That is not correct.
If you were in echlon in a crosswind with the wind brlowing from the right and tried to pull off to the left you would hook the guy behind you and both hit the floor. Swing off into the wind, stay as close to the bunch as you can without causing anyone else to deviate from their line and slide back into the protected side when you get to the back of teh bunch.
Dan, you obviously 100,000% outrank me on this question, but it also seems to me that I&#39;ve heard it both ways from people at your level of experience. Isn&#39;t this why you&#39;re not supposed to cross wheels? Maybe the difference is between echeloned in a crosswind vs. mostly a headwind that has people in a straighter line. I dunno. But I appreciate your input and would be interested in further discussion.
In most areas of the country you almost never have no wind. Given the way roads bend and turn you almost never have a straight headwind or tailwind so you end up of the wheel in front of you to one side or the other. In the rare chance you have a full on straight headwind or tailwind swing off to the side the person in front of you does. Evantually you will turn and need to pick the correct side.
If the wind is hard enough you may have your front wheel all the way up the the persons BB so there is no way to get around. Additionally if you swing off to the protected side and can get around then person behind you you are not helping the group. IE, its much easier to ride in the wind pedaling 85% and sliding back then being on the front of the group. As you come off the front you give the person behind you that little extra protection which really adds up after a while. Not to mention if you go off to the protected side you will eventually split the group as you slide back and get to the gutter before the last person goes by you.
Here is photo of a what I am talking about, quickstep boys drilling it during a crosswind section with Boonen in the sweet spot. The guy on the front will slide riders right and slowy drift back then slide back in front of Boonen. If the guy on the front tried to go up and around he would ball the rotation up:
So, why is this happening? What is the tactical situation that keeps everybody in the gutter behind Boonen instead of riding his teammate's wheels and screwing up their rotation? Why is there this pointy echelon instead of a blob?