Analysis from the pack: the up-and-coming junior

18 March 2016

Welcome back to our 2nd edition of Analysis from the Pack, a regular segment where a Today’s Plan user or coach sends in an interesting ride file to be analysed by one of our staff to show how you can use some of the tools in the Today’s Plan platform to analyse your own performance.

For this edition “Analysis from the Pack” we’re going to look at young up and coming junior cyclist Macgregor “Maccie” Carter from Melbourne and his performance at the 2016 Oceania Road Championships where he placed 3rd (1st Australian) in the Under-19 category.

Facts that matter

RiderMaccie
Age17
Weight62 kg
Threshold power330 W (5.32 W/kg)
BikeSpecialized S-Works Tarmac
Power meterSRAM Quarq
CoachKelly’s Cycle Coaching
TeamTotal Rush Specialized
maccie 1

The Oceania Road Championships for the Under-19 boys are held over 110 km on the outskirts of Bendigo in country Victoria. The race is made harder by extreme heat and the tough Mt Alexander climb of 5 km and over 7% average gradient, coming 30km before the finish.

Under-19 Boys Oceania Road Championships - Course Profile

Under-19 Boys Oceania Road Championships – Course Profile

Ride Summary Data
Total Time3h:05min
Total Distance110.3 km
Average Speed35.7 km/h
Adjusted power262 W (4.19 W/kg)
Average HR169 BPM
Average Cadence88 RPM
Average Temperature33°C
Maccie described how the breakaway disappeared early in the race with attacks coming from the start. Maccie rode smartly in the peloton with 35 riders reaching the decisive Mt Alexander climb all together. You can see in this first graph we look at Maccie’s power distribution split into 15-minute rows. I’ve removed the neutral zone and highlighted up until 1h:30min of race time. You can see the distribution is largely under his threshold power. Only in that first few minutes when the bunch is sorting itself out and the initial breakaway was establishing itself is there any great amount of time above his threshold. His ability to remain protected from the wind and conserve his energy in the 40-degree heats likely contributed to his result.
Maccie's Power Distribution for the first 1h:30m of the race

Maccie’s Power Distribution for the first 1h:30m of the race

The decisive moment in the under-19 road race came on the climb up Mt Alexander. After 75 km of riding in extreme heat, the peloton had whittled down to just 35 athletes plus the lone breakaway rider. Using the Ride Graph lap editor I have selected the Mt Alexander climb for review.

The Mt. Alexander Climb

The Mt. Alexander Climb

Take note of the reference lines indicating his Threshold power and heart rate levels and how Maccie was able to ride perfectly to his threshold barring a few spikes to cover attacks. Throughout this 16min climb, Maccie was able to follow all the surges and summit the climb with the final selection of 8 riders, leaving them with a fast descent followed by a 20km stretch to the finish featuring a few small but steep pinches.

In the final 1 km of the race, the solo breakaway rider had managed to claim the Oceania road title while Maccie was in a four-way battle for the minor placings.

In this final graph I have isolated the final 60 sec of the day. You can see for the first 15sec the riders were jostling for position with speed and power very low. At 45-seconds remaining, Maccie’s teammate attacked the group and forced a huge acceleration from the bunch. In this attack Maccie produced his peak power for the day at close to 1000w (over 15w/kg) with their speed climbing from 30 km/h to 57 km/h in a 13-second surge. Once at speed the group charged down the finish chute with Maccie opening up his sprint about 150 m from the line. He was able to cross the line 2nd from the bunch and 3rd overall (1st Australian). You can easily see in this ride graph snapshot that his peak power in the sprint was blunted by the effect of the big effort only 30-seconds earlier and he wasn’t able to reproduce that effort with such short recovery.

The Final 60s of the race - Sprint Analysis

The Final 60s of the race – Sprint Analysis

Overall this was a fantastic race from Maccie in what were exceptionally tough conditions and both he and his coaches Helen and Bob Kelly should be very proud with this young man’s progression from Club D-grader just 3 years ago to Oceania Road Championships podium getter and one of Australia’s brightest young prospects on two wheels.

If you would like to feature in “Analysis from the Pack” send an email to benh@todaysplan.com.au with a brief description of the ride and which date it was performed.