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Spot on +LukeW
It is so easy to put in too much effort at the front. It is quite a subtle bit of extra work and when done well, it is smooth and the group won't jerk and split. Once the groove is in place, any increases are whole group increases and evolve gently with no pushing or forcing needed.
Normally for 7am laps the plan is try to stick together for a bit then start to increase it, I think @RichardM wrote a rough training plan in the Regents thread. If you want to increase your fitness I would suggest hanging on for as long as you can and if you get dropped just rejoin. 8am is meant to be more of a relaxed ride.
chain gangs should be ridden at a constant pace so when you take a turn on the font your shouldn't accelerate, just maintain the speed....unless your want to attack.
Practise holding a wheel will help if its done right you should be pulled along.