Article Hate those random wheelsuckers?....

andywood

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#2
I was chatting to GS Astuto's Tim about this the other day. As well as the aerodynamics up front people are starting to appreciate the role of drag behind. I reckon this will be the latest area of research innovation.

I first came to think about this when I was on Alp d' Huez for the 2004 individual TT. Last off was Armstrong. They had to get the whole convey of vehicles up the hill before the crowds started coming back down, so he had cars and bikes right up behind him. They seemed to be pushing him along...

One of the biggest implications is in a break in a race. Sometimes a man is sitting on the back of a break because his leader is in the main bunch. However just by sitting on the back he is helping the break.

There are also implications in a TTT. Sometimes riders drop off (ex. only 5 of 7 have to finish) but if they just sat on the back, they would help the team effort.



Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

FarEast

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#5
One of the biggest implications is in a break in a race. Sometimes a man is sitting on the back of a break because his leader is in the main bunch. However just by sitting on the back he is helping the break.
That's why anyone that knows their trade will get on the front and slow the peloton down.
 

andywood

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#6
Kiwisimon, the same goes for the 2 riders who set off before him too – Basso and Ullrich.
But from a pure “physics” stand point, Armstrong was aided by the vehicles behind.
This is not drafting either.
When a rider rides on his own, the wind swirls behind him. This “drag” pulls the rider backwards (ie. Reducing his forward momentum).
A similar situation occurred in the famous Lemond Vs. Fignon time trial on the last day in Paris. Lemond had all the aerodynamics up front. But Fignon, unbeknown to him, had the drag reduction advantage caused by the convoy riding behind.
Andy
www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

andywood

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#7
James,
Yes that is a tactic of choice. But we are talking of two different situations.
DS James: In your scenario, you have riders in the break. You don’t want them to get caught. So you order your other riders to block at the front of the peloton.
DS Andy: In my scenario. I have a man in the break. I want the break to get caught (or at very least minimize the damage to my leader who is in the peloton). So I order my man in the break to stay on the back of the break. I believe this way he is contributing nothing to the break. But by reducing the drag, he is making it easier for the other members in the break to stay clear.
Andy
www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

Trek DJ

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#8
I am sorry, but very rarely will a team actively slow down a chase. It is very frowned upon. 99% of the time thats a bullshit tactic and is 100% negative racing.
About the only time you will see it, and that its acceptable, is towards the end of a race and you a small group OTF or a solo break. The off the front riders teammates may DISRUPT the chase by disrupting the paceline.
That is about the only time you see it. Otherwise, thats a total rookie move.

@andy, interesting topic but I wonder if its affects are overstated. Nevertheless, always good to have a team member in the break for options, and having a worker up the road may be more valuable than the supposed advantage (if any) he is giving the break.
 

jecjec81

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#10
Don't have any problem with wheelsuckers as long as they can keep up - and besides, I met my first ever cycling buddy from playing cat and mouse/wheelsucking at Tamagawa cycling road (^^)v
 

kiwisimon

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#13
I am sorry, but very rarely will a team actively slow down a chase. It is very frowned upon. 99% of the time thats a bullshit tactic and is 100% negative racing.
Disagree, if it benefits the team it's not negative and it's up to the other teams to counteract it. Actively slowing a peloton can be as subtle as slowly easing up on the pulls, it's not dangerous and everyone knows whats going on. It's negative if you lose. Winners are grinners.
 

Malte

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#14
James,
Yes that is a tactic of choice. But we are talking of two different situations.
DS James: In your scenario, you have riders in the break. You don’t want them to get caught. So you order your other riders to block at the front of the peloton.
DS Andy: In my scenario. I have a man in the break. I want the break to get caught (or at very least minimize the damage to my leader who is in the peloton). So I order my man in the break to stay on the back of the break. I believe this way he is contributing nothing to the break. But by reducing the drag, he is making it easier for the other members in the break to stay clear.
Andy
www.jyonnobitime.com/time
Order your team member to ride upright/standing at the end of the break, that way they increase turbulence and drag for the break leader. Note that the simulations (in the paper) showing an advantage as minimal as 2.6% for 1cm distance and 56km/h speed - the effect for road races will be negligible.
 
Likes: jecjec81

Trek DJ

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#15
Disagree, if it benefits the team it's not negative and it's up to the other teams to counteract it. Actively slowing a peloton can be as subtle as slowly easing up on the pulls, it's not dangerous and everyone knows whats going on. It's negative if you lose. Winners are grinners.
So lets say you have another team on the front, full team. You would actively hop in their line and try to f-ck with their pulling? Why....I mean, how much will you actually gain by doing that? I can only think of a few instances where that would be OK etiquette wise.

Why not just sit behind their line and be ready to counter when/if your teammate is brought back?
 
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FarEast

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#17
I am sorry, but very rarely will a team actively slow down a chase. It is very frowned upon. 99% of the time thats a bullshit tactic and is 100% negative racing.
About the only time you will see it, and that its acceptable, is towards the end of a race and you a small group OTF or a solo break. The off the front riders teammates may DISRUPT the chase by disrupting the paceline.
That is about the only time you see it. Otherwise, thats a total rookie move.

@andy, interesting topic but I wonder if its affects are overstated. Nevertheless, always good to have a team member in the break for options, and having a worker up the road may be more valuable than the supposed advantage (if any) he is giving the break.
Sorry but you are wrong, Aquatama did this pretty much every race last season when they got a man away. Bullshit tactic? I think not its perfect legit... .Rookie move mate seriously it happens all the freakin time in the Pro Tour.

It was down to the other teams to take the lead and me and 3 other CS riders busted this up on the second stage of the Tour of Kumano and ended up bridging the gap.

Teams working for other teams will also do this in cross winds to allow an echelon to form and act as gate keepers until there is a sufficient gap to stop riders bridging.

Seriously mate, these aren't rookie moves but classics and used all the time.
 

FarEast

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#18
So lets say you have another team on the front, full team. You would actively hop in their line and try to f-ck with their pulling? Why....I mean, how much will you actually gain by doing that? I can only think of a few instances where that would be OK etiquette wise.

Why not just sit behind their line and be ready to counter when/if your teammate is brought back?
Riders do - watch the sprinters who's line has fallen apart or failed to form - Sprinters will actively jump sprint trains, Cavendish is the master of this. Sprint trains are messed up by other sprint trains that take the perfect line into corners or whom can read the wind direction and effectively calculate the drift. Single riders will not actively disrupt a train .... Now that SERIOUSLY is a rookie move and bloody dangerous.
 

Trek DJ

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#19
These articles sum it up nicely. We may or may not be having some issues in what we each call blocking.
Echelon riding, shutting the door, putting someone in the gutter are all legit.
Chasing down attacks, having riders sit on moves, also legit.
Yes, there is blocking, but its subtle and not overtly done.
Riding en masse on the front, slow pedaling, is not legit, and is rookie.

http://cyclingtips.com.au/2010/03/blocking/

Here, this is even more to the point:

"In the Peloton: The day is not over!
Blocking is perhaps the most misunderstood term in bicycle racing. If you have rider (s) up the road and a team wants to chase, then let them. If teams want to send attacks up the road, follow the attacks but do not work unless it benefits you and your team more than another team. Teams do not need to gather on the front of the peloton in an attempt to slow the race down. Sometimes you might be on the front and open a slight gap for a teammate who is trying to escape, but never get in the way of sporting competitors who want to chase or bring the break back. In the same breath, never use dangerous or “sketchy” riding to disrupt the flow of the race or slow racers down." - Jacob Fetty

http://www.dailypeloton.com/displayarticle.asp?pk=10694
 

FarEast

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#20
@Trek DJ actually I'm not talking about blocking and if you are going to quote then quote the whole part that is relevant:

"In the Peloton: The day is not over!

Blocking is perhaps the most misunderstood term in bicycle racing. If you have rider (s) up the road and a team wants to chase, then let them. If teams want to send attacks up the road, follow the attacks but do not work unless it benefits you and your team more than another team. Teams do not need to gather on the front of the peloton in an attempt to slow the race down. Sometimes you might be on the front and open a slight gap for a teammate who is trying to escape, but never get in the way of sporting competitors who want to chase or bring the break back. In the same breath, never use dangerous or “sketchy” riding to disrupt the flow of the race or slow racers down.

What you can do though is set a false pace or tempo on the front of the field where your competitors think you do not like the odds of your teammate in the break and are actually working to bring the break back. The reality is that you are not making time on the breakaway but rather allowing it to increase its gap on the peloton." - Jacob Fetty

Like I said riding on the front setting the tempo is not a rookie move.