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Q? for strong racers

Old 01-29-19, 12:17 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I have read, generally accepted and consistently for years, that in the upper reaches of cycling performance, and even merely strong racers, the differences get tight. Every minor edge is worth pursuing because one competitor is close to the next. I have generally accepted that, as practically self-evident. And, people who race confirm that so I tend not to question it.

But I've started to wonder if that might only be true for a handful of world-class elite, and maybe even the opposite really pertains. It there a table of performance vs percentile anywhere, that supports the consensus above? I look at the famous Coggan chart for example, and it looks like the difference in performance increases for each percentile tranche, not decreases.


Cyclinganalytics.com

The percentile tranches are from reported values by CyclingAnalytics site members. I arranged the "FT" column into a scatter plot:

And it looks to me like the high end shows a drastic increase in performance for a given percentile difference. If the difference between top competitors really get smaller, that line should be flatter not steeper.

I saw a similar situation from running statistics, which is what prompted this. The X-axis is reversed from the above chart: Percentage of "faster than runner" rather than percentage of "runner is faster than":



My suspicion is that this reflects the general situation. Is there some data that sheds more light on this? Are there some special factors or confounding variables that invalidate it, or is our general assumption in fact wrong? What do you think?
But the chart has FTP and then 5m times. If your chart was in the 5 min (<1K) range you would see it further skewed toward youth.
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Old 01-29-19, 07:00 AM
  #27  
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Isn't the W/kg curve you are presenting for cycling a physiological marker vs the running curve being a performance one? Not sure what data is available but wouldn't a better comparison be the spread in TT times or IP times at various levels? Interesting subject.

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Old 01-29-19, 08:46 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
Isn't the W/kg curve you are presenting for cycling a physiological marker vs the running curve being a performance one? Not sure what data is available but wouldn't a better comparison be the spread in TT times or IP times at various levels? Interesting subject.
Yes. But running pace basically correlates to power for a given weight so it's not as different as you'd think at first glance. I think it's interesting that both charts look almost exactly the same, as does the VO2max chart, another physiological metric.

Individual time trial times would be useful, if we had all of them for a large number of races. Surely someone has compiled it, somewhere.
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Old 01-29-19, 09:35 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Individual time trial times would be useful, if we had all of them for a large number of races. Surely someone has compiled it, somewhere.
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Old 01-29-19, 10:35 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
If it had all of the racers and times we could maybe normalize the times as variance from median, but that lists only the top finishers
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Old 01-29-19, 12:00 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
If it had all of the racers and times we could maybe normalize the times as variance from median, but that lists only the top finishers
If you are interested in doing so try an e-mail to steve@fixedwheel.co.uk.
The Medium Gear TT folk have been at this highly limited TT thing for a very long time and might be willing to provide the full data for years, or not.
Failing that an inquiry of the same to the UCI which (supposedly) has all TT finishing data might be provided to a qualified researcher, or not.

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Old 01-29-19, 03:29 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by ancker View Post
Also, I wonder if you're maybe thinking about it wrong. Percentage of riders with a higher than 6 W/kg is going to be pretty small, but they exist. So unless you're heavily rounding or only looking at 95th percentile, you're still going to have that final spike in the graph, even if it really only represents 0.25% of the sample.

I think the plot you listed in misleading. Try it as a bell curve. You'll see that after 5 W/kg or so, the line is essentially flat and only 30% of the sample is over the 4 W/kg mark. According to the chart, 4 W/kg is what's needed to be an entry Cat 2.
So ignoring my comment about the chart being skewed high, you can conclude that adding 0.25 W/kg to your FT jumps over less and less riders as you reach 100%.

Sidenote: I tend to think of W/kg as a pseudo logarithmic scale in terms of difficulty to achieve. 3 is relatively easy to achieve and maintain with casual training/riding. 4 much less so. 5 puts you in pro ranks, 6 puts your in WT Pro ranks.
I wish lol.

But yeah, if plotted differently, this chart would more-or-less look like a bell curve. To explain the reasoning behind the general idea of the top riders being closer, think about it this way. On a given day in July you have nearly all of the handful of "world class" riders racing against each other in one race in France. Meanwhile in my local P/1/2 crit I'm racing against people who range from "very good" to exceptional. And while there are thousands of other cyclists whose FTPs are also around the 5.0 mark give or take a few tenths, some are racing in Cali, some in the Pacific Northwest, some in the Midwest, some in New England, many throughout Europe and Asia, a few in Africa, and a some in Australia zwifting during the winter months.

You can see the same trend in many sports. As the level of competition increases, you go from a very local scale with large differences in ability to a global scale with very fine differences in ability.
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Old 01-29-19, 04:58 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by cold turtle View Post
I wish lol.

But yeah, if plotted differently, this chart would more-or-less look like a bell curve. To explain the reasoning behind the general idea of the top riders being closer, think about it this way. On a given day in July you have nearly all of the handful of "world class" riders racing against each other in one race in France. Meanwhile in my local P/1/2 crit I'm racing against people who range from "very good" to exceptional. And while there are thousands of other cyclists whose FTPs are also around the 5.0 mark give or take a few tenths, some are racing in Cali, some in the Pacific Northwest, some in the Midwest, some in New England, many throughout Europe and Asia, a few in Africa, and a some in Australia zwifting during the winter months.

You can see the same trend in many sports. As the level of competition increases, you go from a very local scale with large differences in ability to a global scale with very fine differences in ability.
That's the common concept, but I think that even if you "zoom in" the graph at the highest fractional percent, the differences are still increasing as you move up. The scaling changes, because you may be looking at a domain of only .01% instead of 0.1%, but the increase in ability would still be increasing for a given percentile delta.

In other words, you'd be saying that two riders at 99.95% and 99.96% are closer together than two at 99.5% and 99.6%. Sure, but I say the first two are MORE apart than 1/10th (because 1/10th the domain) the amount that the second two are. Concave up graph, all the way to the end.
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Old 01-29-19, 07:41 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
so he'd get kicked in the face if he tried to jump back into the WPT.
He was already getting kicked in the face in WPT races. The reason why he's not WPT any longer.
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Old 01-29-19, 07:43 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
All I know is that bike racing is (mostly) an art, not a science.
Absolutely.

But if you have the science, too, you can make some wondrous works of art.

I was looking at Egan Bernal's strava the other day. Two or so years ago, before he became world famous, he did 7.3 w/kg for 18 minutes to win a race in Colombia.

7.3 w/kg. After four hours of racing already. At altitude. Oh my god. That's genuinely something I can't do for even three minutes. I don't even know how to comprehend that.
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Old 01-29-19, 07:48 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Can one get real stats for TDF racers?

Compare GC leaders/winners, Hill Sprint winners, Flat sprint winners, Hill Climb leaders (poka dot), etc.

Rider weight, bike weight, etc.

How many riders are logging power stats?
Yeah. You can through Strava for some people. Nathan Brown has some outright ungodly numbers from the TdF last year or the year before when he got the Polka Dot jersey for a day. Kwiat's world champs victory is on there. Hayman's Paris Roubaix victory. Egan Bernal has a lot of other-worldly data before Sky. There's also lots of Milan San Remo stuff, and lots of "regular" riders posting stuff from races all throughout the year. You can suss out a ton of numbers. And those numbers are hard to fathom.
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Old 01-30-19, 11:15 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
He was already getting kicked in the face in WPT races. The reason why he's not WPT any longer.
Alright alright you're right I guess I mean kicked even harder. Like the difference between some broken teeth and a forehead sun roof.
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Old 01-30-19, 12:54 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Absolutely.

But if you have the science, too, you can make some wondrous works of art.

I was looking at Egan Bernal's strava the other day. Two or so years ago, before he became world famous, he did 7.3 w/kg for 18 minutes to win a race in Colombia.

7.3 w/kg. After four hours of racing already. At altitude. Oh my god. That's genuinely something I can't do for even three minutes. I don't even know how to comprehend that.
were they testing that day? I couldn't touch that for 5 minutes if I lost 20lbs.
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Old 01-30-19, 03:42 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
were they testing that day? I couldn't touch that for 5 minutes if I lost 20lbs.
https://www.strava.com/activities/1039584035

Stage race in France. So not at altitude, but still after four hours of racing. Stage race. Yikes.
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Old 02-01-19, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
https://www.strava.com/activities/1039584035

Stage race in France. So not at altitude, but still after four hours of racing. Stage race. Yikes.
Feels sort of like trying to compare my 100m time to Usain Bolt or something.
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Old 02-01-19, 04:18 PM
  #41  
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"Strong racers" - I was thinking Category 1, or Cat 3, or basically anyone who races any category with a chance to podium. But if one of those Bernal-type racers chimed in here they would probably know better than the rest of us.
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Old 02-12-19, 04:46 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Absolutely.

But if you have the science, too, you can make some wondrous works of art.

I was looking at Egan Bernal's strava the other day. Two or so years ago, before he became world famous, he did 7.3 w/kg for 18 minutes to win a race in Colombia.

7.3 w/kg. After four hours of racing already. At altitude. Oh my god. That's genuinely something I can't do for even three minutes. I don't even know how to comprehend that.
Coggan's e-Wang chart tops off at 7.6 for 5 minutes. I can't even imagine 7.3 for 18 minutes.
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