyer" to let anyone know.

That might work in your situation by letting entire peleton know someone's about to attack

Craig.
 

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csh8428 said:
I just started cycling and racing this season coming over as a 14 year inline speedskater.
Something I've noticed(this could just because I've been in Cat 4/5 races)
In speedskating when you're racing, if you see somone or a team making a break you yell out "flyer left/right" so the rest of the pack is aware of what's going on. I've seen plenty of attempts at flyers in the 5 or so races I've been in, but I've never heard anyone yell out "flyer" to let anyone know.

That might work in your situation by letting entire peleton know someone's about to attack

Craig.
Welcome to bike racing! From what I know about inline skating, they are not as lazy as cyclists, and are much better coordinated (on a bike, you can just sit down and mash the pedals). Don't expect the same skill level until you move up in category, which should be fairly fast for you.

-ilan
 

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csh8428 said:
I just started cycling and racing this season coming over as a 14 year inline speedskater.
Something I've noticed(this could just because I've been in Cat 4/5 races)
In speedskating when you're racing, if you see somone or a team making a break you yell out "flyer left/right" so the rest of the pack is aware of what's going on. I've seen plenty of attempts at flyers in the 5 or so races I've been in, but I've never heard anyone yell out "flyer" to let anyone know.

That might work in your situation by letting entire peleton know someone's about to attack

Craig.
Typically, it's abbreviated to "left!" or "right!" It's not often needed, though, because you should be paying attention to everything around you. At least in the 3's field, it's reserved for when the important guys make a surprise attack.

It's not that cyclists are less coordinated, it's that we have brakes. Brakes are a scary thing in a 4/5 field.
 

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ilan said:
Welcome to bike racing! From what I know about inline skating, they are not as lazy as cyclists, and are much better coordinated (on a bike, you can just sit down and mash the pedals). Don't expect the same skill level until you move up in category, which should be fairly fast for you.

-ilan
Thanks for the welcoming :):thumbsup:
You'd be surprised how lazy we are.... That's one thing that is the same in both are sports.. Everyone's always moanin and groanin and trying use as little effort as possible LOL.

My speed and endurance are far above my skill level. I got bumped decently hard this weekend and took a nice little spill. Haven't had road rash like that in a while.:mad2:
 

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ilan said:
That's true, so imagine what it's like being in a 4/5 field with no brakes. The #1 motivator for moving up to cat 3 on the track.

-ilan
i think often having brakes is worse. they hit em hard in a corner, they use too much when a little would do. Riders using their brakes causes as many crashes as anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks guys makes more sense now. reminds me of one of the very early stages of the TDF this year. a guy goes off the front, his team mate tries to slow the pace by alot during a mad attemp to real in the attacker, one of the pursuers basicaly brushes the "blocker" the side. i forget the names/teams but was amusing
 

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ilan said:
That's good advice, except that you really haven't been racing in lower categories :). I believe that the 4 minute schedule you give for cat 4's roughly corresponds to a 4:00 3K pursuit, which is fast for cat 4's (or else they won't stay cat 4's for long) and that's an event where you are rested at the start, as opposed to doing it in the middle of a race. Also, the plan of going out hard for 30 seconds that you suggest is what is often used by novice pursuiters (based on the breakaway principle and "feeling good" at the start) with a huge decay in power output by the 3rd minute. My friends and I were the "nerds" of the pursuit and we were often amused at districts to see random roadies wing it and lose it big time in the final laps. However, some random roadies also crushed us :). In order to do a great pursuit, you have to feel like you could walk next to the bike for the first 2 laps.

Anyway, a 4 minute lone attack is probably too long for inexperienced riders.

-ilan
Well, to do a pursuit you actually do the opposite - sort of. If you do a pursuit properly, you start on your schedule and it seems way too easy, then about halfway through it's maybe not as easy but a little easy, then by the end you're struggling to keep the pace. And then you're really experienced you start doing negative splits.

What's really amazing is when you realize that the good guys' opening kilos for their 4k is in the 1:04 to 1:05 range or better.
 

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I'll give a +1 to the info Argentius gave... Cover EVERY attack...
you don't see guys in the Tour using "blocking", their team just sets the pace while their attacking rider tries to stay clear of the pack.
Your team must know who the strongest rider is on your team... ask him how he's feeling, ask him if he wants to get into the break... then watch for it and get the rest of your team to ride specifically with the intent of getting him into that first break. Then you can set the pace like the "blocking" team was doing, without fanning across the road. If someone jumps at that point, make sure you have at least 1 guy (and maybe 2) designated to chase down all the breaks from that point on in the race...

I could be wrong, I have been before.... It was a long time ago, and it wasn't my fault.
OK, it was just last week and I spelled Jens' last name with an "H", but Uzzie set me straight.
 
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