Saturday, December 29, 2007

the race data, of course

A win is nothing without data, eh?

OK, D-grade crits at the CCCC are short - 30mins plus a lap (another 2km, so about 16-17km). We start with the "D1" kids and drop 'em off after 2 or 3 laps, so we start slow, slow but then speed up. It was 32 degrees Celsius off the tar at 6pm - hot. And the wind was 30kmh from the NE. I was on the Felt F-50.

I dump my ibike data into a spreadsheet, so it comes out like this:
MAX power
AV (all)
Max power is peak power. With the ibike it's susceptible to lifting wheels, and the combination of pulling up on the bars on an 8% hill during a max effort bridge to the attacker probably distorted the real power... so let's say it was 1,000W anyway, if not 1,400.

The all-up average treats coasting as part of the race, hence Av (all) is just 104W but (Average (>0W) removes all zeroes... which is more 'real'. 151W still sounds low - but we did start slow!!

That's my own normalisation formula, by the way, and definitely a WIP. As a relative measure it gives me a way to judge between efforts. It emphasises the middle over the high-end of the power output range and tries to indicate real effort - all soft-pedalling or coasting is removed and we are looking at just the real "training" load, but I haven't yet perfected a way to recognise effort over time... so short rides are favoured over long ones. I'm working on it.
600-700W 0.15%
500-600W 0.46%
400-500W 2.49%
300-400W 7.02%
200-300W 12.57%
100-200W 32.88%
0-100W 43.51%
This breaks-down the power into steps. I can see that 43% of my race was coasting or drafting (0-100W). When training I seek to minimise this figure, to actively eliminate those slack periods, In a race I take full advantage of these "rests".

You can also see that there were only a few 600W+ efforts, and the 300 and 400W steps represent the once-per-lap climbs. Knowing all of this allows me to finetune my training to meet my race needs, although C-grade may well be more "attacking" and both the averages and the peaks will be higher (and more frequent in terms of peaks).
695 VAM (max)/hr
10.5 Slope % (max)
-0.44 Slope % (average)
32 ALTITUDE (max)

50.53 VELOCITY (max)

25.0 VELOCITY (average)

The VAM is useless - not enough hills! But the 50.53kmh peak velocity in the sprint in useful. The 25kmh average is misleading as it covers 20km - warm-up, race and cool-down. The race itself averaged 32kmh (slow, I know, don't rub it in).

A win is a win is a win...

Yes folks, after 250,000km over about 35 years of riding, at 50 years of age and after suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune I actually chalked up another win. Trust me, a win in a D-grade crit is as good as A-grade when you are 50 and only manage 100km road kilometres in a good week!

It's also nice to explain how and why. Firstly, I haven't been well or consistent in my recent training so...
  1. I took it easy
  2. I warmed up
  3. I made sure I gritted my teeth only when absolutely necessary
  4. When ready I had a few digs to see how my body would react (and see how the others were going)
  5. I found I could manage 350-400W up the short climb once every 2km lap and recover in time for the 36-40kmh slight 1km climb, even when leading the bunch
  6. However I was hitting 175-180bpm and feeling stretched (192pbm is my upper limit)
  7. So I took every breather I could
  8. But I let no-one get away
  9. I stayed up front (easy after the first third of the race as we were down to just 4 in the lead bunch)
  10. I was vigilant
  11. I anticipated attacks up the long straight and the final, crucial attack up the steepest part of the last hill
  12. I used 1400W (probably lifted the front wheel - let's say 1,000W) in one burst on the 8% hill to get on the right wheel
  13. I stayed on that wheel and they (thanks Arron) towed me over the top and down to the finish straight
  14. I waited and waited and then crept over my lead out just before the line (500W into a headwind but down a 4% hill)
  15. And threw the bike to pass him for the win - just.
If I could sum it up, applicable in all grades - don't get dropped, save your energy for when it matters, get on the right wheel and come off the wheel at the right time. Easy, eh?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Whitewashed at Cronulla

I must keep a tally of these fortunate riders who win their final pro races to end their careers on a fairytale high. It's very un-Australian to do it, though. Real Aussies make a duck in their last innings, like Bradman. Anyway, Whitey's done it and I missed it 'cause I had a commitment to my almost-9 year old daughter and her latest ballet performance. Such is life (another Aussie tradition, look it up.)

But my non-attendance won't stop me saying 'well done'. I've never knowingly raced or ridden with Matt White (maybe I was at the back of a training bunch once or twice) but he's been part of the local scenery for yonks. Whilst I'm impressed with Matt's career and his final win I do have to say it amuses me to see riders take out these heart-stopping finales. I always think of the tour-Tour crits and the shenanigans that go on to please the crowd (what, you mean they aren't for real?). And interestingly this was not just Matt's last win as a pro, he's also very much a local to the district. So it's a win all round. A good news story when cycling's got some much-needed but rare local commercial TV coverage. But whatever really went on during that final breakaway, the trick here is to look real. And to me, from what I did see, it was convincing.

From Australian Matt White (Discovery Channel) has ended his professional career on the highest of notes, taking victory at the Cronulla International Grand Prix an event staged in Sydney's Sutherland Shire, home to White and many other professional cyclists. The victory on his home's shores served to bookend White's career. The 33 year-old claimed his first major win at the Under 17 Road Team Time Trial component of the 1990 Australian Titles in Western Australia.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Peter Milostic snatches Peter McDonald's ATTA NSW record

Worth posting in full, this is a significant local TT record for Sydney and Central Coast riders... from the Impact Cycling forum: Peter Milostic snatches Peter McDonald’s ATTA NSW record On the first Sunday of every month, ATTA NSW conducts Time Trials at the famous Calga circuit. On the 4th of November Peter Milostic turned up to attack Peter McDonald’s impressive sub 1 hour record for the undulating 43km course. Unfortunately the gods of time trialing did not smile on the Penrith rider as he punctured in the last 5km and limped in with a notably impressive time of 1hour 1min and 33 seconds. One month later on the first Sunday of December Milostic returned, determined to crack the seemingly unbreakable record. This time he left nothing to chance bringing his wife with spare wheels, spare bike and his coach Mick Chapman, with laptop and lactate testing kits. Peter signed on as number 58 giving him over an hour of warm up which he did on the rollers. Many of the ATTA regulars heads were turning as the high pitched whirr of yet another of Peter’s intensive intervals echoed over the otherwise relaxed start area. For many years (2003- 2007) the ATTA 43km record has been the domain of three Sydney riders Adam Conquest (Randwick Botany CC), David Rae (Marconi CC) and Tom Brooks (Parramatta CC). The trio regularly upped each other, collecting the ATTA $100 prize for any new record. That was until May 2007 when Peter McDonald (FRF NSWIS) turned up to Calga fresh off an impressive ride in the Canberra tour where he came 2nd in the TT and wore the leader’s jersey for one day. Peter smashed Adam Conquest’s record time of 1hr 02 min 11 sec by 2 minutes 17 seconds setting the seemingly unbreakable time of 59:54. Milostic started his mission at 8:58am under a patchy sky with a slight North /Easterly and an ambient temperature of 20 degrees. He was almost poetic on his outward journey powering over every climb in his aerodynamic time trial position. He hit the Somersby turnaround in an amazing sub 29 minute time, which was significantly faster than McDonald’s record time. The plan started to go pear shaped towards the end of his return trip and he was spotted struggling over the notorious Blood Hill however, once over the killer climb, Milostic recomposed himself quickly and powered home to stop the clock at 59 minutes and 34 seconds. The presentation of the ATTA record trophy and $100 cash was conducted by Chris Greeves in front of gob smacked ATTA riders who applauded loudly for the new champion. Within moments of Peter crossing the line an ATTA official was SMS’ing Peter McDonald to inform him of his broken record. In a post presentation interview Milostic expressed his pleasure of beating the record and his intentions of using the event for the coming months to gauge his performance. He was excited at the prospect of a duel between him and McDonald in lowering this prestigious record. December was also the first week of the new “Personal Best (PB) ride Scheme” whereby after a rider establishes 2 rides on the same course, any rider who betters their PB will be rewarded with a free entry for the next calendar event. Results have been kept on a data base for every event since mid 2005. You can find out your PB at the ATTA NSW start line. ATTA NSW conducts Time Trials on the first Sunday of each month rain,hail or shine.