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December 2018

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Echelon Riding

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Echelon Riding

Post  ChrisO on Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:59 pm

This time of year is always windy - today's ride was about as bad as it gets but it will not be the last.

When we have a crosswind the only way to maintain the group is to ride in an echelon - the reason people were left behind is that they were put 'in the gutter' which is fine if you're trying to drop someone at the TDF but not the way a group ride should work.

Being in the gutter means simply that you run out of road width and the riders who aren't in the echelon are in a single line behind getting no protection from the wind.

To be fair, echelon riding is not easy. Even the pros have trouble with it and get caught out. Contador and Vinokourov both notable victims in recent years.

It should be a double line, not a single line. There's a good graphic in this article which shows the rotation.


An important point not mentioned in the article is that it is just like a through and off rotation in regard to turns. When you reach the lead position your turn is over - long pulls just mean that the person behind (who has just come off the front) continues to be exposed and everyone will tire quickly.


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