Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good Racing Names

Part of the fun of watching Phil, Paul, and Bob comment of the Tour is the rider names. Each of them seem to pronounce the riders’ names differently – and there are some very interesting names in the tour. Those that have watched for a few years have become so familiar with some of the international names that they don’t sound strange anymore -- Hushovd, Ciolek, Zabel, Cancellara, Pozzato, Efimkin, Freire, Siutsou.

You’d think that the Georgia Cup race series, located in the southeastern US, would be full of Anglo-American names like Todd Wilson, Jake Andrews, and Ron Hill. There are a few of those, but many of the guys riding beside us in those rural pelotons have names that sound like they could have come right out of the Tour roster. Here’s a sampling of some I’ve noticed:

Andrew Schluck (Andy Schleck)
Carlos Saavedra (Carlos Sastra)

Olbap Rojas
Wael Amara
Jan Kolar
Eduardo Avila
Victor Karm
Julio Quinpana
Jordy Wetzel
Predrag Prokic
LaFayette Brazil
Keir Plaice
Sven Eisenhour
Nello Teer
Nicholas Savadelis
Xavier Cortez
Javier Rozo
Vincent Maggioni
Faizal Glen
Enrique DeAgostini
Ernesto Lua
Leigh Valletti
Karel Sumbal

I wonder if a Belgian guy playing baseball would feel more powerful at the plate if his opponents had names like Todd Wilson, Jake Andrews, and Ron Hill? I wonder if any Belgian guys play baseball?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

2008 Racing MMP

Jtheskier from New England suggested I compare mean maximal power from race to race. I thought it was a good idea, so here are MMP charts for some crits and road races. These are cat 4 races, mostly in the Georgia Cup series - all in 2008.

I found it interesting that in crits and road races, I come nearest my season-best power in the 2-4 minute range. For those wanting to convert to w/kg, I weigh 66.8 kg (147 lbs).

Category 4 Racing and Training Normalized Power

Back in 2004 and 2005 I was racing exclusively triathlons. At that time I didn't know what a watt was, but I wondered how difficult a Cat 5 road race or crit would be. When I started dabbling in Cat 5 races, I wondered how difficult Cat 4 races would be, etc.

I don't have a straight answer, but the following graph provides more data than I ever found back when I was looking for information.

As you can see, I was dropped from three races this year. The first Gainesville crit was very hard, a hard effort and a dirt road dropped me in Perry, and the huge effort on the climbs in Rome was more than I could do. Most of the crits were 30 minutes, the road races were mostly about 45-65 miles, and the Worlds numbers reflect 90-min to 2-hr Tuesday training rides ignoring the first 15 minutes. Ignore the x-axis. I couldn't get it to work right.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"Just shut up and do it."

I liked the way Jens Voigt described the mental side of time trialing, which is often overlooked. It went something like: "Your mind tells your body to work. If your body complains, your mind says 'Just shut up and do it.'" I guess that's the German version of the Nike slogan.

Another interesting comment during yesterday's Tour coverage came from the guy sitting behind Jonathan Vaughters in the Garmin Chipotle team car. He said David Miller could hold 430 watts for more than an hour and a half. That seems like a hell of a lot of power for 90 minutes, even for a pro TT specialist. But assuming Miller weights 170 or so, it lines up with the Coggan power profile.

Below is an interesting clip of Voigt behind the scenes that I found while looking unsuccessfully for the clip above. It looks like Jens takes his breakfast as seriously as Jake does.