Track racing tactics.

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Track racing tactics.

Postby tuco » Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:28 am

Only been riding track for about 2 moths but I thought I'd give the Townsville Cup a crack but I'm after some advice.

We train one evening a week and race on another. In the early races I was 50 - 60 metres behind the winners (C grade). I've lost about 3kg and improved my fitness to the point where I finish in the lead bunch and there's only a bike length between 1st and 5th. So what's wrong with that you ask? Tactics is the answer. I'm always coming from the back of the field and sprinting past riders to get into that lead bunch finish.
I have the stamina to keep up for up to 15 laps and I have the finishing sprint but I'm having trouble getting myself into a tactically good position at the start of the last lap. I believe if I can get myself into a good position before the sprint then I'll be able to chalk up my first track race will. It'll show there riders half and a third of my age that over weight middle aged men are to be respected - well on the track anyway.

I've learnt that being on the inside down the back straight is pointless when there's 8 in a race and I have to wait for them half the field to past before I can start my sprint.

Are there any experienced track riders out there who can give a little advice on where it is good to be positioned on the start of the last lap or down the back straight in the different types of races?
I think we can do better. I KNOW we can do better.
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by BNA » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:04 pm

BNA
 

Postby alchemist » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:04 pm

Hmm no one wants to give away their secrets.

Tactics is the answer, but they'll take a lot longer than a couple of months to learn.

Knowing the other riders strengths and weaknesses helps too, if you're racing the same guys week in week out might be worth while just sitting back a bit one week and watch the sprint unfold in front of you. Work out who likes to go early, who goes late. Getting up to the front and doing a hard lap turn might drop off a strong sprinter with poor endurance).

Alex or Beanzy might be along shortly to offer more tips

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Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:39 pm

Well, you've already answered your own question: so what are you going to do to make sure you're in a better position to contest the sprint?

Are you watching the other races to see what the leading riders do to get a good position?

Are you going into a race with a plan in mind, or do you just mindlessly roll out there and wait for the last lap or so?


Not wanting to prick your balloon but there is a big BIG difference in being fast at the pointy end of the field and being fast following the vacuum the leading riders create. Chalk and cheese in fact.

What are your strengths and weaknesses relative to the field?
Which of those are you going to use to your advantage?

If you aren't a sprinter, then you gotta do something to either get rid of them or be far enough in front that their superior finish can't catch you.

if you are a sprinter, then you have more options, especially if you are aerobically fit.


fake attacks to draw riders out.

move up the line on the outside (or on your way back from doing a turn) and find someone that will let you in.

push your way in (legally)

work with a team mate

if limited laps to go and you're on the front but don't want to either lead it all the way home (cause you'll just get rolled) or swing up and end up at the back of the line, then put in an attack but make it short and sweet, long enough to create a gap mid pack which you can quickly slot yourself into. Then the pace is high and you have a handful of riders leading you out.

or just ride tempo but be ready to jump onto the wheel that goes around you as they get itchy with the pace easing gradually.

or absolutely blast for the line with everything you've got and see if you can surprise them.

just basically get out there and try stuff.
track racing is about skill, superior fitness and race craft.
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Postby Beanzy » Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:51 pm

My 20c in addition to Alex an Alchemist.

Please note i am no expert just enjoy track racing.

If found i had to

1. observe other races
2. observe my own race
3. observe other riders in the race
4. identify my own strenthgs
5. identify my weaknesses
6. identify other riders strength and weaknesses
7. Adapt above for the different types of races
8. Sometimes its all about postioning
9. Get yourself into a good postion to use your strengths
10. Do your postioning legally.
11. Differnt tracks require different tactics. eg Dunc Grey has different tactics to say a flat 400m outdoor track
12. Enjoy.....
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Postby tuco » Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:43 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Well, you've already answered your own question: so what are you going to do to make sure you're in a better position to contest the sprint?

Are you watching the other races to see what the leading riders do to get a good position?

Are you going into a race with a plan in mind, or do you just mindlessly roll out there and wait for the last lap or so?

Not wanting to prick your balloon but there is a big BIG difference in being fast at the pointy end of the field and being fast following the vacuum the leading riders create. Chalk and cheese in fact.

Yes watching other races. Yes going into a race with a plan. So far I have been fast at the pointy end without drafting which is why I need to get better position.
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:fake attacks to draw riders out.

move up the line on the outside (or on your way back from doing a turn) and find someone that will let you in.

push your way in (legally)

work with a team mate

if limited laps to go and you're on the front but don't want to either lead it all the way home (cause you'll just get rolled) or swing up and end up at the back of the line, then put in an attack but make it short and sweet, long enough to create a gap mid pack which you can quickly slot yourself into. Then the pace is high and you have a handful of riders leading you out.

or just ride tempo but be ready to jump onto the wheel that goes around you as they get itchy with the pace easing gradually.

or absolutely blast for the line with everything you've got and see if you can surprise them.

just basically get out there and try stuff.
track racing is about skill, superior fitness and race craft

That's the sort of info I'm after.

I love the tactics of these races. Even between races I'm watching the higher grades to see who is where on the last lap and where they finish.
I think we can do better. I KNOW we can do better.
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Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:34 pm

tuco wrote:So far I have been fast at the pointy end without drafting which is why I need to get better position.
Then you also need to learn how to win from the front. How to keep a rider on the hip, how to know back off the pace momentarily forcing them up track so you keep them high and wide, depends a bit on the type of track.

If behind you need to learn how to create a gap and run at a wheel and not get stuck sucking it too closely in the last 150-200 m. Otherwise tactic above will come into play and you'll be the one stuck high and on the hip.
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Postby tallywhacker » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:13 am

have a look here. A bit of useful tatical info
Ever since the vasectomy...I mostly ride fixed.
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