Old 06-21-19, 06:52 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Waterloo, WI
Posts: 27

Bikes: Trek Emonda SL, Trek Boone 7 Disc, Trek Superfly 6, and (waiting to be born) Trek Madone 9

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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Second, learn to take wheels. It is infinitely easier to take a wheel than defend one. Therefore do not try to defend wheels as much as take them. I can defend a wheel pretty ferociously but it requires very dirty riding and I'll lose the wheel in a minute or two of very intense battle, and probably make a lot of enemies doing it. In contrast I can take a wheel in about 15 seconds, gently, smoothly, with no choice on the other rider's part. Learn to take wheels rather than trying to defend your spot.

The trick to taking wheels is to back into the spot. If you want to take Rider A's wheel, get up sort of next to or slightly behind him, then move over a bit. Start with your knuckles about 1" from A's hip (small Sphere makes this possible). Then sort of drift back a bit while your knuckles move so that they're close to his rear wheel plane. You've only moved over about 6" but there's virtually no way someone can keep you off A's wheel. This is one of the absolute secret to racing effectively. It's mindblowing how effective this move is, how impossible it is to defend against it, etc. I have a couple hundred pages of racing tactic stuff written down but if I condensed it to one page this concept would stay on it.
I've had this explained to me before, but I still have a hard time doing it. What do you do about the person whose spot you are trying to take that cries out "on your left (or right)"? I don't want to cause a crash, but should I let them crash? I know if they crash it is their fault, because if they have time to call out then I have made my intentions clear to them and they have had time to react, and they reacted by crying out and expecting me to move out of their bubble! Still, I usually back off. Is it just a matter of my not being mister nice guy anymore? Or is this just a lack of confidence on my part?
This was notorious in the cat.4/5's here, and it is the reason I upgraded to a 3. I rarely hear it in the out of state cat.3 races that I do, but I still hear it often in the local cat.3/4 fields. I have never heard it in the P/1/2/3 races that I have done, but of course there it is those guys taking my spot!
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