2013 USA Pro Challenge Power Analysis

Monday, August 26, 2013 | By TrainingPeaks
 
 
 
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Stage 1 - Aspen/Snowmass Circuit Race - 68.2 Miles

Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) 

Click here to see Kiel's full power file.

  • This stage was hard but steady from the gun. Reijnen held 221 average watts and 244 normalized watts for the 68 mile stage. He could've powered three laptops for the 2.5 hours the riders were out racing.
  • Reijnen hit over 800 watts twice in the final minute before hitting his peak power output of 1131 watts at the finish line. Being able to repeat big efforts is a key for sprinters in the final miles.
  • Reijnen's peak 1 and 2 minute power came on the first ascent just 10 miles into the day as some riders looked to make an early break. Reijnen had to push the watts as the peleton was quick to reel them in. He also hit 6 beats lower than his max HR for the stage.
  • Reijnen was able to coast for nearly 20% of the stage, that's 12 miles! This was a smart move - conserving energy in the peloton so that he could crack out the big outputs when it mattered at the end.

Stage 2 - Aspen to Breckenridge - 126.1 Miles

Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling)

Click here to view Chris' full power file. 

  • Jones' 197 average watts and 240 normalized watts is indicative of a stage with plenty of elevation gain as well as surges and attacks. Jones himself made it into the 15-man breakaway that escaped with about 50km to go and managed to stay away for most of the climb up Hoosier Pass. Normalized watts indicate how hard the stage truly was as they take into account the intensity of each effort.
  • Almost 15% of Jones' time was spent coasting today. This allowed him to save his energy for the big climbs.
  • Coming down Independence Pass Jones averaged only 60 watts but still went 35.5 mph!
  • One of the harder sections today was the 2 to 3% incline between mile 68 and 80. Jones had to put out 249 average watts for 34 minutes to stay at the front of the group. After this section he made his way into the select group of 15 riders.

Stage 3 - Breckenride to Steamboat Springs - 105.9 Miles

Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard)

Click here to view Jens' full power file

  • Just 20 minutes into the stage Jens hits his peak 2 second wattage of 1262 watts. This is where the break was formed and as always, Jens was poised to go.
  • To rid himself of his breakaway companions about 60 miles in, Jens put out just over 500 watts for 12 seconds. Pushing that kind of power with big climbs still to come is what makes Jens a "hard man" of the peloton.
  • Voigt coasted for over 6 minutes descending Rabbit Ears Pass and averaged 47 mph hoping to conserve energy for the final push to the line.
  • Surely screaming "Shut up legs!" to himself, Jens pushed 327 watts (4.3 w/kg) for over 10 minutes along the flats after coming down from Rabbit Ears Pass to keep the peloton at bay. That wattage means he's still hammering at nearly 90% of his threshold power, or what he could hold for 1 hour at maximum effort if he were rested! It is amazing to see that Jens is able to go that hard after so many hard miles and it's why the peloton fears him in a break.

Stage 4 - Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek - 102.9 Miles

Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling)

Click here to view Philip's full power file. 

  • During the first climb up Bachelors Gulch, Deignan put out 347 watts, or 5.34 watts/kg. He did this for 24 minutes to stay safely in the peloton.
  • After climbing up Bachelor's Gulch Deignan had just 10 minutes of downhill to recover before going back up. On his second trip up, he averaged 360 watts, or 5.54 watts/kg. The ability to repeat that type of effort at the end of along day of climbing is impressive.
  • Even after hundreds of miles and endless climbing, Deignan put out his peak 1 minute power in the final minute of racing. No coasting to the finish line in the peloton.

Stage 5 Vail Time Trial - 10 Miles

Rory Sutherland (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) 

Click here to view Rory's full power file. 

  • Sutherland's warm up was nearly three times longer than his race!
  • In his final push to the line, Sutherland produced 550 watts, or 7.19 watts/kg for 37 seconds. After pushing near his limit for the time trial that is a very strong way to finish.
  • Pacing a time trial is key and Sutherland's Variability Index, or V.I. of 1.02 indicates an incredibly smooth power output over the 27:13.
  • Sutherland prefers lower gears and a higher cadence as indicated by his 92 RPM average. Producing watts is a function of both the force and speed at which you pedal so a bigger gear is not always better.

Stage 6 - Loveland to Fort Collins - 115.2 Miles

Javier Megias Leal (Team Novo Nordisk)

Click here to view Javier's full power file. 

Stage 7 - Denver Circuit Race - 72.4 Miles

Alessandro Bazzana (United Healthcare Pro Cycling)

Click here to view Alessandro's full power file. 

  • While Bazzana's peak power values came in the latter part of the stage, they didn't take it easy in the beginning. In the first hour of racing Bazzana hit 940 watts and averaged 28.5mph.
  • In the final sprint to the line where he took third, Bazzana averaged 546 watts - that's 8.3 w/kg - for a minute. This includes his peak power of 1022 watts and 25 seconds later another spike of 993 watts. That's a strong way to end 600 miles of racing!
  • Bazzana's average power of 185 watts and a normalized power of 224 for the stage registered a high Variability Index (VI) of 1.21. The coasting then hammering that comes with corners creates this high score that is common in criterium style racing. Normalized Power is an estimate of what the power output would be if it had been perfectly constant — a better way than “average power” to quantify the true physiological cost of a ride.

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