For those of you who have moved up the Cat rankings

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

Moderator: Moderator Team

phourgenres
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:19 pm

by phourgenres

I was just curious what the difference in power output you are generally up against with each ascending racing categories (I know it can be variable, but I would just be curious to hear average wattages and how you competitive that put you). I would personally like to know because I'm a Cat 5 right now with an FTP of 3.6w/kg, and I'm not sure whether I would be strong enough to move up to a 4. I welcome any other inputs about other categories to, because hopefully I will be moving up to those spots in the future too.

How accurate would you say this chart is?

http://www.cyclingpowermodels.com/PowerData.aspx

nathanong87
Resident master of GIF
Posts: 3172
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:44 am
Contact:

by nathanong87

it doesn't take a high watt/kg to cat up from 5 to 4. just race ur races =)

by Weenie


phourgenres
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:19 pm

by phourgenres

I just don't want to cat up, then feel out of my league (since you can't cat down).

motorthings
Posts: 336
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:56 pm

by motorthings

if you can ride safely and stay in the pack in a cat5 race, you will be fine in cat4.

are you less likely to win a cat 4 race? yes. will you learn more in a cat 4 race? yes.
in cat 4 there will most likely still be a fair number slower than you, but also many more who are faster than you.

there are cat3 riders with FTP numbers not much better than yours...the difference is smarts.

CoachPotatoBilly
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:21 am
Location: Montgomery Village, MD
Contact:

by CoachPotatoBilly

motorthings wrote:if you can ride safely and stay in the pack in a cat5 race, you will be fine in cat4.

are you less likely to win a cat 4 race? yes. will you learn more in a cat 4 race? yes.
in cat 4 there will most likely still be a fair number slower than you, but also many more who are faster than you.

there are cat3 riders with FTP numbers not much better than yours...the difference is smarts.


Yes. Plenty of Cat 3 riders with numbers at about the level listed but who have a great ability to draft, limit their losses on climbs, and position themselves at the end of a race. An exceptional sprinter has the capacity to close short gaps on MUCH MUCH stronger riders and hang on at least on the flats and shortish climbs. As long as they stay out of the wind - they can be fresh enough to do well at the very end. In my experience, the strongest rider with the best FTP numbers does not necessarily win - it is often the person who is freshest and who only has to make one REALLY good effort at the end to finish things off or place well.

Billy

Gem
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:41 pm

by Gem

The Allen Coggan Chart's seems accurate to me, I'm between Cat 3 and 2 with an FTP of 4.2w/kg: http://americanroadcycling.org/articles ... egoryTable

phourgenres
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:19 pm

by phourgenres

Which category do you race in?

rockdude
Posts: 216
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:23 pm
Location: Boulder, Colorado

by rockdude

FTP is very important but I find in racing is not the most important power numbers. Your 1-3 minute efforts are the ones that blow everyone off the back. I know some guys who's ftp is not so high but their two minute efforts blow everyone up. FTP keeps you in the race and anaerobic capacity wins the race.
2 Serotta's, 1 Spectrum, 1 Van Dessel, 1 Parlee & 1 Carl Strong, & 1 Titus.

Gem
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:41 pm

by Gem

I'm a 3rd Cat and placed top ten in a 2/3/4s race last weekend. Very poor sprint but good 5 minute power.

As a caveat I'm in the UK where we start at Cat 4.

phourgenres
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:19 pm

by phourgenres

rockdude wrote:FTP is very important but I find in racing is not the most important power numbers. Your 1-3 minute efforts are the ones that blow everyone off the back. I know some guys who's ftp is not so high but their two minute efforts blow everyone up. FTP keeps you in the race and anaerobic capacity wins the race.


That makes sense, especially if you're doing even 1-2 minute pulls. I guess what is even more important is you're anaerobic recovery. I have a pretty high 5 min power ouput compared to my ftp (1w/kg higher), but I notice when I try to replicate that power a second time in race it goes down dramatically.

Anyway, thanks Gem for the feedback. That was exactly the kind of information I was looking for.

HUMP DIESEL
Posts: 902
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:19 pm
Location: South Carolina
Contact:

by HUMP DIESEL

Here is the way I break it down.

When I started, I raced as a Cat 5 like everyone else. Won ever race except for one and moved up to 4. The racing was a bit faster, but not much. Raced the rest of the season except the last two races. I had moved up at the end and wanted a couple races in my legs as a 3 before the winter. Next season as a 3, races were faster, but so was I and I raced until they kicked me out (Automatic upgrade). From there I raced as a Cat2 for two seasons and then moved my license to Cat 1. That was more just for my own personal goal, since where I am you race Cat 1-2 races as the majority.

If you look at who you are racing against now, the faster guys should be moving up together which means you will be racing the same guys a lot and you all get faster. Once you get to the Cat 3 level, I would stay there until you know each weekend that when you line up, you are going to be top 5 unless you have a bad problem. The wins come fewer and farther between in the higher levels.

HUMP
Why are the best things in life always the ones you start last?

phourgenres
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:19 pm

by phourgenres

Thanks for the advice.

One other thing, does anyone have an idea of what kind of wattage a competitive cyclist puts out in a cat 4/5 for the final 30s? I usually average 750-800 watts max for my final sprint, and I always get beat so I'm assuming this is kind of low. I also just start to sprint when I see the other guys sprinting, is there an ideal time slot (like 20s before the finish line?) when you should apply maximum power (your anaerobic capacity)?

Ghost234
Posts: 422
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:21 am

by Ghost234

phourgenres wrote:Thanks for the advice.

One other thing, does anyone have an idea of what kind of wattage a competitive cyclist puts out in a cat 4/5 for the final 30s? I usually average 750-800 watts max for my final sprint, and I always get beat so I'm assuming this is kind of low. I also just start to sprint when I see the other guys sprinting, is there an ideal time slot (like 20s before the finish line?) when you should apply maximum power (your anaerobic capacity)?


My advice: Don't think about it and just race. If you get into the mentality that you "need" to be able to push a certain number just to compete - you've already lost the race.


750-800w for 30s is really impressive. I'm a cat 3 and my peak 30s is only 660w (I weigh 66kg) yet I was able to win many races as a 4. That kind of number should net you wins fairly easily if you live in a flat part of the world. I think the issue is your positioning leading into the sprint. My experience is that there will likely be one of two situations: (1) Everybody stays together and it becomes a field sprint or (2) Someone tries a flier and they either go alone or a select group is able to follow. If (2) happens, try to get into 2nd or 3rd wheel and just wait until you see an opening. This usually will happen 200-300m from the finish line, and you need to jump as hard as you can and push to the line.

I would suggest trying a flier next race and seeing how that goes. Try to find a spot that can allow you to jump hard and get away, a turn leading into the finishing straight is a great spot for this.

phourgenres
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:19 pm

by phourgenres

Wow, amazing advice, thank you! I guess I probably shouldn't have put "average," that tends to be my max during the 30s.

I will give the "flier" method a try next time. I guess my problem has been that I open myself up to early (exposer myself to the wind) when the sprinting starts. I've never really understood how these lead riders decide to sprint, do they just just arbitraily pick a point from the finish line?
Last edited by phourgenres on Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

by Weenie


User avatar
Tinea Pedis
Posts: 8425
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:08 am
Location: Geelong
Contact:

by Tinea Pedis

A 800w 30s is impressive indeed if that's what you were pulling.

And would be blowing a lot of guys away.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post