The 2017 Larry H Miller Tour of Utah is officially underway today and the first stage was nothing short of incredible racing. The riders were introduced to each other on Stage 1 with vicious attacks and counters until the legs finally snapped. A diverse group got away and earned enough time quickly enough to trigger a unified and forceful reaction from the teams not represented. Once the break was caught, Holowesko- Citadel came through with a big win.
We’re focusing on Alex Hoehn of Elevate- KHS Pro Cycling and his day on the bike that culminated with a 17th place on the day.
First hour: With the breaks struggling to gain an inch, every effort was big and lots of matches were burned by many riders to make the break that day. Starting at 5000ft and climbing to +6000ft by time the break reached escape velocity, Alex Hoehn turned in a hard fought 1000kJ hour with an average power of 275W and a normalized power of 300W with ~20 minutes spent at or above his *adjusted for elevation functional threshold power (FTP)*.
*For more about elevation adjusted FTP, stay tuned as we dig deeper into training at altitude in a different article.
During the next hour or so, the 10 escapees (2 Elevate- KHS) were allowed room to run and Alex’s output dropped to 148W as he sat back and was able to relax. During those “tranquil” minutes, Alex only turned in 4 minutes of output at or above his threshold (elevation adjusted).
However, once the chase was afoot, things changed again. Over the final 2 hours and 42 minutes of the race, Alex spent 37 more minutes at or above FTP (elevation adjusted). That put him at a total of nearly an hour at or above FTP* for the day, or around 20% of his 5 hour race day. Wow!
Finally, let’s look at Alex’s closing 12 minutes of stage 1. The fundamental difference between professional and amateur athletes is not the absolute power or power to weight they can produce. Rather, the fundamental difference is in the athlete’s ability to resist fatigue. Alex came back at the end of a 131 mile stage (212km), in the closing minutes of a 5 hour day, and was still willing and able to mix it up with the best in the world. With an average power of 300W, and 377W normalized (nW), Alex spent ~5.5 minutes of the last 12 minutes at or above FTP. Below you’ll find an image of Alex’s final few minutes. Alex made some big efforts in the finale to place himself in position to sprint. This image is a color coded heat map with the height and color of the power spikes showing you how big of matches Alex burns.
Other relevant numbers for those following at home:
- Total time: 5:05
- Distance: 131 miles
- Work: 3590kJ
- Heart Rate Average: 155bpm
Tune in all week as we analyze the rides from the Elevate- KHS Pro Cycling riders.
About the Author: Adam is currently the Performance Director of the Elevate- KHS Pro Cycling Team. He has raced at the elite level since 2002 and graduated with a Masters in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kansas in 2005. His true talent comes with his ability to combine his vast experience with his knowledge of sport. He is indeed a student of science, sport, athletic performance, strategy, and tactics. He continuously educates himself by keeping up to date with current trends and methods in sport and his clients have reaped the benefits from this work with over 13 national championships in 8 disciplines on two continents. Adam is able to incorporate these attributes on a daily basis to help his clients reach and exceed their goals whether they are a beginner or a seasoned professional. Learn more about Adam and Source Endurance here.