Breaking Down a Hill Climb TT

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RyanH
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by RyanH

I want to eek out some extra time on an upcoming 16-18 min hill climb TT. I have a power meter, and I would normally set my pace equal to whatever I can hold for that duration (~340 watts).

My question is if that's actually the fastest way up or should I push a little harder on certain grades (e.g. +10% on >7% sections) and then -10% on lower grades? My reasoning being that I've noticed on a local hill that I do repeats on that my highest average power doesn't always equate to the fastest time.

Here's the climb profile:
http://www.strava.com/segments/3286258
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Current Stable. The Snob Machine
The Ex's. LS Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | LS Xicon: 5.76kg | C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg | Fuji Altamira SE - 6.2kg | Scott Foil - 6.2kg | Evo - 5.18kg | LS Classic - 6.7kg | The Crumpton - 5.9kg

victorduraace
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by victorduraace

I would not push on hardest parts... take them easy and then bomb when it gets easier
save some power for sprint finish
cheers ;)

RyanH
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by RyanH

I don't think I've ever heard anyone suggest saving energy for a sprint finish on a TT. If you pace yourself properly, you shouldn't have a sprint left at the end.
Strava
Current Stable. The Snob Machine
The Ex's. LS Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | LS Xicon: 5.76kg | C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg | Fuji Altamira SE - 6.2kg | Scott Foil - 6.2kg | Evo - 5.18kg | LS Classic - 6.7kg | The Crumpton - 5.9kg

bombertodd
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by bombertodd

I don't have any tips, but I was wondering where a good spot would be for spectators? I watched the crit race last year, and I was hoping to catch some of the TT and road race this year.


Good luck on your race! :thumbup:
Last edited by bombertodd on Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

efeballi
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by efeballi

The idea is spend as little time as possible when you're slow. Pushing hard through the hardest sections, be it headwind, grade etc. will gain you more time than pushing hard in easy sections, as the wind drag increases quadratically with speed it is harder to raise the overall avg.
So IMHO pushing harder in steeper sections is the way to go.
And btw, don't break aero.


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RyanH
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by RyanH

@efeballi
That was my gut intuition. Now the question is how hard to push? Going to probably be one of those things that require a few test runs trying different things.

@bombertodd
For the RR, either the finish line (there's sprint points) would be a good spot or the top of the KOM. There's a chicane going into the KOM that'd be a cool spot. The KOM isn't long, so it'd be a short walk up from the chicane to watch from the KOM.

The TT is just up hill, so wherever should be roughly the same for viewing purposes. There's a few bends that'd allow you to see below and up the road.
Strava
Current Stable. The Snob Machine
The Ex's. LS Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | LS Xicon: 5.76kg | C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg | Fuji Altamira SE - 6.2kg | Scott Foil - 6.2kg | Evo - 5.18kg | LS Classic - 6.7kg | The Crumpton - 5.9kg

simoncx
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by simoncx

For a 16-18 min tt there is no taking it easy if done right. If going by heart rate get up to z5 around 90-95% of your max and keep it there until you hit the last 1k or so and then it's all out. When you cross the line it should be lights out, if you finish feeling like you could go another 1k you didn't go hard enough. Pretty much the same goes with powermeter, the hard part is finding that sweet spot for you that you can go very hard but be just below a pace that you can only sustain for 1k or less.

RyanH
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by RyanH

Simon, I understand if this were a flat TT I'd just hunker down at a given power for what I can put out during that time, but my original question was with the course profile in mind (a somewhat flat intro with a climb ranging between 4% and 10% in spots), what parts should I push harder? If I'm going over my 18 min avg power, I'd have to recover, albeit briefly, otherwise I won't be able to maintain my power target.

I'm trying to put together a plan of attack (recipe) for this course profile to eek out some extra time. The first 0.2 miles at less than 2%, do I just target my 18min power or go slightly under and use the surplus on the beginning of the climb?
Strava
Current Stable. The Snob Machine
The Ex's. LS Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | LS Xicon: 5.76kg | C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg | Fuji Altamira SE - 6.2kg | Scott Foil - 6.2kg | Evo - 5.18kg | LS Classic - 6.7kg | The Crumpton - 5.9kg

boots2000
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by boots2000

I think that you are spot on +5-10% in the hardest sections- and realizing that you will be a few % less in the easier sections.
2 others things:
1.) Don't start too hard especially with a flattish start. Most riders blow there tt's in the 1st couple minutes. Ease out at 340-
2.) Know where 4 minutes to go is- probably a little more than 1k to go unless finish is super steep. When you get to this point- fully unload the tank. You should be able to hang on for 4 minutes.

RyanH wrote:I want to eek out some extra time on an upcoming 16-18 min hill climb TT. I have a power meter, and I would normally set my pace equal to whatever I can hold for that duration (~340 watts).

My question is if that's actually the fastest way up or should I push a little harder on certain grades (e.g. +10% on >7% sections) and then -10% on lower grades? My reasoning being that I've noticed on a local hill that I do repeats on that my highest average power doesn't always equate to the fastest time.

Here's the climb profile:
http://www.strava.com/segments/3286258

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Tapeworm
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by Tapeworm

As mentioned above, you generally want to put out more power in the sections where you are going the slowest. So the steepest gradients safe where you want to go harder, the flatter sections ease up a bit. Of course this is all relative, and it's only a little over or under the expected power duration for that climb.

Also whilst aero becomes less important as the road tilts upwards it is still a significant factor, especially if speeds are high in parts - skinsuits, and the right booties are easy aero gains.

Rolling resistance is another large factor, and well worth getting right.

And of course weight. Strip anything off your bike that doesn't need to be on there for the TT. Bottle cages (and bottles), pumps, spare tyre etc. If only there was a forum somewhere that had details of lightweight parts... 8)
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simoncx
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by simoncx

If that's the case try to recover a bit when it flattens out a bit, a lot of people break when climbing gets steeper and a lot of time can be made up there. From the looks of the climb there is a little break around 2.8k and 4.9k where it's 2-4%. Best thing is to practice the climb if possible and see where there is a little dip even 20 secs that could be a place for you to get some recovery. I'm not a fan of not starting out hard, on longer tt's yes but on something that is 15-20 mins every sec counts. Try to pre ride the climb to see where the last 2-3 mins are and remember that spot so from there on you go all out.

HillRPete
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by HillRPete

How did you figure out your average power, calculated? Don't overthink it with the technology. Maybe pace the first half to find a good rhythm, but as you approach the finish, I'd just try to get it all out on the given day.

natefontaine
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by natefontaine

I know that course, below is my power file from it. I think that I could have saved some time if I focused on my speed in the switch backs. Power surges out of the saddle to keep momentum might have been the only way I could have gone faster.
http://tpks.ws/t7FC

I would also recommend:
Aero as possible, 130psi Front and 140psi Rear, tight range cassette 11-23 or 21.

nathanong87
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by nathanong87

hahaha i just realized i've ridden that segment. 330/4186!!!! lol

GMR never gets steep, naturally i think you will be going just slightly harder on those 'inclines', then by the time you realize you went a little harder it's back to the lower gradient. Yes too am advocating that 'harder' on more incline will give you more gainzzzz

that's actually where i did my first on-road 20 minute power test (and was my 2nd ever), so i just aimed for 'constant' power. Gosh....that seems so long ago, my segment during 2011. This is not a sweet-brag by any means, but i should try this climb again when I'm out west for time. My PR avg watts for a similar time is 40-50 watts higher now!

RyanH
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by RyanH

Nate, thanks for the power profile. That's a solid time up that segment. If you don't mind me asking, how much were you weighing in at during that time? Were you in the drops most of the time?

I too think the switchbacks would be a good starting place, plus they're easier to identify. In a couple weeks I'm going out there to do a few test runs, so I'll try that.
Strava
Current Stable. The Snob Machine
The Ex's. LS Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | LS Xicon: 5.76kg | C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg | Fuji Altamira SE - 6.2kg | Scott Foil - 6.2kg | Evo - 5.18kg | LS Classic - 6.7kg | The Crumpton - 5.9kg

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