OK, my limiter seems to be breakaway efforts. I can sprint well enough and I climb with the best in my club, especially on longer climbs. My big issues seems to be in breakaway or time-trail situations. I just can't maintain the speed that I need to be successful. I don't have the ability to measure power, so I've used some calculators to try to get some sort of numerical analysis of what's going on. The numbers will be wrong, but directionally they should be reasonable.
Since I do well climbing, my power/weight must be reasonable, but the thing that I run into is that my power/aero drag must be pretty crappy. Recently, I did a comparison of laps around a closed course loop on the hoods and then in the drops. The difference between the two in terms of time was pretty small, a little less than 2% (about 5 seconds over about 5 minutes). This was holding average HR constant (upper-Zone 2) and only allowing +/-2 bpm difference over a lap. I can't measure power, but I was doing everything I could to maintain a consistent power level. The online calculators seem to show that the power difference due to aero drag between me on the hoods and in the drops is 15 watts at about 21.5mph.
On the physical side, I'm going to really concentrate next season on FTP work and work a little less on anaerobic work. This should allow me to up the breakaway power I'm able to produce and hopefully keep a couple more matches in the book when it is time to sprint.
I think there must be a bike position component to my problem as well, though. I've got a -6* stem and no spacers. Even at that, my saddle-to-bar drop is relatively small and I can ride in the drops all day. The bike is a Cannondale Six13 with CAAD9 geometry. I've considered a -17* stem. I think I'm going to get that as an experiment, regardless.
Here are the questions, mostly to people that have the ability to measure power:
Is my difference in drag from the hoods to the drops reasonable or is it smaller than expected?
In a general case scenario, would a -17* stem (20mm drop) be a noticeable drag differerence (realizing that everyone is different)?
I have been professionally fit, and I try to keep my knees and elbows tucked in. Are there other aspects of my position that could be hurting me (i.e. head position)?
FTP will be up next year, but I want to make sure I'm doing the other stuff to make those gains worthwhile. Thanks for the help.