Predicting race arrivals times

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by David Laporte, Jan 22, 2003.

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  1. I need a little advice from the physics guys.

    The Nature Valley Grand Prix is part of the National Racing Calendar. It'll include road races in
    Winona, MN. The pro/elite women and men will race consecutively (i.e. the women will finish
    before the men start). We'll have criteriums in town while each of the pro/elite races is out in
    the country.

    We've allowed a pretty long time cushion betweent the finish of each set of criteriums and the
    expected return of each pro/elite pack. Still, we'll want to regularly update each packs ETA during
    the races so that we can adjust the length of the crits if the road racers are going much faster
    than we're expecting. We'll have spotters on the course who will call in times as the leaders pass
    and we'd like to use these time points to predict likely finish times (with the assumption that the
    average speeds will be roughly constant).

    My problem is that the road race course is not flat. The women will see three one-mile climbs and
    the men will see four. There is also a lot of false flat. So I'm thinking that our assumption needs
    to be that average POWER is constant, not average speed. I have no idea how to get average power
    from speed or to convert this to an ETA. I realize that we'll never be completely accurate, but I
    think that we can do better than we would if we assumed average speed being constant.

    Any help?


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