Power Data Estimates for the climbing stages

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Parker said:
No. But I fail to see how that is relevant.
The point of measuring power is to remove context. And it is very useful.

It seems that the biggest critics of veloclinic/vettoo have very little experience using power data (or have vested interests that benefit from the obfuscation of the data). Once you've trained with power for awhile you realize that max-output is very predictable.
 
IzzyStradlin said:
The point of measuring power is to remove context. And it is very useful.
It removes the context of the surrounding conditions - weather, road surface, drafting etc. It measures the effort put in my the rider.

But that's not the context I'm referring to. I'm referring to the context how a race is raced. Taking a figure over a whole climb ignores the strategies used when climbing it. When did the first attack go? How constant was the pace? How hard had the race been up to then?

Riders don't start a climb with the aim of trying to the top in the quickest time possible. They have the aim of getting the best time relative to their competitors. They are not racing history - but the power comparisions rely on the conceit that they are.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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IzzyStradlin said:
The point of measuring power is to remove context. And it is very useful.

It seems that the biggest critics of veloclinic/vettoo have very little experience using power data. Once you've trained with power for awhile you realize that output is actually quite predictable.
Yup.

Every DS and coach talks about this topic in the same way that guys like Veetoo do. Some riders, like Froome, are addicted to their powermeters. They clearly are pacing themselves on the climbs using power. Given that many riders do not share their power files various formulas to calculate these numbers have been developed.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Parker said:
It removes the context of the surrounding conditions - weather, road surface, drafting etc. .
It appears you have not read much on this topic. All of these elements are discussed and factored in.
 
Parker said:
But that's not the context I'm referring to. I'm referring to the context how a race is raced. Taking a figure over a whole climb ignores the strategies used when climbing it. When did the first attack go? How constant was the pace? How hard had the race been up to then?

Riders don't start a climb with the aim of trying to the top in the quickest time possible. They have the aim of getting the best time relative to their competitors. They are not racing history - but the power comparisions rely on the conceit that they are.
GC contenders have their entire teams ensuring that they are fresh for the final climb. It has made races less entertaining to watch. Only teams like without a real GC threat (Garmin, for instance) go long range.

And who wins on a climb? Almost always the guy with the highest w/kg. Wind is rarely a big enough factor.

Look at Froome this Vuelta, he rode every climb like a TT.

If you've ever tracked your own power, you would see that max efforts are very close regardless of tactics. My 20min best steady pace is within 2-3% of my best with attacks, lulls and then all out for the last 2k.
 
Race Radio said:
It appears you have not read much on this topic. All of these elements are discussed and factored in.
No you and Izzy are consistently misreading everything I say.

Here are two questions.

a) are final climbs in GT stages climbed with identical strategies and identical pacing every time?

b) if the answer ito a) is no, do you think that these variations would have an impact on times - and therefore power stats over the full climb?


An example: There's a video you can find on YouTube of the last 40 minutes of two ascents of Ventoux - Froome in 2013 and Armstrong in 2000 - side by side. It claims to be proof against Froome as he does that section 25 seconds faster.
But the races are completely different - most notably Froome attacks a full 12 minutes before Armstrong does - that's 12 minutes Froome is going full gas while Armstrong is riding tempo with a small group of GC guys (none of whom get dropped or attack). Now, don't you think that that 12 minutes has a serious impact on the climb time and therefore the average power figure? That's the sort of context that these figures erase.
 
Parker said:
a) are final climbs in GT stages climbed with identical strategies and identical pacing every time?

b) if the answer ito a) is no, do you think that these variations would have an impact on times - and therefore power stats over the full climb?


An example: There's a video you can find on YouTube of the last 40 minutes of two ascents of Ventoux - Froome in 2013 and Armstrong in 2000 - side by side. It claims to be proof against Froome as he does that section 25 seconds faster.
But the races are completely different - most notably Froome attacks a full 12 minutes before Armstrong does - that's 12 minutes Froome is going full gas while Armstrong is riding tempo with a small group of GC guys (none of whom get dropped or attack). Now, don't you think that that 12 minutes has a serious impact on the climb time and therefore the average power figure? That's the sort of context that these figures erase.
Pacing is just not really relevant when calculating speed for a whole climb. Only real question is if it's a max effort.

The Vuelta was a great example. Valverde/Purito like attacking. Froome rides tempo. Contador does a little of both, but should probably do more tempo. They all end up in the same place within seconds of each other. Winner is the guy who had the highest w/kg for the entire climb.
 
IzzyStradlin said:
Pacing is just not really relevant when calculating speed for a whole climb. Only real question is if it's a max effort.

The Vuelta was a great example. Valverde/Purito like attacking. Froome rides tempo. Contador does a little of both, but should probably do more tempo. They all end up in the same place within seconds of each other. Winner is the guy who had the highest w/kg for the entire climb.
You're almost getting it. The question is of how much effort is being made.

Valverde/Purito/Froome/Contador are all racing against each other. They respond to each others actions. And they only ride as hard as they need to. Comparing power data for riders in the same race is fine (but the results sheet is just as good).

What they are not racing against is Nibali at the Tour or Armstrong in 2003 or Horner in 2013. If, for example, Armstrong launches an attack on Alpe d'Huez in 2001 with 8km to go, the riders in 2013 don't respond to it. And because they don't raw power comparisons lose meaning.
 
Jul 21, 2012
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Dr. Ferrari said:
The climbing performances of the best riders (all very close to each other) were up there with the best of the latest editions of the major stage races: between 6.0 and 6.4 w/kg for climbs of 40-20 min, with peaks of 6.6-6.8 w/kg for Contador's winning attacks in the last 1-2 km.

Alto de Covadonga : the classic uphill finish saw Valverde, Contador and Purito climb in 34'00", with the first 9 km at 1823 m/h = 6.28 w/kg.
Alto de Camperona : 21'10" was the time on the 8 km at 7.6%, VAM = 1757m/h = 6.5 w/kg by Froome, a "transformed" athlete with regards to the performances of the previous days (I wonder how his "buddy" Wiggins commented on this sudden change in fitness...).
You know its bad when even Dr Ferrari is calling you not normal.
 
Parker said:
You're almost getting it. The question is of how much effort is being made.

Valverde/Purito/Froome/Contador are all racing against each other. They respond to each others actions. And they only ride as hard as they need to. Comparing power data for riders in the same race is fine (but the results sheet is just as good).

What they are not racing against is Nibali at the Tour or Armstrong in 2003 or Horner in 2013. If, for example, Armstrong launches an attack on Alpe d'Huez in 2001 with 8km to go, the riders in 2013 don't respond to it. And because they don't raw power comparisons lose meaning.
Which I think gets at the question of if it's a max effort. True, there is probably no way to ever tell if the winner truly gave a max effort. But if there are gaps behind him, the other contenders probably did. So their numbers are pretty solid.

Which is why the Vuelta was such a great lab for power estimation, short climbs not withstanding. It is also why the Tour was a big question mark. Nibali was going very fast and looking very fresh, but had no competition to push his limits.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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IzzyStradlin said:
Which is why the Vuelta was such a great lab for power estimation, short climbs not withstanding. It is also why the Tour was a big question mark. Nibali was going very fast and looking very fresh, but had no competition to push his limits.
I think we can be pretty confident Hautacam was close to max effort.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Parker said:
An example: There's a video you can find on YouTube of the last 40 minutes of two ascents of Ventoux - Froome in 2013 and Armstrong in 2000 - side by side. It claims to be proof against Froome as he does that section 25 seconds faster.
But the races are completely different - most notably Froome attacks a full 12 minutes before Armstrong does - that's 12 minutes Froome is going full gas while Armstrong is riding tempo with a small group of GC guys (none of whom get dropped or attack). Now, don't you think that that 12 minutes has a serious impact on the climb time and therefore the average power figure? That's the sort of context that these figures erase.
Um, I have written about the various elements that made up that day on Ventoux in detail. Ross tucker and Veetoo did as well. Both have said it was not the ideal day for data because of the multiple variables.

Again, I suggest you read up on the topic as many of the variables you are talking about, as well as many others, are discussed and factored in.
 
Race Radio said:
Again, I suggest you read up on the topic as many of the variables you are talking about are discussed and factored in.
But I'm not talking about 'many variables'. I'm talking about one - how the actual racing panned out. Races are not run with identical strategies, and variation in strategies has a large impact on times and power outputs but it is a factor ignored by power comparisons. My example was to show that climbs where the significant attacks were launched twelve minutes apart has a large impact on times but it is never mentioned.

Rather than trying to patronise me by telling me to read up on the topic (I have a mechanical engineering degree, I've done plenty), actually read what I have written.
 
Parker said:
But I'm not talking about 'many variables'. I'm talking about one - how the actual racing panned out. Races are not run with identical strategies, and variation in strategies has a large impact on times and power outputs but it is a factor ignored by power comparisons. My example was to show that climbs where the significant attacks were launched twelve minutes apart has a large impact on times but it is never mentioned.

Rather than trying to patronise me by telling me to read up on the topic (I have a mechanical engineering degree, I've done plenty), actually read what I have written.
Tactics just don't have much effect on climbing speeds if riders are at, or near, max effort. Everything averages out.
 
IzzyStradlin said:
Tactics just don't have much effect on climbing speeds if riders are at, or near, max effort.
But when they start their maximum effort does.

Here's an example from a different sport - athletics. Compare and contrast the times in which 5000m and 10000m World and Olympic gold medals are won with the World Records (or even season's bests) in those events. The times are always a lot slower. (Mo Farah, for example, won the 5000m in 2012 with a time 80 seconds slower than the WR and almost a minute slower than his PB.) But I'm pretty sure everyone made the most effort they could in all those races - so why the discrepancy. Answer: It's how they proportion the effort that is key. And that's the variable that the power comparison guys ignore - the proportionality of effort.

Everything certainly does not even out.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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Parker said:
But when they start their maximum effort does.

Here's an example from a different sport - athletics. Compare and contrast the times in which 5000m and 10000m World and Olympic gold medals are won with the World Records (or even season's bests) in those events. The times are always a lot slower. (Mo Farah, for example, won the 5000m in 2012 with a time 80 seconds slower than the WR and almost a minute slower than his PB.) But I'm pretty sure everyone made the most effort they could in all those races - so why the discrepancy. Answer: It's how they proportion the effort that is key. And that's the variable that the power comparison guys ignore - the proportionality of effort.

Everything certainly does not even out.
Very good point. Thats why:
A: did Froome go full gass last year at Bonascre and Ventoux and took it easy at the Alpe and to Semnoz?
B: same for the Bradster in 2012
C: ever seen Indurain go gungho? when he needed to this epo mule was worce than Riis towards Hautacam
 
Aug 31, 2012
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Parker said:
But when they start their maximum effort does.

Here's an example from a different sport - athletics. Compare and contrast the times in which 5000m and 10000m World and Olympic gold medals are won with the World Records (or even season's bests) in those events. The times are always a lot slower. (Mo Farah, for example, won the 5000m in 2012 with a time 80 seconds slower than the WR and almost a minute slower than his PB.) But I'm pretty sure everyone made the most effort they could in all those races - so why the discrepancy. Answer: It's how they proportion the effort that is key. And that's the variable that the power comparison guys ignore - the proportionality of effort.

Everything certainly does not even out.
That's a fair point. There should be at MTT in every grand tour for our analysing needs.
 
Fearless Greg Lemond said:
Very good point. Thats why:
A: did Froome go full gass last year at Bonascre and Ventoux and took it easy at the Alpe and to Semnoz?
B: same for the Bradster in 2012
C: ever seen Indurain go gungho? when he needed to this epo mule was worce than Riis towards Hautacam
A. Yes. The Sky train was certainly in more evidence on Bonsacre and Ventoux - like pacemakers in athletics. I wouldn't say he took it easy on the other two - but it was passive tactics rather than pro-active.
B. The tactics for every climb for Wiggins was to get him from bottom to top in the fastest time possible - like a TTT. There was little response to others. It minimised gains others could make which he could take back in the TTs
C. Yeah, I did. It was a long time ago though. I tend to remember his TTs rather than his climbing.
 
SeriousSam said:
That's a fair point. There should be at MTT in every grand tour for our analysing needs.
Yes. MTTs would be interesting. Not many of them though.

It's notable that Ventoux times are dominated by two Dauphine MTTs. (The 2004 AdH TT is less prominent in those times though)
 
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