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Want to try this next year, even cat 5 seems crazy fast to me

burnthesheepburnthesheep Posts: 675
edited January 2018 in Amateur race
Anyone care to look at this objectively?
http://labs.strava.com/flyby/viewer/#97 ... 1kOjpJWAo6

That is the course from the Cat 5 race from this year that I want to try next year. I'm just dumbfounded at the avg speed on even a flat course. That's riders taking turns at 270w to hold that pace. Maybe a bad estimate, but I'm sure it's over 250w. I do 250w to 300w intervals today like 2 sets of 3x3min with 3min RBI 8min RBS.

I'm an average size guy, probably 165lb on race day. This seems like a flatlander Clydesdale race, watts watts watts and doesn't matter your size.

Sure sure, just go try. Just follow wheels in the front 1/3. Whatever. That's a little disconcerting when a winner every few years in this solo's 25mph off the front the entire 90 minute race. In a Cat 5.

How in the world is the power meter avg for the winner in a flat Cat 5 250w over 90min? Sure, the one guy solo'd that one year. But that seems nuts. That means a 20 min power of easily 300w.

I have options locally to train in groups with race-simulation, so will try that. I also may try to round up a friend or Strava mate of similar ability to go pace-line that race course just the two of us for the race distance to see how feasible this even is.

If the two of us can't paceline together within a decent mph or time of the real race, I'll forget it.
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  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Get out and ride and you'll bump into one of the racers around - see how he's going.
    I'd not worry about powermeter readings - who knows how accurate they are.

    Sitting in the wheels is a hell of a lot easier than soloing off the bunch. If you don't race you'll never know - so turn up and see how you fare. You can win from sitting in and outsprinting a dude that can tow the bunch around >25mph.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 12,006
    Which rider had an average of 250W? What speed is it that surprises you?
  • marykamaryka Posts: 745
    That Strava flyby shows a bunch of people riding around at 20mph,unless I'm missing something? Looking at the segment for the course, the fastest riders are in the pro/1/2 race. Post the ride link to one of these 25mph cat 5 racers please.

    250w is nothing special for a 165lb rider btw... And I do turns at 270w in women's races. But as others have said, it's race craft and the ability to respond to surges in pace that will make or break your racing career. Just get stuck in and see how it goes.
  • Which rider had an average of 250W? What speed is it that surprises you?

    Wasn't in this linked Strava ride this time. It was from 2 years ago. A guy solo'd off the front at 250w, meter indicated, for the entire 90 min and won by seconds ahead of the next final bunch. Hopefully that was an anomaly, that's a bit irritating for those guys/gals who experienced that I would assume.

    The 24 1/2 or so mph average for the entire 90 min race, for Cat 5, surprises me.

    Even for 200 feet in 10 miles, which is nothing, that sounds fast. I've never, ever, been on a group ride that fast. And this is with other people who are in the top 50 out of 1000 people on all the local contested routes/segments. A-group rides.

    I would had assumed maybe 23mph or so average on a Cat 5 race on a flattish course. Not pushing 24.5 to 25mph. 25mph for a turn is 300 watts or so.

    Right now I do 3x3min with 3min off at 250 to 300w for intervals in training. And that's pretty much wasting yourself to the point you're only spinning 150w on your 3 min break between intervals. This week I did 2 sets of this over an hour and was toasted.
  • maryka wrote:
    That Strava flyby shows a bunch of people riding around at 20mph,unless I'm missing something? Looking at the segment for the course, the fastest riders are in the pro/1/2 race. Post the ride link to one of these 25mph cat 5 racers please.

    250w is nothing special for a 165lb rider btw... And I do turns at 270w in women's races. But as others have said, it's race craft and the ability to respond to surges in pace that will make or break your racing career. Just get stuck in and see how it goes.

    If you click on a rider and do analyze, it's 24/25. 20mph is because of rollout at start and cool-off at end for some riders. Cruising for minutes slower to cool down will kill an average speed.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Every ride I click on is 20mph avg, as Maryka said.

    I've no idea what cat 5 is in the UK, but 300w for 20 minutes is very unremarkable.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 12,006
    But which rider from that race worries you? The one I looked at was doing 32.5kmh and a 20 minute max of about 180W with a 3 minute max of about 280W.
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
    Even I can do 300w for 20 mins :lol:

    Cat 4 is the lowest Cat here in the UK....

    Don't worry about Strava and what may happen in the race, just get involved.
    '17 Focus Mares Force 1 --- '19 Cervélo S5 Disc Di2

    IG: RhinosWorkshop - Check it out for all my custom builds...
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    But which rider from that race worries you? The one I looked at was doing 32.5kmh and a 20 minute max of about 180W with a 3 minute max of about 280W.

    I'd say if you're not up to that, then really you need to get a blood test as you'll be ill with something.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • marykamaryka Posts: 745
    My numbers are like yours and I've easily hung on to a flat men's race for over 2hrs at that speed. I'm nowhere in the sprint of course, but I'm also not a sprinter.

    In my experience, road quality and width in north America is worth 1-2mph on any given ride versus the usual training and racing roads in the UK. Again I don't find 24mph very remarkable nor 250w for 90 minutes.

    But all that aside, you're just psyching yourself out with nothing. Go race, you'll find out an awful lot more in a single race than by reading dozens of threads on forums. Bike racing is truly one of those things you only understand once you've tried it.
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
    I got beat by a girl at my first race at Hillingdon. She was about 5ft, 45kg yet did an amazing job of blocking me in and holding me up on the final sprint. So a 1,700w sprint effort never happened and she rolled in in front of me.

    I did feel bad screaming at her to move, but why would she. She beat me at the positioning game.

    Chapeau to her. It's all good fun.
    '17 Focus Mares Force 1 --- '19 Cervélo S5 Disc Di2

    IG: RhinosWorkshop - Check it out for all my custom builds...
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437

    Even for 200 feet in 10 miles, which is nothing, that sounds fast. I've never, ever, been on a group ride that fast.

    Well no - because you haven't raced. No group rides go as fast as a race.
  • Fair enough.

    I agree 300w for 20 min may be unremarkable to many folks. But, in the context of Cat 5 it seems way way more than I had thought it would be for a 20min test. On that magical ftp chart floating on the internet that groups into race categories, 300w is more into a solid 3 than a Cat 5.

    I've gone from 160w a year ago to about 230w today at 20min. I can interval workout at 270 to 300 on 3x3's like I said above. I just can't see getting to 250w by May being enough without a LOT of strategy and skill in the pack.

    It seems trying one of the racing simulation group rides locally would be a good bet. They "race" and have a much higher class rider coach what they see in the bunch along the way.
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
    '17 Focus Mares Force 1 --- '19 Cervélo S5 Disc Di2

    IG: RhinosWorkshop - Check it out for all my custom builds...
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    USA
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
    BREXIT
    '17 Focus Mares Force 1 --- '19 Cervélo S5 Disc Di2

    IG: RhinosWorkshop - Check it out for all my custom builds...
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 12,006
    The second rider I looked at had a 3 minute max of 300W, with 220W for 20 minutes. That was for 1:33 finish. It's not a 300W FTP.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Fair enough.

    I agree 300w for 20 min may be unremarkable to many folks. But, in the context of Cat 5 it seems way way more than I had thought it would be for a 20min test. On that magical ftp chart floating on the internet that groups into race categories, 300w is more into a solid 3 than a Cat 5.

    I've gone from 160w a year ago to about 230w today at 20min. I can interval workout at 270 to 300 on 3x3's like I said above. I just can't see getting to 250w by May being enough without a LOT of strategy and skill in the pack.

    It seems trying one of the racing simulation group rides locally would be a good bet. They "race" and have a much higher class rider coach what they see in the bunch along the way.


    At those numbers you are likely not far above untrained. So I would think adding 20W by then (not that it means much really in isolation) shouldn't be difficult.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,874
    Fair enough.

    I agree 300w for 20 min may be unremarkable to many folks. But, in the context of Cat 5 it seems way way more than I had thought it would be for a 20min test. On that magical ftp chart floating on the internet that groups into race categories, 300w is more into a solid 3 than a Cat 5.

    I've gone from 160w a year ago to about 230w today at 20min. I can interval workout at 270 to 300 on 3x3's like I said above. I just can't see getting to 250w by May being enough without a LOT of strategy and skill in the pack.

    It seems trying one of the racing simulation group rides locally would be a good bet. They "race" and have a much higher class rider coach what they see in the bunch along the way.
    There will be all sorts of folk in a race, no matter what cat. You may even ge elite cat riders who,have been out of the game for a while and have decided to race again.
    You can bang on about how you shouldn't need 300w to race at cat 5 but it isn't go to change anything. Just go race then you will find out where you are at and what you need to do,to improve.
  • I think my expectations in a year were maybe a bit high. In other words, the competition is a lot tougher than people who "finish" fondos without dying. The first goal next May should be pretty much to just not get shot out the back within 10 miles.

    I think I did NOT have a fundamental understanding between really fit riders and riders who actually train.

    The difference appears fairly awe inspiring.

    I guess since this is month # 15 of riding at all, I need to optimize and have fun with the "faster" rate of gain of power over time. Because I've heard that rate slows from mega-watts per year to maybe 8-10% a year. At the same volume training.

    One nice thing now is that weekly mileage is way up since you go further in the same time.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Not being funny but many people jump in with racing after a few weeks of riding with a group you're at nearly 1.5 years?! I was 1st cat by then, and I know many who have done it twice as quick as I did, you're over thinking it hugely.

    10% a year is not true either, I'd be Sagan if it was.

    You just need to get on with it, and find some decent people to ride with, actual decent people, not the ones you are currently.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    To be fair okgo your rate of progress is most definitely not the norm - you appear to have a large degree of actual talent for the sport.

    Which isn't to say that the OP wouldn't benefit from undertaking race-pace training rides with decent people, because I'm sure he would.

    Most of the good* cyclists I know had to plug away for months just to start getting top ten placing in cat 4 (UK entry level) events.

    *good in this case being a relative term but still better than me and most of the people you might encounter out on your bike.

    Still, the key point is intact, numbers don't mean anything - race craft, anticipating the surges, positioning etc all far more important than a high FTP score in amateur racing.
  • paul2718paul2718 Posts: 471
    You're seriously over-thinking this. I see Noel Nunkovich from your link claims to have finished with the second group, so not out the back, fastest lap at 34.6kmh. If you have some ability to make 'spiky' efforts and recover then surely you are well within the fitness zone of riding this race to the finish. Winning obviously another thing.

    What will get you dropped is repeatedly letting go of the wheel and having to make efforts to get back on. Harder work than being on the front. You need to be able to spike and coast. Hard to practice that without other riders.

    Paul
  • Well, I'll keep up with the plan. I'll try to find and do some of those simulation group rides.

    If next May I get shot out the back, I get shot out. Who cares. It's only a 90 min thing anyway. It's not that big of a time investment on the day of to be too upset about.

    Now, the HC climbing fondo two weeks later. That's a time investment. Any fitness gained will make that a much more enjoyable mountain ride since it isn't a race.
  • VslowpaceVslowpace Posts: 189
    Ryan_W wrote:
    BREXIT

    no, they have cat 5 in the USA, which is where the OP is from
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
    Vslowpace wrote:
    Ryan_W wrote:
    BREXIT

    no, they have cat 5 in the USA, which is where the OP is from

    And moron of the day award goes toooo.... :roll:
    '17 Focus Mares Force 1 --- '19 Cervélo S5 Disc Di2

    IG: RhinosWorkshop - Check it out for all my custom builds...
  • LookyhereLookyhere Posts: 987
    Ryan_W wrote:
    I got beat by a girl at my first race at Hillingdon. She was about 5ft, 45kg yet did an amazing job of blocking me in and holding me up on the final sprint. So a 1,700w sprint effort never happened and she rolled in in front of me.

    I did feel bad screaming at her to move, but why would she. She beat me at the positioning game.

    Chapeau to her. It's all good fun.

    Big of you, prob a 1st year junior girl, aged 16.

    a 1700w sprint effort... yeah of course.
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
    Lookyhere wrote:
    Ryan_W wrote:
    I got beat by a girl at my first race at Hillingdon. She was about 5ft, 45kg yet did an amazing job of blocking me in and holding me up on the final sprint. So a 1,700w sprint effort never happened and she rolled in in front of me.

    I did feel bad screaming at her to move, but why would she. She beat me at the positioning game.

    Chapeau to her. It's all good fun.

    Big of you, prob a 1st year junior girl, aged 16.

    a 1700w sprint effort... yeah of course.

    Who's this numpty?

    She was a grown woman and I congratulated her on her tactics.

    And yes, I do have a 1,700w sprint. Why is that so hard to believe? Some of us can actually ride on this forum.
    '17 Focus Mares Force 1 --- '19 Cervélo S5 Disc Di2

    IG: RhinosWorkshop - Check it out for all my custom builds...
  • whatleytomwhatleytom Posts: 547
    Ryan_W wrote:
    And moron of the day award goes toooo.... :roll:
    Ryan_W wrote:
    Yes, I do have a 1,700w sprint.

    :oops:
    Blog on first season road racing http://www.twhatley.com/
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 12,006
    1700W is a very very big number.
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