I’m aware that drafting is a great part of car racing strategy. I didn’t realize that even cyclists employ drafting as a part of their strategy as well.
The Eurosport video above takes a fascinating look at team strategy, breaking down a race showing how team support in the last kilometers of a race could make a huge difference.
Clearly, conserving the energy of your star sprinter as you head towards the finish is the key. Drafting, the act of cycling in the air wake of the cyclist in front of him, results in the cyclist being pulled by the wind eddies. So while your teammates are using up all their energy to drive a very fast pace, the sprinter at the back can conserve energy in the wind draft. As this video shows, drafting behind your competition is also a key tactic.
In other words, you almost always want to come from behind in cycling, as long as you can keep your teammates and your rivals close.