pros have bigger engine, they can suffer day after day, Wiggins does 1.5 h FTP sessions in training and i raed that Pinotti can handle 2 hours at FTP that's a big difference from pros to amateurs, pros have way more endurance

or, as i've mentioned here before and other forums 1) there are ways around expending so much power 2) no way i could do the above, yet i've survived lots of 1st cat races and finished in the first 15 (and believe me it's nothing to do with sprinting at the end, because at a peak power of 842 W for 5-secs most dead people can sprint faster than me!). have finished reasonably well up in elite/1/2 races as well 3) i've ridden e/1/2 crits and only avgd ~200 W (NP~230 W) 4) there's data from TdF stages where people finish in the lead group on flat stages recording <100 W (no, that isn't a typo!) OP: i suspect (strongly!) that some people have poorly calibrated power meters. I suspect some people don't zero their offset. I suspect that some people use oval chainrings which on a crank based power meter messes things up. i suspect some people tell you their power numbers without zeros or 10% added on. however, what appear to be small differences are in fact large differences. while the actual magnitude is small (e.g. 30 W which on the face of it doesn't sound much) between being good and bad, it takes huge efforts to increase fitness by that much

Brakes, what brakes? Based upon item 3) you might consider adding a bike handling clinic to RST as I'm guessing that you're pretty handy at hustling around corners as well as all around good bike handling to achieve AP/NP that low.... .... Or said crit was really an out door track event at the near Nascar oval sized track at Herne Hill. But I do wonder about some of the claims of power outputs at threshold banded about. At times I actually worry about my PowerTap and probably zero it and "stomp test" the darned thing more than most would consider reasonable...

bike handling is important. knowing which lines to take and how to ride with as little braking as possible is important. these races were done on outdoor motor circuits (but ones with a fair amount of twists and turns on; such as Oulton Park, Llandow, Mallory Park, Goodwood & Eastway). In road races my power has been higher but even then i try my best to minimise the power (remember you don't win prizes in a road race for having the highest average power output). When i first started cycling i was not very fit, and so my formative years in bike racing was spent being dropped or hanging on for dear life. I feel this allowed me to try to find other ways to make the grade (ie learning how to corner). regular checks on your power meter are important. Luckily, i've used several SRM and Power Tap and all have been very similar power outputs to each other (and of course they've all been tested with known masses). ric

I know bike handling is very important - I was amazed at how low the AP was and attributed it to good bike handling skills. I can't say that I'd think Oulton Park would be fun on a bicycle. A 1 liter Yamaha EXUP (the forerunner to the YZF R1) yes... bicycle, ho hum. 250cc SuperKart - F*ck yeah! LOL Your first member of a bike handling clinic, based upon current evidence should be Tyler Farrar... You could teach his mechanic how to glue tubs on too while you're at it

I just noticed this thread and thought I would help you understand how to interpret the difference between two FTP numbers. When you refer to the difference between two FTP numbers (e.g., 300 versus 400) as relatively small, I assume you are looking at the arithmetic difference between the numbers. After all 400 is only 1.33 * 300. But, the correct way to view the difference is the difference in physiological stress. The best metric for that is the 4th power curve of the blood lactate-power curve. For example, this is the basis of the NP algorithm. A better metric for comparing two FTP numbers is to take the ratio of the 4th power of each number. For example, the ratio of 400^4/300^4 is 3.16, or 316%! This a lot more impressive (and accurate) than 133%. So, next time you increase your FTP, compute the difference in physiological stress. It's a lot more impressive.

Wow, that is kind of depressing. Using your formula, to get from 250FTP to 275FTP I have to increase my blood lactate tolerance a whopping 146%! Sounds daunting.

Well, I can't take credit for the formula, that credit goes to Andy Coggan. I can only take credit for understanding the formula, its underlying premise and using the formula in power management. But, the formula is of huge value in characterizing variable power rides in terms of training stress. It's just not true that 1/2 hour at 225W and 1/2 hour at 275W is equal to 1 hour at 250W. It is 254W due to this formula. Also, please note that I have greatly simplified the formula for illustrative purposes. The actual formula requires computing a rolling average of power, applying the 4th power algorithm, computing a weighted average and then applying a 4th root algorithm. But, the above simplification will work for discussion purposes. As to daunting or depressing, I would say simply that increasing one's FTP from 250W to 275W is a very impressive achievement. Oops, I just noticed the error in the characterization of the percent changes. 300W to 400W is a 216% increase and 250W to 275W is a 46% increase.

By my calculations if Silly Old Twit went from 130W to 230W his physiological response increased over 8 times. If he can do that at an advanced age why would a 46% increase be impressive?

Hey, I am impressed when I increase my FTP by 10% (physiological response), so 46% is awesome and 800+% is mind-blowing.

Many Cat 1&2s who have ridden with pro teams on training rides come away believing that pros are not only much stronger but can do it much longer. --- There was a 500 mile race that many of the top US ultramarathon riders showed up for. Some 3rd string European pros showed up also. The Europeans just rode away from them.

increasing a mere 6 watts (say from 254 Watts to 260 Watts) is a 10% physiological response....improvement yes, impressive no

I think there is a little misunderstanding here, confusing physiological responses to effort with changes in fitness. The physiological responses (e.g. the curvilinear responses in things like BL concentrations) are things that are relative to current fitness. Riding at X + Y% watts is totally different when your FTP is X watts than when it is X + Y% watts. How much someone can increase their FTP by is a function of many, many things.