Criterium Breakaway Strategy -Nate, read this please

Hello, my fellow Trainerroad brethren. So here’s the deal… I have a big criterium coming up on Memorial Day and I would like to do well. It is a flat four corner crit, course file- https://www.strava.com/segments/15014748
Sprinting isn’t my forte so I was thinking of going all in for a last lap attack (or last few laps), if I can’t get into a break. What are your thoughts about this strategy? Can it work? Any tips?
About me- Cat 4, 18 years old, 281 FTP and improving quickly (back into training 2 months ago due to injury), and 70 kg. It’s a 30 min race.

1 Like

Last lap breaks are my bread and butter, so here are my tips:

  1. Go early enough that it discourages 99% of people. In a four corner crit, this is probably just after the first corner. Let a little gap open up through the corner (5th wheel or so is ideal) and then put in an longer than you think effort to go over then well in front of the group. Don’t let up early. You don’t want to just increase the pace of the group and find yourself on the front

  2. Recognise that others may be considering doing the same thing. This is more than OK, but if you have someone on your wheel, you have to move them in front as soon as possible. I’d probably do it leading into a corner and see if they have the balls to risk the group catching up if they don’t pull through

  3. This is an all-or nothing effort, so there will be no compromise and no plan B. The nature of these attacks is that if they work, you win. If they don’t you won’t see the podium. Be OK with that, and be prepared to bury yourself so that you’re running out of energy riiiiight before the line. You can black out when you cross the line.

  4. Don’t look back. Even if someone drags the field up to you, you’re already spent anyway, so just take joy in ripping the field apart. You’re not going to win if that happens but that’s fine.

  5. Before railing the corners at speed, take a deep breath. If you’ve absolutely hammered it then you won’t be thinking straight, but cornering slow will ruin everything.

That’s it! Good luck, and spend the race prepping for that moment and just expect it to really, really hurt.

Please report back!

14 Likes

Thank you very much for your informative response. I’ll report back after the race!

3 Likes

How did you go mate? I had a race today where I followed my and won! Did you have any luck?

1 Like