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Does this happen in MTB racing?

Pete B's picture

By Pete B - Posted on 08 September 2014

I noticed the word 'chop' coming up in my Strava feed a bit and decided to look into what it meant. Very interesting and something I knew nothing about.
my question is, does this happen in MTB racing?

For those that haven't got a clue what I'm on about, here's a link

Antsonline's picture

In short - yes it does go on in races. As soon as the idea of teams were introduced into Marathon racing, there was bound to be some of it. It actually makes things a lot of fun, and requires a bit of thought. E.g. its not always riders who are on the same team that might working together.

There are some other alternative meanings for 'Chop or Chop-Off' - which are probably more likely to be what you are seeing in your Strava feed (as there are no prizes for training)...

Typically a rolling pace line that is ridden in training, but with some spirit / competitive aggression is also know as a 'Chop' or 'Chop-Off'.
Examples of this can be observed in Centennial Park on a Tues / Thurs evening from 5pm-6pm. That is a fantastic chop.
Sunday morning there is a good chop that leaves from Coluzzi in Darlinghurst too.

dust off the roadie and get involved - they are a lot of fun.

Pete B's picture

That makes more sense now, especially when applied to training.

Not sure how I feel about the teaming up accross members of different teams etc, I imagine there's a lot of rivalry and back stabbing going on. Opened my eyes up though, hopefully I'll be fit enough to be a part of that one day! Haha

Antsonline's picture

The team thing makes it a lot of fun. Sure - its frustrating sometimes, but that is usually when you have made a mistake of some sort - missed the break, got in a break with the wrong people.
Dont get me wrong, its nothing like road racing - MTB doesnt allow for it to that extent, but on certain courses, with certain conditions, it can make a big difference.
Look at the Swell-Specialized riders. Not only are they two of the best riders in their own right, one of them is known for having a devastating sprint finish, and the other is known to be very strong out on his own, in a race of attrition.
They are also very good at thinking about a 'team' victory, rather than an individual.

The results show how effective that has been.

Finally - back stabbing. Probably not. Its racing, and all is fair out there in the race. Its within the rules, so its fine. Afterwards most people get on fine and are friendly.
There are some grey areas of rules and etiquette - and its those that cause some issues - but broadly, its all fine and great fun to be part of.

hawkeye's picture

Without doubt it goes on to help stay away. Even in mtb races you get an advantage working in a group, even with the slower speeds. In fact I'm looking forward to that aspect of the Fling. Smiling

The question is, does the splitting of prize money go on when there is a cash purse? I have no idea.

Lach's picture

... when its a bunch of schwag rather than a cheque!!

pharmaboy's picture

Anyone watching a road race can see that the peloton has a huge speed advantage when it's driven forward, 3 or 4 guys on the front doing one turn then resting for minutes at a time, they can pull in a breakaway very fast, so I can completely understand that.

When it comes to Mtb , I've never seen that, nor have seen mtbers playing ducks and drakes like roadies do in the final bit ( certainly not to then get overtaken), so probably not worthwhile in Mtb ( despite the massive cashola on offer for the winner). Eye-wink

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