When Mathew Haymen won the Paris Roubaix race and his data was discussed via TrainingPeaks Website, I was flooded with comments regarding the data. I had many riders telling me “look at this” or “really cool analysis”. This triggered something in me that said, maybe the athletes want to be more involved with the analysis of their own data. This blog is being done to show that you don’t have to be a professional racer to have data analysis done. It is something we do every week to program future training and discuss performances in races. The following analysis is of a P123 race. The rider has chosen to be anonymous (Rider X).
(Photo 1 Shows entire race power profile)
The race was 61 miles in duration and full of riders ranging from professional cyclists to category 3 racers. Rider X was able to stay in the pack for the first hour of the race by putting in big efforts such as his peak 1 minute output of 554 watts (7.61 w/kg) and peak 2 minute output of 448 watts (6.16 w/kg).
(Photo 2 shows 1 min max power)
At the 5-10 mile mark, a break of riders (3) were able to get away from the group. At this point, Rider X was able to sit in the pack for the next 20 miles and conserve energy working at roughly 65-80% of FTP. While Rider X had to surge several times to stay with the pack, the overall average of power is down in this section of the race.
(Photo 3 shows 20 miles of tempo/endurance)
As the race went on, Rider X was seeing the peloton become content with a sprint for 4th place at the finish. Utilizing Rider X’s strength of v02 and threshold abilities, he made the conscious decision to put in a dig near 1000 watts and go on a solo break to try and chase the 3 leaders.
(Photo 4 shows surge)
As the race continued, Rider X was able to close the initial 1:30 gap to 25 seconds. However, as the gap shrunk, the 3 leaders were informed and they were able to open the lead back up. In the end, Rider X was able to rely on his TT abilities and stay away from the peloton for over 30 miles. During this time, Rider X averaged 344 NP and 330 Average power. Also, while gaining 1200 ft of elevation in this distance, Rider X was still able to manage an average speed of 25.4 mph.
(Photo 5 shows 30 mile solo effort)
In the end Rider X couldn’t quite close the gap on the 3 leaders, but he did come across the line in 4th after doing a 30+ mile solo time trial. He ended up working exceptionally hard in the race but it ended with a quality result in the first P123 race of the season.
Final Placing: 4th
Distance: 61.4 miles
Normalized Power: 344
Average Power: 311
Max Power: 1249
Training Stress Score: 208.5
Elevation Gain: 2861 ft
Average Speed: 25.4 mph
Rider Weight: 160 lbs (72.72kg)
Conclusion & why it matters
When doing an analysis like this as a coach, you are able to look into the actual efforts of the race and see where things went right or where maybe a bit too much energy was used. While in road racing you often have to stay with the flow of the group, this race demonstrates how important pacing can be when you find yourself solo in a race. By utilizing power in all of Rider X’s training, he was informed enough to know how hard he could push when going solo without the risk of blowing up. By calculated training and conversations of pacing with power, Rider X was able to bring his knowledge and training into a race for a great result.
If you are interested in training with power or having your data analyzed, we can do it. This isn’t something reserved for the pro’s, this can be done on a daily basis!