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Do any of you race for a team? What is your role? Do you work for other riders or do you ride for yourself? How do you manage your ego regarding sacrificing your individual results for your team mates? Are you ever the designated rider? That role comes with pressures, too. It's an interesting dynamic, for sure.
 

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If you get into racing then you should have a good idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are. Those facts manage the ego thing. I can't sprint but I would look like a complete jerk if I constantly whine that the team should put a lead out train together for the sole purpose of satisfying my top 20 ambitions. I'm not a pure climber either so it makes no sense to have the team focus on dragging me uphill when there are a half dozen or more teammates that can scamper up the steepest grades. I'd love to win sometime and, perhaps, I might one day be in a breakaway that sticks for that is my best option. It also likely has to happen in miserable hardman conditions as well hence, why I make certain to train in winter rain and wind rather than bolt into the trainer or take the day off.

The great thing about race results is that you either win, are on the podium, or you are just part of the peloton. Beyond the podium, 11th place or 38th place are the same. Watch a pro race - you never see some guy taking stupid risks or launching a mighty sprint to move up five spots in the back of the peloton. If you honestly have the lungs, legs, and brains to win races and you are being held down - look for another team. Or, focus on cyclocross as that is mostly an individual sufferfestr with very few, if any, team tactics.
 

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Good perspective. There is a certain satisfaction that comes with keeping the designated rider out of the wind, contributing to or delivering the lead out that puts him/her on the podium. It's a lot of hard work. Finding all the little positive things in a race is what makes a long season worth while. And, hoping for some bit of glory, one day, keeps me coming back.
 

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Racing on a team is hard, but it's a lot of fun. The team I was on was composed of some pretty decent time trialists, though I was generally regarded as the best time trialist on the team. I've always been an okay climber, but because of my size (my upper body is herculean compared to most racers), I've never really been able to attack very well on hilly races, unlike some of my teammates who could take off easily. Many of the flat races we did, I was the designated rider, along with 1 other guy and whoever had the better legs towards the end of the race got the support from the team. I've won a few races, I've finished in the peloton dozens more.

Oddly enough, I've always had a lot more fun putting hurt on the peloton for my teammates. A lot of us started in Triathlon before we actually got into Road Biking, hence the TT skills, but that also meant we were used to being in the wind, so we didn't really mind it. Ego was never really a problem on our team since we were friends before we even started racing together. After 2 years of racing, our primary sponsor went out of business, and since then we've rarely done a race together, though occasionally we do all get the chance to race together in our old kit, though we never really race to win anymore, just to put the hurt on others!

Regarding finishing 11th vs 38th, I definitely agree. I hate seeing other riders sprinting for 15th place, it's all the same unless you're in the top 5. That's how accidents happen.
 

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What category?

silver7 said:
Do any of you race for a team? What is your role? Do you work for other riders or do you ride for yourself? How do you manage your ego regarding sacrificing your individual results for your team mates? Are you ever the designated rider? That role comes with pressures, too. It's an interesting dynamic, for sure.
In many races, (less than Pro/1/2) you will find that team members functionally have only a couple of roles: don't chase down a teammate in a break and help make breaks that are good for the team. You won't see leadout trains or "burnoff" riders on big climbs. Much of what happens, particularly in US crits, is a lot more about staying near the front to capitalize on what unfolds. Lots of teams talk about their strategy for the race, but when they get out there, stuff happens.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
In many races, (less than Pro/1/2) you will find that team members functionally have only a couple of roles: don't chase down a teammate in a break and help make breaks that are good for the team. You won't see leadout trains or "burnoff" riders on big climbs. Much of what happens, particularly in US crits, is a lot more about staying near the front to capitalize on what unfolds. Lots of teams talk about their strategy for the race, but when they get out there, stuff happens.
Agree with Kerry as that's pretty much the rules in my club. One other thing you can do is counter attack when a teammates break is caught.

Supporting teammates can be great fun. Remember that your guy who's trying for the podium only has one measure of his success or failure in the race (did he make the podium or not), but as a support rider, you can talk about how many breaks you covered or ran down. Half the fun of racing is talking smack afterwards, and this stuff makes great grist for the mill.
 
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