This week’s Zwift Racing League event (Innsbruckring 3-lapper followed by the Innsbruck Q/KOM) was definitely not a pretty race. Many of the tactics involved who in the team would focus on sprints and who would focus on the climb. As I watched the prems, then commentated on some of the racing, then raced myself I saw it mostly turn into a race of attrition up the climb with few tactics playing out.
But then I saw the dPAC-Elite team do something really cool in the APAC division. They utilised the sticky draft to launch an attack halfway up the climb.
Check out the video:
So how do you make this work?
Have at least one other teammate in the front group
In this case it was Lindsay and McKie from dPAC Elite who were in the front group of 11 halfway up the climb. One needs to be the designated attacker (obviously the stronger rider) and the other the designated ‘sticky rider’ who needs to be able to hold a high 1-2 minute power.
Pick a good spot
On this climb it could be broken into thirds, at the end of each third being flatter portions that lowered from 8-10% to 3-4%. The best place to use this kind of strategy is in the flatter portion where the draft benefit is the biggest.
Have the sticky rider move to the front of the group when the hill flattens off. Get the attacker right on their wheel and just hold a steady tempo effort. From here the attacker launches around their sticky rider at very high watts, about 3-4 w/kg higher. The sticky rider slightly increases their watts and captures the group behind them in a sticky draft for a few seconds.
That few seconds is enough to enable the attacking rider to create a good gap on the field before the next incline hits. If anyone does try and catch they are already on the back foot and have to burn serious matches.
What About You?
If your team has pulled off something amazing in a race, or you’ve seen something tactically great, shoot me a message (or comment below) and I’ll do some analysis on why and how it worked.