Moderator: Moderator Team
I can think of 3 phenomena that happen towards the end of a race (in my experience):
1. Sometimes there are teams that have experience and organization and know how to surge to the front in a mass at the proper time. If you are not part of a team, your only defense is to sense when it is starting and sort of follow or imbed yourself in the group surging. Of course the group will be trying to block you from doing that.
2. Even without organized teams, the strong sprinters get to know each other and watch each other, so you get the same surge effect as the strong riders sense it is time to move up for the sprint. Again, you only defense is to also sense the timing and fight for position.
3. As a bunch sprint approaches, even in the lowest amateur ranks, some riders get incredibly aggressive to the point of wild and dangerous. So if you really want to be toward the front you have to be willing to bump shoulders and elbows and bully your way to the front and protect your position very aggressively. I guess that's why I never liked bunch sprints! Make sure you have some gauze pads an Neosporin in your car for after the inevitable crashes. Statistically speaking, you are sure to see some.