Analysis of a Criterium Win

26 September 2023

Ben “Moshy” Morrison’s Master’s Nationals Criterium Win

Last Sunday the Australian Master’s Criterium Championships were held in Shepparton, Victoria. Ben Morrison won the M3 event and here he shares some insights to the the race along with some of his Today’s Plan data.

“Coming up on the finish line at almost 70kph the world starts to look like the end of a Zwift effort and I realize it’s over and post up both hands off the bars thinking I am National Champ!”

Ben Morrison

The race was on a street circuit with fast tight turns (picture a lower case d) and a 320m finishing straight, a stressful circuit for racing on. The race started off quickly with a few people rushing into the first turn, on lap two Ben took the bull by the horns to see how fast he could hit the turns, making it easier to keep a position near the front. Into lap 5 and Rod Hutchinson attacked with no one responding. In the next set of tight turns, Ben dived down the inside and bridged across to him. They got a gap and it’s on!

Ten minutes later Luke Kendall tries to go across, Ben and Rod dropped it back a notch to allow him to catch and then gave him a bit of recovery time. For a while it’s the bunch against the break, the gap holding at 15-20 seconds. However, Ben, Rod and Luke are more committed than the bunch and eventually the bunch cracks. With only a few minutes plus two laps to go the break now has 30+ seconds.

“We now hit 2 laps to go and I pull what I hope will be my last full lap turn and get ready for the sprint – not to be though, as no one rolled through. I thought I am not going to lose this gap and come 4th, I would rather get rolled for 3rd and so just keep driving it harder than I had been on any other lap. Coming into the final turn (hotdog) I back it off so I can carry lots of speed out and Rod dives up the inside super late and Luke tries to follow it too, however I’m able to back Luke out. We turn and Rod misses a gear and we all stand up for a second, then Luke goes (we are 300m out) – just as he starts to come up on my wheel and we pass Rod, I go all in thinking about how great it will be to see Cav at The Tour next year as inspiration.” 

Ben Morrison

You can see in Ben’s power file how variable the race demands were, with so many corners on a ~700m circuit there are multiple efforts above 500W, even though for most of the race he was in a breakaway and able to ride in a more controlled manner. At the 12-14 minute mark you can see the effort to establish the breakaway, and then the long 300m sprint at the finish.

Some numbers

  • Average Heart rate – 161bpm
  • Average power – 280W
  • Normalised power – 316W
  • Average power for sprint (20 seconds) – 1,154W