Moderator: Moderator Team
obviously course notes and elevation come into play, as well as relative strengths, weaknesses, whos good and whos not....
how early/ late do you plan race startegyu? the night before? the week before? make it up on the fly?
if u recognize strong dudes, try to stay with strong dudes if u can.
other than that, just try to cross the finish line before all the other guys
2) What kind of events are you contesting?
I do most of my planning 3-1 days prior to the event . You'll want an easy day or two to recover from training, so that's the most important part of your initial planning- that, and scouting the course. There's no point in over-planning since the race itself is so fluid. Look at Gilbert; a year ago, everyone knew his tactic would be to sit-in and just attack on the Cauberg, and that's a pro-level plan. Eat right, know the course, stay near the front, try to be first.
If solo, I would say recon the course, check weather the night before, try to figure out where the obvious challenges are on the course, and have all of your gear/papers/bike packed, prepped, and tuned the night before, and be well-versed in the particular course rules and stewards' plans. Day-prior nutrition should be common-sense; starches, limited fiber, avoid heavy grease, favor foods with polyunsaturated fats.
In terms of strategy, it should go without saying that you should follow a tapered program in the days before your event. There's no point in taking the start sore or exhausted when you can easily avoid it.
If you have a team, focus on the basics; what are your team mates' strengths, who has the best fitness at the moment, are you going to protect a rider or just try to stay together.
Road race or crit? The road race would require more recon and planning/strategy. In the crit, stay on the front, period. The crit also rewards day-prior recon of the course. If you're going to dodge the same manhole covers and frost heaves 20-60 times, you should be very familiar with their locations. Also, since crits favor momentum, try to find the best (safe) lines through the turns. Since any car can dump it's entire oil pan on a city road at any time, getting a look at the road surface the day prior and morning of your crit is big.
- know who are the stronger riders
- get in the winning move
- chase down any breaks that a team member isn't in
- slow down the other riders in the main or chasing group
- take turns attacking the break and sitting in if two or more of you are in a break near enough to the finish for a solo move to work
2) Check where the wind is coming from
3) Know how the race played out in previous years
4) Know your strengths/weakness (and teammates)
From there I basically make up a strategy based on what I know. I'm more of a diesel type rider, so if there is a short steep hill, I know that I want to be at the front to minimize my movement backwards into the peloton. If I know there is wind coming from the right side, I want to hide on the left. Along with that is team strategy, knowing the other riders, etc.
Other than that do what everyone else is saying; stay at the front, cover moves, pedal the least and then the hardest.
With 20 minutes to go, I like to maneuver to the front so that with 15-10 minutes to go, I can launch an attack. It generally fails, at which point I like to seek out the strongest riders, get on their wheel, and prepare for the sprint.
Unless of course, my teammate's on a flyer. In which case, it's block, distract, and block.
Those are crits.
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