Thinking of going off the front solo in your next race or group ride? Here’s the difference between sitting in the pack or going solo in Stage 3 of the Pro Women’s race at the 2015 Redlands Bicycle Classic. These stats might make you think twice about attacking from the gun or maybe make you realise just how much you can save by sitting in and being patient. Alizee Brien (Can) and Patricia Schwager (Swi) of Team TIBCO-SVB have shared their race data for this interesting and informative comparison.
How it went down
Alizee was in the break which went very early and built a max lead of two minutes on the field. She was caught about 7km from the finish, and her efforts earned her the sprint jersey.
Patricia was our field general and was in the bunch all day directing traffic. When the field blew up on the final climb, Paddy rode a moderate tempo so as to conserve energy for the next two days.
This is great comparison as both riders have the same FTP, an impressive 4.3 w/kg. As far as the effort on race day, they couldn’t have been more different although both averaged about the same speed, 19.1 mph (30.7km/h).
Our solo breakaway ride, Alizee spent the majority of the race in Zone 3 (tempo) and Zone 4 (threshold) with still very significant efforts in Zone 5 (VO2) and Zone 6 (anaerobic). However, our road captain directing the team in the field spent most of the day in Zone 1 (recovery), Zone 2 (endurance) and Zone 3 (tempo). It is important to note she was being attentive, covering moves and finding and directing teammates, as you can see by the amount of time spent in Zone 6 (anaerobic) using short bursts of power to move about the pack.
You can see the total physiological toll of the stage expressed in the metrics training load and intensity.
Alizee recorded a load of 206 while Patricia came in at 152, showing that Alizee had a much harder day despite them both riding the same course. The Intensity percentage also shows the same result, Alizee had a much more intense effort while Patricia conserved energy for the last two stages.
|Alizee Brien||Patricia Schwager|
FTP (Functional Threshold Power): The maximum average power in watts that a rider can sustain for approximately 60 minutes.
Watts/kg (Watts per kilogram): Converts watts to a metric that compares power output between cyclists of different weights. Also known as power-to-weight ratio. Compares apples to apples (watts per kilogram) instead of apples to oranges (watts).
Effective Power: This uses the same power data that is used for calculating average power and it means something similar but it takes into account the way higher powers are disproportionally harder. The idea is that the ride would be just as hard if this was the average power for the entire ride. This number is calculated using a method developed by Andrew Coggan, which involves calculating the fourth root of the average of the fourth powers of the 30s rolling average of the power data.
Training Load: This is calculated as intensity2 × duration. This indicates how taxing on the body the ride was. A one hour time trial will by definition have a training load of 100. Andrew Coggan also came up with this.
Intensity: This is calculated as effective power / FTP (FTP, or functional threshold power, which is the maximum power output that can be sustained for one hour, must first be set). This indicates how hard the ride was. Shorter rides can have higher intensities. A one hour time trial will have by definition an intensity of 100%. Andrew Coggan came up with this.
For the 2015 season Verve Cycling has sponsored the TIBCO-SVB Professional Women’s Pro Cycling team with InfoCrank, the new gold standard in power meters.
UPDATE: We received some questions around left-right balance and have posted both Alizee and Patricia’s 20-minute peak power files. You can take a look at these below.
Alizee, the solo rider shows a much more evenly balanced, higher power output.
The rider sitting in the field, Patricia, shows much more uneven, lower power output.
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