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Just how hard was the KOM Financial Advice race series?

Tuesday Night Heffron is well known as the benchmark for tough handicap crit racing in Sydney. With that in mind, we at Nero Coaching decided to have a look at how the last round of the KOMFA series compared to the last round of Tuesday Night. We looked at 3 different A grade riders: Chris Powell (second in both races), as well as Chris Miller and Jesse Coyle, who both did plenty of work in both races to catch B and C grade. However, it’s not all about A grade, so we compared Coach van der Laan’s B grade numbers from the two races as well.

Tuesday Night Heffron Park

These numbers compare well with other Tuesday Night Heffron’s, so is a good example of the effort it takes to get around the course. In this race, all the A grade guys worked well, and Jesse attacked a few times to try and break up the race. Chris M and Chris P marked a few moves, but didn’t initiate any.

In B grade DVDL worked quite hard to try and keep B grade away, but sadly they were comfortably caught with around 4 laps to go.

KOM Financial Advice Saturday Series

Chris M and Jesse worked very hard to have A grade catch B and C grade, as it was not guaranteed that A grade would catch. Chris M did a bit of work, but tried to save some energy for the sprint. A grade caught just as B grade went through the start/finish with 1 lap to go. DVDL did minimal work in B grade as the goal was the get Chris P to the front of the race to sprint for the win. When A grade caught B, DVDL did a solid turn to help lead out Chris P, and then sat up with a lap or so to go.

As you can see from the numbers, the KOMFA May series was very similar to Tuesday Night. The race was slightly slower however, due to a smaller A grade field. This meant that Jesse and Chris had to do more work themselves, which is reflected in the numbers.

Last Lap for Chris Powell

As you can see from this, while the speed was only slightly lower on the last lap, Chris P got a much easier ride due to better positioning and teamwork in the KOMFA final race.

Sprint Comparison

We’ve picked a 30 second interval for comparisons sake here, but the KOMFA final sprint was actually shorter than the Tuesday Night sprint due to the better positioning. His actual sprint on the last KOMFA race was 22 seconds, with an average power of 874W and peak of 1331W

Chris came second in both races, to Tristan Ward in the Tuesday night race, and Cameron Scott in the KOMFA race. As with the rest of the analysis, you can see that they were quite similar sprints as far as difficulty goes, with the KOMFA being slightly shorter and slightly harder.

B Grade Comparison (DVDL)

These were also quite similar races. The KOMFA race was slightly slower overall, despite being just as fast for the first few laps. However, in the last 5-6 laps B grade ran out of steam and slowed down. If they hadn’t, B grade may have had a chance of staying away. We can see the handicap was a little more fair at the KOMFA race, with B grade actually having a chance of staying away if they rode well enough.

As we mentioned earlier, DVDL did a lot less work in the KOMFA race. With a few more turns on the front the numbers would have been very similar for both the KOMFA and Tuesday night race. It’s not really fair to compare the post catch power data as they are so different in length.

In conclusion then, the KOMFA series showed that Saturday Heffron can be the same level of competition as the benchmark of Sydney crit racing - Tuesday Night Heffron. The slightly smaller depth of the Saturday field explains the slightly lower speed for both A grade and B grade, however this didn’t make the race any easier, It just meant they had to work harder!


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