Di Luca doesn't ride with a radio ... ever.
"I've had to use my mind instead of just listening to the instructions given by the director. I'm convinced it has helped me improve to the level where I am now. I know what I have to do."CN]
I am a firm believer in banning radio use in bike races. Yes, there are significant advantages in having them - but, I am convinced they are making racing 1) less exciting and 2) decreasing riders' abilities to read and react to in-the-moment racing situations.
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I think that's what frustrated me the most about being on the track on Saturday. We were racing the last 60 lap points race and i had been chased down on an attack, i was blurried and stupid, and didn't know that DHolla was advancing past me on the outside. I wasn't AWARE.
I hate not being aware in a bike race.
For example, in yesterday's GeezerCrit ... i attacked out of our break with 1.5 to go. I had a strong idea of who was feeling good, who was in the hurt bag, just exactly how much power was needed to nail it through that long headwind grinder on the backside.
i jumped away from the more dangerous sprinter and gapped the other 3, but the better fitness rider in Ashe took up chase. He couldn't match my acceleration out of the group, but he dug incredibly deep to try and chase me down.
5 ... 10 ... 12 seconds of full-throttle into the headwind and i can look back and see that the sprinter has latched onto Ashe's chase. He'll be getting the draft and a bit of recovery ... and the gap isn't big enough for me to withstand his jump once we hit the tailwind finishing straight to start our final lap.
I have to meter out the effort and be ready for him. Awareness, prediction, gambling.
Sure enough, the sprinter from Merril Lynch jumps away from Ash in the tailwind and barrels his way towards me. I'm recovering slightly in the tailwind until he connects. Ashe is still teeth on handlebars behind, burning farmland to try and make connection.
The sprinter and I jockey a bit, some small bluffery as we determine who will make pace to keep the last lap alive and who will attack to try and dagger it out.
I attack again - but this time it's a straight forward set-up move to get him working in the hard section. He chases me and then counters for his own dig at the line - but we're now into the headwind again ... my territory.
He throws it all on the table. It's a strong move and I approve. But, i've got his wheel and he knows it ... we slow again, just what i need.
the speed drops as he does his best to recover and then i play my final card and accelerate again. It's in the acceleration that i have him, not the straight up power. He recovers a few seconds later and matches my speed to the line, but my jump got the gap and so this time i'm crossing first.
At the track on Saturday, i had tunnel-vision. It was too new and my concentration didn't extend much beyond the dozen feet in front of me and the barest of angles on the periphery.
i get very irked not knowing what's going on behind me. And on Saturday, i hadn't a clue.
In the Scratch race, when bigmeat Forest and i were off the front, i saw that BJM was crossing the gap ... but, i never even knew DHolla made it over afterwards. I didn't realize BJM had opened the gap behind me to try and get Holla to work in the move until a turn later and only then switched on the gas to make my bid for the win.
funny ... you only get it by ... getting it.
i love learning new things on the bike.