Thinning the bunch

Thinning the bunch is a great way of reducing the number of riders in the bunch without expending the energy associated with an outright attack.

When would you want to use this tactic?
One of the best times to thin out a bunch is just past the halfway stage in a race, when riders are starting to become more fatigued. Another good time is right at the start of the race, if you feel there is the potential for dangerous riding and a smaller bunch would be the safer option.

How do you do it?
Riders or teams wishing to thin the bunch should free sugar daddy dating sites put in a series of hard efforts on the more demanding sections of a course, for example, on long drags or sections of the course exposed to crosswinds. Once the road conditions change, it is important to keep the pace high for a period of time; this reduces the opportunity for dropped riders to regain contact with the bunch.

Positioning is crucial if you are thinning the bunch as part of a team. This is because if your team’s riders are caught out of position, they can run the risk of losing contact with the bunch and having to waste energy by riding harder to get back to the bunch.

Advantages to you and your team
• It reduces the number of riders in the bunch, making the bunch safer and easier to control
• It can be used as a springboard for further attacks by your team
• It can remove another teams sprinter from the bunch

Risks
• It can cause you to expend energy if you use the tactic too often; try working in conjunction with other riders or teams to reduce the likelihood of this happening
• If your opposition are strong, they could use your increase in pace as a springboard for their own attack

What to look for
• Look at the size of the bunch and try and gauge which riders are fatigued
• Ask yourself if you are skilled enough or strong enough to use this tactic
• After trying to thin the bunch, look to see how much of an effect it has had

Thinning the bunch is a key tactic in a successful team race, so plan how you will do this before you begin the race.