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Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2023, March 20-26

Page 59 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
I guess I'm just less generous towards those who rub me the wrong way with how they ride. But I realize there is no rational explanation for it, although fandom, and I'm talking about sport in general, implies a suspension of reason to some extent. There is no "reason," for example, why I should wish rider x to win and rider y to lose miserably, when personally I know neither. Perhaps rider y is a lovely chap, while rider x an unsupportable douchbag? Maybe they are both fine chaps, so why would I prefer one over the other?

On the other hand, I can think of one occasion that sealed my distaste for Roglic's modus operandi, which is a better version of Valverde's (who I never felt enthusiasm for, for basically the same reason) in the mountains; it's when he stomped that guy at the Dauphine, denying him what would have been more than a hard-earned victory, when Primoz didn't need the win, being as he was already in the race lead and having gained more time on his direct rivals. After that I simply had no sympathy for his cause, despite recognizing he admirably deals with the misfortunes that have befallen him, starting with crashing in that very Dauphine, irrevocably losing the lead. It's just one of those things.
Primoz is a Pro. You make more money for the team account with wins and owe those team guys that payoff. Unless you want to write a check for the difference; I doubt Primoz had the bank to be that gracious and set about doing his job. He's not lance dickstrong and doesn't treat his fellow riders with sociopathic disrespect. Maybe that was a misunderstood moment?
 
Primoz is a Pro. You make more money for the team account with wins and owe those team guys that payoff. Unless you want to write a check for the difference; I doubt Primoz had the bank to be that gracious and set about doing his job. He's not lance dickstrong and doesn't treat his fellow riders with sociopathic disrespect. Maybe that was a misunderstood moment?
Ah, well, there are also the long game interests, like at least not making enemies in the peloton that could come back to haunt you in a moment of misfortune. Ironically I believe that did come to pass when Roglic subsequently crashed in that Paris-Nice and not only did nobody wait for the fallen leader, as I think would have happened had Primoz gifted the win the previous stage (like a real prince such as Indurain doubtless would have done), but they absolutely drilled it to capitalize on his misfortune.

So, yes, the team got paid for an unnessecary stage win, but lost the payout for winning the whole stage race. Thus I say it's never a good idea to become too greedy.
 
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Carpegna wasn't really special W/kg.

Norway was higher, but it wasn't the type of stuff you haven't seen for a few years.

This is.

And you can 95% put it down to perfect circumstances, because I'm pretty sure Marc Soler dropped higher W/kg than Vingegaard ever "offically" did on a 20-25 minute climb.

I still don't buy it. The outlier is too big, it would look absolutely ridiculous on charts. Those most amazing performances (like Contador on Verbier) at least had one amazing guy distancing the rest. Here suddenly there are 3-4 guys in a prep. race riding like peak Pantani in the EPO era while at least two of them never ever got even close to that values. Conditions magically turned them into beasts? (it's really hard to explain 5% or so boost if we haven't seen such a big boost before). This is not a lab and even there those numbers would be outrageous - 6.8-6.9 w/kg for 24 minutes is like 6.4-6.5 w/kg for an hour! (While we know that 6.3 w/kg is sea level lab number for Remco and Pog). How can conditions explain this? And I don't agree that peak form doesn't change pure climbing speed - mass reduction alone (and Remco doesn't look trimmed yet) gives you a lot and they definitely try to finetune their AnT w/kg for the big race. I takes just 20 meters smaller elevation gain (regarding measurements) to get 50 meters smaller VAM (more believable).
 
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Ironically I believe that did come to pass when Roglic subsequently crashed in that Dauphine and not only did nobody wait for the fallen leader, as I think would have happened had Primoz gifted the win the previous stage (like a real prince such as Indurain doubtless would have done), but they absolutely drilled it to capitalize on his misfortune.

Are you sure you aren't confusing Dauphine with P-N?
 
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As for styles, I admire riders who ride for the win the best they can with the cards they have been dealt. I will never cheer for someone to be stupid.

That is the difference between Valverde and Rogla, even if it's more of a difference in degree than in kind.
 
I still don't buy it. The outlier is too big, it would look absolutely ridiculous on charts. Those most amazing performances (like Contador on Verbier) at least had one amazing guy distancing the rest. Here suddenly there are 3-4 guys in a prep. race riding like peak Pantani in the EPO era while at least two of them never ever got even close to that values. Conditions magically turned them into beasts? (it's really hard to explain 5% or so boost if we haven't seen such a big boost before). This is not a lab and even there those numbers would be outrageous - 6.8-6.9 w/kg for 24 minutes is like 6.4-6.5 w/kg for an hour! (While we know that 6.3 w/kg is sea level lab number for Remco and Pog). How can conditions explain this? And I don't agree that peak form doesn't change pure climbing speed - mass reduction alone (and Remco doesn't look trimmed yet) gives you a lot and they definitely try to finetune their AnT w/kg for the big race. I takes just 20 meters smaller elevation gain (regarding measurements) to get 50 meters smaller VAM (more believable).
I really doubt that. We have already seen very fast short ascents more than five years ago, only later fast long efforts. The power curve of the modern riders is different to the ones of the older generation. Pantani's time on Mende pales in comparison to his Alpe d'Huez ascents.

Contador had some mighty impressive short efforts in 2016-2017, but not a single great long effort.
 
I really doubt that. We have already seen very fast short ascents more than five years ago, only later fast long efforts. The power curve of the modern riders is different to the ones of the older generation. Pantani's time on Mende pales in comparison to his Alpe d'Huez ascents.

Contador had some mighty impressive short efforts in 2016-2017, but not a single great long effort.
With Contador I really wonder how much his climbing style change affected him in that regard. The standing style for super long I think just wasn't sustainable at all on long climbs.

But the general trend about longer vs shorter climbs is definitely true, although I also wonder how much of it was simply down to long climbs rarely being blasted from the bottom. I feel like the few times they actually did the climbing times were pretty fast, particualrly Quintana on AdH, who I think rode a ridiculous split doing near Pantani pace the first few kms before losing 2 minutes to Pantani in the 2nd half. Meanwhile Nibali's Hautacam time was actually really fast as well if consider he was alone for 10km.
 
I really doubt that. We have already seen very fast short ascents more than five years ago, only later fast long efforts. The power curve of the modern riders is different to the ones of the older generation. Pantani's time on Mende pales in comparison to his Alpe d'Huez ascents.

Contador had some mighty impressive short efforts in 2016-2017, but not a single great long effort.

24 minutes is not even a very short effort. This is not a 15-minute climb. Cyclists who can perform in races 6.5 w/kg for this duration win Grand Tours. 6.8-6.9 is something else. What do you think is the percentage drop between 24-minute and 1-hour effort? 0.4-0.5 w/kg drop would correspond to 6-7% and this is consistent with their performances in races. FTP is calculated as 20-minute power reduced by 5%. FTP is not the same as 1-hour power (but cyclists can still maintain it for substantial time, according to researches it's on usually in 35-55 minutes range) but here we have a 24-minute effort and the drop I mentioned is 6-7% (so realistic for a 1 hour vs 24 minute effort).
 
24 minutes is not even a very short effort. This is not a 15-minute climb. Cyclists who can perform in races 6.5 w/kg for this duration win Grand Tours. 6.8-6.9 is something else. What do you think is the percentage drop between 24-minute and 1-hour effort? 0.4-0.5 w/kg drop would correspond to 6-7% and this is consistent with their performances in races. FTP is calculated as 20-minute power reduced by 5%. FTP is not the same as 1-hour power (but cyclists can still maintain it for substantial time, according to researches it's on usually in 35-50 minutes range) but here we have a 24-minute effort and the drop I mentioned is 6-7% (so realistic for a 1 hour vs 24 minute effort).
Here's where the fun starts.

If you do an hour long climb, you're gonna climb like 800m more and the altitude already starts affecting your permance quite a bit. There are no hour long climbs at 500m average altitude.
 
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Here's where the fun starts.

If you do an hour long climb, you're gonna climb like 800m more and the altitude already starts affecting your permance quite a bit. There are no hour long climbs at 500m average altitude.

So you imply that realistic 24 min vs 1 hour power drop is less than races suggest? This would confirm my point even more. 6.8-6.9 w/kg for 24 minutes would correspond to same ridiculous 1-hour power then (definitely more than 6.3 w/kg achieved by super talented guys in lab conditions).
 
Here's where the fun starts.

If you do an hour long climb, you're gonna climb like 800m more and the altitude already starts affecting your permance quite a bit. There are no hour long climbs at 500m average altitude.
I don't know if a TT position changes the power curve (my guess would be that it flattens it slightly), but it would be interesting to compare power files from ITTs.
 
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So you imply that realistic 24 min vs 1 hour power drop is less than races suggest? This would confirm my point even more. 6.8-6.9 w/kg for 24 minutes would correspond to same ridiculous 1-hour power then (definitely more than 6.3 w/kg achieved by super talented guys in lab conditions).
No I say that if you extrapolate this specific performance to Col de la Loze they're not suddenly gonna do 6.4. The 6.0 there was already gigantic.

And one question I have about lab tests is when do riders do lab tests? Because I don't think they do them super often and I'm not sure they even do them in peak shape. And I'm not sure lab tests are extremely optimized or standardized.
 
I don't know if a TT position changes the power curve (my guess would be that it flattens it slightly), but it would be interesting to compare power files from ITTs.
I doubt it flattens because if you get super fatigued it may just get harder to hold your position. That was at least a big talking point during the Hour Record by Ganna, but maybe that has some HR specific factors like the G forces of the track curves and insane body temperature they do it at.

I seem to remember Evenepoels Worlds ITT of 2021 being like 6.3 W/kg or something but I don't know how accurate his weight was at that point.
 
No I say that if you extrapolate this specific performance to Col de la Loze they're not suddenly gonna do 6.4. The 6.0 there was already gigantic.

And one question I have about lab tests is when do riders do lab tests? Because I don't think they do them super often and I'm not sure they even do them in peak shape.

I agree with your long climbs notion. Pacing in long climbs and altitude matters which increase perceived difference between sub 30-minute and 60-minute efforts. It's not like they go a bloc the whole climb (unless it's an ITT and then you got Mayo on Ventoux like ridiculous numbers). That's why a drop of 0.4-0.5 w/kg likely isn't an underestimation. As for their form during lab tests, maybe it's worse but we can't be sure. But remember - yesterday it still wasn't a lab but a climb with pace variations, turns and altitude peaking at 1000 m ASL while the numbers seem to match or exceed those in labs (sterile conditions, low elevation and perfectly constant execution of power). That's why to me yesterdays number are so ridiculous.
 
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I agree with this long climbs notion. Pacing in long climbs and altitude matters which increase perceived difference between sub 30-minute and 60-minute efforts. It's not like they go a bloc the whole climb (unless it's an ITT and they you got Mayo on Ventoux like ridiculous numbers). That's why a drop of 0.4-0.5 w/kg isn't an underestimation. As for their form during lab tests, maybe but we can't be sure. But remember - yesterday still wasn't a lab but a climb with pace variations, turns and altitude peaking at 1000 m ASL while the numbers seem to match or exceed those in labs.
Maybe they could've hit 6.9 but I'm generally a bit sceptical about pacing about pace variations having a super negative effect, especially if they do the first 2/3ds of a climb very fast.

These calcs tend to underrate drafting over a whole climb I think. Ammattipyoraily assumed 65% drafing or so when they all drafted more, and I think until now climbing calculations really don't do anything with drafting effects of larger groups, when that difference is very big. In a huge group you can save like 90%+ on air resistance, though I'm not sure what the numbers say at climbing speeds.

Another factor, which may sound very dank, is the fueling for yesterday must have been super easy. I don't think riders would've had to eat super much during the stage, so their body would be less full, they would probably retain less fluid, and so they could probably be slightly lower weight on this climb than they would be at the end of a harder stage unless you're Tom Dumoulin.

Lastly I also think there's factors outside our knowledge, calculations that play a role, especially when the entire field climbs at lightning speeds, and we shoudln't really overreact to singular "zomg they're going so fast something must be off" based on singular outliers. We don't have all variables. We don't know what power meters people use. All of that stuff.
 
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Maybe they could've hit 6.9 but I'm generally a bit sceptical about pacing about pace variations having a super negative effect, especially if they do the first 2/3ds of a climb very fast.

These calcs tend to underrate drafting over a whole climb I think. Ammattipyoraily assumed 65% drafing or so when they all drafted more, and I think until now climbing calculations really don't do anything with drafting effects of larger groups, when that difference is very big. In a huge group you can save like 90%+ on air resistance, though I'm not sure what the numbers say at climbing speeds.

Another factor, which may sound very dank, is the fueling for yesterday must have been super easy. I don't think riders would've had to eat super much during the stage, so their body would be less full, they would probably retain less fluid, and so they could probably be slightly lower weight on this climb than they would be at the end of a harder stage unless you're Tom Dumoulin.

Lastly I also think there's factors outside our knowledge, calculations that play a role, especially when the entire field climbs at lightning speeds, and we shoudln't really overreact to singular "zomg they're going so fast something must be off" based on singular outliers. We don't have all variables. We don't know what power meters people use. All of that stuff.

The observation that w/kg estimates can be wrong and don't include some factors (or perform inaccurate averaging of draft for example) obviously makes sense (then the real w/kg Primoz or Remco generated was maybe lower yesterday). It doesn't explain ridiculous VAM numbers though - unless there was some important x-factor yesterday (generally not present in other races) that enabled them to achieve record-breaking VAM values out of their standard w/kg values (wind is out of question as Netserk checked). You mention fueling but there have been many stages of yesterday's characteristics in the past (uni-puerto, not high elevation), it's not unique.
 
I think what people fail to understand (out of ignorance perhaps?) is yesterday's VAM + W/kg whatever numbers shows Rogla's new trademarked finish line celebration is in fact extremely important, i.e. he needs to turn that power meter off ASAP or else it'll literally explode on the handlebars.

The Garmin just can't take that level of sustained heat. If things get really crazy in the Giro & TdF, you might see pro teams adding liquid cooling systems to those bike computers.
 
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The observation that w/kg estimates can be wrong and don't include some factors (or perform inaccurate averages of draft for example) obviously makes sense (then the real w/kg Primoz or Remco generated was maybe lower yesterday). It doesn't explain ridiculous VAM numbers though - unless there was some important x-factor yesterday (generally not present in other races) that enabled them to achieve record-breaking VAM values out of their standard w/kg values (wind is out of question as Netserk checked). You mention fueling but there have been many stages of yesterday's characteristics in the past, it's not unique.
I think this climb is like the #1 most suitable climb for high VAM at super low altitude at WT level, don't think that can be disregarded at all. It was the biggest outlier of a few seasons in 2017, it can be so now.

What would be interesting here is finding the biggest outliers per season compared to the overall level, maybe even within that same race. If it's within a race, I think you can pretty confidently argue the variation is highly circumstantial.
 
I don't think there's been many, well really next to none, stages that have been so optimal for VAM. There's the 2017 stage and the Arrate MTT, but what else?

Ah, before the stage I actually predicted a VAM fest here so maybe I shouldn't oppose right now :p The magnitude of the fest really shocked me though. I can't tell you name out of my head but Vuelta 2019 had some very good unipuerto low-elevation numbers (i.e. by Roglic and Valverde) but not this. Last year's TdF had PDBF and Pog and Vinge didn't even get close to 1900 m/h (for only 20 minutes).
 

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