Monday, May 11, 2009

Fort Ritchie..and stuff.

3rd in the Cat III race.

Short story: made the break with Win (DCVelo - 1st), Gregg (Coppi - 2nd), and Steven (ABRT - 4th). We worked well together. The three of them seemed to be suffering less than I was during the break (even though they did more work than I did). With one to go, Win made the winning move on the little riser going into the turn 2. I followed Steven, who chased but didn't make it across. I gave it a go and was closing slowly, but didn't have it in the tank to go all the way...resorted to trying to out kick Gregg, who was on my wheel, for second but didn't pull it off. Podium and a prime (6 pack of Rockstar Energy drink...the guava is the best, but does weird things to your stomach if there is no food in there with it). Those guys are riding really well and it was cool to be in the break with them. Looking back, I should have gone with Win when he did. I knew that would be were the race would be won, but waited for Steven to react as opposed to going on instinct. Costly mistake. Win was the strongest on the day though, so it seemed right that he won.

Now about being in the break. How much does it suck not to make the break? I was thinking about that some yesterday and today and I got to realizing that it shuts down all your teammates from "racing". If you got someone up the road, your role switches to "cover the front", "block a little" (just not enough to really be annoying), "go with guys who try to bridge across", and essentially be a royal pain in the @ss for all the teams that didn't make the break...but you don't really get to "race" for the win. I compare Ft. Ritchie (which I went into with the intention of going up the road) to Carl Dolan (which we had the strategy of keeping it together to give Brandon a shot at winning the sprint) and I got to say that I enjoyed Dolan better. I wonder how it would work out if you combined the two into one...say as an example:

You save your sprinter and lead out guy for the finish. Everybody else tries to go up the road individually and establish a break with the other "strong" men of the peloton. Once the group has been established for a couple of laps/miles they sit on, killing the vibe of the break, and let the pack catch back up. Once the leaders are caught, you send another guy up the road to repeat the same actions until all the "strong" guys have been tuckered out...leaving the odds better at the finish for your leadout/sprinter duo. Dirty tactics? Sloppy racing? I'd have to defer to those who have been in the game longer to know what the ethics on that kind of strategy would be. Personally, I think it would be pretty cool to orchestrate and pull it off. Seems like it would work too in theory.

Next race is going to be the CSC (or whatever they're calling it now) 1/2/3 after 10 days in Italy with Kari. One of the many highlights of this trip is going to be catching stage 13 of the Giro as it rolls through Lucca (we're staying there for 2 days). I'll try to take pictures, but the Italian wine and food might get in the way. :)

Cheers..

7 comments:

fabsroman said...

Saving a sprinter and leadout man for the sprint is a team's ace in the hole. If the other guys on the team cannot get into an established break, the sprinter and leadout man are there for the chance at the win if it comes down to a field sprint. Nothing dirty about that. What sucks is getting somebody from your team into the break only to have the break get caught with a lap or two to go. If you have no sprinter in reserve, what happens then?

As far as the use of "racing" is concerned, why isn't the team "racing" for the win when it has somebody in the break? My view is that the teams that aren't racing for the win are the ones that don't have anybody in the break when the break has one heck of a gap on the field. If you are in the break, your teammates behind you might not be individually racing for the win, but they are definitely racing for the team win.

Greg said...

Prior to the race I was sure that this was the kind of breakaway that was going to happen and have the best chance to succeed. But if I had been in it, I would have been really nervous about having you in it since Jose was badgering me all week on FB that he was going to win so I thought you'd be just fucking up the rotation and all that. I'm glad you decided to work the break and go for the win yourself. Congratulations!

Kyle Jones said...

You guys worked your asses off i am sure. Not easy. If you are actively trying to shut down an attempt to have a team mate who has a good shot at the win it is fun. It is tiring. That is what racing is. There is no perfect formula. Only a few guys would work at trying to catch you guys. If it was like the 1,2,3's more guys would have been up there digging in and it would have made my and others work useless. We would have had to sit in and the counter.

Congrats on your third. You are doing better than me so far this year.

GamJams said...

I dunno - seems to me that if you've got a guy able to get into a break with the strong men of the peloton, the better odds are on him in a 4 or 5-up sprint, rather than asking him to give it up to give your sprinter a chance against 30 or 40. Too many things can go wrong in a sprint. Depends on the guy and on the break, but asking any guy to sabotage any break that looks like it could go the distance is a lot to ask at this level. Go Team and all that, but if I'm in the winning move, damned if I'm not trying to stay there. Because I'm on the Team too.

goyo said...

Jesse, don't worry about us you worked every race so hard for us that I was so happy for you been in the break. That's why I love this team because we work together and you deserved it. NEXT ME...
Jose

fabsroman said...

Mike,

I agree with you completely. A man in a break is a guaranteed top X. For example, in a 5 man break it is a guaranteed 5th place with only positives from there. However, ask Jose about how Route 1 did their Cat 4 sprints last year. If a team can set up a sprinter correctly, it usually ends up in a pretty good result. You just need a lot of coordination.

Jose,

There are no guarantees on race day. Sometimes you end up being the man and sometimes you don't.

Jesse said...

Agreed on setting up the sprint. We're pretty dedicated this year to setting someone up at the end for a shot at the finish.

One R1V vs 5 others in a break or the entire R1V "train" vs the field...which one would your rather bet on?


Unfortunately this year, betting to "place" or "show" has been where the good money is. Hopefully that will change soon.