"Pretty Damn Quick"
Unless you are a sprinter you will probably want to try and get away from the bunch, either by yourself or with a handful of other non-sprinters, to try and win a sprint from a smaller group to win the race. Most of the tips listed below enable you to get the maximum gap ahead of the bunch for the minimum effort. This will give you the best chance of staying away from the bunch.
Here are PDQ Cycle Coachings’ top 10 tips on how to launch the perfect race attack.
1. When to launch your attack
The element of surprise is key to the perfect attack. Catch your opposition unawares; pick a lull in the action to make your move away from the bunch or counter-attack when everyone is tired.
2. Get a team-mate to launch you
If you have team-mates in the race, get one of them to tow you to the front of the bunch and drive it hard. They can swing over and let you continue with the attack while they return to the bunch. This will save you the effort of making the initial gap on the bunch.
3. Solo attacks
If you are attacking solos think about how you will perform your move. When launching your attack give the rest of the bunch as little time to react to your move, but also enough time for you to gain momentum to escape the bunch.
4. Use a Tail-wind
Use the wind to your advantage. Think of the wind direction when you launch your attack. One tactic is to attack just before a tail-wind section, this will enable you to get a good gap before the next head-wind section.
5. Use a Cross-wind
Attack in a cross-wind and use the shelter of the bunch to get your initial first gap.
6. Gearing selection
Subtly change your gears, so not to alert the bunch. Select a gear you can accelerate quickly on away from the bunch.
7. Not from the back
It’s not recommended to launch an attack from the back of a big bunch. By the time you get to the front you’ll have used a lot of energy and the bunch will know it’s coming!
8. Positioning of your rivals
If you know one of your main rivals is in a position where they can't follow your attack, take this opportunity to get away from the bunch. This will force your rival to use up valuable energy to chase you.
9. Ride to your strengths
If you are a punchy climber then pick a climb to launch your attack. If you are a technical rider with good bike handling skills then use a corner to launch your attack.
10. Get the gap or sit up
If you don’t get a gap on the bunch then sit up and save your energy for another opportunity. There’s nothing to gain from towing the bunch around.