What it Takes to Ride at the Elite Cycling Nationals
Today Brett Grieve rode in the 40km Time Trial at the Elite Cycling Championships for Cycling New Zealand. Although not coached by me, he is a friend and allows me access to his power files to publish in this forum for everyone’s benefit. By now you will have seen the news that Hamish Bond won the race, and Brett being an early starter spent a while sitting in the hot seat for the current leader until someone else finished with a faster time.
The 40km route involved two laps each with 156m of climbing. It was by no means a flat course but the climbs were short power climbs with the two key climbs being at 5km and 15km mark on each lap being 65m and 40m respectively.
Brett started well but had a bit of bad luck with a slow leak developing. Just after the start of the second lap he swapped the wheel out. Despite this he still managed to finish in 9th place.
He had been averaging 381 Watts when he got his wheel swapped. Overall he averaged 374 Watts, with a Normalised Power (NP) of 384 Watts for the event. He rode the event with an average of 5.07 W/kg, which is a pretty high level.
He had a Variability Index (VI) of 1.03 which is exceptionally good and shows how consistently he managed to maintain his pace. He had a plan of pushing 470 Watts up the first climb but only managed 420 Watts (due to the slow leak), which he did on the second lap as well. For the second climb he was consistent with 409 Watts for the first lap and 408 Watts on the second lap. The plan was to hold 450 Watts up this hill. He had an Aerobic Decoupling rate of only 5.86% which also shows he had good endurance and didn’t lose much effort as the event went on.
His highest power values were at the start of the event when he put out 907 Watts for 5 seconds as he rode off the start line. When he was forced to stop for the wheel change (which was less than 30 seconds) he hit similar power levels as he restarted. His peak 60 second power was at the base of the first hill on the second lap as he put out 485 Watts. Although this seems pretty high he was actually moderating his effort and put out higher power for 60 seconds during a training ride yesterday.
His Peak 5min was the entire first climb (and a little of the descent) on the first lap when he was freshest. He put out 401 Watts. The first ten minutes of the race (including the first climb) was his Peak 10min which was 395 Watts. He also got a Peak 20min early on in the race of 386 Watts which is a record in recent months for him. This indicates that his training has been on point of late and has seen a shift in his Functional Threshold Power.
Although he was never a contender to be on the podium for this event, Brett can be extremely proud of how his training has gone with the advice of Anthony Chapman of Optimal Performance and the result that this training has brought him at the Time Trial. Sunday will see him lining up for the Road Race.
See yesterday’s Qwik Interview with him here: