DYNAMITE! #41, 11.02.05

November 21, 2010

DYNAMITE! The OFFICIAL London Dynamo Newsletter #41, 11.02.05

It’s not often that DYNAMITE! gets to witness an historic event first hand – so we were amazed when a communication from a certain straight-talking Dynamate arrived at the Dynamo Towers boardroom this week to signal the end of an era. That’s right, folks – ANDY ‘LISTEN UP’ STEVENSON has metaphorically left the building. Sunday rides will never be the same again! In an e-mail to membership co-ordinator RUSSELL ‘RUSTY’ SHORT, the dedicated committee man formally resigned from his position on the Dynamo executive and revealed that he won’t be renewing his membership for 2005. It’s going to be like having the Discovery Channel team without Viatcheslav Ekimov – unimaginable! Andy, who has Dyna-moved onto pastures new, leaves behind many happy memories of three-hour Surrey Hills rides with no pee stops and ordering under-prepared newcomers to carry on when they reach the brow of a tough climb – even though the wheezing novices could do with a breather. Your ever-grateful DYNAMITE! would also like to thank Andy for providing a videotape of the club’s recent TV debut on Sky One, which gave the Newsletter one of its finest moments in the form of some superb pictures. Cheers, buddy! But it’s a long road ahead, so let’s crack on with another unevenly-paved edition of your favourite Dynamatic journey. Here comes the first cry of “HOLE!” from the eagle-eyed gentleman in the red, white and blue Lotto kit at the back…

As any editorial team knows, realisation of how you once achieved true publishing greatness only comes when readers begin to bitterly complain that your periodical “isn’t as good as it used to be”. Sadly, this criticism has yet to be levelled at DYNAMITE! which means our best is yet to come or it’s about to pass us by, but we’re pleased to report that two members have got the ball of resentment rolling by having a good old Dynamoan of Stevensonian proportions directed at last week’s issue. Warming to the academic theme of our previous edition, reproving Dynamate ALEX ‘BALFIE’ BALFOUR reckons we have “failed to achieve the required standard in this year’s examinations”. It wouldn’t be the first time, pal! The oar-some ex-rower revealed: “The academic board is frankly exasperated at your repeated failure to produce visible proofs to support your thesis entitled ‘The Effects Of Cycle Riding On The Fertility Of Antipodean Males.'” Alex, of course, is referring to the photos from Dynamo’s television appearance which showed WARRICK ‘SPEEDY’ SPENCE’s gentleman’s area – and if he’d waited just a short while before hammering out his tetchy Dyna-mail, then the big fella would have been able to have a look at the revealing pic on the Dynamo website. Honestly – the impatience of the man! Then, on Wednesday, Warrick had a bone to pick with us when we popped into Cyclefit for a chat. The nifty New Zealander pointed out that contrary to what was written in the second part of our Guy-de To Racing, he doesn’t wait at the back for most of a race as it’s “too dangerous”. So get it right this time, Mainwaring!

I’ll try, pal! Hello, I’m London Dynamo president GUY ‘MAINWARING’ ANDREWS and this is my Guy-de to getting the most out of road racing. This week we’ll look at breakaways – but before we do, let’s remind ourselves of last week’s question…

You have a rider in a group a few seconds ahead but they look like they’ll be coming back into the main group. What do you do?
a) Chase him down. I never liked him, with his flash bike and fancy ways.
b) Leave him out there – it may still work.
c) Let the chase pick up. We can launch another attack when the group is caught.
d) Jump across to his group and sit on the back, wait for a chance and then attack.
e) Make attempts to frustrate the chase by “getting in the way”.

Only a) was false – unless, of course, you don’t really like him. Now for the breakaway basics.

Tactical game
A breakaway can be an honest cohesion of riders helping each other to glory. But usually there’s one sod who hasn’t read Marx and will save a little bit more for the sprint, so it becomes a subtle art of knowing what you can get away with and reading the other riders around you.

Honesty is not always the best policy
If you want to win then you can gamble your effort early and attack. As I have said several times before, novice riders just do not go hard enough. When you attack, it has to be as hard as you can muster. Build a gap and look around. If you have a group around you and the peloton has given up, it’s nearly worked. Only then can you consider how to save some energy.

Break the elastic
If repeated attacks keep coming, then go with as many as you can. I have 10 goes in most crits – after that I’m toast. If I’m down the road by number nine, then great; if the fourth one works, then all the better for the finale. But for every race this works, there will be many more where it fails. Fortune favours the brave, yet constant attacking usually costs you the final sprint too.

Make it stick
If you’re keen to get away and attack successfully then you will be down the road with a few others in tow. Get working. Ride “through and off” just like the Parkride, although you are looking for a competitive edge. Conceal your strength – don’t blast away and rip everyone’s legs off. The idea is to get the break up to its maximum speed and keep it there for as long as possible. At Hillingdon you’ll need 20 or 30 seconds to be out of sight, so the idea is to work hard to that point and this means getting all the riders to do their bit.

Two’s company, three’s even better…
But 12 or more can be a disaster. Smaller breaks tend to work better because everyone is willing. Large breakaways, even of very good riders, can still come back to the peloton because they are too busy worrying about the finale. Two riders can stay away if they are compatible and committed. I cannot recall a two-man break where it hasn’t hurt like hell, so be prepared to give it your all – especially as the sprint straight arrives.

Race the race in front of you
Don’t get too worried about the chase. If you are committed to the breakaway let it be your only concern. If you get caught, then so what? You tried your best, unless you saved a bit – in which case, should you have been in the break in the first place? Try again. The best time to go is when the peloton thinks it’s caught you.

Be aware of where you are and who’s around you
If there is someone sitting at the back be aware that they will be either a) knackered b) waiting to attack later on or c) waiting for the sprint or d) all of these. This is unfair but life is hard in bike racing. Stay committed to the break and if you build a big enough lead you can worry about him later (ask Mike Debney about this…). Remember he’s allowed to do it – there’s no point getting angry with him.

Attack, attack, attack
Practice in training. Attack in races. It’s fun. As a Dynamo rider you are fortunate in knowing how to ride in a group, so why sit in the bunch?

Now for the question of the week: What do you do if you are one of two Dynamos in a break?
a) Both of you should sit at the back. The rest will work and you two can figure it out at the end.
b) Hope that your team mate has good legs ‘cos you’re knackered.
c) Attack, because then he’ll let you go, the others will have to chase, thus wearing them out so he can counter. The old 1-2.
d) Wait for your team mate to attack. They’re better than you.
e) Hope that he’ll lead you out in the sprint ‘cos you need the points.

Next week: Sprinting. And now it’s back to the DYNAMITE! team.

Cheers, mate! Bellowing taskmaster Guy, who has been known to upbraid many a Dynamate on the Parkride, is hardly representative of the mild-mannered nature of most Dyna-members – so it came as little surprise to us in the DYNAMITE! bunker when kind Dynamates decided to draw a polite veil over the identity of the unlucky fellow in last week’s inaugural ‘Mo Or No. Regular readers will know that we ran a photo of an unidentified fella who shamelessly turned up for the club’s regular Richmond Park runaround without wearing the celebrated kit of the capital’s barmy blue and black army – but not one person came forward with his name. There’s loyalty for you! Perhaps we’ll get a better response with our second dress code transgressor who is confidently resting on his bars, perhaps believing that Dynamo kit isn’t really for him. Well it is if you’re a member, buddy! And if you’re not, then why haven’t you joined? If you’re reading this on e-mail, simply click on the Newsletter link at http://www.londondynamo.co.uk to see the picture of this dashing chap – and send a Dyna-mail to news@londondynamo.co.uk with “‘Mo Or No?” in the subject heading if you know whether he’s a Dynamo or not. Incidentally, race secretary PAUL ‘CANNONBALL’ CALLINAN – who has a couple of places left on his exclusive race training courses – is targeting Parkriders who haven’t yet signed up to the Dynamo cause, so get your subscriptions into RUSSELL ‘RUSTY SHORT now. You have been warned!

The bunch has finally come back together after PAUL ‘CANNONBALL’ CALLINAN and MARTIN ‘BRAVEHEART’ BUDDEN shot off down the road. We may never hear another one of ANDY ‘LISTEN UP’ STEVENSON’s stern talks about keeping together on a Sunday – but rest assured that the next edition of your favourite Dynamatic update will be yelping away again in just seven days. Always remember that we are the chap on the Litespeed who turns up every week to organise the Surrey Hills outing, but we would be nothing without you, our dedicated riders. So please keep Dyna-mailing your news, gossip, and further sightings of the elusive KEN ‘BREAKAWAY’ BUIST to news@londondynamo.co.uk – but PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS ADDRESS if you are reading this on e-mail. The deadline, as ever, is Wednesday afternoon for Friday’s edition. And now, as the sprint for the bridge in Esher looms, it only remains for us to remind you about…


The Parkride. Richmond Park, roundabout by Sheen Gate, 9am. Four laps split into fast, intermediate and steady groups.

Hampton Court bridge, 9am for Surrey Hills ride. 50ish miles at a steady pace. Bring a pump, inner tubes, drink, and a red bandana.

Richmond Gate, Richmond Park, 7:30pm. Canter to Surrey and back.

So until next week, Dynamates, goodbye and happy riding.

The DYNAMITE! team.

“How many people make a cycling club? About half a dozen at the lowest count. And the maximum is about 100. The history of British cycling tells us that defections will occur, or a formal split, if this number is exceeded.”

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