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.