Melbourne to Warnabool from two perspectives

21 October 2015

The Melbourne to Warrnambool has a special place in Australian cycling being Australia’s longest race at 279 km and the second longest race in the world second only to Milan-San Remo. This year marked the 100th anniversary of the race and if ever there was a time to win Australia’s most prestigious race this would be it.  One of the teams at the front end of this race was the Avanti Racing Team.

Here we take a look at the race from two different angles; the domestique and the sprinter and how both of them go about completing the Melbourne to Warrnambool. For the record rider B finished top 10 while Rider A finished further down in top 30.

Rider B

Rider B

  • When looking at the power zones that rider A and B spent their time in it is clear that Rider A was the domestique during this race as highlighted by the increased time that he spent in the endurance and tempo zones.

Rider A

  • From the power graphs Rider A has a much smoother distribution of power, with relatively smaller spikes in power when compared with Rider B.
Rider A Power Chart

Rider A Power Graph

Rider B Power Graph

Rider B Power Graph

  • Rider B has done a lot less work particularly in the later stages of the race when compared with Rider A, but in the sprint was able to finish with a much higher power output and a higher overall position than rider A.
  • Not only this, Rider A also did a lot of work in the first hour of the race when compared with rider B, as he was either attacking trying to get into the break or was involved in shutting down threatening moves.
  • Another key point to note is the spike in the altitude and how this effects both the riders power profiles. Rider B has a spike in power before a brief drop and then another spike to get over the climb compared to Rider A who has a more consistent power output throughout the entire climb. This indicates two things:
  1. The climb itself isn’t a consistent gradient; rather there seems to be an initial increase in gradient before a slight reprieve and then a final increase in gradient before cresting the top.
  2. Rider A was setting the pace on the front of the peloton and had to keep his power high throughout the entirety of the climb to drive the pace where as Rider B had the luxury of a small decrease in power in the middle of the climb. This increased pace could have been to put other teams sprinters into difficulty and would have been ridden at a pace directed by rider B.

This is why you regularly hear the phrase teamwork wins races. In this case the Avanti Racing Team got very close to the win but ultimately fell short. These are the sacrifices that riders make for their team mates and why it means so much to win for their team mates.