Posts tagged ‘power’
What a fun experience to ride the Six Gap Century 15 years after I first rode it in 1996. Fifteen years ago, there were about 200 riders assembled at the North Georgia College campus gymnasium to head out of town to tackle six mountains. On the very first climb, we rode from a sunny valley up into the fog and I still remember thinking maybe this is what it feels like to climb L’Alpe du Huez. Fifteen years later, yesterday, thousands of riders assembled at the North Lumpkin Co High School parking lot to tackle the same climbs. I’ll write up more about how the ride went yesterday and post a race report from the crit Saturday night later, but I wanted to go ahead and post all the data from the ride. As a quick summary, I ended up crossing the line together with Jimmy Schurman (Chemstar) in a few minutes over 5 hours after Mike Stone (Hincapie Devo) flatted on the Unicoi Gap descent taking him out of our three-man group established halfway up the first climb (Neels Gap). Click on each image below for a zoomed in view, all graphs are smoothed at 30 seconds from Golden Cheetah:
INTERVAL/POWER DATA SUMMARY IN THE IMAGE BELOW:
What a great day for Tria Cycling! My teammate Pat Allison took the win from a 2-man break hopefully moving up into the top 10 on the GC based on the time differential and time bonuses on offer for the stage. Another teammate, Sammy Flores, took the field sprint for 3rd place in the race. I was just two spots behind him for 5th place in the crit wrapping up a 5th place overall in the GC. I also won a prime for a Park Tool Bike Stand with about 8 laps to go.
The race started out interestingly as the rider to my left slipped off his pedal trying to clip in and plowed into my foot with his foot and then into my rear wheel with his front wheel. This is why it is so important to make sure your rear skewer is pointed correctly up the seat stay so that another riders wheel and/or spoke doesn’t get caught in the skewer and pull you down. Fortunately, I don’t believe there was any damage to my wheel, but I went from the third row near the front to near the back of the pack by the first turn. The course was really wide, however, and I had moved back up to the front by near the end of the second lap.
By the start of the fourth lap, I was in a good position to attack to try to bridge across to a small break that had gone up the road on the second or third lap. I attacked hard through the start/finish going into the first turn. I nearly lost it over the bricks but recovered to find myself with three chase group companions – Tim Reagan (Herring Gas), Michael McBrien (Subaru), John Hart (Friends of the Great Smokies). We were joined half a lap later by another rider who had bridged across. We worked well together and stayed away for almost 4 laps averaging 27.5mph along the way. Kristine got this video of a couple of the laps of that early break:
Behind us, there was a hard chase by the GC contenders who didn’t want to see me get up the road to get time back that I had lost in the time trial the day before. Once we were caught, my teammate Pat Allison launched a strong attack that was perfectly timed, but there was still too many people fresh and the field brought it back each time. The next few laps saw a few attacks being brought back. Then Pat launched a nice solo move through the start/finish. Another rider from Velobrew was either already up the road or saw the move and bridged across to Pat. It was a bit confusing because some riders were already being lapped and weren’t being pulled from the course. So it was hard to tell who was up the road from the field and who was being lapped. In any case, Pat eventually merged with the Velobrew rider and the two of them worked to establish a 47 second lead. With lap times of just over 1’30″, they were halfway around the course to lapping the field before our pace picked up in the field.
John Hart (FGS) attacked several times to try to get away and chase, but each move was brought back by GC contenders intent on conserving their lead. The field pace was slow because of the short attacks and catches. But then there were a few attacks from GC contenders that saw our pace ramp way up as I and others chased them down. Shortly after these attacks, the promoters rang the bell for the park bike stand as a field prime. Nobody attacked throughout the course so coming down the straightaway before the last turn, I attacked hard (1088watts) up the inside. I thought for sure somebody in the field would have grabbed my wheel to go for the prime so as I sprinted full speed to the finish line I was crossing the gap to my teammate up the road. By the time I made it to the finish line, I already had nearly a 10 second gap with the field just making the turn around the final corner.
At this point, I debated for a second that maybe I should try to finish the bridge to my teammate. I quickly realized, though, that the field would chase hard until I was caught possibly leading it all to come back together before the end. I didn’t want to spoil a nearly certain win given our strongest sprinter in a two-man break so I sat up to let the field catch me as quickly as possible. This worked perfectly because our pace dropped in the field and the break’s gap grew again. Only a couple laps later, the officials announced 5 laps to go, and our pace jumped up again. Jake Brewer (Herring Gas) got away with one other rider ahead of the field. It wasn’t until coming out of the final corner going into the final sprint that we caught them. I made sure to stay as close to the front as possible, which turned out to be really good because there were two crashes on the final lap. Kristine got this awesome video of the finish of the race with Pat taking a clear win, my teammate Sammy winning the field sprint, and me taking 5th.
Here is the lap data from Strava -
NAME DIST SPEED POWER TIME COMMENT Lap 1 0.7 mi 24.4 mph 224 watts 0:01:45 Lap 2 0.7 mi 25.1 mph 199 watts 0:01:42 Lap 3 0.7 mi 25.8 mph 244 watts 0:01:39 Lap 4 0.7 mi 28.4 mph 371 watts 0:01:30 EARLY BREAK Lap 5 0.7 mi 27.8 mph 305 watts 0:01:32 Lap 6 0.7 mi 26.9 mph 277 watts 0:01:35 Lap 7 0.7 mi 26.1 mph 259 watts 0:01:38 Lap 8 0.7 mi 24.8 mph 195 watts 0:01:43 Lap 9 0.7 mi 28.4 mph 302 watts 0:01:30 Lap 10 0.7 mi 27.2 mph 341 watts 0:01:34 Lap 11 0.7 mi 27.2 mph 283 watts 0:01:34 Lap 12 0.7 mi 23.5 mph 171 watts 0:01:49 Lap 13 0.7 mi 24.1 mph 178 watts 0:01:46 Lap 14 0.7 mi 25.8 mph 261 watts 0:01:39 Lap 15 0.7 mi 24.8 mph 212 watts 0:01:43 Lap 16 0.7 mi 22.4 mph 157 watts 0:01:54 Lap 17 0.7 mi 25.1 mph 217 watts 0:01:42 Lap 18 0.7 mi 24.6 mph 216 watts 0:01:44 Lap 19 0.7 mi 23.0 mph 135 watts 0:01:51 Lap 20 0.7 mi 25.6 mph 243 watts 0:01:40 Lap 21 0.7 mi 25.1 mph 211 watts 0:01:42 Lap 22 0.7 mi 25.1 mph 230 watts 0:01:42 Lap 23 0.7 mi 26.6 mph 277 watts 0:01:36 Lap 24 0.7 mi 29.4 mph 387 watts 0:01:27 BIKESTAND PRIME Lap 25 0.7 mi 26.1 mph 356 watts 0:01:38 Lap 26 0.7 mi 21.9 mph 200 watts 0:01:57 Lap 27 0.7 mi 25.3 mph 208 watts 0:01:41 Lap 28 0.7 mi 23.2 mph 160 watts 0:01:50 Lap 29 0.7 mi 23.9 mph 183 watts 0:01:47 Lap 30 0.7 mi 26.6 mph 249 watts 0:01:36 Lap 31 0.7 mi 27.5 mph 285 watts 0:01:33 Lap 32 0.7 mi 26.6 mph 247 watts 0:01:36 Lap 33 0.7 mi 29.7 mph 385 watts 0:01:26
Road Race Summary
I’ve got a 4th place streak going on here with two races in a row missing the podium by one spot. The race went well until the final sprint where I came in a disappointing 4th from a 5-man break after losing the wheel of the winner Grant Potter (Z-Motion). Phil Gaimon (Kenda) for sure deserves most aggressive rider since he realized that Grant would win the sprint from our breakaway group and repeatedly tried to dislodge him with attack after attack in the last 10 miles. But it was altogether for the finish with Grant taking the win, Jonathan Atwell (The Hub) 2nd, Serghei Tvetkov (Aerocat) 3rd, me 4th, and Phil 5th. Our break had a sizeable margin of 3-4 minutes over the field by the end.
Time Trial Summary
The time trial was amazingly fun and also went pretty well. I surpassed my predicted 6 minute power threshold by a few watts (see annotated CP curve towards bottom of this post). My goal at the beginning of the time trial was to focus on maintaining a lap average of 375 watts. After the first couple minutes, I was still well into the 400s, so I began to be really motivated that maybe I could maintain 400 watts for the entire TT. But then my legs started to fade and my power started to drop. I still had a lot of upper body strength left, though, so I stood up and cranked it back up to 400 watts a couple times. Normally, this would be a big time trial aero “no-no”, but with a massive tailwind, I’m pretty sure that it was OK since I was able to get my speed back up both times. In the end, my average speed was just over 29mph, and my average power was 395 watts. Checking the results today, it looks like I was somewhere in the top 15 maybe around 13th, but I was last place of the five of us in the break from the road race, which put me in 5th place on the GC going into Sunday’s criterium (next post). Time trial data posted at the bottom of this post. Also – kudos to John Hart for absolutely smoking the time trial with a time of 5’35″ for an average speed of 33mph!!!
Road Race Details and Data
Here is how the road race played out:
1st lap – there were lots of attacks/chasing in the first few miles with one group of 3 eventually getting away and another group of 3 chasing. When we made it to the longest hill on the course, Phil Gaimon (Kenda) attacked hard. A few of us were able to hold his wheel as we caught the break by the top of the hill. They latched onto our group essentially turning the race into a field split. There wasn’t enough cooperation in the large front group, so after a few miles the rest of the field caught back up to us. I believe there were a few more attacks to finish off the lap, but it was basically all together by the start of the second lap.
2nd lap – Towards the beginning of the second lap, a small group of maybe 3 or 4 riders including Jake Brewer (Herring Gas) rolled up the road. I attacked repeatedly to try to bridge across, but every time field would string out and chase. John Hart (Friends of the Great Smokies) was able to escape, though, and set out in pursuit. A few more riders were able to get away solo and chase. Eventually, there were at least 8 guys up the road including Serghei Tvetcov (Aerocat). This group all came together into one lead group. I tried a couple more times to get away or form a second chase group before the long gradual downhill section, but I was reeled back in each time. So on the downhill, I decided to rest in anticipation of the downhill. I was near the front when I saw a rider getting ready to attack at the base of the hill. I grabbed his wheel and followed him knowing that the real attack would come a little bit later. Sure enough, Phil came flying around a few seconds later. I drilled it hard and was able to close the gap back up to him by the top with only one rider in tow – Jonathan. My teammate Pat Allison was caught in the middle behind us. I could hear him yelling across the top that he was coming so I stopped working so that he could finish the bridge to our chase group. Unfortunately, Phil and Jonathan were drilling it super hard through a heavy crosswind section so Pat was unable to make the bridge. I was struggling just to hang onto their wheel, so I can’t imagine crossing the gap alone. By the end of the crosswind section, Pat was swallowed by the field and we were getting close to finishing the bridge to the lead group. This was about 3/4 of the way through the second lap. As a large group, we rotated well for the rest of the lap and kept a pretty good speed.
3rd lap – A couple miles into the start of the third lap, we could see that the field was not too far behind us. At this point, the commitment level in the group really dropped. People were still pulling, but not very hard. At one point, after John Hart and Phil pulled I noticed a gap behind Phil. So I attacked hoping that the two of them would come with me to form another group. They didn’t, though, and so I ended up riding off the front solo for a couple minutes. When the group came back together, we continued rotating but the impetus was definitely gone from the group. This was right when we reached the rolling section on the front side of the course. I noticed another gap opening up behind Serghei as he was getting ready to pull so I attacked again and this time there were three of us together. Phil and Grant bridged up to us a couple minutes later to form the final break of five. At this point in the race, we worked together really well with everybody pulling hard because the rest of the break behind us was chasing hard. Eventually, though, we started to pull away and get a sizeable gap. Our group was an interesting one with one strong sprinter and four all-rounders (i.e., not sprinters). For the last 10 miles, starting with the long hill on the course, it was attack after attack. Phil attacked the most with Serghei counter attacking several times with me on his wheel. Jonathan attacked a few times, and I attacked once or twice. Grant was able to chase back each move and still take the sprint at the end!
Going into the final sprint, I was sitting on Grant’s wheel after Phil had attacked and strung out the group. Serghei countered to start the sprint in the final few hundred meters. As Grant surged for the sprint with 200 meters to go, I lost his wheel for a second but was closing it back up to him when Jonathan realized that Grant was the better wheel than Serghei. So Jonathan pulled over to grab the wheel in the space that I had opened up. It was my fault for letting the gap open up in the first place, but Grant’s surge was probably several hundred watts more powerful than mine and it took time for me to get his draft and move back up. In the end, the two of them were able to squeeze by Serghei for the finish and I only made it halfway around him – so the final finish order was Grant, Jonathan, Serghei, me, and Phil.
All-in-all, it was a good race with a somewhat disappointing finish. There were lots of tactical sections as well as flat-out sections as well as strategic battles. Fun, hard racing. Lots of data below …
Road race data
Time Trial data
I am really starting to like time trials. This was a fun technical course with lots of small rollers. The start was at the bottom of the steepest hill so I may have gone out a little too hard averaging 650watts from the start to the top of the hill, but dropping to 500 watts for the first 30 seconds having to coast into and around the first sharp turn over the top of the hill. I didn’t feel like I was going too hard, but I struggled keeping the power up on the downhill and sharp turn averaging 351watts and 304watts for the next two 30 second intervals. Then on the rolling part of the course, I feel like I lost some time trying to find the best gear to be in to ramp it up on the downhills and maintain speed over the uphills. To summarize, I ended up averaging 351 watts for 9’45″ for the 4.5 mile course. That’s compared to 363 watts average for 8’30″ on a 4 mile course last week at River Gorge. My time was good enough for 27th out of 55 registered starters (top half in an NRC time trial!!!)
I left my heartrate monitor strap at work from my morning commute (Kristine picked me up at Samford) – so no heartrate data this weekend :-( On the plus side, it was really nice to race without having to fool with wearing a heartrate monitor strap and still have all the meaningful data from the power meter during the race.
River Gorge Omnium Day 1 went pretty well. I really like the new format with the time trial first on Saturday morning followed by the crit late in the evening. The primary benefit is that everybody is fresh for the time trial and yet the short effort isn’t going to really drain you for any of the other events. Plus, I was able to get my warm-up in by simply riding to the start of the TT doing the Elder Mountain climb and then half of Raccoon Mountain at a slow, steady pace.
My plan for the TT was to push as close as possible to my 5 minute critical power of 393 watts. This really helped focus my effort because previously I would be completely blown before reaching the bottom of the longest (0.3 mile) hill on the course. Within the first minute, I saw that my lap average was 500 watts so I knew I needed to back off a bit. This helped me pace so that by the top of the hill my lap average power was down to 417 watts. I knew that my wattage would come down on the steep downhill and as I started to spin out, I decided to tuck and save energy for the flat portion of the TT across the reservoir wall. I could tell that I had gone out too hard though as I really struggled to get my wattage above 350 across the dam. I took the sharp turn pretty good, but was still fading a bit towards the line to finish with an average wattage of 363 watts and an average speed of 28.5 mph. This was a new fastest time for me on this course by 20 seconds. Here is all the data.
The downtown crit was fast and full of energy. I nearly missed the start because I thought the race started at 8:30. As I went to take a lap of the course after the 3s finished, I saw what I thought was another race lined up at the start line. I figured there was still enough time to take a lap before their race started, so I maneuvered my way through the group and then started to take a lap when the announcer said “And for tonight’s main event – the Pro/1/2 race!” and I suddenly realized that this was my race that was about to start. Fortunately, I had one full bottle and a volunteer was able to get me a plastic water bottle to fill up my empty second bottle. There was still a lot of time before the start of our race (the actual start time was 8:15) but everybody was anxious to get a good starting position with the 80+ riders in the field.
I had an OK start and found myself somewhere in the back 1/3rd of the race after the first couple laps. The course was really wide open so it was easy to move around and pass people – particularly coming out of the last turn up a slight hill with the wind coming from the right. All you had to do was take the inside line and then you were sheltered from the wind across the top of the hill down through the start/finish line into the first turn. By the midway point of the 60 minute race, I was close enough to the front to start to try to cover moves and get into breaks. I made it into one good break towards the middle and tried to drive it after I realized my teammate Pat was also in the break. I made it into one other really good break with just 3 other riders with 8 laps to go when a crash took out or held up a lot of riders including Pat who had a wheel puncture after narrowly avoiding crashing. I worked hard, but it wasn’t a perfectly harmonious break. After we were caught, I counter attacked our own break to try to start another break but ended up just riding off the front solo for a quarter of the course. Then I worked hard to stay at the front and only could get 13th in the field sprint – 15th in the race with Oscar Clark (Realcyclist) taking a solo flyer for the win and Nate Brown (Trek-Livestrong) taking second in a solo chase effort. Frank Travesio (Realcyclist) won the field sprint for third so it was a great day for Realcyclist.
Finally, here are the pedal force / cadence maps from the races that I posted about a few days ago.