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Old 12-15-08, 01:52 PM   #1
procrit
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FTP and the real world...

So a family member who was a top Cat 1 in Texas, won the state championship TT 5ish years ago (I think around 53 minutes), tells me that he won on an average 310 watts as calculated by his SRM. He weighed about 155, so he wasn't exactly super small either. He also won a time trial at a stage race (I think fayetteville?), P/1/2 field, with less than 290 watts on average.

So what is the deal with that? How can he win the state championship with only 310 watts, but there are Cat 3 and 4's with with supposedly over 300 watt FTPs that are having a hard time catting up?
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Old 12-15-08, 01:59 PM   #2
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Being The fastest/strongest cyclist doesn't necessarily mean you win the race.
(It sure helps though)
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Old 12-15-08, 02:11 PM   #3
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To quote a famous hammerhead BFer, "TTs are about efficiency, not power."

I'm horribly inefficient, so I need more power. Think of me as the Hummer H2 of time trialing (round-tube road bike, road helmet, etc.).

Last year's TX state TT champ had (I believe) an FTP of ~300W.
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Old 12-15-08, 02:11 PM   #4
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There are many parts to a good TT. The size of a rider is important, but the shape (e.g. position) is more important. Also, pacing is extremely important. 310 watt average could have been 340 into the wind and 280 with a tail. If he had an SRM 5 years ago he was quite a bit ahead of most of the field in that regard.
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Old 12-15-08, 02:12 PM   #5
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....because results are not based on powerfiles....

....unless it's an indoor TT...

...where was I?
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Old 12-15-08, 02:18 PM   #6
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Because he's smaller he has a smaller frontal profile and probably a better position. Also 4.2w/kg is not terrible.
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Old 12-15-08, 02:40 PM   #7
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Because he's smaller he has a smaller frontal profile and probably a better position. Also 4.2w/kg is not terrible.
+1 http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm
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Old 12-15-08, 02:51 PM   #8
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I'm guessing he didn't win very many hill road races.
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Old 12-15-08, 02:53 PM   #9
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interesting. I don't need more power, I need less frontal area.
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Old 12-15-08, 03:54 PM   #10
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All true. It's also possible that some of the Cat 4 claimants to 300watt FTPs are 1) improperly extrapolating from shorter efforts or 2) posting on BF, where all numbers are inflated by 15% by what must be an automatic java script.
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Old 12-15-08, 04:16 PM   #11
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All true. It's also possible that some of the Cat 4 claimants to 300watt FTPs are 1) improperly extrapolating from shorter efforts or 2) posting on BF, where all numbers are inflated by 15% by what must be an automatic java script.
meh....I just found mine and I am below that for sure (266), but MJH2's numbers were JUST below 300W(291). We are definite Cat 4 pack fodder.....assuming I submit my upgrade request that is....

...but we're fat. Both of us at 3.3 w/kg.
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Old 12-15-08, 06:06 PM   #12
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All true. It's also possible that some of the Cat 4 claimants to 300watt FTPs are 1) improperly extrapolating from shorter efforts or 2) posting on BF, where all numbers are inflated by 15% by what must be an automatic java script.
I'd be happy to post my LT test from last April (lab test) with a 302 if it'll make you feel better. I've gone up about 7-8% since then too (MAP tests only, no lab results).

It doesn't mean I'm not pack fodder.
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Old 12-15-08, 06:10 PM   #13
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As another data point, I'm in that same ballpark, but spent half of last season getting dropped.

Having decent strength doesn't necessarily equate to performance in races (read: I race like a moron).
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Old 12-15-08, 06:18 PM   #14
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As another data point, I'm in that same ballpark, but spent half of last season getting dropped.

Having decent strength doesn't necessarily equate to performance in races (read: I race like a moron).
You sell yourself short. You raced well early in the season before taking the lay-off, and I don't doubt you'll be firing an all cylinders again soon enough.

BTW -- did you get Tal's email?
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Old 12-15-08, 06:30 PM   #15
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I'm guessing he didn't win very many hill road races.
Depends on what Fayetteville race hes taking about. If its Joe Martin thats an uphill TT.
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Old 12-15-08, 06:32 PM   #16
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All true. It's also possible that some of the Cat 4 claimants to 300watt FTPs are 1) improperly extrapolating from shorter efforts or 2) posting on BF, where all numbers are inflated by 15% by what must be an automatic java script.
Some of us are just plain fat so the numbers ARE accurate.
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Old 12-15-08, 06:38 PM   #17
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interesting. I don't need more power, I need less frontal area.
you need both
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Old 12-15-08, 06:43 PM   #18
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oh, and I can verify that a 310w FTP is enough power to lap a cat 4 crit field.

race smart AND hard
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Old 12-15-08, 06:54 PM   #19
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You sell yourself short. You raced well early in the season before taking the lay-off, and I don't doubt you'll be firing an all cylinders again soon enough.

BTW -- did you get Tal's email?
Ha, thanks. Here's hoping. I did get it! I'll be dropping them off at his office tomorrow afternoon. I'm glad somebody will be able to put them to good use.

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oh, and I can verify that a 310w FTP is enough power to lap a cat 4 crit field.

race smart AND hard
Man oh man, I've got to either move or take some more road trips this season.
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Old 12-15-08, 07:49 PM   #20
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Having decent strength doesn't necessarily equate to performance in races (read: I race like a moron).
Mike-

You need to borrow my copy of "The Rider". It is a great read. If we ride this Sunday just drop by my house on your way home.
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Old 12-16-08, 06:02 AM   #21
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I've not read the other replies, but around here (Ohio) the best time trialers (trialists?) are cat 3's or 4's. Just because you can push XXX watts for 50 minutes in a time trial does NOT mean you can win/place/show in 3 hour road races or technical crits. There are several guys I know who don't do anything other than time trials to begin with.
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Old 12-16-08, 07:15 AM   #22
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Old 12-16-08, 08:10 AM   #23
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oh, and I can verify that a 310w FTP is enough power to lap a cat 4 crit field.

race smart AND hard
not if you weigh 93kg, and aren't terribly aerodynamic. I can verify that.
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Old 12-16-08, 09:27 AM   #24
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oh, and I can verify that a 310w FTP is enough power to lap a cat 4 crit field.

race smart AND hard
That must be an interesting crit course..... 1 hour for the 4's is kind of a long race as well.
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Old 12-16-08, 10:22 AM   #25
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Out of boredom ran the 310 watt lapping Cat 4 field hypothesis through Kruezotter. Assumed 150lb rider in the drops, with a 16lb bike, flat course, no wind.

Our breakaway canidate does 24.8mph at FTP. That is not going to keep you off the front of a Cat 4 crit. Even assuming the hypothetical rider could maintain say 350 watts for 20 minutes or so (a charitable assumption) he's still under 26mph, and that's not staying away in a Cat 4 crit.
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