Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More Pipp TdG Power Data

I downloaded the WKO+ file for Frank Pipp's TdG ride on 4-22-08. There are several interesting things about the data. The first is that his race was divided into five distinct segments that are all very different. Frank Pipp is 5'9" 155, the same as me. If you're heavier, you'll need to consider that when looking at the power data. Frank has a FTP of 364 watts (5.2 watts/kg).

First, he spent the first 11 minutes just tooling around at 163 watts NP. They were probably doing the parade through town on the way out. 163 watts NP is a recovery day strolll wattage.

For the next 1 hour, 22 minutes, Frank was on "Break Duty" for Health Net. I guess he sat at the front and either tried to go with all breaks or chase down the ones he missed. His normalized power for this segment was 309 watts. For comparison, I'm a typical cat 4 and can hold 309 watts NP for about 40 minutes max. So this is more than I can do, but I ride with several cat 1s, 2s, and 3s who could do it as long as the peak power output was not a limiter - I don't think it would be.

Then Frank gets the long-awaited (I'm guessing here) message in his earpiece that he's off break duty and can chill for a while. And he really does chill. For the next 1 hour and 39 minutes, his normalized power is only 189 watts. Now, I'm fully aware of the power savings benefit of sitting in the pack, but this is really quite easy. I think my wife, Betty Jean, could do it. His wattage doesn't get over 300 watts very many times, even on a rolling course. They averaged 23 mph during that stretch, which seems high considering the wattage. Maybe he's just super efficient?

Then for the next hour the race begins to approach the finish, and Frank's NP is 248 and average speed is 25.2 mph (40 kph for y'all across the pond); that's a decent effort, but easier than solid tempo for a pro.

Then Mr. Pipp earns his money. For the final 24 minutes, his NP is 378 watts and his average speed is 29.5 mph (47.5 kph). That's why he rides for Health Net and my wife and I do not. That stretch included winning the KOM.

I think what interested me the most about looking at the power file was the difference in the various segments of the race and the clean transition from one to the next. Different duties, stuctured efforts. Quite unlike the stochasic, unorganized nature of my races.


Rich W said...

You can't compare power without considering weight. Pipp weighs 70kg and has a 5.2w/kg FTP. Also he rides for HealthNet. Navigators folded last year.

My teammate has an FTP of 360w, same as Pipp's....but he weighs 80kg!

Robert Jordan said...

Thanks, you are accurate on both counts. I corrected the team name and added weight info.