Blocking in a sprint -- what's OK, what's not?
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  1. #1
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    Blocking in a sprint -- what's OK, what's not?

    Are there any guidelines for what is OK to do when blocking in a sprint verses what is distinctly not cool? Case in point: I was in the B race tonight at the local oval track where a team had got their sprinter in front with about 100m to go with a teammate on his wheel, me behind the teammate. I figured the teammate was there to block, so when I came around, I took a high line, about 6 feet to the right of them. Suddenly the teammate spies me and comes flying diagonally across the track into my side. In the middle of the sprint I had to cut my bike over hard to avoid him. I was moving a good deal faster than him and got around, but only by shutting down my sprint for about four strokes. A friend who was watching said the dude nearly took out half the field.

    Was this uncool, or is it "just racing"? If not, what do you do about it? Tactics? Post-race discussions (or maybe "discussions") with the guy? As you might have guessed, I'm new to the B races, but I've been feeling pretty strong in the pack so far. I took 2 of the night's 3 primes (2nd on the 3rd) and even with the block, I was only about 6 feet behind their sprinter at the line. I'm not saying I would have won without the block -- maybe so, maybe not, hard to say. It's the risk to life and limb that bothers me a lot more than the placing!

  2. #2
    hi, I'm Larry
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    What he did was wrong

    You can block by holding your line or position but you cannot intentionally change your position and move over several feet for the sole purpose of intentionally blocking someone. Now, if the guy was just coming just around the guy in front of him to go for the line that would probably be allowed, but since he had to go over 6 feet to do the block, it would be a pretty clear violation since the only reason to go over that far was to block you.

    I may of been tempted to rub sholders with him versus changing my line in such a situation to let him know that I'm not easy to push around (if I were a little in front or right beside of him, but a dangerous move either way, only you can make the call on if it is worth the risk or not). .

    In that same situation I would probably be the one doing the blocking by coming around just to the right and a little in front of the 2nd rider intentionally boxing him in with nowhere to go and then when the time was right go for the line against the front bike. I did this move sucessfully 6-8 times a week ago at the track. I was practicing controlling the box in this way last week. One of my buddies gave me good natured **** about it after the race. He got penned in on the first lap of a miss and out and got pulled. The front bike on the inside did not sprint, so I did not either and the entire field got boxed in with nowhere to go. (a miss and out is all about saving energy until you really need it, otherewise you are toast after a dozen consecutive all out sprints). I told him that I didn't know it was him that was on the tail end of the box and would of played things differently if I knew.




    Quote Originally Posted by curveship
    Are there any guidelines for what is OK to do when blocking in a sprint verses what is distinctly not cool? Case in point: I was in the B race tonight at the local oval track where a team had got their sprinter in front with about 100m to go with a teammate on his wheel, me behind the teammate. I figured the teammate was there to block, so when I came around, I took a high line, about 6 feet to the right of them. Suddenly the teammate spies me and comes flying diagonally across the track into my side. In the middle of the sprint I had to cut my bike over hard to avoid him. I was moving a good deal faster than him and got around, but only by shutting down my sprint for about four strokes. A friend who was watching said the dude nearly took out half the field.

    Was this uncool, or is it "just racing"? If not, what do you do about it? Tactics? Post-race discussions (or maybe "discussions") with the guy? As you might have guessed, I'm new to the B races, but I've been feeling pretty strong in the pack so far. I took 2 of the night's 3 primes (2nd on the 3rd) and even with the block, I was only about 6 feet behind their sprinter at the line. I'm not saying I would have won without the block -- maybe so, maybe not, hard to say. It's the risk to life and limb that bothers me a lot more than the placing!
    Last edited by bimini; 04-27-2005 at 05:57 AM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks bimini. When I was racing the Cs, pack positioning for the sprint meant just be near the front and wind it up from 200m. Now in the Bs things are a lot more complicated. I'm learning fast and loving it ;).

    I like your advice about boxing in their sprinter. I'll have to see if I can get that one to work for me.

    This particular team has dominated the first two races so far, and they deserve the props for it. I've been learning a lot by watching them. But I have been questioning their blocking strategies. In the first race, they had several guys near the front who just sat up at 100m while their sprinter took off. They didn't swerve like the one dude did last night, but they came falling through the tight pack just as people were kicking it into high. Bikes were flying right and left to get around them. In pro races I've seen, it usually seems like when leadout men finish their work, they swerve wide and get the heck out of the way. I figured their move last week (falling through the pack) was borderline while last night's (swerving to block) wasn't cool.

    I've seen you post about track-style races on an oval and I'm jealous. Our races are basically just crits without turns.

  4. #4
    kaa
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    Quote Originally Posted by curveship
    Are there any guidelines for what is OK to do when blocking in a sprint verses what is distinctly not cool? Case in point: I was in the B race tonight at the local oval track where a team had got their sprinter in front with about 100m to go with a teammate on his wheel, me behind the teammate. I figured the teammate was there to block, so when I came around, I took a high line, about 6 feet to the right of them. Suddenly the teammate spies me and comes flying diagonally across the track into my side. In the middle of the sprint I had to cut my bike over hard to avoid him. I was moving a good deal faster than him and got around, but only by shutting down my sprint for about four strokes. A friend who was watching said the dude nearly took out half the field.

    Was this uncool, or is it "just racing"? If not, what do you do about it? Tactics? Post-race discussions (or maybe "discussions") with the guy? As you might have guessed, I'm new to the B races, but I've been feeling pretty strong in the pack so far. I took 2 of the night's 3 primes (2nd on the 3rd) and even with the block, I was only about 6 feet behind their sprinter at the line. I'm not saying I would have won without the block -- maybe so, maybe not, hard to say. It's the risk to life and limb that bothers me a lot more than the placing!
    Totally unfair and dangerous of course !!!

  5. #5
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    Used to be in track racing that such tactics would get a formal protest. The time to do it is right after the finish. The procedure was to raise your hand in the air and do a lap (1/6 mile track). This indicated to race officials AND to the spectators that you have a protest. Often spectators will note the infraction too and the rider will be disqualified from further racing.

    It's not just dirty racing, but rather a fine way to cause a serious accident.

  6. #6
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    This would not the ACE race in NC would it.

    That would count as a total jackass move. Coming 6 feet off his line to shut you down is total bullshit. You should have hip checked the hell out of him. Actuallyl much better would have been to come by him tight so there would be no room for him to move over on you.
    I woulg have pointed this out no only to him but to the offical (for all the good it would do) more often than not a good hard shoulder or head butt is what sends the message home.

    Quote Originally Posted by curveship
    Are there any guidelines for what is OK to do when blocking in a sprint verses what is distinctly not cool? Case in point: I was in the B race tonight at the local oval track where a team had got their sprinter in front with about 100m to go with a teammate on his wheel, me behind the teammate. I figured the teammate was there to block, so when I came around, I took a high line, about 6 feet to the right of them. Suddenly the teammate spies me and comes flying diagonally across the track into my side. In the middle of the sprint I had to cut my bike over hard to avoid him. I was moving a good deal faster than him and got around, but only by shutting down my sprint for about four strokes. A friend who was watching said the dude nearly took out half the field.

    Was this uncool, or is it "just racing"? If not, what do you do about it? Tactics? Post-race discussions (or maybe "discussions") with the guy? As you might have guessed, I'm new to the B races, but I've been feeling pretty strong in the pack so far. I took 2 of the night's 3 primes (2nd on the 3rd) and even with the block, I was only about 6 feet behind their sprinter at the line. I'm not saying I would have won without the block -- maybe so, maybe not, hard to say. It's the risk to life and limb that bothers me a lot more than the placing!

  7. #7
    Old, slow, and fat.
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    Whatcher seeing is NOT blocking. Its all-out a$$hat riding! There are rules, then there's conventions. They're breaking both.

    I'd be saying something to somebody in charge about this behavior. NOW. Otherwise, someone's gonna get hurt.

    What the guy that swerved at you did is called a hook. Its purpose is to make you shut down yer sprint. It did. Problem is, its also illegal not to mention somewhat dangerous done wrong, like it was.

    I don't know where to begin to express my disgust at the "tactics" these guys are trying so I'll just sign off now.

    M


    .
    I've moved back to NoVA. PLEASE change the weather!

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