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Forme Coaching analysis of racing: The An Post Ras 2012 stage 4

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Dan Fleeman (Cervelo TestTeam)

Dan Fleeman (Cervelo TestTeam)
(Image credit: Chris Lees)
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Ronan McLaughlin

Ronan McLaughlin
(Image credit: Daniel Fleeman)

Stage 4 An Post Rás: Westport to Bundoran
Race: An Post Rás

Profile- Ronan McLaughlin
Height- 182cm
Weight- 68kg
Westport to Bundoran 135km 2hr 55min
Presented by Forme Coaching

After this most riders would really start to fatigue and the power would drop off massively but this is a rider who has a FTP of close to 400w or 5.9w/kg so by riding at around 85% of his threshold power he was able to sustain this incredible pace of kilometer after kilometer. With just 20km to go Ronan’s lead was less than 70 seconds which is much less than the magic 10 seconds per kilometer that most teams use as a bench mark to pull back breakaways.

The writing seemed to be on the wall but Ronan was not ready to give up so easily.

The An-Post team car pulled alongside several times and Kurt Bogaerts was seen offering lots of encouragement to help him keep pushing forwards. Those last 20km still had an average of 330w which showed that it was not a case of Ronan slowing down but the fresher legs inside the bunch working together to try and pull back the flying McLaughlin.

In fact at the 10Km to go mark Ronan had increased his lead slightly to 80 seconds and the stage victory looked like it would be touch and go. The pace stayed the same and Ronan’s one man time trial continued and then knowing the peloton would pick up its pace inside the final 3km he somehow managed to find the strength to pick up his own pace and average 360w for the final 5 minutes.

Sometimes cycling is a cruel sport and Ronan got to within 100m of pulling off one of the best performances of the Rás for years.

Slumping over the line still in 10th place and needing medical attention goes to show how deep one man was prepared to go to claim a victory in his home county.