Friday, March 25, 2011

Need Endgame

While I wasn't my well known attacking self, I did put in a few efforts. One was spiked by a rider who caught the break, sat on a turn then attacked us. This all on the first lap. At the time I thought "wow, that's not very smart" but I didn't really put too much into it cause something like that always happens on the first break. But looking through the pictures of PR the other night and having the context of the race in mind I can't help but notice that the very same rider a) appears to have done the same thing in another move and b) appears to have chased both my other two moves down.

I am not naming the rider, whom I know but not that well, and I doubt you'll be able to figure out who it is just from the pics (although it'd be interesting to know who you all assume it is!). And no it's not Andrew Martin, whom I assume you guys will pick because he is pretty active in the pictures (and in real life too!).

That said, I really wonder what the end game for a guy like that is. Maybe more to the point, I wonder how many riders at PR actually have an endgame. I get that everyone has different goals for the weekday series. And that ok! But it strikes me that this is often an excuse to just be sloppy. For a real life example: an attack goes up the road on lap one. A small group bridges across. You get across too. There is a gap to the field, but it's closing slowly. The section of the course you are on has a strong tailwind meaning it's the hardest part of the course to maintain the gap. On the otherhand, you are about to enter a section (the lollipop) that usually slows the field down and then into a headwind where the field will likely become disorganized. You also, having sat on the move that came across to the original attack, are fresh as a daisy.

What should you do? Well in this case the rider immediately attacked killing the break. Once alone he was caught before we got onto the headwind section. I don't see how this makes any real sense.

Was he riding for a result? Then I don't see how attacking the break in the first five minutes of the race made sense. Sure he felt good. Everyone feels good at the start of a race. Tactically speaking this is when the most number of people are willing to work for exactly that reason. You have to ask whether you can go solo for the rest of the race. Obviously the answer was no. He couldn't manage it for 200 more meters.

"But PruDog", says Ian Mensher, who is 20% of my readesrhip, "it's a training race!". Maybe he was just trying to get a workout! I hear you. Stil, how does getting in a break by sitting on and then attacking the break to go solo for 200 meters accomplish that?

If you think of it in terms of your endgame, rather than using "it's a training race as an excuse" it seems to me the optimal strategy here is to help the bridge (workout!), pull through at a pace the break can sustain ti maximize the gap to the field. Granted the break was unlikely to stick, but that changes nothing up to that point. The difference, to me, is that if you want a workout you attack once the break gets caught to see if you can reshuffle. If you are racing for a result you save energy and get re-absorbed near the front so you can join any dangerous moves.

A good example of this is Russy. I attacked after the second prime and he came with me. He mostly sat on as I bridged to Andy Luhn who was alone off the front then came through. He let the now 4 man break role once, decided we didn't have the horsepower to stick and stopped working. I disagree with his analysis but not his endgame based tactical decision based on that analysis.

What's my point? Well, mostly that I have too much time on my hands to blog. But also that racing smart at a training race maximizes your return over just using the training race as an excuse to do stupid stuff. And that White Dynamite needs a better post up.


At Friday, March 25, 2011 1:16:00 PM, Anonymous RobV said...

So its not Martin- I think I know who yer talking about. But seriously, too much time blogging...We'll let our legs do the talking now!

At Friday, March 25, 2011 1:49:00 PM, Anonymous UNICORN MASTER said...

Yes, PR is a training race. What for worlds at Seward and we'll show that if you want to attack the break on the first lap you better be Stangeland if you're gonna win.

At Saturday, March 26, 2011 8:23:00 AM, Blogger Andrew F Martin said...

post up at PR?


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