Istrian Spring Trophy

13 May 2022

What it takes to ride a top-10 performance in the prologue of a Continental stage race – Viktor Potoćki, Ljubljana Gusto Santic continental cycling team.

The Istrian Spring Trophy is a traditional 4 stage cycling race in Istria, Croatia which attracts teams from all over Europe and more. In 2022 there were 30 teams (2 ProContinental Teams, 24 Continental teams, 1 national team and 3 club teams), including 31 nationalities (total max 176 riders).

Istrian Spring Trophy
Photo credit: Mario Stiehl

The Ljubljana Gusto Santic continental team consists of 15 riders, and for this race they started with 6 riders including Viktor Potoćki, a Croatian rider 22 years of age. Viktor weighs 65kg and despite his size is a strong sprinter. This short prologue suits his abilities, but it is a difficult distance to pace well. The following analysis from his team director Luka Žele illustrates how he was able to achieve a top-10 result.

Istrian Spring Trophy

“Viktor was 9th in the stage with a time of 1 minute and 51 seconds, 2 seconds behind the winner. Riders did a 1400m loop on the small and flat airfield. Only two corners to navigate on the far end of the small airfield with quite strong wind almost directly a tail wind from the start. or a head wind going back to the finish. It was super important to hold the power on the long straight and not to lose speed and therefore time. As we can see his power dropped slightly (from a minute 20 to a minute 40) from above 650W to 600 or even 550W though his speed remained the same (44-45km/h). It was also important to stay in aerodynamic position as much as possible, especially due to strong head wind (the whole straight from 40 seconds to 1 minute 30 into the prologue). At the end he still had power to sprint toward the finish with watts above 750.”

Istrian Spring Trophy

“As we can see on the graph, Viktor was smart not going full gas from the start and kept the power steady and made quite an impressive time since he is considered quite lightweight among the prologue specialists.” 

AVG power: 512W for 1 minute 51 seconds

Max power: 918W

Here is his power profile: 

Viktor's power profile
Viktor’s power profile

Viktor went on to place 3rd on the final stage and 30th overall. The team is looking forward to racing other Continental tours this year such as the Belgrade Banjaluka and their home race the Tour of Slovenia. Today’s plan is a proud supporter of the Ljubljana Gusto Santic continental team, and you can follow their progress on their social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.