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British Hill Climb Champs??

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Jul 21, 2016
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I think it's already been shown that the 5 minute w/kg on Coggan's chart needs to be updated. There was a post on Wattage about it years ago.

Here's a tweet from Geraint Thomas:
https://twitter.com/GeraintThomas86/status/116811786166079488

"Just done my 5minute power efforts on the turbo with Jez. Had him by 3w, 580 pretty happy with that..."

So 8 to 8.3 on the chart.

Wiggins was reportedly 69kg for the Tour so would only need 524.4 to hit the max but MUST be doing more than Geraint if he's a better pursuiter.
 
dh_1988 said:
I think it's already been shown that the 5 minute w/kg on Coggan's chart needs to be updated. There was a post on Wattage about it years ago.

Here's a tweet from Geraint Thomas:
https://twitter.com/GeraintThomas86/status/116811786166079488

"Just done my 5minute power efforts on the turbo with Jez. Had him by 3w, 580 pretty happy with that..."

So 8 to 8.3 on the chart.

Wiggins was reportedly 69kg for the Tour so would only need 524.4 to hit the max but MUST be doing more than Geraint if he's a better pursuiter.
How have you worked that out? Do you know what his weight was in 2011? He said his weight at the Olympics was 75kg, which would give 7.7w/kg - but he could easily have been more in the season before then. Also, let's not forget that he was pretty much the best pursuiter in the world at that time - not some amateur doing the odd hill event.

And if they were putting out 8w/kg, why haven't Thomas or Wiggins broken the world pursuit record, if they're putting out 0.5+w/kg more than Boardman; they should be going under four minutes with that kind of power advantage.
 
Jul 21, 2016
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DFA123 said:
How have you worked that out? Do you know what his weight was in 2011? He said his weight at the Olympics was 75kg, which would give 7.7w/kg
I haven't worked anything out. Just going off what I remember from the Wattage post. I think we need to stop talking about pursuiting here because it can drop power output by a lot, even for the adapted / world class. Again, this is why Andy's data might be lower than reality, as he's going off power produced in an aero position.

FWIW, Googling "Geraint Thomas Weight" spits out 71kg.

I also know riders who have a 5 minute power at 130% of FTP. Since Andy's chart shows the best 60min power at 6.4, is it conceivable to think 8.32 for 5 minutes is not so impossible?
 
dh_1988 said:
DFA123 said:
How have you worked that out? Do you know what his weight was in 2011? He said his weight at the Olympics was 75kg, which would give 7.7w/kg
I haven't worked anything out. Just going off what I remember from the Wattage post. I think we need to stop talking about pursuiting here because it can drop power output by a lot, even for the adapted / world class. Again, this is why Andy's data might be lower than reality, as he's going off power produced in an aero position.

FWIW, Googling "Geraint Thomas Weight" spits out 71kg.

I also know riders who have a 5 minute power at 130% of FTP. Since Andy's chart shows the best 60min power at 6.4, is it conceivable to think 8.32 for 5 minutes is not so impossible?
Ok, so you based the estimation on an inaccurate weight calculation. He says his Olympic weight was 74-75kg - it's not the same as his weight now. Even looking at a photo of him then and now could tell you that.

The focus is on track riders, because that is most reliable estimates we have for that duration. There was also a sub five minute uphill prologue in the 2007 Tour of California, where Adam Hansen finished 6th overall with a w/kg of just under 7.4. Of course a track rider has aero considerations, but someone like Boardman who trained for track and worked on his position for 10+ years will have compromised very little power. I don't doubt that someone like Valverde perhaps could go slightly higher, maybe even nudging 8w/kg for sub five minute efforts. But of course, a) he's doping and b) he's many levels above most WT riders in terms of talent and ability, let alone British amateurs.
 
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.
Really? I don't use one but there is a huge amount of info about power meters online. I find it hard to believe that anyone who invests the not insignificant amount of money in one would then not bother to learn how to set it up and zero it properly.
 
Re: Re:

King Boonen said:
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.
Really? I don't use one but there is a huge amount of info about power meters online. I find it hard to believe that anyone who invests the not insignificant amount of money in one would then not bother to learn how to set it up and zero it properly.
Most best power meters claim accuracy -/+ 2%, but in reality they can perform better or worse than that. Even 2% off is nearly 0.2 w/kg. Then it may well not have been manually zeroed before the start of the race - I presume the best riders may have other things on their mind then. We don't even know if it's a one leg system (which could be widely inaccurate) or two legs. Then there are potential issues of compatability with chainrings, cranks and head unit - all of which can cause inaccuracies in the power.

So, even if it is all set up carefully and calibrated there is plenty of margin for error. If it's not even calibrated properly and zeroed then it could be something ridiculous like up to 100 watts out at those kinds of power.

The problem is, regarding this thread, we have one power reading from a guy who placed well. And he is extrapolating that to the winner's time - based on an estimate of the weight he was told - to come up with a figure of 8w/kg. There are so many potential inaccuracies along the way that the final number may well by pretty far out.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
King Boonen said:
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.
Really? I don't use one but there is a huge amount of info about power meters online. I find it hard to believe that anyone who invests the not insignificant amount of money in one would then not bother to learn how to set it up and zero it properly.
Most best power meters claim accuracy -/+ 2%, but in reality they can perform better or worse than that. Even 2% off is nearly 0.2 w/kg. Then it may well not have been manually zeroed before the start of the race - I presume the best riders may have other things on their mind then. We don't even know if it's a one leg system (which could be widely inaccurate) or two legs. Then there are potential issues of compatability with chainrings, cranks and head unit - all of which can cause inaccuracies in the power.

So, even if it is all set up carefully and calibrated there is plenty of margin for error. If it's not even calibrated properly and zeroed then it could be something ridiculous like up to 100 watts out at those kinds of power.

The problem is, regarding this thread, we have one power reading from a guy who placed well. And he is extrapolating that to the winner's time - based on an estimate of the weight he was told - to come up with a figure of 8w/kg. There are so many potential inaccuracies along the way that the final number may well by pretty far out.
Thanks, that clarifies a lot.

I've just had a quick look at the chart as well as a friends early season power test results (are they referred to as FTP tests? I know that was included...). I would have to say the chart in his case seems completely out of whack. He can do 4.9 w/kg for 20 minutes (think it was on a wattbike) but can't win a cat 3/4 race. He's definitely not doping, is 41 and has a full time job, kid, is going back to study etc. I know a couple of others who I think also massively over-perform based on that chart, but I don't have their exact numbers. I think the winner of our club hill climb did 6 w/kg for 6 minutes, not sure how that would correlate with shorter climbs.


While I agree the numbers being talked about are massive, I don't think that chart is a good way to look at them.
 
Jan 15, 2013
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I think the chart becomes more and more meaningless the lower down it goes (based on my last two hill climbs which were ~5 and ~20 mins it has me squarely in the middle of cat 3, and I'm definitely worse than that).

The overall point though is that it gives a better idea of what 'world class' is in terms of power. And the best guys in the world are professionals who are able to train full time and have extensive sports science resources behind them. And 4-5 mins is predominantly an aerobic effort. In terms of standing/sitting a watt is a watt by the way. You might be able to get more watts out standing but you'll pay for it and get tired quicker. Riders famous for standing for extended lengths of time (like Horner) typically aren't noted for their cleanliness.

So when you have amateurs putting in performances at an event with no testing that are estimated to match or exceed the very, very best professionals, Occam's Razor suggests one obvious explanation.
 
Re: Re:

King Boonen said:
DFA123 said:
King Boonen said:
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.
Really? I don't use one but there is a huge amount of info about power meters online. I find it hard to believe that anyone who invests the not insignificant amount of money in one would then not bother to learn how to set it up and zero it properly.
Most best power meters claim accuracy -/+ 2%, but in reality they can perform better or worse than that. Even 2% off is nearly 0.2 w/kg. Then it may well not have been manually zeroed before the start of the race - I presume the best riders may have other things on their mind then. We don't even know if it's a one leg system (which could be widely inaccurate) or two legs. Then there are potential issues of compatability with chainrings, cranks and head unit - all of which can cause inaccuracies in the power.

So, even if it is all set up carefully and calibrated there is plenty of margin for error. If it's not even calibrated properly and zeroed then it could be something ridiculous like up to 100 watts out at those kinds of power.

The problem is, regarding this thread, we have one power reading from a guy who placed well. And he is extrapolating that to the winner's time - based on an estimate of the weight he was told - to come up with a figure of 8w/kg. There are so many potential inaccuracies along the way that the final number may well by pretty far out.
Thanks, that clarifies a lot.

I've just had a quick look at the chart as well as a friends early season power test results (are they referred to as FTP tests? I know that was included...). I would have to say the chart in his case seems completely out of whack. He can do 4.9 w/kg for 20 minutes (think it was on a wattbike) but can't win a cat 3/4 race. He's definitely not doping, is 41 and has a full time job, kid, is going back to study etc. I know a couple of others who I think also massively over-perform based on that chart, but I don't have their exact numbers. I think the winner of our club hill climb did 6 w/kg for 6 minutes, not sure how that would correlate with shorter climbs.


While I agree the numbers being talked about are massive, I don't think that chart is a good way to look at them.
Wow, 4.9w/kg for a 41 year old cat 3/4 is really, really high for 20 mins. That would probably give a threshold of somewhere around 4.5-4.6. If those figures are correct (who knows with a wattbike and if he can transfer that onto the road), I'm amazed that's not competitive in Cat 3-4. Unless he's about 55kg and does nearly all flat or rolling races, or has extremely low anaerobic power and rubbish tactics he should be at least very competitive in his age group with that power.

6w/kg for a six minute effort from a decent club rider (cat 1/2?) seems very believable to me. I don't think the chart is perfect either - particularly regarding the lower categories. There you can get riders who are very good in one facet (sprint/aerobic/anaerobic/tactics) but hopeless in the others, so it certainly won't tell you whether or not you will win a race at a certain level.

But I think the very top ones in the chart are the most accurate - because they are taken from known peformances from world record attempts. I think the one hour power, for example, is from Miguel Indurain's hour record attempt. Considering his insane physiology + extreme doping regime, it's inconceivable that 99.9% of professionals, let alone amateurs, could get anywhere near that at all.
 
Jun 22, 2015
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I think for the table at least the upper part is pretty much spot on, although 6,4 w/kg for one hour seems a bit high, at least clean. But there is another table which says instead of FTP , 20 min and that one says at the top 6,6 for 20 minutes which is something that richie porte did for the paris nice time trial, so i think thats spot on.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Wow, 4.9w/kg for a 41 year old cat 3/4 is really, really high for 20 mins. That would probably give a threshold of somewhere around 4.5-4.6. If those figures are correct (who knows with a wattbike and if he can transfer that onto the road), I'm amazed that's not competitive in Cat 3-4. Unless he's about 55kg and does nearly all flat or rolling races, or has extremely low anaerobic power and rubbish tactics he should be at least very competitive in his age group with that power.
These are the numbers he sent me:

Age: 41
Test: 30-March-2015

Anthropometry
Height (cm) 178
Mass (kg) 64.7

Sprint test (6sec power test)
Peak Power (W/rev) 1199
Cadence at Peak (rpm) 122
Gear 10/5


20min Threshold Test
Average Power (W) 336 Power to weight (FTP/kg) 4.9
Peak HR (beats/min) 184 Functional Threshold Power 319
Mean Cadence (revs/min) 102 Max Minute Power (W/m) 393

I think the problems are what you highlight. The races around here are rolling at best, not enough climbing to make a difference. His peak power is fairly low I think, and as most races end up in some some kind of sprint he suffers. I know that on the first climb of the day I can just about follow him but after that it's nearly impossible to get close to him and if Strava is anything to go by he's as good up the hills as many of the Cat1/2 races round here. He's built like a stick insect.

6w/kg for a six minute effort from a decent club rider (cat 1/2?) seems very believable to me. I don't think the chart is perfect either - particularly regarding the lower categories. There you can get riders who are very good in one facet (sprint/aerobic/anaerobic/tactics) but hopeless in the others, so it certainly won't tell you whether or not you will win a race at a certain level.
The guy I'm thinking of is a Cat 2, massive engine and reasonable sprint so sounds about correct.

But I think the very top ones in the chart are the most accurate - because they are taken from known peformances from world record attempts. I think the one hour power, for example, is from Miguel Indurain's hour record attempt. Considering his insane physiology + extreme doping regime, it's inconceivable that 99.9% of professionals, let alone amateurs, could get anywhere near that at all.
Fair enough. I suppose what we really need to know then is, is the time these guys are doing the climb in feasible? Regardless of power.
 
Jul 31, 2010
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I've been at a few of the hill climbs in recent years and its generally windy, I know for a fact that the best times I've witnessed are all heavily wind assisted.
If the figures are coming from a power meter and not a calculation well that's a different story.
I know there's talk of one recent hill climb champion being a little enhanced.
 
Jul 15, 2016
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Re:

warrior4life said:
I've been at a few of the hill climbs in recent years and its generally windy, I know for a fact that the best times I've witnessed are all heavily wind assisted.
If the figures are coming from a power meter and not a calculation well that's a different story.
I know there's talk of one recent hill climb champion being a little enhanced.
Do you mean with a little enhanced, a little bit doped? Lol
 

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