Having a jump when already working hard or Power Profiling missing part?


Aug 25, 2009
I did my first couple of races in a few years this last weekend, and it highlighted again to me how different I appear to be to many others in ability to jump when working hard. I was probably one of the stronger riders in the race - day 1 I spent 20minutes in a break where I broke my two companions, and then shortly after got in the break of the day without difficulty. Day 2, I led up (with a team mate) the first 2 climbs, dropped my chain, chased on, contested the Prime, led the next climb, but at a crucial point when I was still climbing fine, my 45-60 second power let me down, as a few of the other stronger riders gapped me on a 1.5 minute hill, such that by the time I was over the top and chasing on the descents

However my short duration power numbers look pretty good on a power profile chart:
20 seconds @ nearly 14w/kg
60 seconds @ nearly 9.5w/kg

Should be more than comparable to others in a 2V/3/4 race (I'm a 3 but this was my first race in 2.5 years) what's clear though is that I do not have the ability to deliver much of that power at all after just 1-2 minutes at VO2max. So the start of the climb where I was going along at 5.5w/kg (close to my 5 min power, actually 6 when fresh), and it was tailwind and over 9% so not much draft benefit, so the guys behind would've been doing similar numbers, but 5 guys managed to jump away from me, with me continuing at 5.5w/kg. I couldn't really lift it at all. Now obviously this was in the middle of a race, but I see similar situations on training rides, an inability to jump as soon as I've spent any amount of time above threshold.

They only got 10seconds by the top of the climb, but with the nature of the course and selection of teams it meant they were gone (I got halfway across solo, but then a headwind demoralised me too much and I was just knackered)

So what is the physiological difference between the people who can get their power out in the middle of an effort, and those diesel like people like me who can't?

I actually do much better getting the power out on the flat compared to a rise - but of course that's a lot less use in a race.

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