Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Some thoughts from Tysons

I was talking to Jose Escobar after the 3/4 race and before his race and he started telling me about the differences between racing in the 1/2/3 this year versus racing in the 3s last year. It was some pretty interesting stuff as he was one of the top three most consistent finishers last year. Some notes:

1) The pace is way faster. There aren't lulls as we have had in the 3/4 races this year. Guys go to the front and drill it until someone else goes to the front and counters and this is repeated until a group gets away. This got me thinking about whether we're going about this attacking thing all wrong. Maybe we shouldn't be launching one person attacks and hovering off the front until the group decides to reel us back in (maybe this works in the 1/2/3 where guys are just that much stronger that they can ride away at 28+ mph from a lazy peloton). What if instead groups just went to the front and pacelined at a ridiculous pace (similar to the 7am Saturday ride on the parkway) until the weak were weeded out. Maybe teams aren't big enough to pull that off...I don't know.

2) He says that there is no love from anyone to let someone into the paceline. If you made a move off the front, it's either fight your way back into line up front or go all the way to the back. Nobody is giving up a wheel at that level. I can believe that.

Anyway, maybe we'll try that the next race...going to the front and setting a wicked pace to try to get people to work with you until your group rides off the front. Take people with you and your probably more likely to succeed than going off by yourself. Maybe the course dictates that though. Who knows.


1 comment:

Bryan Vaughan said...

Jesse, Jose is right, I think. A few thoughts. I looked at the race pics from Tysons Cat 3 last year before this year's race. You could see a stong group work off the front, including Jose. I don't think our race this year had that feeling of "quality". I was sick and sat in 'til the end. In future races, I wholeheartedly beleive that several strong riders can dictate a Cat 3/4 race.

One thing I differ slightly with Jose on is getting back into line. Going into and out of nearly every corner, the racing lines change enough to merge into position. In other words, if a single file pace line (really rare in our races) goes into a corner, it will usually break into 2 or 3 wide going in and coming out. Also, I find that there is almost always room to get into line on straights. In 1/2/3 races, this is less the case. Guys are better at holding positions at all times, if they want to.

At Walkersville masters RR, I got in a break by exactly the method Jose descibed to you. There were a bunch of jump attacks for a few laps that didn't stick. What did stick was when the pace got high enough that the field started to break up. 5 of us ended up on the front and we kept going. We stayed out for half the race after that. Lastly, in 1/2/3 at Tysons, the only break that was out for any length of time was a steady ride off the front. You can go back a year or two for sure in Cat 4 and Cat 3 to find any single rider who rode away from a race for more than 1 lap. Maybe one or two races where two riders did so. The big difference I see in the 1/2/3 races I've done so far is better awareness of getting a mix of riders off the front; and a willingness to stay out and not quit after 200 meters.

Good job at Tysons!