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Stage 2 An Post Ras: Kilkenny to Gort

By:
Stephen Gallagher
Published:
May 22, 2012, 14:42 BST,
Updated:
May 22, 2012, 15:46 BST
Race:
An Post Ras

Rider Profile- Kyle Houston
Height- 187cm
Weight- 78kg

Kilkenny to Gort 158km 3hr 36min

Presented by Forme Coaching

Today’s stage of the An Post Rás was littered with numerous Cat 3 climbs. The race passed over each climb at a fast pace with the leaders finishing in just over 3½ hours and the winner coming from a 7 man group that finished 28 seconds up on what was left of the main bunch.
We have race data from Chain Reaction Cycles team member, Kyle Houston, who finished mid pack in a group 6 minutes down after the bunch was splintered by the fast pace set by the French, Czech and Norwegian teams. The last 3 climbs were found with just 27km to the finish along with only a few kilometres between climbs left little time to recover from the effort needed to sustain a high wattage on the short fast climbs.

You can see a link to Kyle’s stage power data here:

During the first 2hrs of the race Kyle was able to ‘hide’ in the bunch and conserve as much energy as possible in preparation for the final push in the last hour which required at or above threshold efforts. In these first 2hrs Kyle averaged 205w at 150bpm (approx 60% of threshold power) along with 1550kj. In these initial parts of the race, a lack of calories consumed in this early part of stage can have dire consequences for the final part of the race.

The real action and most of Kyle’s peak powers were recorded in the last 30km of racing when the race for the stage and GC riders played their cards. On these final climbs Kyle was riding at 280-300w on each of these climbs for durations of 6-10min’s in length with only 5min of descent/flat between the last hills. What we can see is that the pace between these last climbs was still at a maximal effort with an average speed of over 50kph between these climbs, the bunch was on the limit here before hitting the final climb where Kyle and the other riders lost contact with the front section of the bunch. This fast pace and lack of any chance of recovery between these short intense climbs had a significant impact on the riders ability to survive in the front group over the top of the last hill before the relatively flat 16km ride to the line.
Peak Powers for this stage (all of these in last 1/3 of race).

5 min 320 W
6 min 310 W
10 min 300 W
12 min 296 W
20 min 286 W
30 min 277 W
1 hour 248 W

So you can see from today that anyone with the ability to conserve as much as possible in the first two thirds of the race and then produce threshold efforts lasting 5-10min’s after 3hrs of hard roads and fast racing will have been in contention to finish in the lead group(s) in the approach to the line.

 

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