11 February 2010

Lesson #1 in Racing Tactics

Michael's reference to the theme from "Fistful of Dollars" got me thinking ... about the end of a long racing stage where 3 riders approach the finish, some minutes ahead of the pack.  The first one to sprint will lose, unless he gets a great jump and gets clear of the other two.  The one who waits patiently can get the others to serve as lead out men and draft off them, saving precious energy and pulling ahead just before the line.  But they cannot wait too long, or the pack will catch them ... maybe 60 seconds to play with, then someone needs to jump, fast.

The lessons -- if you don't understand the tactics and your opponents, you end up dead last, in a grave by the side of the course.  And never enter the sprint finish with an "empty gun" -- ride efficiently and conserve some energy during the race-- or you will end up in second place, digging up the buried treasure for the other guy.
It is like a gun fighters' duel.  (That is why Alberto always shoots the finger pistols after crossing the line ... though I don't quite see him in filling Clint's shoes).

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