Secrets for riding in the Peloton - http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12706529&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

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Secrets for riding in the Peloton.
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RobG100
Following my first race, I realise riding in the Peloton is harder than it seems, true you get far less drag and lots of shelter. However at corners I'm finding it hard not to get dropped off the back. I was at the back for the majority of the race and it was hard to catch up again after corners. I'm told that I need to try and get as far forward as possiblle, since the corners will have less effect. Any tips for me?

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8673sharp
Something I find is having the b@lls to just hold my postion regardless of the people around me. Dont be too put off by the closeness either. Also the people making the most noise about you doing the wrong thing are the ones struggling the most. On the flipside I like to think Im a big enough man to hold my hand up if Ive done something wrong Embarassed
Definitely get as close to the front as you possibly can. If your riding a circuit race you wil soon know when the corners are approaching and be ready to sprint out of them as well. Finally pick races that suit your style. I tried a crit and got my head kicked in!!! (normal road races and TTs for me from here on!)

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fastercyclist
Look further ahead.

If you look at the person in front of you, you react when they do + a lag period.

If you're ready as soon as the guy at the very front sprints out of the corner then you've got a big enough advantage to stay on.

Also to be blunt, being a bit of a dick helps as well. If people let gaps develop and its safe to move in, take it. Too many people think racing is being nice and riding around in a big group, when really you want to get rid of as many enemies as you can before the line.

If you do find yourself towards the back, never be in a position where you're relying on one persons wheel to keep contact with the peloton. Always be ready and able to switch to a different slipstream quickly.

If, for whatever reason you find yourself off the back and are closing to make contact with the group slipstream again, get as areo as you can. As soon as you hit the group slipstream, your extra-areo position will glide you back into contact with the back wheel. Saves a bit of effort. Do it if you find yourself losing touch too. It always surprises me to see people getting dropped before they've even tried to get areo to compensate for having less strength.

Having an aggressive mindset also helps, since if you're thinking of sprinting out of a certain corner on the circuit you can bet several other people are thinking the same thing so you wont be taken by surprise.

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acidstrato
the first thing I learnt from crit racing was there is no room in the main bunch for being nice and courteous. It gets you nowhere

keep yourself safe and do what you need to do without endangering others. Beyond that its all tactics and the right frame of mind. But if you find yourself dropping off, dont wait just act on it before its too late

Crafted in Italy apparantly
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genki
Here's something I've never really figured out - it's very easy to slip backwards in the peloton, paticularly if you're a more cautious rider. Likewise it's harder to move up inside the peloton. I find I drift further and further backwards until I'm right at the back. Then, when it's safe enough and the road's open I'll go up the outside and cut in at/near the front, or go off the front to see if anyone follows or the pack speeds up. Once back in the pack, the backward drift starts again. Does anyone else find themselves rotating around like this?

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Pokerface
genki wrote:
Here's something I've never really figured out - it's very easy to slip backwards in the peloton, paticularly if you're a more cautious rider. Likewise it's harder to move up inside the peloton. I find I drift further and further backwards until I'm right at the back. Then, when it's safe enough and the road's open I'll go up the outside and cut in at/near the front, or go off the front to see if anyone follows or the pack speeds up. Once back in the pack, the backward drift starts again. Does anyone else find themselves rotating around like this?



I have had the same experience.

Always at the back - and afraid to move up. Then - rushing around the outside to get to the front - only to wear myself out and be spat out the back again.

Recently - not sure if it's an increase in fitness or confidence, but I've been riding at the front as much as possible. Finishing races either in the bunch or sprinting for spots.

I try and stay on the wheel of the guy who is RIGHT in the front. That gives me the most room to fall back a few places without getting spat out the back.

I don't let people cut in front of me if I can. Anticipate where changes in speed might happen. DON'T go around the outside to get from back to front as you'll be out in the wind and using up valuable energy. SLOWLY move up in the bunch.

Try not to get stuck on the inside behind slower moving riders. If the pack jumps and you're stuck - you'll go backwards.

And most important - get fitter!!! It's easier to stay in there if you have the fitness to do so!


Good luck and stick with it. Since the first time I managed to stick with the bunch, I haven't been dropped and my riding has improved greatly.

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dreamlx10
Quote:
riding in the Peloton


Don't you mean the "Bunch"

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RobG100
dreamlx10 wrote:
Quote:
riding in the Peloton


Don't you mean the "Bunch"


Same thing? The Peloton is the large group of people riding together...

Anyways guys, thanks for the tips, I'll try to put some of them into effect the next time I race.

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softlad
RobG100 wrote:


Same thing? The Peloton is the large group of people riding together...

Anyways guys, thanks for the tips, I'll try to put some of them into effect the next time I race.


It's 'bunch'.

'peloton' is for pseuds that say 'bidon' rather than 'bottle' - and 'chapeau' instead of 'nice one'... Wink

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Pokerface
It's only a peloton if you're getting paid to ride in it.


Or if you're racing in France. Cool

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dulldave
Nice bit of inverted snobbery guys. If you hear it called the peloton on the telly then it's pretty natural to presume that everyone calls it that.

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Pokerface
Yes, which is why we were gently putting the OP right. Not snobbery at all. Just a little fun.

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SteveR_100Milers
genki wrote:
Here's something I've never really figured out - it's very easy to slip backwards in the peloton, paticularly if you're a more cautious rider. Likewise it's harder to move up inside the peloton. I find I drift further and further backwards until I'm right at the back. Then, when it's safe enough and the road's open I'll go up the outside and cut in at/near the front, or go off the front to see if anyone follows or the pack speeds up. Once back in the pack, the backward drift starts again. Does anyone else find themselves rotating around like this?


Yes, but for me it's only a single cycle to contend with... Very Happy

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Italiano
Just be patient and take part at more races; experience matters a lot.

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racingcondor
I found myself drifting back a lot in my first few races (scared of coming within 18 inches of anyone), 18 month on it's (mostly, you can't control everything) only if I'm letting it happen or I've given everything I can and know I won't be competing the sprint.

Race more and you'll start to get a feel for the flow of the bunch then when a movement starts you can usually put yourself in it if you want. It's also easier to hold your position once you're comfortable riding 2 inches from the person next to you instead of backing off before they get close. Experience in a race situation makes a lot of difference.

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Thick Tester
RobG100 wrote:
Any tips for me?

Ask yourself what is stopping you from holding a wheel? Being on a bad wheel or being plain soft are the most likely causes.
Press harder on the pedals and stick your elbows out - If you believe that you will get dropped then you more than often will! Or even better ride off the front and let them do the chaising...

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Pross
softlad wrote:
RobG100 wrote:


Same thing? The Peloton is the large group of people riding together...

Anyways guys, thanks for the tips, I'll try to put some of them into effect the next time I race.


It's 'bunch'.

'peloton' is for pseuds that say 'bidon' rather than 'bottle' - and 'chapeau' instead of 'nice one'... Wink


i.e. most of the pro race forumites, I hate people saying chapeau but don't mind the use of French racing terms so much but the thing I race in is a bunch, peloton just seems to grand for what I do - we'll be riding echelons in cross winds at this rate Shocked Laughing

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stfc1
Pross wrote:
I hate people saying chapeau but don't mind the use of French racing terms so much but the thing I race in is a bunch, peloton just seems to grand for what I do - we'll be riding echelons in cross winds at this rate Shocked Laughing


Okay, I'll bite: assuming a bunch in an amateur UK race could form an echelon, what else would you suggest we call it? Wink

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maryka
A few more tips:

-- if you're off the back and you have to work hard to get back on, don't just get back on the back again, MOVE UP even though you're completely knackered from the effort to get back. If you sit up once you've made contact and just sit there catching your breath, you'll have to do it all over again after the next surge. If you're in any doubt that you might get dropped you need to constantly MOVE UP every chance you get. That goes doubly if you're a crap climber or descender, you need to spend the effort to move up before the climbs to have any hope of hanging on to the bunch afterwards.

-- keep an eye out for the guy that makes the big move from back to front of the bunch and jump on his wheel as he comes by (safely of course). That's the best way to make up 20+ spots in a hurry for the least amount of energy. You don't have to ride it all the way to the front if things suddenly string out, you can slip into the side of the bunch unnoticed a lot of times.

-- don't be that guy who decides to move up alongside the bunch, gets near the front and decides "whoa this is way too much work" and then motions to be let in at 5th wheel. This will make you NO friends and will just annoy everyone around you. And don't be that guy who hits the front and immediately dials it back 5mph for fear of "doing too much work on the front". Man up, ride a bit at the same pace then someone will eventually come around you. There's a knack to moving up the bunch, watch what other riders do and imitate that if you can. If done right, you can move up and silently slip into 4th or 5th wheel without anyone really noticing. If you change the bunch's speed or can't hold your line or have to motion to be let in because you stopped halfway up the bunch, that's what will get you shouted at (and rightfully so).

-- anticipate what's going to happen before it happens. Bunch slowing down, riders getting impatient etc. means an attack might go soon. As someone else said, watch the wheels way ahead of you rather than the one directly in front. In a road race, anticipate street furniture, oncoming cars, corners, etc. so you're ready for their effect on the bunch. Get to know where the wind is coming from on circuits so you can plan which side to be on every lap.

-- hold your position calmly but firmly. Don't let gaps open up in front of you, don't lose your line going around corners, don't get bullied around. Holding your position takes a lot of mental effort and concentration, even more than the physical effort of racing sometimes.

-- start planning where you want to be for the finish at least a mile before the finish in a road race, or several laps before the finish in a circuit race. Don't wait for the bell lap to start moving up from 40th spot to top 10, barring a major miracle it's not going to happen!

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RobG100
Cheers, thanks for that. I think my problem is that I am too cautious, and that I need to attack more rather than just relying on somebodies wheel.


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