Wednesday, November 4, 2009

CX Back Row Starts: Get A Jump On The Front

So, you got a back row call up at this weekend’s cyclocross race. So what! Don’t beat yourself up for not registering in August or doing the three races that may have got you enough points to get you up front on the grid. Granted, anyone will have a better race with a better spot on the start line, but there’s a technique I’ve used to at least make the most out of the first straightaway and soft corner to get you closer to the front going into the hole shot.

It’s simple really. Know who the strongest riders are, and where they are on the grid in relation to you. You? You’re the green “X” in row #6. The fast people are marked with red X's. Sorry, as you can see, I'm not a graphics guru. Then again, everybody's familiar with the X's and O's. Next time you roll up to a sea of jerseys in front of you, narrow them down to just the really fast people. If everyone does their job and hits their hole, you’ll know which way to go before the starters pistol fires.

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Being the green “X,” there’s a fast guy (red X) in front of you to your left. No doubt, he’ll see a hole open up made by the two guys in front of him and slightly to the right. Ya see where I’m going with this? I’ll highlight the fast dudes, and you connect the yellow dots.

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It all really starts with the fast guys on the front row. The fast guys behind them will jump on their wheel. The fast guys behind them in the 3rd row will naturally move towards the hole they opened up and so on. So if you’re a poor ‘ol green X on the back row in this race, you can see that you’ll more or less be able to snake your way by first going left, then right and more or less left.

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Granted, there’s no way in hell you’re going to go from the back to the front before the first corner, but maybe this theory will help you get past a few more guys than you normally would before the hole shot.

1 comment:

bikegoon said...

Good stuff.