Oh yes, we all have. Story of our life, right?!?!
The most common place we find ourselves “dropped” are from pacelines in group rides and or races.
While increasing your fitness is one solution, the keys to us hanging on might just be in our actions.
So what can we do? Here are four things that I learned racing in the Tour de France where I found myself in my lead groups and break aways. I made lots of mistakes along the way and I am here to teach you from them.
We have four simple tips to try!
1️⃣ Ride to be efficient, not offensive. Pulling in a paceline break away is not to be used as an offensive move. It is not to hurt or drop other riders. Instead, pulling is about giving an effort that enables the group as a whole to go faster using less energy.
2️⃣ Pay attention to the terrain. Take longer and easier pulls on the climbs, while on the downhills take shorter, more intense pulls. This lets the others in the group have an easier ride, and more likely to be able to help with their share of the work.
3️⃣ Pay attention to the wind. Look for flags and listen to the sound of your wheels. If you can hear strongly the sound of your wheels it’s a tailwind/crosswind, if you cannot that means it’s a headwind. For headwind take longer, steady pulls with a higher intensity. For tailwind and or crosswind, take short and lower intensity pulls.
4️⃣ Pay attention to your competition. One of the reasons we are taking a conservative approach to pulling is to be ready for your competition to try and drop you. They are most likely to try (and succeed) on climbs and in tail/cross winds. In both these places, with you riding conservatively you are not only keeping your group moving along consistently, but you are also ready to react to anything that is thrown at you.