Cycling Race Tactics - Use the wind
Cycling Race Tactics in Windy Weather
Cycling race tactics in contrary wind is easy to describe but yet so hard to do in practice. It is not an advantage to attack by yourself or perhaps two riders in a side wind, if immediately afterwards there is a section with contrary wind. It costs energy and strength creating a gap between you and your opponents and the contrary wind will result in that your offensive will be even tougher. Use your strength with caution.
Many cycling race tactics are available for you to use so try to think ahead. If you know that a piece of road with cross wind is approaching attempt to push forward as much as possible before this section of road. However, you must not be so far forward that you are sitting in contrary wind at the front. Sometimes this can be necessary for you to 'survive' the next piece of road with cross wind.
If you have to do exactly this in a cross wind, then you should not set the tempo. You should be among the first to cycle around the bend, and when the cross wind arrives, then you leave the work to those who have been sitting in your shelter. You should still be in touch and keep towards the shelter side. In this way you create the most optimal position for yourself if or when the speed is set high during the cross wind. You may even be so lucky to place yourself as a door man just behind the 10 riders, who set a high speed in the side wind.
Cycling Race Tactics Counter Attack in Windless Weather
A classic way to attack is to be offensive just after other riders have tried an offensive. It is like attacking after a sprint. The peloton is often disorganized and the ones who have just attempted an offensive are tired and this can gives you the necessary head start.
A good tactic is to sit a little behind the front and just sit there in position 15 and ride with the peloton when people attack. You must not attack or close a gap to those who are attacking. You sit right behind where things are happening and patiently wait for the right moment, when you can attack. Wait until many have attempted before you attack on windless days. When you begin an offensive you are fairly fresh in relation to the others and your chances of getting into a breaking away with other riders are greater.
Cycling Race Tactics with a strong tail wind
Are you in a group and you are approaching the end of the race you should assess your strength in relation to the group. If you already know that a strong tail wind will be there and you feel that you still have a little energy, a good road cycling tactic isto make an attack just before the tail wind.
In the actual tail wind you will be able to maintain a high speed, even if you are on your own, as the wind assists you. If you do not have a lot of energy, then you can use another brilliant road cycling tactic of pricking another rider in the group before your attack. Let him know you will attack when he looks at you. In this way, you will be two riders together in the tail wind when he follow you on your attack.
This tactic is especially suitable for good tempo riders. Tempo riders have the ability to maintain a high tempo on high gears on their own. This is exactly the ability, which is required in a strong tailwind. It is even an advantage for a tempo rider to attempt with this particular tactic, as tempo riders are not often as strong in a sprint. The tempo rider should always try to get to the finish line by himself, if he is in a group. It is a matter of making use of your strengths.
Set high speed in a cycling race when there is cross wind
If there is a lot of wind, then the wind can be utilized as a helping hand in an attempt to attack.The wind can be tough to ride in and particularly in this situation it can be hard to sit in the peloton with many riders.
It is important for you who wish to use the wind as your partner that you have selected a point on the route, where you know the wind will come in from the side. Utilize the side wind by riding quickly at the front of the peloton or the group you want to split.
Your speed should be high. Therefore it is a good idea to have an agreement with other riders in the peloton to ride quickly at this location. Perhaps you are a part of a group or riding for a team where you are several riders starting off in the same bike race. When you are several riders with the same objective the speed can be set higher than if you are on your own trying to get others to work with you. Approximately the 10 first riders should take leads and a single rider who is the door man.
A door man is a rider, who sits right behind the 10 leaders by the curb. This rider’s job is to prevent other riders in moving up towards the 10 leaders. This is precisely the reason that you should go at such a speed, so a gap is made behind the door man down to the following riders. In this way you form a leading group of approx. 10 riders plus the door man.
Use the wind to your advantage in a smaller group
You can use the following technique in a competitive situation, if you are sitting in a smaller group and there is a lot of wind.
In a group of riders who are competing, it is normal to share taking the lead in strong winds. But as the race develops, some riders gradually become tired and some might not even take their share of leading. At this time, it is again necessary for a separation process in the group.
Hopefully you will be one of the riders who have a little left in the tank. If this is the case, you should prick another rider on the leg and signal that you intend to attack. You ought to either attack in side wind or on a hill and preferably if both aspects can be combined. With a few facial expressions and gesticulations you should make the rider you are pricking aware that you intend to attack. Again it would be wise to select a rider to be a support after the attack, and pricking a rider you think you could beat in a possible finish.
You should make this assessment whether it is the leading group or a secondary group you are sitting in. Every time you will be that much wiser. You will be two riders together who pushed forward after the actual offensive and at most 1-2 other riders. This is a guaranteed way of dividing a group into smaller units.
The point of this tactic is that you ought to be the initiator of this division, no matter if you are the strongest or perhaps one of the weakest in the group. If you take the initiative, the chances are bigger that you are one of the leaders when the group is split. You can always reassess the situation in relation to which riders are sitting there and how you feel, when you actually sit among the leaders.