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Old 07-25-19, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
This is a question that I have studied pretty intensely. After I was criticized here on the 33 for participating in a bunch sprint when I was a lap done. I mainly do weeknight local crits. They do not pull riders. You can keep going until your heart's content. For example last night, I most have lapped one of the racers 5 times.

As mentioned above, if you are in back of the field (i.e. the largest group of riders), you may not help someone that is lapping you. I.e. you can't fall off the back of the field to help your teammate in the breakaway. If you are left in the race (i.e. not pulled), you are allowed to race. There are no restrictions.

Having said that, if you are lapped, you may get yelled out to go to the back. And other racers may get upset at you. For example, I've seen many times where I'm off the back with a small group. And the breakaway guys come around, and someone in our groupetto jumps onto the break. And other guys yell at them to stop. It's not against the rules to jump onto the break. It would be against the rules to help that break.

It also depends on if people like you are not. I was roundly criticized for getting being the 10th sprinter in a group sprint, being a lap down, on a weeknight B crit. However another person in this forum was a lap down in the state championship crit, fully participated and finished something like 3rd in the sprint, and you didn't hear a peep from a single person in the forum. I'll let you do the math on that one.

As a group of 4 riders in last night's crit, we were the field. The motivation for dropping the rider was two-fold: 1) we wanted to bridge up to the 2 riders ahead, but not bring him with us, and 2) we are fighting for every spot in the standings, because this is a team series race and a jackpot awaits the team that wins, and we are in first. And lastly, it was good practice for us to work together. I had never been in a situation like that. So it made it interesting and fun. And he ended up being the rider that had lapped me, but then I lapped back later. So I passed him in the standings. And plenty of other teams have used the same tactic on us.
Fair enough. That would seem to warrant riding as you did. As you mention, what is considered acceptable is fluid and depends on the level of the race and the status in the pecking order of the riders involved. For instance, even if I went a lap down, it would be expected of me to be involved in the finish if a team mate were a lap up. Even if I didn't have a team mate, I might elect to string it out in the final laps just to keep the pace high and keep it safe. On the other hand, if you are in a break you might elect to slow it down to so you don't lap -- maybe you don't have team mates in the field or you would prefer a less confusing finish.

One of the interesting things about cycling is the constant push and pull between "what is allowed" and "what you should do" and "what you can get away with" -- all of which is filtered through the perceived status of the rider. Is it a good idea to drive it hard up the inside before corners in a crit? It's legal but it'll earn you a bad rep making it harder for you in the future. However, if you do it cleanly and safely on the last corner, no one will bat an eye -- it's just part of the game and it's the other riders fault for being too slow or failing to close off the inside line. So it just all depends.
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