An interesting article here regarding the folks behind the journal article on drafting I referenced a couple of weeks ago.
While reading the latter bits of that article about the catch-all disclaimer in academia: "future work" (i.e, lateral separation/passing maneuvers/echelons), I reflected upon an experience I had many moons ago where I was contacted by a UCI ProTour rider..
The now disgraced ProTour rider was asking questions about drafting and follow cars (pretty sure that at the time, there was a reference to the LANCE book of the week by Sally Jenkins/Daniel Coyle, but I'm not 100% on that, BTW)...No real data existed with regards to the question at hand - so, I referred to race car data to shed some insight on the question.
Here was the caricaturization/editorialization of the data that I showed him (rider_name has been redacted):
The vertical axis is axial force, or some proxy of that - i.e. higher/red is BAD, lower/green is GOOD (versus no drafting/lateral separation interaction - rider in isolation). The lateral separation reflected in the above could be qualitatively described as just outside "rubbin' is racin' ")
If you need some context on that reference to lateral separation, check out this youtube clip
Huh!?! What is this plot with all the green and red saying??? Basically, if someone is half-bikin' you real nice and tight-like at speed with little/no beta/crosswind...you might want to consider increasing lateral separation abruptly (I hesitate to write "flick 'em!)...
oh, yeah, and...Pound Sand Dopers!