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British Hill Climb Champs??

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Re:

Avoriaz said:
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
Why can't you rely on wattage as being indicative of doping? In the absence of a positive test, it's pretty much the most reliable evidence that there is. Of course, that relies on the wattage being accurate - which in this case, I suspect it isn't. I certainly wouldn't accuse any of the riders in that race of doping - I've got no real idea of who they are or their history - but I'd recommend they get their power meter calibrated if it's showing readings of 8w/kg for over four minutes. That's significantly higher than track pursuiters, who are the best in the world at training and racing specifically for that duration.

Interestingly, the guy that won the hill climb also won the 10 mile national TT championship, so he's clearly a talented rider and far more than just a strava sniper; but those numbers on the climb are still not remotely believable.
 
Sep 13, 2010
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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.
Pursuit is not a max power effort. Power is always sacrificed for aerodynamics (admittedly, less so among the double jointed freaks at the top). A hillclimb will always be a max effort as aerodynamics don't play a major role.

Incidentally, an effort this short will have some people resort to "legal" doping with sodium bicarbonate. I recall Ric Stern (the founder of RST - the winner's team) mentioning something to that effect on another forum a while back. Just thought I'd throw it out there.
 
kielbasa said:
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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.
Pursuit is not a max power effort. Power is always sacrificed for aerodynamics (admittedly, less so among the double jointed freaks at the top). A hillclimb will always be a max effort as aerodynamics don't play a major role.

Incidentally, an effort this short will have some people resort to "legal" doping with sodium bicarbonate. I recall Ric Stern (the founder of RST - the winner's team) mentioning something to that effect on another forum a while back. Just thought I'd throw it out there.
Of course aerodynamics might reduce the power slightly in pursuit, but not a lot for guys who training for that kind of event everyday. And also as mentioned, the pursuit is - after the brief push at the start - a very steady effort. A variable hill climb would be impossible to maintain a constant wattage and so would be less efficient. Whatever the reasoning, 8w/kg by an amateur for a longer than four minute effort just seems impossible.

Regarding sodium bicarbonate - if Ric Stern knows it is a performance enhancer (with all due respect to him) the pros surely do as well. I imagine the pursuiters and the best road uphill puncheurs are not putting out 7.5w/kg on just a gel and an espresso.
 
Jun 22, 2015
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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.

btw what do you think is too old to turn pro? nowadays there had been quite a few riders who turn pro when there were older than usual.
 
robin440 said:
btw what do you think is too old to turn pro? nowadays there had been quite a few riders who turn pro when there were older than usual.
Not really sure, I guess it depends on the level of pro. WT or top pro-conti teams, for example, I doubt they would consider signing an amateur over 25, unless they were coming from a very high level in another cycling discipline. Even with a 24-25 year old, they would probably wait for a smaller pro team to pick them up first and see how they react to pro racing.

Smaller pro-teams could pick up much older guys I imagine, but the gulf between a top cat 1 amateur and a local pro is quite small compared with the gap between a local pro and WT.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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For starters, Woods deserves kudos for nabbing the Mur de Huy KOM, matching Wilco Keldermann’s time from last year’s race — 3:23 on the 1.13km segment, which averages 10 percent gradient. To do that, he averaged 487 watts, topping out at 690w. That works out to about 7.61 watts/kg for the Ottawa native.
I find it hard to believe non-professionals could surpass 8w/kg for a longer effort even if they don't have to precede that with 200km of racing

I wonder what Valverde did.
 
Re:

SeriousSam said:
For starters, Woods deserves kudos for nabbing the Mur de Huy KOM, matching Wilco Keldermann’s time from last year’s race — 3:23 on the 1.13km segment, which averages 10 percent gradient. To do that, he averaged 487 watts, topping out at 690w. That works out to about 7.61 watts/kg for the Ottawa native.
I find it hard to believe non-professionals could surpass 8w/kg for a longer effort even if they don't have to precede that with 200km of racing

I wonder what Valverde did.
And the difference of that extra minute is huge. You have a max of about 2 minutes anaerobic power, and then the rest is predominantly aerobic. So the extra minute results in at least 50% more time spent in a mostly aerobic state (i.e. slower).
 
Re:

Armchair cyclist said:
Has a calculation been made about the W/kg in the Tour of Austria prologue, the nearest equivalent recent professional event?
I think that's was way too short, wasn't it a one minute effort or something ridiculous like that? Completely anaerobic - they'd be going close to 11w/kg for that.

There was a 3km prologue in Tour of California back in 2007 which had a short flat section, but was mostly uphill. It was won in around five minutes by Leipheimer, so was a similar effort to this hill climb. I remember at the time that Adam Hansen, who finished 6th, published his power and it was something like 7.4 w/kg, but can't find the exact numbers now.
 
Jun 22, 2015
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Re:

Armchair cyclist said:
Has a calculation been made about the W/kg in the Tour of Austria prologue, the nearest equivalent recent professional event?
Will Clarke, who won it, did 11 w/kg but that was only for 1:05. So thats impossible to compare.
 
Jan 15, 2013
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I've seen various versions of this chart floating around - not sure how accurate it is, but 8 w/kg for over 4 mins is literally off the charts:



We have hill climb TTs in Ireland too - I've done two in the last month or so and they're good fun, but they're done by club guys who do regular races etc - I've never heard of someone who only does hill climbs.
 
Re:

vedrafjord said:
I've seen various versions of this chart floating around - not sure how accurate it is, but 8 w/kg for over 4 mins is literally off the charts:



We have hill climb TTs in Ireland too - I've done two in the last month or so and they're good fun, but they're done by club guys who do regular races etc - I've never heard of someone who only does hill climbs.
When Dr. Coggan made that chart, he used Boardman's pursuit world record for the five minute power. The methodology is in here: http://documents.mx/documents/the-road-cyclists-guide-to-training-by.html

Basically Boardman did 7.86w/kg for his pursuit world record of 4:11, and the five minute power is extrapolated from that. There is some dispute about his weight and claims that the figure may be slightly higher - interestingly enough, a theory advanced by Ric Stern, the trainer of the guy who won this hill climb!

But still - 8w/kg for an amateur clearly is ridiculous.
 
Re:

vedrafjord said:
I've seen various versions of this chart floating around - not sure how accurate it is, but 8 w/kg for over 4 mins is literally off the charts:



We have hill climb TTs in Ireland too - I've done two in the last month or so and they're good fun, but they're done by club guys who do regular races etc - I've never heard of someone who only does hill climbs.
One of the recent legends http://website.lineone.net/~jim.henderson/cycling/hc/hc.html

Says he competes in all disciplines but "my whole year is geared around three or four minutes at the end of October".
 
Jun 10, 2010
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No secret, I'm the female national hill climb champion in the UK (3 times running). I am so much better relatively at this 3-8 min niche of a sport than I am at anything else -- TTing, crits, RRing. i'm pretty decent at the latter 3 but there's something about a 5 min climb that is just exactly my strength.

I think the wattages are higher because it's uphill (not on the track on a pursuit bike), it's a fresh one-off effort, the guys (not me sadly) will be so skinny and light by the end of October that their w/kg is inflated. Whether their powermeters are calibrated or not, who knows. At least a few of them ride for continental pro teams. Most are testers, so they will have next to no jump or sprint and a steady hill climb effort will be what they train for and excel at. There's a huge difference between riding a 4-5 min very steep climb at your own pace, and having to attack or answer attacks in a road race.

My watts are on Strava... I'm near the top of that chart for 5min power for women and would be at the top if I lost a couple more kg.. I'm clean. I have no doubt that if Lizzie Armitstead and Emma Pooley showed up to race, I would not win. But I would still beat all but a few pro British riders at a UK national hill climb champs. I suspect the same is for the men, I'm sure many world tour pros could put out those numbers if they peaked for it.
 
Feb 24, 2015
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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 -

Actually it is not at all
Time trialling is a specifically interesting phenomenon in the UK and has a cult following due to the fact it was made illegal and outlawed by the police and although it is now legal and authorised it's past does make it a very unique past time in the UK.

AS for the amateurs - if you want to do any sort of research on the web for 10 minutes you can find forums where you will find amateur cyclists and triathletes talking about the best doping methodology to reduce weight and gain power and for which needles should be used for what injections or to draw bloods for which tests.

Some of these guys have centrifuges at home for gods sake.

I know of athletes that had tat level of doping in amateur ranks 8 years ago so I hate to even imagine what it might be now in the amateur ranks.

EPO, Testosterone and a few steroids and a good gym regime and those numbers for a short period of time are not inconceivable. But as some have said previously they would either never want to turn pro as they have day jobs that are much better for them or they are too old or cant ride for more than an hour at a time or whatever other reason such as being too hot for any team to pick up.
 
Jul 15, 2016
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But if you could be at the top of that power chart, or at least near the top, then you are obviously a massive talent, why are you not a pro? Even if you are only worldclass at 3-8 min range and "bad" on long climbs, you should be really ripping it on those shorter punshy finishes.

The numbers Chris boardman put out were also a fresh one-off effort and he peaked for it, and i am pretty sure that he trained so much on his tt bike that he doesn't lose power in that aero position, so i don't think that if one random world tour guy would line up there in a good shape that he would put out 8 watts per kg for that duration. Just crazy.
 
Feb 24, 2015
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Re:

scurrrr said:
But if you could be at the top of that power chart, or at least near the top, then you are obviously a massive talent, why are you not a pro? Even if you are only worldclass at 3-8 min range and "bad" on long climbs, you should be really ripping it on those shorter punshy finishes.

The numbers Chris boardman put out were also a fresh one-off effort and he peaked for it, and i am pretty sure that he trained so much on his tt bike that he doesn't lose power in that aero position, so i don't think that if one random world tour guy would line up there in a good shape that he would put out 8 watts per kg for that duration. Just crazy.

Go and ask Graeme Obree - Unbelievable time trialler and could rip the legs off of boardman on a single speed in time trials in his day but never went pro as he didn't want to take the doping shilling.

Also as was stated for a few there is a unique ability to produce immense power at a small effort

for some others it is chemically induced.

I rode with the planet x guys up rosedale chimmney and two of them rode up there in the big chain ring. It was insane how much they put out doing that.

As for the pro thing the guy who had the 100 mile record in the UK for many years worked in the warehouse of planet x and never had any dreams of going pro when he was younger or older. but was an immense bike rider. as were many of the other semi pro riders on that team over the years.
 
Jul 15, 2016
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Re: Re:

Rob27172 said:
scurrrr said:
But if you could be at the top of that power chart, or at least near the top, then you are obviously a massive talent, why are you not a pro? Even if you are only worldclass at 3-8 min range and "bad" on long climbs, you should be really ripping it on those shorter punshy finishes.

The numbers Chris boardman put out were also a fresh one-off effort and he peaked for it, and i am pretty sure that he trained so much on his tt bike that he doesn't lose power in that aero position, so i don't think that if one random world tour guy would line up there in a good shape that he would put out 8 watts per kg for that duration. Just crazy.

Go and ask Graeme Obree - Unbelievable time trialler and could rip the legs off of boardman on a single speed in time trials in his day but never went pro as he didn't want to take the doping shilling.

Also as was stated for a few there is a unique ability to produce immense power at a small effort

for some others it is chemically induced.

I rode with the planet x guys up rosedale chimmney and two of them rode up there in the big chain ring. It was insane how much they put out doing that.

As for the pro thing the guy who had the 100 mile record in the UK for many years worked in the warehouse of planet x and never had any dreams of going pro when he was younger or older. but was an immense bike rider. as were many of the other semi pro riders on that team over the years.
But he probably could have turned pro, right?
 
Feb 24, 2015
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Yes he could Obree was offered a number of rides
But that is the point these guys and girls are good enough but why be a pro on a domestic team earning 21k a year and having no teim off and no job security and no pension and no idea where or what you will be doing next year
instead of a solid career with stability and benefits.

That is like saying there are a load of people out there who could have been pro footballers. Every pub in the country is full of people who had "trials" at one team or another in their youth.
If's, But's and Maybe's are the stuff of a good novel but not a good argument.
 
Jun 10, 2010
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I'm not pro because I'm 42 years old, I only got into cycle racing at age 35 and the women's elite/pro scene is as much about who you know and what opportunities you create for yourself as your raw talent. If I were 20 years younger, yes of course I'd be chasing it -- probably would have been a pretty good domestique in hilly and alpine races. I can't sprint though so my results even at amateur level are middling at best.

I think what I'm trying to say in my previous post is that Coggan's numbers for 1 min and 5 min aren't that useful. Hill climbing lends itself to high w/kg, the sheer steepness of the climb means out of the saddle for many riders. Most people I know can put out better watts climbing than on flat ground.

Dan Fleeman (at the time riding for Cervelo Test Team) won the 2009 champs, his rides are on Strava for the interested. 545w at 64kg for 3:18 at Pea Royd and 703 for 1:43 up White Lane. Both steep climbs on rough surfaces with sections around 20% gradient.

I'm not vouching for anyone's cleanliness but my own... and I admit I was disappointed not to see UKADA at the 2015 HC champs especially after they'd been at several other TT champs races that season. But I look at how my VAMs and times and w/kg compares to the top men on those climbs and as yet nobody stands out as unbelievable.
 
Jul 15, 2016
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Re:

smaryka said:
I'm not pro because I'm 42 years old, I only got into cycle racing at age 35 and the women's elite/pro scene is as much about who you know and what opportunities you create for yourself as your raw talent. If I were 20 years younger, yes of course I'd be chasing it -- probably would have been a pretty good domestique in hilly and alpine races. I can't sprint though so my results even at amateur level are middling at best.

I think what I'm trying to say in my previous post is that Coggan's numbers for 1 min and 5 min aren't that useful. Hill climbing lends itself to high w/kg, the sheer steepness of the climb means out of the saddle for many riders. Most people I know can put out better watts climbing than on flat ground.

Dan Fleeman (at the time riding for Cervelo Test Team) won the 2009 champs, his rides are on Strava for the interested. 545w at 64kg for 3:18 at Pea Royd and 703 for 1:43 up White Lane. Both steep climbs on rough surfaces with sections around 20% gradient.

I'm not vouching for anyone's cleanliness but my own... and I admit I was disappointed not to see UKADA at the 2015 HC champs especially after they'd been at several other TT champs races that season. But I look at how my VAMs and times and w/kg compares to the top men on those climbs and as yet nobody stands out as unbelievable.

Well 8 w/kg for over 4 minutes is unbelievable, and certainly unbelievable that he is not even riding continental, okay maybe he doesn't want but that power is just insane. Mur de huy is also uphill and fairly steep and even there the winners like valverde are doing 8 watts per kg for something like 2:50 or 3 minutes and that guy is doing it 1 and a half minutes longer? He doesn't do 4 hours of riding before that but even then he probably would put out a crazy amount of power.
 
So much bad science in this thread now - higher w/kg because it's a mostly out of the saddle effort :confused:

At the end of the day it boils down to a bunch of amateur (or at best semi-pro) climbers putting out around 8% higher w/kg than Boardman's World Record that stood for about 15 years. It's just nonsense. Even with doping it's likely impossible - misunderstandings about their power meter and/or weight is to blame here I think.
 
Jun 22, 2015
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Re:

DFA123 said:
So much bad science in this thread now - higher w/kg because it's a mostly out of the saddle effort :confused:

At the end of the day it boils down to a bunch of amateur (or at best semi-pro) climbers putting out around 8% higher w/kg than Boardman's World Record that stood for about 15 years. It's just nonsense. Even with doping it's likely impossible - misunderstandings about their power meter and/or weight is to blame here I think.
SPOT ON!!
 
Jun 10, 2010
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Nobody else here puts out higher watts out of the saddle? Just me then?

Everyone else believes Coggan's 1 min and 5 min values, based on track efforts (fixed gear, flat surface) are the standard and completely comparable to climbing a 15% gradient?

:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
 
Re:

smaryka said:
Nobody else here puts out higher watts out of the saddle? Just me then?

Everyone else believes Coggan's 1 min and 5 min values, based on track efforts (fixed gear, flat surface) are the standard and completely comparable to climbing a 15% gradient?

:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
The rider who set the pursuit record used for the 5 min value, won this same hill TT championship four times between the ages of 19 and 23, before obviously focusing on the Olympics and pro races. He even used to ride a fixed gear for the hill climbs, so I'd say it is pretty comparable. If anything, it's even harder to achieve the same level of power, because it's a lot harder to do a steady state effort than a pursuit.

And just because you can put out higher watts out of the saddle (me too, btw), doesn't mean that the Individual Pursuit world record holder, training full time for that event, also does. And that is the benchmark that we are looking at.
 

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