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The Edge
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205 Posts
Stay near the front, don't touch your brakes in the turns, your tires are better than you, sprint automatically out of each turn or you'll get yo-yoed to death, Stay very near the front, keep your shoulders relaxed in the turns, trust your tires not your brakes, and stay near the front.
 

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someone said "sprint automattically out of every corner".

i'm not sure why this advice was given. every time you stand up to close a gap, when you're coming out of a corner, you're doing a little sprint-interval. if you are doing a 30 lap criterium, with 4 corners, that's 120 little sprint intervals that you've had to do. meanwhile, the guys that know how to corner have been sitting down all day, except when they've had to sprint to cover a move... they come to the line pretty fresh, while you've been spiking your heart rate and having to recover between every corner.

ideally you don't want to be getting out of the saddle, out of any corner. the better your cornering skill, the less you have to do this. i raced two criteriums on sunday, totalling 170 turns. i counted the times that i had to get out of the saddle coming out of a corner: twice. that's it. on top of that, i never lost a spot in a turn. the key is to brake before the corner, never during.

when i go around the corner first, i'd intentionally get out of the saddle to increase the speed quickly... this really puts more strain on the pack to close the gaps and increases the tiring "accordian effect". that is forces everyone else to get out of the saddle to get up to speed. but since you are the one dictating the pace at that moment, you can decide when to sit back down.

a problem that i see with people who don't really know how to corner, is that they always try to pass using the infamous "inside line". if you're in the pack, this is not only dangerous, but requires you to accelerate harder coming out the turn. i was certainly guilty of this last year... but i learned in the later part of the season, as well as over the winter that you should make any advances well before the corner. passing during the corner is stupid and well get you curbed. the other my first crit thread has some great information about blocking the guys who dive inside you. it's probably a little advanced...

and to state the obvious, you should aim to be in the top 10 or 15 going into every corner. the closer you are to the sharp end, the better off you'll be.
 
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