BOTB was a really successful outing for SUVELO and Nero Performance Coaching, so let’s just dive into the numbers for a little explore of what went right for the Sydney Uni's riders: Jesse Coyle; Chris Miller; Moosh Brown; and Danny Roberts-Clarke.
So before we get into any detail lets have a look at an overview of the race for each of them.
First thing to notice is the relative difficulty level of the race itself; all 4 boys were active for the duration and you can see the race was ridden at threshold, or close to it, for all riders. All of these guys had between 4.2-4.9 W/kg for their NP for the race, which gives us an indication of just how hard the race was ridden.
To put these numbers in perspective, Grand Tour winning climbers are doing around 6-6.2w/kg for 30min-1hr climbs. A lot of world tour guys have somewhere between 5-5.5 w/kg thresholds. These days, to hold on in NRS races up long climbs you are looking at around 5 w/kg. As you can see, this race was ridden at a pace close to what the best NRS guys are doing on a long climb.
Our tactics going into the race were summed up pretty well by Chris in his recent vlog. We knew we probably didn’t have the best sprinter, but we do have a strong group of riders. The plan was to keep the race hard, and keep attacking to force a selection. Ideally we’d have multiple riders in the break and then play our cards from there. It was awesome to see this plan work so perfectly!
Right from the gun Moosh attacked in what is becoming a trade-mark early move for him (this will surely pay off one day). This had him seeing his peak HR (174 BPM) in the first 5 min of the race. Really not ideal from an individual rider perspective, as he was clearly well above threshold (and way too early in the race), but for the team it was the perfect move. This forced the other teams to chase and gave our other guys a chance to sit pretty in the bunch.
Moosh produced a massive 1 minute 610 W effort to break away from the bunch at around 65 kg this is just under 10 W/kg. We can see why he is getting a name for attacking so hard that others actually can’t hold his wheel. To actually establish the break Moosh continued to put out a very intermittent 360 W for more than 6 minutes, at a leisurely 47km/h.
He was driving it and driving it hard. Being so early in the race, the competition will see potential future opportunities, so will invest in working hard to bring it back spending all of their bikkies. When Moosh started to fade, and with his breakaway compatriots not able to drive with the same ferocity, the break was brought back.
So this brings us to around the halfway point in the race. By now there were just remnants of RBCC, Easts and Central Coast. It was clear the battle in A grade would be, as it was last year, SUVelo vs MWCC vs NSCC. While Moosh was off the front, Chris, Jesse and DRC were riding at a relatively comfortable pace in the bunch, and despite marking some bridging moves, Jesse Coyle and Chris Miller were both averaging a HR >20 BPM below their threshold.
Now some people may call the next section a breakaway but looking at the numbers it looks more like a selection with the strong (and attentive) making the cut. Chris was the only one of our guys to make this selection of around 6-8 riders initially, however no spike in power was required. What did transpire was a hard period of riding. Chris has a little 4 minute burst of 350W when this selection was made. He expertly followed wheels and ended up in this little group.
They continued to work hard with the gap slowly growing due to a lot a lot of hard work from the guys. Chris put out 330 W for over 10 min (over 5w/kg) to help drive this selection away from the chasing bunch. As others were fatiguing he was just starting to hit his straps. The best thing about this is that he never really had to go into the red. He kept his HR around threshold the whole time.
Meanwhile Jesse saw the strength of the move and knew we needed 2 guys in it. Before the gap grew too big he decided he needed to bridge across to give us the riders we needed. DRC, who was riding on his wheel, used his race smarts to let his wheel go allowing Jesse to get a clean break from the bunch and go across solo the perfect bridging move. The effort was not easy, requiring almost 500 W for over 2 minutes to bridge across to the break away. Jesse then went straight to the front and started driving it with some very strong turns. These were long 30 second efforts at around 500 W, and he was clearly doing the hardest yards in this break of 6 as he was having less than 1 min between turns. This worked to drop a few of the other guys that had managed to make that first selection leaving just 5 of the stronger riders left to fight it out. For this first 10 minutes of establishing the break, Jesse put out a massive (but intermittent) 400 W avg.
Now that the break was established and with time running out it was time to really put the hurt on. Jesse attacked the break with a nasty 2 min attack at over 450 W (maxing out at over 1100 W to get away). With everyone in the break knowing Jesse’s results of late they worked hard to bring this back. All the while, Chris sat on, biding his time. As soon as Jesse was caught Chris attacked. As you saw on the vlog, it wasn’t a big attack but was still >500 W for the first 30 seconds.
This style of attack works well as it doesn’t always bring about an immediate reaction. In textbook fashion, everyone started looking at each other trying to see who would chase, knowing that if they catch Chris, Jesse is likely to hit them over the top as soon as the catch is made. The following confusion led to Chris sneaking off the front. Chris proceeded to put out around 350 W for the next 6 minutes to stay away from the chasing (but not fully committed) group. This highlights how valuable a fully committed rider can be against a few guys that are unable to commit 100%.
As if to rub salt in the wound, Jesse then hit the remnants of the break with a massive sprint of >1000 W for 25 seconds (max of 1443 W) to take out second place. DRC took second in the bunch kick for 7th place with a tired sprint of 10 sc at 1000 W maxing out at 1075 W.
Just another standard week of SUVelo domination and one very happy coach. all banter aside, it’s great to see the hard work paying off to deliver another result for Nero Performance Coaching. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you’re interested in a coaching plan - and don’t worry if you’re not riding A Grade! Whatever your goal is, we’re here to help.
Dan and Danny