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Old 06-13-18, 08:22 AM
  #11901  
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A day of rest, three days of “do whatever you want on the mountain bike,” two more days of rest to recover from that.

Then back at it today on the TT bike, new position, 1cm lower in the elbow pads: 2 x 5 at 115%, 1 x 20 at 100%, and 30 min at tempo in TT position. Pleasantly surprised to get it done, new position felt pretty much the same as the old position. Although these were relatively short intervals so that was not entirely unexpected, I suppose.

From this weekend’s mountain biking excursion to the mountains. Skyline Trail at Big Bear Lake, CA.


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Old 06-13-18, 08:29 AM
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I agree with a lot of what's been said. My CTL typically hovers in the mid 90s. It's peaked at 105 in the last four years, I think, and rarely gets below mid 80s in season (except for last summer). But I think that's just the base of my race fitness.

At the beginning of the 2017 season I felt really strong and had a CTL around 100 from lots of threshold and aerobic intervals, but lacked the "go-fastness" necessary to be way up there at the end to pull a result. Contrast that to the end of the season when I had a CTL that floated in the 70s-80s, but all of my intensity was race-intensity and I was able to pull a couple of good results, even though I felt my "strength" was lacking a ton (really suffering in breaks or big efforts and in really hard finishes).

It's probably a bit too tight of a range to significantly differentiate, but Ideally for me (in my head at least) mid to high 90s/low 100s with a good number of race days in the legs seems to be my best complete fitness in which I'm confident of getting up there. One or the other has benefits and tradeoffs that won't necessarily result in podiums.
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Old 06-13-18, 08:30 AM
  #11903  
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I'm taking a week off the bike. Full-fledged exhaustion on top of the baby being sick again.
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Old 06-13-18, 09:03 AM
  #11904  
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Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
Where you put the effort that goes into that CTL matters a lot.
Yes. There's only two of us in that group that ever does "interval" training of any kind. However long the interval is.

I think why I can hang on longer rides is because I've got a 20 lb weight advantage on most of them. That 20lbs adds up every time the road goes up.

I notice when I risk doing the local race sim ride that weight advantage is almost gone or doesn't matter as much.
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Old 06-13-18, 09:14 AM
  #11905  
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
But still, racing (especially crit racing) is literally a competition on who has the best genes. And threshold power is by FAR the most important skill in crits.
I really disagree with this. If you're trying to lap the field, then there's more credence to it, but technical/tactical skill and then finishing ability far outweigh FTP in crits, in my opinion.

Power data from 3-4 different PRT crits (done a couple of times) and some pretty big regional crits shows my AP typically around 3-3.5 w/kg and NP around 3.5-3.8 w/kg. Fairly paltry for how hard the races are themselvesf, but it shows there's just way more going on than simple FTP.
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Old 06-13-18, 09:37 AM
  #11906  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I really disagree with this. If you're trying to lap the field, then there's more credence to it, but technical/tactical skill and then finishing ability far outweigh FTP in crits, in my opinion.
CDR is pretty much the poster boy for crit success without high threshold power. He made it to cat 2 based on tactics and a high finishing power.
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Old 06-13-18, 10:08 AM
  #11907  
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1) 3.8 w/kg requires at least semi-serious training, for me.

2) 3.8 is np for the whole race, but what about max 5, 10, and 20 minute efforts? I bet you need to dig into a huge threshold at least once or twice in a race.

3) How aero one is makes a huge difference in how big of a threshold one needs as well (good genes). A slight difference in body shape/proportions can easily equal 50 watts or more.

4) Assuming one can't sprint, surviving to the finish and winning from the break are very different. And you need threshold to ride any sort of break longer than 2 or 3 minutes. Which is about where I stop pulling through and focus on not getting dropped.

5) CDR has a sprint. You can totally get to cat 2 on a big sprint. Sprinting to win in a cat 3 crit takes less threshold power than it does to get to the finish and be fresh in a 1/2 crit. But really Idk what it takes to win a sprint cuz I've never done it. I'm sure genes and ftp come into play though.
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Old 06-13-18, 10:29 AM
  #11908  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I really disagree with this. If you're trying to lap the field, then there's more credence to it, but technical/tactical skill and then finishing ability far outweigh FTP in crits, in my opinion.

Power data from 3-4 different PRT crits (done a couple of times) and some pretty big regional crits shows my AP typically around 3-3.5 w/kg and NP around 3.5-3.8 w/kg. Fairly paltry for how hard the races are themselvesf, but it shows there's just way more going on than simple FTP.
I've never done a PRT crit but I would agree with this.
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Old 06-13-18, 10:58 AM
  #11909  
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Originally Posted by arai_speed View Post
Hit the Tuesday World's ride. On lap 7 I took a major pull to close a gap (on the uphill side of the course) and could not recover in time...went out the back like a hot potato...no good deed goes unpunished.
Keep on grinding, that recovery will get easier.

I considered going out there one Tuesday then remembered going home is going to be 2-3 hours in traffic....

Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
A day of rest, three days of “do whatever you want on the mountain bike,” two more days of rest to recover from that.

Then back at it today on the TT bike, new position, 1cm lower in the elbow pads: 2 x 5 at 115%, 1 x 20 at 100%, and 30 min at tempo in TT position. Pleasantly surprised to get it done, new position felt pretty much the same as the old position. Although these were relatively short intervals so that was not entirely unexpected, I suppose.

From this weekend’s mountain biking excursion to the mountains. Skyline Trail at Big Bear Lake, CA.


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Originally Posted by ancker View Post
Very interesting! A YouTube series would be cool.

I feel like I have the opposite problem.
I've never once got off the bike and thought "Man, my hamstrings/glutes are tired." It's always the quads.
Am I using them and not noticing them, or am I pedaling all wrong and missing out on a lot of power production?
I wouldn't know, considering I've never really pedaled correctly. That being said, I believe the quads being tired is fairly normal.
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Old 06-13-18, 11:16 AM
  #11910  
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
My backyard!
Next time you will have to ride up and say Hi. Meet you at Onyx Summit.

Seriously: we have some friends with a cabin up there. We'll be up the weekends of Aug 4 (Tour de Big Bear weekend, but I'll be mountain biking), Aug 15, Labor Day, and Sept 29. Sept 29 is the Big Bear Mtn Bike Fondo. You should ride up and get your climb on.
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Old 06-13-18, 01:20 PM
  #11911  
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
1) 3.8 w/kg requires at least semi-serious training, for me.

2) 3.8 is np for the whole race, but what about max 5, 10, and 20 minute efforts? I bet you need to dig into a huge threshold at least once or twice in a race.

3) How aero one is makes a huge difference in how big of a threshold one needs as well (good genes). A slight difference in body shape/proportions can easily equal 50 watts or more.

4) Assuming one can't sprint, surviving to the finish and winning from the break are very different. And you need threshold to ride any sort of break longer than 2 or 3 minutes. Which is about where I stop pulling through and focus on not getting dropped.

5) CDR has a sprint. You can totally get to cat 2 on a big sprint. Sprinting to win in a cat 3 crit takes less threshold power than it does to get to the finish and be fresh in a 1/2 crit. But really Idk what it takes to win a sprint cuz I've never done it. I'm sure genes and ftp come into play though.
I'm not saying it doesn't require training. I am saying that based just off of average or normalized power, most cat 3s and 4s should do fine in a national level crit. That's 100% not the case because ftp is not anywhere nearly as important in these races as other abilities.

In my last PRT, best 5 min power was 288, 10 min was 263, 20 min was 254. That's approximately 3.85, 3.5, and 3.4 w/kg.. You can't dig deep into threshold in a big race unless you're off the front or back, because you're diving into corners every 30 secs with 100 other dudes. You coast more than you do anything else.

Aero has nothing do with anything in 100+ people fields.

Yes, those are different things. But that's not what you were talking about earlier. I said if you wanted to lap the field, FTP mattered. But it doesn't if your goal is anything other than that.

I know what it takes to win local races in sprints. I have a good feeling what it takes to win big races in sprints. FTP isn't high on my list of things to focus on for either of those. Even huge max watts isn't what I'd focus on..

Every race is different, but I'd put positioning as the #1 most significant thing a person needs to do well in a field sprint. You're not going to be there with some ridiculously low FTP, but I know some guys with extremely high FTPs that aren't ever there, either. Even my middling 4.6-4.7 ftp doesn't hold me back a bit in getting to the front in the closing laps. Knowing when, where, and how to move up and how to arrive at the finish with fresh-ish legs is instrumental in getting that position, and there are some guys that are extremely skilled at that.
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Old 06-13-18, 01:50 PM
  #11912  
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Sagan is the personification of excellent positioning skills.
No idea about FTP, but his max sprint power is likely hundreds of watts lower than guys he regularly beats to the line.
It's all due to his ability to find the right wheels to follow (and change when he needs to), partially due to necessity since Bora Hansgrohe has no leadout to speak of.

I think a lot of people consider/focus on FTP because of the reality that the further away from the red you are during the race, the more likely you'll have a chance to do anything at all on the final lap.
I regularly hang with guys way faster than me with way higher thresholds. But I do it because I know how to draft and conserve both energy and momentum. Once they go above their threshold, there's little I can do. In a "fresh vs fresh" sprint, it's very evenly matched. In a "been riding hard for 30+ miles" sprint, I'm off the back before the sprint begins. The only way to change that is to increase my 3.4w/kg FTP.
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Old 06-13-18, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I'm not saying it doesn't require training. I am saying that based just off of average or normalized power, most cat 3s and 4s should do fine in a national level crit. That's 100% not the case because ftp is not anywhere nearly as important in these races as other abilities.
Sure, if you (A) already have a massive FTP and aero profile like yourself and therefore don't need to think it matters and (B) you can sprint and therefore don't need to ride off the front.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
In my last PRT, best 5 min power was 288, 10 min was 263, 20 min was 254. That's approximately 3.85, 3.5, and 3.4 w/kg.. You can't dig deep into threshold in a big race unless you're off the front or back, because you're diving into corners every 30 secs with 100 other dudes. You coast more than you do anything else.
But you need to be able to produce high NP for those types of races. And again, unless your gonna sprint, having those 100 dudes around you means you are losing.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Aero has nothing do with anything in 100+ people fields.
Of course it does. Wind doesn't stop in the draft, and anyway you need to get in front of those 100 dudes to win. Try raising your bars 6" next time and tell me it doesn't affect the required power.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Yes, those are different things. But that's not what you were talking about earlier. I said if you wanted to lap the field, FTP mattered. But it doesn't if your goal is anything other than that.
There's all sorts of other times when FTP matters. Surviving is one. Not having to go above FTP for mild surges. Breaks. Breaks. Breaks. Lapping the field isn't the only reason to break away.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I know what it takes to win local races in sprints. I have a good feeling what it takes to win big races in sprints. FTP isn't high on my list of things to focus on for either of those. Even huge max watts isn't what I'd focus on.

Every race is different, but I'd put positioning as the #1 most significant thing a person needs to do well in a field sprint. You're not going to be there with some ridiculously low FTP, but I know some guys with extremely high FTPs that aren't ever there, either. Even my middling 4.6-4.7 ftp doesn't hold me back a bit in getting to the front in the closing laps. Knowing when, where, and how to move up and how to arrive at the finish with fresh-ish legs is instrumental in getting that position, and there are some guys that are extremely skilled at that.
So you have what it takes to sprint, and you have what I would consider a pretty big FTP, and most likely you are very aero if you are rolling around at those speeds on 250 watts even in a good draft. So of course you don't realize how huge the FTP/aero combination is. You can probably follow surges and not even go much above threshold unless you are near the front.

If you're me and couldn't outsprint a cat 4 field, or if your races don't typically end in field sprints, you NEED to be able to ride a sustained pace out front in the wind. If your like most people who can't beat the top sprinters, you need to be able to sustain a high pace out in the wind.
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Old 06-13-18, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
Next time you will have to ride up and say Hi. Meet you at Onyx Summit.

Seriously: we have some friends with a cabin up there. We'll be up the weekends of Aug 4 (Tour de Big Bear weekend, but I'll be mountain biking), Aug 15, Labor Day, and Sept 29. Sept 29 is the Big Bear Mtn Bike Fondo. You should ride up and get your climb on.
Since I'm training for Sherman Pass I'll probably do Onyx at least once coming up; the problem though is always my on call, which is 2 weeks out the month and keeps me from the epic stuff. I'm also curious to see how fast I can get up it now.

@aaronmcd, @rubiksoval good stuff. Both of you make good points; from a guy that raced crits (poorly) at a 3.4 w/kg FTP with absolutely no burst in my legs I can tell you how important min maxing the small details just to keep from being dropped is....One thing I've really focused on this season is positioning; all of my bad races were from bad positioning, not watts (although if I was stronger I may have been able to compensate).
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Old 06-13-18, 05:05 PM
  #11915  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
CDR is pretty much the poster boy for crit success without high threshold power. He made it to cat 2 based on tactics and a high finishing power.
...
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Old 06-13-18, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I really disagree with this. If you're trying to lap the field, then there's more credence to it, but technical/tactical skill and then finishing ability far outweigh FTP in crits, in my opinion.

Power data from 3-4 different PRT crits (done a couple of times) and some pretty big regional crits shows my AP typically around 3-3.5 w/kg and NP around 3.5-3.8 w/kg. Fairly paltry for how hard the races are themselvesf, but it shows there's just way more going on than simple FTP.
Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
Sure, if you (A) already have a massive FTP and aero profile like yourself and therefore don't need to think it matters and (B) you can sprint and therefore don't need to ride off the front.



But you need to be able to produce high NP for those types of races. And again, unless your gonna sprint, having those 100 dudes around you means you are losing.



Of course it does. Wind doesn't stop in the draft, and anyway you need to get in front of those 100 dudes to win. Try raising your bars 6" next time and tell me it doesn't affect the required power.



There's all sorts of other times when FTP matters. Surviving is one. Not having to go above FTP for mild surges. Breaks. Breaks. Breaks. Lapping the field isn't the only reason to break away.



So you have what it takes to sprint, and you have what I would consider a pretty big FTP, and most likely you are very aero if you are rolling around at those speeds on 250 watts even in a good draft. So of course you don't realize how huge the FTP/aero combination is. You can probably follow surges and not even go much above threshold unless you are near the front.

If you're me and couldn't outsprint a cat 4 field, or if your races don't typically end in field sprints, you NEED to be able to ride a sustained pace out front in the wind. If your like most people who can't beat the top sprinters, you need to be able to sustain a high pace out in the wind.
Aaron you gotta re-think your strategies. Reread that "why do people attack off the front if they can't sustain it" thread and ignore everyone who isn't me. You're strong enough to ride breaks and a much better sprinter than I am, but you don't work it to your advantage.
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Old 06-13-18, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
Sure, if you (A) already have a massive FTP and aero profile like yourself and therefore don't need to think it matters and (B) you can sprint and therefore don't need to ride off the front.

But you need to be able to produce high NP for those types of races. And again, unless your gonna sprint, having those 100 dudes around you means you are losing.

Of course it does. Wind doesn't stop in the draft, and anyway you need to get in front of those 100 dudes to win. Try raising your bars 6" next time and tell me it doesn't affect the required power.

There's all sorts of other times when FTP matters. Surviving is one. Not having to go above FTP for mild surges. Breaks. Breaks. Breaks. Lapping the field isn't the only reason to break away.

So you have what it takes to sprint, and you have what I would consider a pretty big FTP, and most likely you are very aero if you are rolling around at those speeds on 250 watts even in a good draft. So of course you don't realize how huge the FTP/aero combination is. You can probably follow surges and not even go much above threshold unless you are near the front.

If you're me and couldn't outsprint a cat 4 field, or if your races don't typically end in field sprints, you NEED to be able to ride a sustained pace out front in the wind. If your like most people who can't beat the top sprinters, you need to be able to sustain a high pace out in the wind.
How does ftp and aeroness help someone sprint in a field sprint? What's the most important rule of sprinting? Position, position, position!!!

I don't understand why you keep going back to NP when I've already stated it's routinely in the 3.5-4.0 w/kg range.

At the first day of the Gateway Cup PRT last September I (in the field) averaged 31.5 mph on 234 average watts and 264 np (That's a smashing 3.5 w/kg!!!). Sitting upright on my hoods. Aeroness had pretty much nothing to do with that. Being sucked along by 135 other dudes had everything to do with that.

I don't know how many crits you've done, but not going above FTP is going to get you blasted out the back from the get go. As I said before, the number one thing you're doing in a crit with a huge field is coasting. The number two thing you're doing is nm power. Power profiles are a massive U-shape. BUT, if you can mitigate that nm power through positioning, cornering, and moving up on lulls (and before corners), you can really come out ahead of guys with way more power who are using is way less efficiently.

My ftp is crap. To race in a pro field, it's crap. it's why I never made it to a pro in the first place. It's why I got dropped before the half way mark in every European road race I tried. .It's why I've basically stopped doing road races in the U.S.. It's the absolute reason I haven't done a time trial in two years. I got last in so many time trials that I simply quit doing them. That's how bad my cda/w is.

You are WAY too hung up on aero and ftp and really not understanding how little it has to do with anything in big field races.

I will say I can't beat the top sprinters, or even the second-tier sprinters. In a straight up sprint, there are lots of 3s and 4s that can beat me, as I generally don't hit more than 1250/16.5 w/kg for 5s in a sprint. So I don't even call myself a sprinter. But even guys like Danny Summerhill aren't typically rolling off the front of fields at 30+ mph for very long, so the whole "break away" scenario really isn't realistic for 95% of the field in big races. So then it's sprinting for as high a place as you can get. And that's done through positioning. Start the sprint far enough at the front and you don't even have to stand up and sprint to get a solid result. You just simply maintain speed.
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Old 06-13-18, 09:26 PM
  #11918  
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All I know is cat 1’s generally know what they’re talking about..

Unless two cat 1’s are arguing, then maybe they’re both right?
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Old 06-13-18, 09:28 PM
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@aaronmcd you have the power, you just need to figure when to use it, when to save it, and how to conserve it.
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Old 06-14-18, 01:02 AM
  #11920  
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All I know is many cat 1s seem to be utterly oblivious to their huge genetic advantage and pretend they have it all figured out when the more likely reality is that they have natural talent and don't even know the struggles of the commoner. For example take our narrator on Jeff's videos. That guy can't ride a bike to save his life, I could ride circles around him blindfolded, he thinks riding within a foot of someone or the curb is sketchy, he blew through the categories crashing people out right and left along the way, but he thinks he knows what he's doing cuz he is strong as s***. Teammate JT also uses his massive strength and I see him cruising along in the wind wondering why he doesn't have to hide in a draft to survive. And rubiksoval who's supposed mediocre ftp and mediocre sprint are numbers I would crush fields souls with if I had them. Fact is, all the evidence shows its about ftp and aero primarily. I'm not an idiot so no one is gonna convince me that their huge power/aero is worthless.
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Old 06-14-18, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
@aaronmcd you have the power, you just need to figure when to use it, when to save it, and how to conserve it.
lol. I use it mostly to survive hiding from the wind and hoping ill have some huge reserves late in the race (usually doesn't happen, but it has a few times).
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Old 06-14-18, 04:25 AM
  #11922  
gsteinb
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
All I know is many cat 1s seem to be utterly oblivious to their huge genetic advantage and pretend they have it all figured out when the more likely reality is that they have natural talent and don't even know the struggles of the commoner. For example take our narrator on Jeff's videos. That guy can't ride a bike to save his life, I could ride circles around him blindfolded, he thinks riding within a foot of someone or the curb is sketchy, he blew through the categories crashing people out right and left along the way, but he thinks he knows what he's doing cuz he is strong as s***. Teammate JT also uses his massive strength and I see him cruising along in the wind wondering why he doesn't have to hide in a draft to survive. And rubiksoval who's supposed mediocre ftp and mediocre sprint are numbers I would crush fields souls with if I had them. Fact is, all the evidence shows its about ftp and aero primarily. I'm not an idiot so no one is gonna convince me that their huge power/aero is worthless.

Genetic advantages are pretty meaningless until you start to get to the higher levels of sport. Hard work, consistency, smarts, and rest tend to trump genetic talent. In fact, often it's the genetically talented folks who tend to flame out when they get to the part where hard work comes in. No different across a massive array of disciplines. Universities are littered with the corpses (metaphorical) of those super smart kids who were the smartest kid in their high school, but as a result they never had to work on working hard.

You're "I'm not an idiot" and "no one is going to convince" can't really go in the same sentence. Sorry, it's just sort of the way it works. That said, I don't think anyone is saying aero and FTP are worthless. They're just not the most important thing in crit racing. In fact, I'd argue that the most important power bucket is 5 minutes. If you have enough FTP to hang in. The power and positioning to handle the hard parts. Then the positioning in the last 15 minutes. If you have bang on 5 minute power you'll do great in most any crit. The thing is with bike racing there's more than one way to get things done. It's just that a one trick FTP isn't going to ultimately get very far. Case in point, back when I was a three there were a bunch of TT type guys who if you let them go they'd roll forever and win. And they did, it really worked. So you're not wrong. But, it gets pretty easy to defend. Somerville whatever year this one guy I'm thinking of kept trying to attack an roll off. Since he didn't have massive power it was pretty easy for me to get up to him. And I'd sit. He'd elbow me through. And I'd shake him off. He'd curse. I'd shrug. Field would swallow us up. Rinse and repeat. Ultimately he got last. My teammate won, and I got third. When you map this over to P,1 crit racing and the massive speed of the field the power one needs to put out to roll off the front and solo is absurd. You can get away, but they occur for a variety of other reasons related to timing and tactics. The speeds are just too huge for someone (many) to be that powerful.

Personally my sprint is way overrated. I too barely break 1200. But I have a big FTP (relative) and great 5 minute power (something like 405 best ever). So I have a lot of snot from the right position to maximize a sprint pure sprinters would chew up.

I'm also aero like a cinder block, which as I move into TTs is going to be something that's going to need a lot of work. But since I've spent the majority of my time following other people's asses (all much bigger) it hasn't held me back.

Last edited by gsteinb; 06-14-18 at 04:32 AM.
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Old 06-14-18, 10:00 AM
  #11923  
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https://www.strava.com/activities/1597835932/analysis/189/10097
https://www.strava.com/activities/15...ysis/856/10809
https://www.strava.com/activities/1084991733/analysis/0/12758

I am 162lbs. Learn to pack surf.

edit: I was there for the sprint for all of these, I am just too scared to sprint

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Old 06-14-18, 10:12 AM
  #11924  
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been going easy all week, just riding on the MUP to stay at a low power.
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Old 06-14-18, 10:13 AM
  #11925  
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
and great 5 minute power (something like 405 best ever)
Oh sure, just keep rubbing it in..
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