Hello wealth of cycling knowledge at my findger tips, how are you today? Good, me too. I have a quick question for you. What are the rules of etiquette with regards to blocking?
A bit of back story perhaps. Last weekend I attended the Rutgers/Princeton season opener for Collegiate racing on the east coast. Good time had by all...ish. Saturday after a solid pack fill perfomance in the ITT I lined up for the crit on Princeton campus. 1km laps, 200m power climb each lap, 30 min total. Needless to say, the race explodes in the first lap, with three guys getting clear of the main group. I manage to hold onto the main group by the skin of my teeth, finally working my way up to the front with about 10-15 min left to race. To my knowledge, there are still three guys out front, so I try and organize some of the guys around me to try and bring them back. But the guys up the road have teamates in my group. about three gus from those (two) teams are sitting at the front, and when ever we get to a 'long' section fo the course, they sit up hands on the tops and soft pedal. fair enough, I don't expect them to chase down their own guys. But whenever I tried to get to the front to 'inject some pace', the three guys would essentially run me into the gutter. So the only way to get around them was to sprint past them, meaning that you couldn't pull for long after that. This is what I looked like the few times I did manage to get around them:
Note the Rutgers and UPenn guys laughing on my wheel. Long story short (TOO LATE!) the three guys out front had lapped the field and were also laughing on my wheel...and I had just enough energy left at the finish to win the sprint for 12th.
So my question: Is the football tackle apporach to blocking considered a 'legit' maneuver? I have Jullich's beautiful move at the Tour de Suisse last year as my example of what good blocking looks like. Should I stop looking for that at sub-pro levels? And at what point is an elbow permitted? I get tired of yelling all the time.