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British Hill Climb Champs??

Jul 15, 2016
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I have a question, there is this hill climb thing in the UK going on, it seems to be pretty popular, I don't want to condemn somebody, but the wattage those guys are putting out is just ridicolous. I read that one who won it a couple of years ago was putting out 8 watts per kg for 4:30 or something, thats just crazy. Sure, there is no 170 km before the effort but if you look at guys in the tour, for mur de bretagne in 2011 chris horner was putting out 7,1 w/kg and last year yates was putting out 7,5 watts per kg for round about the same duration and those hill climb guys do 40 watts more, even with a few hours of hiding in the bunch they probably should put a fair amount of watts. I don't get it, why are those amateurs so good, and why is no team picking them up, not saying that a world tour team should pick them but at least continental ? whats going on there?
 
Jul 20, 2015
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scurrrr said:
I have a question, there is this hill climb thing in the UK going on, it seems to be pretty popular, I don't want to condemn somebody, but the wattage those guys are putting out is just ridicolous. I read that one who won it a couple of years ago was putting out 8 watts per kg for 4:30 or something, thats just crazy. Sure, there is no 170 km before the effort but if you look at guys in the tour, for mur de bretagne in 2011 chris horner was putting out 7,1 w/kg and last year yates was putting out 7,5 watts per kg for round about the same duration and those hill climb guys do 40 watts more, even with a few hours of hiding in the bunch they probably should put a fair amount of watts. I don't get it, why are those amateurs so good, and why is no team picking them up, not saying that a world tour team should pick them but at least continental ? whats going on there?
8w/kg wow. Was that maybe his max? If not highly suspicious
 
Re:

Catwhoorg said:
its no where near a threshold effort.
It is always heavily anaerobic so much higher powers are expected.
According to the famous Training Peaks chart, the five minute max effort of riders who are world class at that interval (track pursuiters / perhaps a rider like Valverde) is around 7.6 w/kg. And even that would correspond roughly to a threshold effort of 6.6w/kg (i.e. doped).

So to put out 8w/kg for nearly five minutes is, literally, off the charts. Significantly better than what the best world class athletes should be able to produce. I think the obvious conclusion is that, although the winners of these kind of events may well be doping, that w/kg figure is also innaccurate.

edit.. I see below that the time was 4:15 - that makes quite a big difference. I can imagine 8w/kg is pretty easily attainable for that kind of time for the best professionals. Without doping who knows? If the guy trains exclusively for 4:15 efforts then he should be better at them than WT road cyclists.
 
Jul 15, 2016
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gazr99 said:
scurrrr said:
I have a question, there is this hill climb thing in the UK going on, it seems to be pretty popular, I don't want to condemn somebody, but the wattage those guys are putting out is just ridicolous. I read that one who won it a couple of years ago was putting out 8 watts per kg for 4:30 or something, thats just crazy. Sure, there is no 170 km before the effort but if you look at guys in the tour, for mur de bretagne in 2011 chris horner was putting out 7,1 w/kg and last year yates was putting out 7,5 watts per kg for round about the same duration and those hill climb guys do 40 watts more, even with a few hours of hiding in the bunch they probably should put a fair amount of watts. I don't get it, why are those amateurs so good, and why is no team picking them up, not saying that a world tour team should pick them but at least continental ? whats going on there?
8w/kg wow. Was that maybe his max? If not highly suspicious
No, I just took a screenshot. 7,7 Watts per kg for 4:23 and he only finished 4th, the winner did 8 watts per kg for 4:16 or so.

 
Few obvious differences.

- Large difference in output already between 4'20" and 5'00".
- These short outputs are pretty poor predictions for outputs on longer efforts.
- Specific training matters a helluvalot.
 
Jul 15, 2016
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Re:

Red Rick said:
Few obvious differences.

- Large difference in output already between 4'20" and 5'00".
- These short outputs are pretty poor predictions for outputs on longer efforts.
- Specific training matters a helluvalot.
Thats true, but come on even for 4:20, that power is insane. If he can do 8 watts per kg for 4:20 then he probably can do 7.7 or 7.8 for 5 minutes. I don't think top pros could put out much more than that.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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They're definitely clean. Sure, there are probably no controls or anything, but doping would amount to cheating and you never really see that in competitive situations at any walk of life, do you
 
Sep 17, 2014
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Haven't you answered your own question? i.e. they're not endurance atheletes.

Not saying there's no doping, mind.
 
Jun 22, 2015
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Albasini did 8,1 watts per kg when he finished second in Fleche Wallonne just 4 seconds behind Purito. And that guy is doing round about the same for for 1:30 longer? ok no, 4 hours of riding before that but still sick
 
There are plenty of races that come down to who has the best 4:15 effort in them so I think it's a valid question why these guys aren't on pro tour teams. The implied reason (given the location of this thread) is that they're too doped to touch. That is probably the case. I would also tender that their power numbers are horse manure. Not too hard to find a quarq or stages pm that's 10% off from reality.
 
Sep 10, 2013
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proffate said:
There are plenty of races that come down to who has the best 4:15 effort in them so I think it's a valid question why these guys aren't on pro tour teams. The implied reason (given the location of this thread) is that they're too doped to touch. That is probably the case. I would also tender that their power numbers are horse manure. Not too hard to find a quarq or stages pm that's 10% off from reality.
Does it never occurr to you that being in a ProTour cycling team is not the end all and be all for most competitive cyclists, at whatever level?

You might only just have tripped over their exisrence, but hill climb time trials have been a feature of the UK cycling scene for over 100 years. They are a fairly specialised sector of the strong tradition of time trialling here and are usually confined to end of season. Many are a lot, lot shorter than 4 minutes.

It is such a specialisation, even within the already cloistered TT scene, that many of the good "hill climbers" of the past have not competed at all in other cycle sport, in which they had little interest.

That said, there are many TT riders and road men who fancy their chances at it as a bit of end of season fun, masochistic as it is.
 
Apr 3, 2011
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Re:

SeriousSam said:
They're definitely clean. Sure, there are probably no controls or anything, but doping would amount to cheating and you never really see that in competitive situations at any walk of life, do you
well, I remember a discussion here a while ago about granfondo riders being so juiced that even pros were scared of them (cheap juice, no controls,here you go)

and let's not exclude motors, ideal for short uphill effort
 
Jun 30, 2014
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robin440 said:
8 w/kg for around 4 and a half minutes for an amateur??? lol
It reminds me of the local XC skiing amateur who suddenly became a monster.
The guy wanted to start donating blood and was rejected because he had a hemoglobin level of over 21 g/dl. :D
 
Farcanal said:
proffate said:
There are plenty of races that come down to who has the best 4:15 effort in them so I think it's a valid question why these guys aren't on pro tour teams. The implied reason (given the location of this thread) is that they're too doped to touch. That is probably the case. I would also tender that their power numbers are horse manure. Not too hard to find a quarq or stages pm that's 10% off from reality.
Does it never occurr to you that being in a ProTour cycling team is not the end all and be all for most competitive cyclists, at whatever level?

You might only just have tripped over their exisrence, but hill climb time trials have been a feature of the UK cycling scene for over 100 years. They are a fairly specialised sector of the strong tradition of time trialling here and are usually confined to end of season. Many are a lot, lot shorter than 4 minutes.

It is such a specialisation, even within the already cloistered TT scene, that many of the good "hill climbers" of the past have not competed at all in other cycle sport, in which they had little interest.

That said, there are many TT riders and road men who fancy their chances at it as a bit of end of season fun, masochistic as it is.
Spot on. I don't think the UK scene is well understood abroad. Being a professional cyclist is not the aim for most of these guys. One can ride well in our specialisms and also have a full time job in some other field. In fact it's a great way of letting off steam and many are very dedicated to their sport. I can't comment on the power calculations and don't wish to.
 
wrinklyvet said:
Farcanal said:
proffate said:
There are plenty of races that come down to who has the best 4:15 effort in them so I think it's a valid question why these guys aren't on pro tour teams. The implied reason (given the location of this thread) is that they're too doped to touch. That is probably the case. I would also tender that their power numbers are horse manure. Not too hard to find a quarq or stages pm that's 10% off from reality.
Does it never occurr to you that being in a ProTour cycling team is not the end all and be all for most competitive cyclists, at whatever level?

You might only just have tripped over their exisrence, but hill climb time trials have been a feature of the UK cycling scene for over 100 years. They are a fairly specialised sector of the strong tradition of time trialling here and are usually confined to end of season. Many are a lot, lot shorter than 4 minutes.

It is such a specialisation, even within the already cloistered TT scene, that many of the good "hill climbers" of the past have not competed at all in other cycle sport, in which they had little interest.

That said, there are many TT riders and road men who fancy their chances at it as a bit of end of season fun, masochistic as it is.
Spot on. I don't think the UK scene is well understood abroad. Being a professional cyclist is not the aim for most of these guys. One can ride well in our specialisms and also have a full time job in some other field. In fact it's a great way of letting off steam and many are very dedicated to their sport. I can't comment on the power calculations and don't wish to.
Well the ridiculous power output is the whole point of this thread. What you have written is the same for the amateur cycling scene in nearly every other developed country - it's certainly not specific for the UK. There are guys everywhere who enjoy competing and racing their bike but have little interest or are too old to turn pro.

The fact is though, that it's pretty inconceivable that any rider could put out 8 w/kg for over 4 minutes training part-time without some professional level doping, a poorly calibrated power meter or a very faulty pair of scales.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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DFA123 said:
wrinklyvet said:
Farcanal said:
proffate said:
There are plenty of races that come down to who has the best 4:15 effort in them so I think it's a valid question why these guys aren't on pro tour teams. The implied reason (given the location of this thread) is that they're too doped to touch. That is probably the case. I would also tender that their power numbers are horse manure. Not too hard to find a quarq or stages pm that's 10% off from reality.
Does it never occurr to you that being in a ProTour cycling team is not the end all and be all for most competitive cyclists, at whatever level?

You might only just have tripped over their exisrence, but hill climb time trials have been a feature of the UK cycling scene for over 100 years. They are a fairly specialised sector of the strong tradition of time trialling here and are usually confined to end of season. Many are a lot, lot shorter than 4 minutes.

It is such a specialisation, even within the already cloistered TT scene, that many of the good "hill climbers" of the past have not competed at all in other cycle sport, in which they had little interest.

That said, there are many TT riders and road men who fancy their chances at it as a bit of end of season fun, masochistic as it is.
Spot on. I don't think the UK scene is well understood abroad. Being a professional cyclist is not the aim for most of these guys. One can ride well in our specialisms and also have a full time job in some other field. In fact it's a great way of letting off steam and many are very dedicated to their sport. I can't comment on the power calculations and don't wish to.
Well the ridiculous power output is the whole point of this thread. What you have written is the same for the amateur cycling scene in nearly every other developed country - it's certainly not specific for the UK. There are guys everywhere who enjoy competing and racing their bike but have little interest or are too old to turn pro.

The fact is though, that it's pretty inconceivable that any rider could put out 8 w/kg for over 4 minutes training part-time without some professional level doping, a poorly calibrated power meter or a very faulty pair of scales.
This post kind of shows exactly the ignorance of the UK cycling scene. This isn't just some blokes who could have turrned pro but are too old, this is an intense and specialised subculture. The amateur cycling scene in the UK might be similar to most other countries, but the TTs and hill climbs certainly aren't. Does this make them less ot more suspicious? I don't know.
(incidentally, the only pro I'm aware of who emerged from this subculture recently is David Millar, who was a 10-mile TTer; Robert Millar was Scottish hill climb champion in 1977, Simpson was British champion two decades earlier.)
 
Cannibal72 said:
DFA123 said:
wrinklyvet said:
Farcanal said:
proffate said:
There are plenty of races that come down to who has the best 4:15 effort in them so I think it's a valid question why these guys aren't on pro tour teams. The implied reason (given the location of this thread) is that they're too doped to touch. That is probably the case. I would also tender that their power numbers are horse manure. Not too hard to find a quarq or stages pm that's 10% off from reality.
Does it never occurr to you that being in a ProTour cycling team is not the end all and be all for most competitive cyclists, at whatever level?

You might only just have tripped over their exisrence, but hill climb time trials have been a feature of the UK cycling scene for over 100 years. They are a fairly specialised sector of the strong tradition of time trialling here and are usually confined to end of season. Many are a lot, lot shorter than 4 minutes.

It is such a specialisation, even within the already cloistered TT scene, that many of the good "hill climbers" of the past have not competed at all in other cycle sport, in which they had little interest.

That said, there are many TT riders and road men who fancy their chances at it as a bit of end of season fun, masochistic as it is.
Spot on. I don't think the UK scene is well understood abroad. Being a professional cyclist is not the aim for most of these guys. One can ride well in our specialisms and also have a full time job in some other field. In fact it's a great way of letting off steam and many are very dedicated to their sport. I can't comment on the power calculations and don't wish to.
Well the ridiculous power output is the whole point of this thread. What you have written is the same for the amateur cycling scene in nearly every other developed country - it's certainly not specific for the UK. There are guys everywhere who enjoy competing and racing their bike but have little interest or are too old to turn pro.

The fact is though, that it's pretty inconceivable that any rider could put out 8 w/kg for over 4 minutes training part-time without some professional level doping, a poorly calibrated power meter or a very faulty pair of scales.
This post kind of shows exactly the ignorance of the UK cycling scene. This isn't just some blokes who could have turrned pro but are too old, this is an intense and specialised subculture. The amateur cycling scene in the UK might be similar to most other countries, but the TTs and hill climbs certainly aren't. Does this make them less ot more suspicious? I don't know.
(incidentally, the only pro I'm aware of who emerged from this subculture recently is David Millar, who was a 10-mile TTer; Robert Millar was Scottish hill climb champion in 1977, Simpson was British champion two decades earlier.)
Which countries are you comparing to when you make this statement? Do you think the UK is unique in having highly competitive amateur time trials and hill climbs? Hill climbing in Spain for example, has a much longer tradition and is a much bigger event than in the UK. The big races like Subida a Arrate or Subida al Naranco attract pros, but nearly every town has their own massive event which local and national amateurs specialize in and win with excellent times. Same thing in Italy, where the amateur field is probably the strongest in the world.

The fact is though that 8w/kg for well over four minutes is absurd for an amateur; in fact, it's absurd for a World Tour pro. To put it in perspective, Boardman's old track pursit world record saw him put out something like 7.5w/kg for 4:10. Obviously aerodynamics are a factor there, but it is still a max power effort for the same duration. And it was presumably a more steady and measured effort than a hill climb with varying gradients.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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Which countries are you comparing to when you make this statement? Do you think the UK is unique in having highly competitive amateur time trials and hill climbs? Hill climbing in Spain for example, has a much longer tradition and is a much bigger event than in the UK. The big races like Subida a Arrate or Subida al Naranco attract pros, but nearly every town has their own massive event which local and national amateurs specialize in and win with excellent times. Same thing in Italy, where the amateur field is probably the strongest in the world.

The fact is though that 8w/kg for well over four minutes is absurd for an amateur; in fact, it's absurd for a World Tour pro. To put it in perspective, Boardman's old track pursit world record saw him put out something like 7.5w/kg for 4:10. Obviously aerodynamics are a factor there, but it is still a max power effort for the same duration. And it was presumably a more steady and measured effort than a hill climb with varying gradients.
Firstly, I have no idea how Spain can have a 'much longer' tradition of hill climbs, unless there's been hill climbs since before the invention of the bicycle, which would be impressive.
Secondly, you're making my point for me. I'm not saying for a second that the UK is more competitive than Spain or Italy, but where the scene there is either highly connected with pro racing or actually attracts pros, in the UK the scene is completely separate from pro racing; it's its own subculture (which is why it doesn't actually attract that many people or much interest). It's a cult thing.
I'm unconvinced that wattage is an accurate way of determining doping, but I would agree that doping is certainly possible.
 
Re:

Cannibal72 said:
Which countries are you comparing to when you make this statement? Do you think the UK is unique in having highly competitive amateur time trials and hill climbs? Hill climbing in Spain for example, has a much longer tradition and is a much bigger event than in the UK. The big races like Subida a Arrate or Subida al Naranco attract pros, but nearly every town has their own massive event which local and national amateurs specialize in and win with excellent times. Same thing in Italy, where the amateur field is probably the strongest in the world.

The fact is though that 8w/kg for well over four minutes is absurd for an amateur; in fact, it's absurd for a World Tour pro. To put it in perspective, Boardman's old track pursit world record saw him put out something like 7.5w/kg for 4:10. Obviously aerodynamics are a factor there, but it is still a max power effort for the same duration. And it was presumably a more steady and measured effort than a hill climb with varying gradients.
Firstly, I have no idea how Spain can have a 'much longer' tradition of hill climbs, unless there's been hill climbs since before the invention of the bicycle, which would be impressive.
Secondly, you're making my point for me. I'm not saying for a second that the UK is more competitive than Spain or Italy, but where the scene there is either highly connected with pro racing or actually attracts pros, in the UK the scene is completely separate from pro racing; it's its own subculture (which is why it doesn't actually attract that many people or much interest). It's a cult thing.
I'm unconvinced that wattage is an accurate way of determining doping, but I would agree that doping is certainly possible.
The examples I gave for Spain were just two of the most famous races, which the pros are attracted to - especially now that those two have evolved in recent years and been integrated into pro races. There are dozens more which are exclusively amateur and which have a cult following of riders; each community has them which are fiercely contested. The UK is far from unique in this regard, perhaps it is unique in how short most of the climbs they use are.

Even it we assume it is unique in the world though, it's still very hard to believe that the UK has an underground scene of amateur riders putting out power that pros could only dream of, but who have no interest in turning pro themselves.
 
You are better off comparing Hill Climbers to Strava Snipers then Pro Cyclists. This does them a huge disservice, of course, because most of the famous climbs like The Rake for example are positively brutal (this road actually has a bannister running alongside it). You can't always rely on wAttage etc as being indicative of doping or suggesting someone who can grovel for 350yards should be riding 260km pro races
 

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