A stupid question: Im prepared for stupid answers
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  1. #1
    scruffy nerf herder
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    A stupid question: Im prepared for stupid answers

    Now...

    In today's Giro, a particular rider had a mechanical near the end. It happened to a relatively decent rider. But I don't want to be a spoiler so Im not gonna give a name or a team. Anyway, it got me thinking. This guys lost 45 seconds to the peleton, and two guys from his team fell back to help him...and they caught the peleton within 3km supposing the speed of the peleton is 26mph... that means their speed would have to have been at least 31.6 mph to catch them. Not too shabby.

    However, my question is where that gap begins to be measured. Is it measured from the end of the peleton? Or is it measured from the front of the peleton seeing as the peleton has the same virtual time? If the peleton is really strung out, and it is measured from the front, I could see it be much easier to "catch" the peleton, and what determines the "end"... where if it the peleton is strung out over 15 seconds... then they only need to go 29.4 mph to catch them in the same distance to catch the tail of the peleton.

    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but this is good information. I have a problem of gauging my sustained efforts when coming across gaps or pulling a teammate back up to the group of what my speed or power output needs to be to close a 10, 20, or 30 second gap. I either go to hard to close or too easy and lose time.

    Thanks in advance.
    so sayeth the funk....

    Chris

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  2. #2
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    point of view

    I'm probably wrong but my thinking is that if you are in front of the pack then you time it from your rear wheel to the lead rider of the pack, if you're behind the pack then you time it from your front wheel to the last rider of the pack who is still clearly attached to the pack and do not count the stragglers who may be scattered about in the tailwinds like flies behind a garbage truck.


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  3. #3
    scruffy nerf herder
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    but my question more is...

    If they report someone as having lost 45 seconds to the peleton or being 45 seconds behind the peleton... which is it... the front or the rear?
    so sayeth the funk....

    Chris

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    However, my question is where that gap begins to be measured. Is it measured from the end of the peleton? Or is it measured from the front of the peleton seeing as the peleton has the same virtual time?
    A group of riders crossing together gets the same time as the leading rider. So the gap for the second group is the time difference between the leader of the first group and the leader of the second group.
    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    If the peleton is really strung out, and it is measured from the front, I could see it be much easier to "catch" the peleton, and what determines the "end"... where if it the peleton is strung out over 15 seconds... then they only need to go 29.4 mph to catch them in the same distance to catch the tail of the peleton.
    Although there are rules governing this. It really ends up being a judgement call. Certainly as long as riders wheels are overlapped or there is a small gap, the riders are part of the same group. When there is a gap of a bike length or two, it depends on the officials and the nature of the gap. Officials are more likely to give same time when the gap was opened in the last meters of a field sprint then when a group is trying to chase on and comes up short.

  5. #5
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    It could be both depending on the position and point of view

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    If they report someone as having lost 45 seconds to the peleton or being 45 seconds behind the peleton... which is it... the front or the rear?
    But like I said I don't know the true answer, just making a logical guess. I see the peloton as one big single body sort of like a magnet where once you attach to it you're stuck, so off the front is measured to the front, off the back is measured to the back until you restick or get restuck to it. Doesn't matter is the peloton is 5 seconds long or 45 seconds long. It may very well be that it is always measured from the front of center of the peloton, but the active description is not the distance in time to the center of the peloton, but the active measure is to the point of recontact, therefore to the front if in front and to the rear if behind.

    That's how I see it until corrected otherwise.
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  6. #6
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    It could be both depending on the position and point of view - NO

    The rulebook(s) are quite clear. All riders in a group get the same time as the leading rider of that group so time diferentials are measured from the leaders.

  7. #7
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    It's important to note

    first that it's the lead rider in the group that starts the clock so they probably have about 10 -15 seconds of riders following, more if they are going at speed and are strung out. Second there is the follow caravan of team cars and officials, many pros write that once you get amonst the caravan it's a lot easier to catch on to the group.

  8. #8
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    yeah but :)

    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle
    The rulebook(s) are quite clear. All riders in a group get the same time as the leading rider of that group so time diferentials are measured from the leaders.
    Was he asking about official finish times, or about race reporting time lags between the peloton and leaders or followers?

    Sure, in a race when recording the finish, all are one. But when gaging (gauging? guaging? measuring?) the gap during a race, then how is it timed? For example let's say it's a winding mountain stage and the peloton is strung out for 1/4 but still wheel-to-wheel, and let's say there is one rider out in front of the peloton who is 45 seconds in front of the front-most rider, and there is another rider being tracked who is 45 seconds behind the rearmost rider in the peloton, is the following rider 45 seconds behind the peloton or 45 seconds plus the time it takes the peloton to travel 1/4 mile (90 seconds? behind the leadmost rider)?

    Just for sake of argument. Doesn't matter to me since by this point I'm on the sidelines watching the race disappear into the distance.
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  9. #9
    hi, I'm Larry
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    No wonder!

    I find it easy to draft traffic at 30+ MPH and I'm far from being a pro. How legal is it to draft the caravan? Where do they draw the line?

    Yeah, I know it is dangerous. Just curious on what is allowed. I've fallen off the back during road races and have been left behind by the trailing support car only to catch back up again on a downhill or flat section. Is it Kosher to hang out behind the support vehicle to recover for a few moments before going around and joining the fray?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by treebound
    Was he asking about official finish times, or about race reporting time lags between the peloton and leaders or followers?

    Sure, in a race when recording the finish, all are one. But when gaging (gauging? guaging? measuring?) the gap during a race, then how is it timed? For example let's say it's a winding mountain stage and the peloton is strung out for 1/4 but still wheel-to-wheel, and let's say there is one rider out in front of the peloton who is 45 seconds in front of the front-most rider, and there is another rider being tracked who is 45 seconds behind the rearmost rider in the peloton, is the following rider 45 seconds behind the peloton or 45 seconds plus the time it takes the peloton to travel 1/4 mile (90 seconds? behind the leadmost rider)?

    Just for sake of argument. Doesn't matter to me since by this point I'm on the sidelines watching the race disappear into the distance.
    The reporting is the same during the race as at the finish. For your example, it would be reported as Rider X in front with the peloton at 45 seconds and rider y at 3 minutes (45 sec + 90 sec + 45 sec) or it could be reported as rider Y 2:15 behind peloton.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    If they report someone as having lost 45 seconds to the peleton or being 45 seconds behind the peleton... which is it... the front or the rear?

    It has to be the last rider in the Peloton. If it were the front, what if the peloton was 45 seconds long? The rider would be in the peloton not 45 seconds behind....Once the rider catches the group, it's doesn't make any difference if he's in the front for the rear.
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimini
    Is it Kosher to hang out behind the support vehicle to recover for a few moments before going around and joining the fray?
    NO. USCF Rule 3B5 "Taking pace or assistance from any outside means is forbidden, ...". As an official, what I do is move the car over to the left so you have a clear path around to the right. If you come up and don't go straight through, I might let you sit behind for a (very) few seconds. After that, I'll have the driver gradually slow down so the gap behind the pack grows. If you still don't get the message, we'll accelerate back to the pack leaving you on your own.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimini
    I find it easy to draft traffic at 30+ MPH and I'm far from being a pro. How legal is it to draft the caravan? Where do they draw the line?

    Yeah, I know it is dangerous. Just curious on what is allowed. I've fallen off the back during road races and have been left behind by the trailing support car only to catch back up again on a downhill or flat section. Is it Kosher to hang out behind the support vehicle to recover for a few moments before going around and joining the fray?

    I have no idea if it's legal but it reminds me of an article in the new ProCycling(Cyclesport? I can't remember) about Tyler Hamilton. When he trains by himself he cruises at 24 mph. If he uses his wife motorpacing in their Audi sation wagon, he cruises at 37mph...... It also shows great pictures of their dog, "Tugboat" encouraging Tyler......
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

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  14. #14
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    Got it, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle
    The reporting is the same during the race as at the finish. For your example, it would be reported as Rider X in front with the peloton at 45 seconds and rider y at 3 minutes (45 sec + 90 sec + 45 sec) or it could be reported as rider Y 2:15 behind peloton.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle
    The reporting is the same during the race as at the finish. For your example, it would be reported as Rider X in front with the peloton at 45 seconds and rider y at 3 minutes (45 sec + 90 sec + 45 sec) or it could be reported as rider Y 2:15 behind peloton.

    Using your example, let's say rider Y is only 5 seconds behind the last rider in the peloton. They're going to report him as 95 seconds behind the peloton? But if he closes the gap by only 5 seconds, he's now with the peloton, effectively making up 95 seconds?
    That doesn't make sense to me..........
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

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  16. #16
    scruffy nerf herder
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    such is the heart of my confusion...

    I feel you, LOOK brethen..
    so sayeth the funk....

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    I feel you, LOOK brethen..

    If they rode LOOK's they wouldn't have to worry about being behind the Peloton ;)
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
    Using your example, let's say rider Y is only 5 seconds behind the last rider in the peloton. They're going to report him as 95 seconds behind the peloton? But if he closes the gap by only 5 seconds, he's now with the peloton, effectively making up 95 seconds?
    That doesn't make sense to me..........
    It might not make sense but that's the way it is. Remember though, if he's 5 seconds behind the last rider, he can see where he is. Also to use your example, what if the rider keeps the same gap for the last 3 km. Then he'd be reported at 5 sec with 3 km to go, 5 sec. with 2 to go, 5 sec with 1 to go, but 95 seconds behind at the finish. This would lead to even more confusion.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle
    It might not make sense but that's the way it is. Remember though, if he's 5 seconds behind the last rider, he can see where he is. Also to use your example, what if the rider keeps the same gap for the last 3 km. Then he'd be reported at 5 sec with 3 km to go, 5 sec. with 2 to go, 5 sec with 1 to go, but 95 seconds behind at the finish. This would lead to even more confusion.

    That dawned on me after I typed the reply. They have to say it that way because if the rider finishes 5 seconds behind the last rider, he's 95 behind the peloton. Thanks for clearing it up....
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

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  20. #20
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    OK, I'll take a stab ...

    It seems to me that the TV broadcasters give estimates of the gaps between groups relative to the front of those groups, and don't take into account how big (or long) any particular group is. It is of course a judgement call as to what a significant gap is, but anything under 10 or 15 seconds usually seems where they stop considering it much of a gap (this is where Phil Ligget then says "they're ready for the catch!").

    The actual time differentials given at the end of a race to groups and/or individuals seems to have its own rules though. Race officials have to judge what is a significant gap between riders crossing the line in order to decide where a different time is given to a rider or group. In this case a significant gap is constituted by only a few seconds (2 seconds?) between riders or groups. Now the part I'm not sure about is whether the time differential here is set relative to the front of each group, or whether it is set relative to the gap between the back of the leading rider/group to the front of the trailing rider/group. My guess is it's actually the latter.

  21. #21
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    I think it's like being in the pack

    Quote Originally Posted by bimini
    I find it easy to draft traffic at 30+ MPH and I'm far from being a pro. How legal is it to draft the caravan? Where do they draw the line?

    Yeah, I know it is dangerous. Just curious on what is allowed. I've fallen off the back during road races and have been left behind by the trailing support car only to catch back up again on a downhill or flat section. Is it Kosher to hang out behind the support vehicle to recover for a few moments before going around and joining the fray?
    They really don't sit being the caravan but ride between the cars. Take into consideration we're not talking about the local RR with one lone pick up truck as a follow vehicle. We're talking about 20 team cars and another bunch of official cars. They would get busted if the team car were to wait for the rider and then pace them back to the pack obviously.

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