Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Racing, Fight or Flight, Part 2

Yesterday I mentioned the complex nuisances defining the drive (Fight or Flight) response in order to predict the race behavior of individual riders.  Before I get into this let me just take a sec to mention that I'm just formulating concepts for myself in this area.  In other words, this ain't science.  It's just me thinking out-loud on paper because I like to.  If you glean an insight or two that's cool but its not really my goal.  That having been said....

On the surface it's easy to assume that racing styles, like attacking solo or drafting in a pack are styles that define a riders drive response. While this has a measure of truth, I'm suggesting there is a lot more going on. 

For example lets build a simple comparative between iconic greats Alberto Contidor and Lance Armstrong.  Both guys almost always win from a solo move in the steep mountains.  Basically they deploy the same tactic and ride an attacking style.  We can, with clarity observe that both riders run away with the victory and because of this we could assume that the 'flight' response is driving both of them but this would be short sighted, in my opinion.  You may disagree but I'm gonna to say these two guys are driven in very different ways; and to an earlier point, these different drivers are equal in strength.  

I'll go out on a short limb and say that Armstrong is driven by a Fight response while Contador is driven by a Flight response.  I don't want to get into the psych of all that because it's just my quick take on things but for what my assumptions are worth and to boil this down, lets assume I'm right.  

So for now, assuming I'm correct, my point is that if you were a close rival to either of these guys, knowing that Alberto operates in Flight response while Armstrong operates in Fight response, you will have reliable predictive index into how they will deploy moves on you and how they will react in a general sense.  Yes, both are going to try to ride you off their wheel (obviously) but they will do it differently because the Flighter is fear driven and the Fighter is anger driver...Both are strong!  One could argue that fear is stronger but I don't know for sure.  Regardless, they will behave differently, for sure, and a close competitor to either guy will be in a much better position to defend and react if they understand this.

Fight or Flight is organic and at it's core is universal to nature and all living creatures. Matriculate this into the weekend warrior race scene and all the very same things discussed above around Lance and Alberto hold true.   

Peace and roll strong.


  1. Maybe in Part 3 you can share insight on how we apply understanding of our competitor's fight of flight MO.

    I probably fall squarely in the flight camp. Most of my masters wins were fear of coming to the line with competition. I want nothing to do with that. So I bolt early (miles out) and hope it sticks.

  2. HJ, Thanks for the inferred continuance on this topic. Le'me see what happens tomorrow morning. I just write this stuff as it comes to me over:am coffee.

    But to answer your question in part; The first step in applying understanding of competitors flight or fight would be to recognize your own & have a clear understanding of it. You've started this, so I think you're on the right track.