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Team Pursuit - HELP!!!!!

I seem to have signed up for a team relay tri next weekend, I'm not too worried about the swim and run - if they're slow they're slow and I did warn them that I wasn't fast at the time.

BUT I'm petrified about the bike - it's a 17 mile team pursuit and I've never done anything like that. I know vaguely how it works in theory but does anyone have any practical advice???? I've never met any of the team before but might get some drafting practise on Thursday.

Also, I'm in the process or organising a road bike to upgrade my beloved hybrid - if i get the LBS to rush it through and pick it up tomorrow is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday enough time to get used to the handling? I've never ridden a road bike before. I could do short rides am and pm (no time to ride on Friday because we're going to the cricket)

Please help!


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    durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    really no help???? Really truly - I'm going to die!!!!
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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Sounds fun! I am intrigued.

    How are your abilities compared with the others? Do they have experience?
    I assume it is on the road and more like a Team Time Trial (TTT).

    For TTTs, assuming every one is of equal strength, you basically take it in turns at the front. Going as hard as you can. You might agree to do a minute, but after a while, people just tend to go for as long as they can before they run out of puff.

    The one at the front then moves over and slows till they get to the back of the queue.

    It is very important that you ride smoothly. This is because your are trying to keep as close to the rider in front as you possibly can. If they slow - which could just be easing up a bit, then your run the risk of coming into contact with your front wheel on there rear one. They won't notice, but you will come off - as your front wheel will be flipped over. This is the only scary thing.

    It takes a bit of practice to do it like the pros - and confidence in your team mates. So don't try to keep the gap too small - it is better to have a few inches and err on the side of caution - you will still get a lot of benefits of the slip stream.

    If there is a side wind, then it might be better to move into an echelon - i.e. to the side, and with your front wheel behind the one in front. However, this requires a lot of space on the road and is only suitable for closed roads.

    It is usually (often?) the third person (in a team of four) that sets the time. If there are large teams then this might vary. This means that one member of the team can give up without hurting the teams chances. I.e. they might do more work at the front in the first part of the race, or just be a bit weaker than the others and no longer able to go at the pace required so would just end up slowing things down.

    There may be some footage of the Team Time Trial on ITV.com from the tour de france if you want a look. They ride scarily close to each other's wheels though - to make all the bikes seem like one!

    If it is a pursuit, then this implies doing it on a circuit or track, and once a team has been caught, the race is over - this usually means that two teams go at once.

    I hope that helps and I've not got the wrong end of the stick about what it is you are doing (some details of the event would be good!)
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    risris Posts: 1,002
    i've ridden in groups only a few times, and one of them was in a group of 10-12 working in a chain gang (2 rows of riders, the left going forward and the right dropping back, riders move along the left side, reach the front and then moves right and starts going back down the line)*

    from these very limited experiences i would ensure that everyone is comfortable with the pace and build it up steadily - if the one at the front goes bananas and drops the ones behind then the group gets unstuck and the time will suffer. that is not to say that you only go at the speed of the slowest rider - you will be getting a pull from the faster ones so will go quicker - but more to ensure that everyone is working together at a tolerable pace.

    with a small team you are likely to be strung out in a line but should still share the load. make sure that everyone knows the same signal for taking a turn at the front (traditionally a flick of the right elbow out, if memory serves) and treat it like a one-sided chain - once you leave the front pull over to the right and let the riders come past steadily before tagging on to the back.

    you'll be fine - as jack says it is about smoothness and confidence in team mates. good communication and steady increase in pace will help with this.

    * does this make sense? even a bit? sorry...
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    durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    Thanks Jack, to be honest I don't know much about it and the information out there is a bit .... well varied shall we say Descriptions of the bike vary from 24 to 14 miles and from a team time trial to a pursuit.

    I'm fairly sure the swim is a 4x400 relay and the run a 4x 3 mile relay

    I don't know the people at all (might have seen them at the club sessions in the pool) - might get to meet some on Thursday night for drafting practise.

    I'll have the new bike by then but it's a question of how stable I'll be on it and how happy going up and down hill etc.....

    Basically I'm bricking it - I tentatively agreed to do it just before my swim start yesterday and I thought it was a relay - you know one swim, one bike, one run.......... I'm sure it'll be fun
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