Sunday, February 27, 2011

Déjà vu

2007 was the last time I rode a Team Pursuit. My team won that day and set a new state record time in the masters' age category. Indeed two of the pics that line the top of this blog are from that day.

I wrote about our 2007 effort in this popular post which looked at Maximal Accumulated Oxygen Deficit using the power meter data from team mate Phil and myself.

Well as most of you know, a few months after that race I had my accident and the subsequent leg amputation.

Yesterday I rode in my first Team Pursuit championship since then. In between times I coached our squads while I made my recovery on the bike myself.

Well we won again and set a new state record time (2:21.379). Phil was also in the team and we both have power data from the event. Déjà vu.

There was one main difference this time - in 2007 we were in the "younger" age category, this time the "older" age category (three youngest riders 150+ years). I suppose another five years does that! It also means the event this time was shorter - 2000 metres compared to 3000m for the younger category.

Interestingly, the power output for each was similar.

In 2007 I averaged 397W in the final.
In 2011 I averaged 411W in the final.

Leg? What leg? More pretty convincing evidence that a lower leg amputation need not be an impediment to cycling performance.

Here's a pic of the power, speed and cadence trace from yesterday's final.

Cadence maxed out at 126rpm, and averaged ~ 119rpm during the "cruise" part of the event. I rode a 51x14 gear (nominal 98").

Here I am with Phil (left) with whom I have been riding Team Pursuit events for the last 10 years. Sneaking into the shot is John Crouchly, a good buddy and former coach of some Aussie Olympic track riders. I had the pleasure of coaching John himself helping him to a win in the State individual road time trial championships in 2009 as well as get him started into the world of training with power.

Our club had five teams riding and our good buddies Peter, David, Alan and Crouch picked up the bronze in our division with two cracking rides a couple of seconds behind our team, the all ages team placed 4th and the 2nd all ages team had a good qualifier setting the early standard. The girls also rode well to get on the podium.

What else can I say? I think I've made a pretty good comeback.

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Sunday, February 06, 2011

Form = Fitness + Freshness: Take 2

A few weeks ago I posted about gaining some form after a race win in a local crit.

Here's take 2.

Yesterday (Saturday) and Friday I raced the Aussie national track cycling championships in the para cycling categories at the Dunc Gray Velodrome here in a blazing hot Sydney. There are only two events for individual para cyclists - the time trial and the individual pursuit. So I enter both. For my para category (C4) that means a 1-km time trial and a 4km individual pursuit. Ouch.

The day before that I had to go through reclassification. I was first classified in 2009. I suppose there was a slim chance my leg might have grown back since then.

Not having raced the "kilo" before, I just went at it hard but keeping a fraction in reserve on the opening lap. The kilo is raced as an individual, whereas in the pursuit you are racing on track at same time as your opponent (starting on opposite sides of track).

I finished the kilo in a 1:16. My opponent rode a 1:15. I was 1 second in front after 750m but my fade in the final lap saw my opponent overhaul my time. Happy with that. Much room for improvement from me, so something to think about for next year. A little more than a couple of week's notice of getting a ride might help...

The next day we had the individual pursuit. Here's my power trace:

Just power and cadence showing.

Average Power: 363W
Time: 5:08
Place: 2nd

Again I was pretty happy with that. My 5-min power/weight ratio was an all time personal best pre- and post-amputation, and the time was 4-seconds faster than previous national record. My opponent though had a fantastic race, going 4:58 and setting a huge new PB for him. Nice work Ryan! :)

CTL: 96
TSB: +8

Once again, Form = Fitness + Freshness

Next up - Team Pursuit later this month.

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