Tips for racing in staggered/wave starts

I have an upcoming gravel race where racers start in waves. I know a good handful of people who are doing the race and I have also researched results from previous editions of the race. There will be a wave that goes off 4min before mine that will be very strong. Mine does not appear to have the same fire power. What should my strategy be? Do I just hammer off the front and TT the whole thing using BestBikeSplit as my guide and work with anyone who can hang on OR just take my chances with the lead group from my wave?

I’d stick with the lead group in your wave. If it’s a long race you don’t want to blow yourself up riding solo for an extended period early. Even if you do catch on you’re going to burn matches getting there.

forgot to add that the race duration will be around 1hr 40min @ ~21mph

You’d have to be at least 4min faster in a 100min race than the very strong riders starting first, and you’d have to make up that time on your own, or at least doing most of the work. Once caught then try to hang with them for awhile. Although you wouldn’t have to out sprint them in the end because you’d already be 4 minutes ahead. If they knew this they’d probably know you burnt some matches to get to them.

Is this Barry Roubaix? If so I have a question relating to wave starts, but a different problem. I know I can hang with lead group in my start for awhile, but eventually have to fall off and solo TT until the leaders from a later wave catch me. Then I’ll get another 20 minutes or so drafting/pacing with that group then solo TT again. Can’t figure out if I do this again this year, or just ride my own pace. Since I can’t hang the whole race I’m not out to win anything, just want to have the fastest possible time and inflict race pain upon myself.

Thanks for the input. It is Barry Roubaix that I am referencing.

Harrisoncj13, in response to your question, I think that is a great plan if you are just looking for fitness and some race fun. Who knows, maybe you will surprise yourself and hang in for the whole race.

That’s a weird start in waves. This is a tough one; I’d say stick with your group if the pace is motoring. If it’s not, and you want to win, attack and see who comes; work with them.
This assumes you are a breakaway type rider that can motor big watts. If you get OTF but are reeled back in, it’s just burning matches, and you’re stuck with the draw of being in the secod group.

Good luck! Would love to know how it ends up

See everyone at Barry. Man I hope the weather cooperates.

You perfectly described my race. :slight_smile: