Worlds. Amazing. You had to be there. Thousands of people, incredible course, the best riders in the world and stellar bike racing. Richmond Virginia shined and really laid out the red carpet for everyone and it was heart warming and reassuring to have drivers honking at you with “Thumbs up” and taking pictures of cyclists as they rode around the outskirts of town for the week, instead of giving you the other finger. Ben King, local boy makes good. Ben not only rode in the breakaway for 90+ miles, but not was he only one from the breakaway to finish the race, but he in the front group at the base of Libby Hill on the last lap. Only then, did he lose contact with the front group, finishing in 53rd place, 55 seconds down on Sagan. Let’s have a look at this amazing power file from the World Championships.
First off, one of the differences between the World Tour level and all the rest is the sheer amount of work that has to be done in the race, just to complete it. Work is kiloJoules and 1 Joule is a watt per second, so 1kJ is 1000 Joules. Ben did 6,402 kiloJoules of work in the 6 hour and 24 minute race. For those of you that regularly get crushed after doing 3000 kJ of work, can you imagine doubling that? This is equal to over 7000 kCalories burned and that’s a lot of burritos. A normal Continental pro race here in the US, is between 2500-3000kJ, and this is a critical difference between abilities of the Continental pros and the World Tour pros. Translate this into Training Stress Score and reminder that 100 TSS equals the same amount of training stress as 1 hour at FTP and Ben did 418 TSS for the race, so the equivalent of 4 hours back to back at FTP. Some other highlights include 7,838’ of climbing, an Intensity Factor of .81(81% of FTP for 6 hours 24minutes), an average power of 276watts and normalized power of 323 watts. Yes, 323 watts for 6 hours 24 minutes. Three. Hundred. Twenty. Four. 6 hours. 24 minutes. Can you do 323watts for 20 minutes? An hour? How about 6 hours? Oh yeah, he weighs 148lbs. So that’s 4.88 watts per kilogram for the entire race. Those are the statistical highlights of an epic world championship race. Let’s dig into some of the finer points.