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Paddy Doran
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OTHER CYCLING : Coaching Advice : Paddy Doran Last Updated: 3 Jul 2021 - 9:39:51 AM

IMPROVE YOUR WINNING TACTICS
By Paddy Doran
11 Mar 2011,

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Two great big bunch finishes in Navan and in general races for these categories are more inclined to finish in bunch sprints.

Possible reasons for this might be,

Big bunches and shorter distance keeps riders fresh and hard to break away from A lack of experience in making breakaways and in driving the break to open the gap on the bunch

When the race ends in bunch sprints there are only a few riders capable of winning it and that is riders who are fast enough and experienced enough to survive to the last 200 metres and then drive to the line.

Tactics are simple for these races, if you have a big sprint and are confident of doing well in sprints work to having a bunch or group sprint finish.

If you have not been a consistently good sprinter its imperative that you make a breakaway if you wish to get results. Now bearing in mind that this description probably fits the majority of the bunch, this suggests that the racing needs to be more aggressive.

he pros driving a winning breakway along in the National championships

At the very least the non-sprinters need to be wearing down the sprinters for the finish to blunt their speed.

How is this achieved? By persistent attacks!. Now heres where we have to distinguish between jumps and attacks.

JUMPS

Jumping/attacking from the bunch getting a bit of a gap and then beginning to say a prayer that you will be caught soon as your legs are starting to hurt, is a jump!

ATTACKS

An attack is getting a gap and driving hard to open the gap preferably with other riders. This hurts particularly in the early kilometres as you strive to open the gap and others are chasing behind.

PERSISTANCE

This is where persistence determination and aggression plays a big part on the attackers part,. The attacking group should keep the pressure on until the chasing group catches them or the gap opens out. Then the pace only needs to be the same as the group behind to hold the gap. When going at full flight even a 50 metre gap is very difficult to close so if the breakaway keep riding at high speed sharing the pace only the stronger riders will get up to them.

Siobhan Horgan Keeping the pressure on in the National Road Race championships

What if there are riders sitting on the breakaway and not contributing to the pace?, this often happens in the early stages of breakaways when the speed is very high and just too high for some riders in the group. Its often best to ignore them until the a winning gap is opened between the breakaway and chasers then in most cases they will contribute. If not they should do the decent thing and not sprint at the finish.

So you missed the breakaway attempt what do you do? You can chase it down and maintain the status quo, which merely brings the entire bunch together again, a good solution if you can win bunch sprints, not a very good solution if you dont have a good sprint.

A better response for someone who is not likely to be successful in a bunch sprint is to shelter near the front of the bunch and leave the chasing to others then counter attack hard as the breakaway is brought back.

The simple question you must ask your self is am I more likely to be successful by Breaking away, or waiting for a bunch sprint? Then whatever the answer is DO IT!

Paddy Doran
Latest Headlines
Paddy Doran — R.I.P.
How to Recover and Get Major Benefits from the Ras
PEAKING FOR THE EASTER STAGE RACES
SAFE RACING
Deliberate Practice The Flanagan Brothers s Super Session

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