What does it take to win a round of the Tour Series? Connor Swift shows us the data from his Garmin 820 – including power, heart rate and cadence from a unique race.
Nearly an hour of racing on the limit was finished off with a 15-minute solo attack to claim the win in Bath.
This took an incredible effort, as documented by Connor’s race file. What’s striking is the nature of the effort, which we can analyse against the pattern of racing.
Despite a relatively stable race situation with no major breakaways in the first 50-minutes, this was far from an easy ride. A tight course with little elevation change meant that riders had to produce repeated high power accelerations to keep their speed.
Connor recorded over 30 spikes in excess of 1000-watts and although his heart-rate remains at a relatively controlled 173bpm average, the data shows that these kinds of races are equal parts cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
Interestingly, when analysing Connor’s race-winning move we can see that his effort changes.
Connor’s attack came after a short period of rest – his average heart rate dipping to 164bpm for a seven-minute period. In this section of racing, Connor also preserved his energy by making no efforts over 1000-watts.
This conservation was the invisible groundwork for his race-winning attack, which lasted 15-minutes at an average speed of 25mph, 374-watts and 178bpm.
But although Connor’s overall effort was expectedly very high (when compared to his time in the bunch), the profile of his power output significantly changed.
Once alone, Connor’s power output becomes far smoother with power spikes reduced from 1000-watts to nearer 600-watts, while his efforts in between freewheeling (for corners) become longer.
This is because as a solo rider, Connor can dictate his own fastest pace, rather than being forced to ride to the speed of the peloton – and his ability to do this so well for so long is one of the key reasons why he managed to build and maintain a 30-second lead over the chasers.
And finally, although Connor’s win was a brilliant individual move, the team also played their part to make it a success – from Johnny McEvoy leaving a gap when Connor attacked, to the covering work done by his teammates in the chase behind, it was truly a team effort.
Want to see more of what it takes to be a pro rider? Be sure to follow our team – including Connor – on Strava!