Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The moral factor

After almost a week of ilness I am back on the bike again. It also made me make the decision not to do the 122km time trial in September. I was still struggling to get my setup right and if I have to build it up from now -with basically a bad form- to September it's just not going to work. I am constantly feeling pressure from myself to keep pushing and pushing and it gives too much stress. Enjoying rest of the cycling season is my main objective now. There are 3 more races to do and I will focus on a nice result on those. One is next week (which I consider one to just get the racing feeling back), other one is end of August and the third beginning of September.
 
So, currently my form is not that good. No wonder. After two weeks of holiday of the bike a week of training with a race and then a week ilness is just very stimulating. Current CTL (50) is at the level of March of this year, in a phase I was building. Apart from the bad form my moral also went down. So how to change that?
 
By starting off very easy again and working up step by step. My first ride (1.30h) after ilness was just a ride to get the feeiling of the bike again. Nice sunny ride. Looking around. Halfway of the Endurance level in terms of wattage. O yes, I haven't changed my FTP which I already brought down after two weeks of holiday. It's still at 295. Reason that I haven't changed that is that based on CTL values and peak power values for 60 minutes this FTP is about OK. Not too high, but also not too low.
 
So, first ride to get a nice feeling. Second ride was about trying to ride 45 minutes in the Tempo level (halfway) in a 2 hour ride. Rest of the two hours at Endurance pace. It's OK to do something like that and again because you will be able to hold on to it, it will give a good feeling again.
 
Third ride. Just one hour. One hour with 3 small sets of 10 minutes just around Treshold with 5 minutes rest in between. So I did three sets at 300 watt. This is just about enough. I felt that and the end of each sets I got the same feeling when doing VO2max sets; you know the feeling...the heavy breathing comes in. But again. Since I did not push myself to the limit it gives a good feeling to see you are able to hit the numbers.
 
Fourth ride. Try to get VO2max 6 x 3 minutes back into a 2 hour ride along with one 40 minute Tempo / beginning Treshold level. VO2max intervals were NOT at the level I used to do. That is they were around 20 watt lower than normal. But hey, that's the way it is and at this moment it is just good training. Again when you see you can hit the numbers it's a good feeling. And yes, I did not reach the numbers in the last two sets, but hey, it's OK. Next time I will and I will do 10 watt more. The 40 minute ride was tough, but achievable.
 
Every training from now I will add again another step in intensity. First I want to raise the ceiling again, but slowly and realistically.
 
In all. My advise after illness. Don't stress out; adjust some of your goals (in other words be realistic towards yourself). Build up with numbers you can ride. Try word count on ''good feeling''. I hope it works for you too.

Monday, July 21, 2014

No watts

Pffff. As soon as you're thinking of building up again you get ill. After the kids, mum, mother in law, I had hoped I could skip this one. Unfortunately not. Sore joints, sore muscles, my throat starts to hurt and a temperature rise.

Nice. Also given the fact that since last Wednesday's race I wasn't able to do a proper training, because of a delicate (sit)injury I got from that race. 

No watts, so no moral.......




Friday, July 18, 2014

Race time: ''official'' start of period II of the season

After quite a while I did a race again. This time it was in Westkapelle. After my holiday I did not do really any focussed training. Basically trying to get 'the ride feeling' back. I see this race as the first in a build-up period towards end of September (time trial) and towards a race end of August in which I want to do well.
 
There were 78 participants and I ended up 11th. In total approximately 25 riders finished. The rest of them were doubled (once or several times) or had to abandon earlier. Why? Because the race (crit) was not that easy I guess. It were 30 laps of 1.73km with a lot of corners as you can see below. Also the pavement was tricky in that it were small stones instead of asphalt. The carbon wheels made quite some noise....


The average speed of the race was  41.5 km/h. Below you see how today's race compared to other races I did wrt some metrics:

Race 1: 1.12h, VI 1.05, NP 297, AP 283, IF 0.928, AR 22%, Anaerobic 11%, Neuro 9%
Race 2: 1.03h, VI 1.12, NP 273, AP 243, IF 0.854, AR 51%, Anaerobic 7%,   Neuro 19%
Race 3: 1.27h, VI 1.14, NP 292, AP 255, IF 0.911, AR 44%, Anaerobic 10%, Neuro 17%
Race 4: 1.28h, VI 1.13, NP 296, AP 262, IF 0.926, AR 37%, Anaerobic 11%, Neuro 14%
Today's race,   VI 1.13, NP 290, AP 256, IF 0.983, AR 46%, Anaerobic 8%,   Neuro 24%


You see that this race was one of the more extremer in terms of %AR and % Aneaerobic, but especally % Neuromuscular. After every corner (which some of them you could not ride at full speed) it was putting pressure on the pedals immerdiately which gives these results.
 
During the race I constantly stayed within the first 10-15 riders. Why? Because with this kind of races it's hard to ride to the front (lots of corners and speed is relatively high and everyone is riding behind one another). This riding in the front also resulted in two premes.
 
I only had one ''difficult'' moment so to say around 7-8 laps before the end. At that time was quite a big group of riders which were doubled and they were in my group. Because of that gaps occured which did cost some effort to close. You can see that below (don't look at exact W balance, just trend)


Although I did not do any of anaerobic / neuromuscular work in my training for a long time I could still do well so I am happy with this ''new starting point '' right now. What I do notice that I feel that I am not able to do a rush and then to go into FTP mode. It's just to hard at the moment. I am going to put in some 'race winning' exercises in my training. If you don't know what those are, let me know and I can explain in an other post.

Next period will be focussing more on FTP (for time trial), time in aeroposition and I will mix in exercises more specifically for the race I want to do well in (means training on the roads of that (hilly) race). Also a combi of anaerobic and FTP exercise (race winning efforts) will be done.











Saturday, July 12, 2014

CdA test Part I

With the first half of the season finished I throught about some goals for the second half. One of the goals is to ride a TT.  Not just a 40km TT (or shorter), but a 'monster TT'. Basically it is a TT of 123km. The TT is end of September. I have selected this goal not in terms of trying to win (because there is nooo way that will happen), but merely for the experience.

I have never done a TT and I don't have a TT bike. I do have some gear: a Castelli San Remo speedsuit, some shoecovers and Mavic Cosmic SR wheels.  I don't want to invest too much money in this 'small experiment / experience. After reading some articles on TT gear I conclude I can get most bang per euro by buying some aero clip-ons. And that's what I did: the 3t Aero clip-om pro.



Why do I bother about aero? Because with generating speed it's about the fight of overcoming air resistance which makes 90% of the effort of moving your bike forward. You might have a very big engine in terms of being able to produce a lot of watts, but you are not very aero, you might loose it from someone who produces way less watts, but is very aerodynamic.

How to quantify aero? With a measure called CdA, which is a combination of frontal area x the drag coefficient. It is measured in metres squared. The lower this number the more aero you (and your setup) are.You can imagine that with riding on top of the handlebar you will be less aero than when you ride in the drops. For a TT it is important to have a good watt / CdA factor. It's a factor like for climbing but there you have the watt / kg which is a good indicator who will ride fastest up the mountain. For a more extensive review on CdA see: 

http://www.cyclingpowerlab.com/cyclingaerodynamics.aspx and

http://www.cyclingpowerlab.com/WattsOverCdA.aspx
 
In a post coming later when I have finally got my equipment installed properly (I am facing some problems with the clip-on width) and conditions to test are more ideal (i.e. no wind), I will explain the method I used to derive CdA and I will then try to give a better estimate of my CdA.  I will also try to make some scenario’s of how fast I would be able to ride given some parameters (a.o. CdA).
 
For this first test - do aero clip-ons give a CdA advantage for me?-  I went to a small industrial area in the evening (to decrease the chance of traffic) and rode the same laps over and over again for different scenario’s:

1)      3 laps on the top

2)      3 laps on the hoods

3)      3 laps on the drops

4)      3 laps on the aero-clip ons
 
The conditions were not ideal (there was wind although consistent head and tailwind on the same parts of the course).  However, I am only interested to see if aero-clip ons do have an advantage as opposed to the real (estimate) of CdA. Below you see the results (index) of the estimated CdAs from drops, hoods and aero-clip ons compared to the CdA estimate for drops. 
 


Now it is quite clear that the aero-clip ons show an improvement in CdA estimate, also in relation to drops and hoods. So, the conclusion is: yes, I do get more aero from this.You might think drops to be better, but hoods turn out slightly better now. Possible explanation: when I sit on the hoods I tend to pull my elbows (arms) more towards my body (I get narrower), which seems more aero.  If it is hoods or drops which are more aero, I can test that later under better conditions; I am not interesten in that now.

Next thing which is nice to see is the difference in speed and wattage average for the 3 laps on drops and clip-ons. This is quite nice. I go from FTP range on drops for a lower speed (38.7 km/h) to SST at higher speed (39.3 km/h).
 
 

As said I am still fumbling a bit with my setup. This has firstly to do with the fact that my handlebar goes from 31.8mm in the middle to around 26.5mm. These 3t clip-ons are for 31.8mm so I have used rubber (from a tire) and all of that stuff to fill up the gap. However, the clip-ons are very unstable then and after a while they start to slide. I have to find something for that otherwise I am going to buy a vert cheap handlebar on which I can fit the clip-ons. Getting this fixed is priority number one.
 
Second is that I am also trying to find a good position, in terms of that it feels comfortable and it is as aero as possible. These are adjustments w.r.t the position of the stem and the saddle. I still have 3 rings between my frame and my stem and I want to get rid of those so my handlebar will go down. This also implies I can sit more deep and I have to make sure that there is enough room for my legs not to bump into my chest. Maybe I have to put the saddle just a bit upward. Those rings should be gone somewhere next week.
 
After I have done these modifications I will be able -of conditions are well- to calculate my CdA. I will then probably try to vary a bit in position of the clip-ons. I all I must say this testing and 'fumbling' takes more time than I thought and distracts me from putting time into proper cycling (or training). I hope I will be ready by the end of September.....stay tuned for some more test results in the coming weeks.


Friday, July 11, 2014

New: Rotor LT

Again we have a new powermeter variant. This one has features of the Stages powermeter, in that in measures power only at the left crank. It's called Rotor LT (LT stands for lite) and I would say it's the little brother of the existing Rotor powermeter which measures both left and right. In that sense Rotor is the first brand in the market to have 2 types of powermeters. 

Since it only measures at the left crank it basically does the same as Stages to get total power: namely multiplying it by 2. Is it wrong? It doesn't have to, but left an right balance might not be 50% for a rider nor consistently balanced (or consistently not 50%) during a ride. 

Currently the Merida-Lampre guys are testing this left crankarm in the TDF and on the right they have installed the Power2max Type S. 

For 990 euro's it's yours, but it is still a bit more expensive than the Stages. For 990 euro however you get the complete crankset, whereas with Stages its only the left crank arm. Anyway, again a powermeter brand moving to a lower pricepoint to attract customers.




Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Trois Ballons 2014: long version

On Saturday I got up at 4.15 in the morning. We (me and my friends and father) were about 40km away from the start at a place called Le Thillot. I ate some muesli, a banana and started with drinking an eletrolyte drink. My friend Richard and I were going to do the 218km of Trois Ballons and the other were doing the Senior (108km). Richard goal was Gold with meant he had to finish within 9.20h.
 
We (my friend Richard and I) left at 5 o’clock to go to the finish place. For Trois Ballons the finish place is somewehere else than the starting place. After the 40km ride we parked the car and ate some more. With a free T-shirt we had and our cycling kit underneath we rode to the start which was about 7 kms further.

 
When we came at the start place (around 6 o’ clock) there were only a few riders standing in front of us. I have to clarify on this one. There are basically 300 riders who have a priority starting position. That is, they stand in front of everybody else. They line up in a different box and the rest (me and Richard) in an other. About 5 minutes before the start they opened the fence of our startbox so we could stand behind the first 300. Then they gave the start, but since the road narrowed towards the finish line you are still a few minutes behind the first after going over the starting line (with timer). At about 7.25h we were off to go.
 
After the start I immediately tried to ride to the front. Which was not that easy. That it it did take me some effort to get among let’s say the first 80 riders. In total it took me about 10 minutes with an AP of 267 and NP of 301 (4.4 w/kg) in which I burned 10 matches. Maybe I should have ridden this part a bit easier with the knowledge I could still get in the front in a more relaxed way (mistake 1).

Then we were at around km 20 at the Faucogny/Cote de la Mer which is a climb of 2.6 and 3.3km in total but very narrow roads I di. I had  no clue from there what my exact position was because there are a lot of corners in that climb and you cannot see far ahead. I averaged 257 AP and 299 NP. According to Strave segments of the two 313 and 318 watts (4.7 w/kg).  From the picture below you can see that it is a irregular climb with the first minutes far above my FTP (red line is watts, black W’balance, blue HR, gray cadence)
 

After the very steep descent of the Faucogny (with parts 16%) we immediately started the Col du Chevreres (9.3km climb) - the one I explored some days before and found out my gearing was a bit too big for some parts. I found out there that I was still in the first group. This climb has two parts. The first is OK and the second part is steeper with parts of 14-15%. It’s also very narrow again and you cannot look far forward (at least not at the steep part). the first part was done in the first group but then I crawled up the steep part and you could tell the group was torn apart.
 
There were more people crawling and I made a small mistake here to push it just a bit too much I think (mistake 2). According to the Strave segment I rode the climb overall at 298 watt and the steep part at 310 watt (4.5 w/kg). See the picture below.
 

In the descent I was in a group of approximately 15 riders which all came together on the ‘flat’ (because it simply is not flat there) part to the Ballon D Alsace. I could see a group riding in front of us and the gap was growing. I decided to ride in the front to close the gap to that group because the others were not inclined to ride (mistake 3). We finally closed the gap just before the start of the Ballon D Alsace. Below you can see the part in which I ‘foolishly’ went in front to do the work.
 


We started the Ballon D Alsace with a group of in total (estimate) 80 riders. The pace was OK, but 5 km before the top the pace went up just a bit and I had to let go of the first group which was by that time diminished to around 60 riders I think. .Because the pace of the first was just about 10 watts higher they were not riding away far; I could constantly see them eventhough there were more corners towards the end. My stats for Ballon d’Alsace were (278 AP and 283NP (4.2 w/kg). On the top I had ridden 2.22h and I had an AP of 247 and NP of 280. Total IF until that time was 0.875 and VI 1.135.



On top was my dad and I had to get off the bike to get some new bidons and food. Problem with this stop was that I lost the connection with the first group. When I got on the bike again (20 seconds later?) they were all gone, simple as that. The descent was very tricky and I simply don’t have the descent skills nor the descent courage to go very fast. To be honest; I have seen a lot of guys just taking the whole road while there is still traffic coming from the other side of the road. To me it’s a miracle that there aren’t a lot of casualties in this kind of rides.
 
Anyway. When I got down I was in a group of 6, because in the valley between Ballon D’Alsace and Col de Hundsdruck 5 people made the connection. The Col du Hundsdruck still went quite OK (264 AP, 280 NP (4.1 w/kg), but I could feel that my best legs were gone; Mistake 1,2 and 3 were boiling up. In the descent I lost connection with 2 guys who went down really fast, but they had to stop at a heavy traffic road. End of the day I have been waiting there as well (we were with 6 again) for about 4 minutes! before we were allowed to ride further again.


Next climb was the Grand Ballon; we were 110km and 3.20h on our way. At that time my AP was 237 and NP 270 (4 w/kg). In the first kms one guy was clearly strongest and rode away. After a few kms another group came at us (about 3 guys) and the rest of my group rode away with those guys. Me and another guy stayed together because he told me they would definitaly blow up in the next kms.
 
My power was sliding down quite dramatically. Whereas the Col du Hundsdruck was quite OK I saw my wattage numbers go down to 230 and I even had to let go of the guy in front of me. Basically the tank was empty and I had difficulty even riding in the smallest gear (38/29). I got taken over by a lot, and I mean a lot of groups and besides the physical breakdown I also had a mental breakdown just thinking of stopping, because the pace I was riding just made no sense. See below the picture of the Grand Ballon climb. At around 3.50h you see the wattage drift down dramatically. IF in total was 0.837 at that time and VI 1.139.  


I was also overtaken by Mister C (someone also from the Netherlands and via this blog we came in contact with each other). He relatively had a bad moment at the Grand Ballon, but he was able to recover better than I. He was able to ride in a group that overtook us and ended up 85th overall. You’ll see his info also in some of the graphs below. O yes, the Grand Ballon was done at 225 AP and 233 NP (3.4 w/kg). Horrible numbers…….At the top I had 4.30h of riding at AP of 235 and NP of 263 (3.9 w/kg).
 
At the top of the Grand Ballon it was quite cold and also the descent was cold. I got overtaken (I only got overtaken rest of the ride ;) by a small group of 3 guys and I tried to follow them in the easy descent of the Grand Ballon. At the bottom I had to let them go again because my father was there with new drinks and some food. As I said I just wanted to stop, but for some reason the way my dad was talking and just very quickly changed my drinks and put food in my shirt pockets and pushed me off I just ‘forgot’ to think about stopping; I was on the bike again before noticing.
 
Immediately after this stop the Col d’Ă“deren (AP 243, NP 245 (3.6 w/kg)) began. The first kms went quite OK and I thought I was over my breakdown. Unfortunately it was not the case and the wattage just dropped again. Needless to say there were groups passing by and I just let them go. Below the picture in which you can see the wattage for the first 5 minutes were OK, but after that you see it trending downward quite severely.




Next, another bad part of the ride starts. From the top of the Col d’Oderen untill halfway Camp Jaillet I have seen no one. No group in front of me or behind me. That meant riding for 35km all by myself. In terms of ‘’recovering in the wheels’’ this of course was also not very nice. In between was Col De Croix which I crawled up at 239 AP (240 NP (3.5 w/kg)). Below you can see the 35 km ride alone.

 
Camp Jaillet. What can I say. Try to ride and not to fall of the bike. After 190km you get a few very steep parts (17%). Not nice. There were some tourist riders walking up that climb and maybe I should have done that because I wasn’t riding very much faster. (211 AP, 230 NP (3.4 w/kg)).
 
When I was at the top it is still going up and down and just before the last desecent and 15kms I got overtaken by a group in which I stayed until the finish. At the finish it turned out my overall ranking was 157th, age group 30-39 79th and I was kind of surprised, because half of the Trois Ballons just wasn’t nice.
 
End of the day Richard got his gold medal which is great. The others all got a golden medal for their Senior ride (to be very honest, the time to ride gold in the Senior is way way too easy).  And I was left with kind of an empty feeling (physically, but even more mentally). Strange because I did achieve my goal of riding between 7.15h and 7.30h.
 
Below a small table of my planned AP for the climbs and realised (including cadence).
 
                                        AP       NP     cad      AP                Result Realised AP - Planned AP
faucogny                         257,    299,    88.     Not planned
col dus chevreres            312,    313,    74.    Planned: 296            +16W
ballon d’’alsace               265,    275,     82     Planned: 278            - 13W       
hundsdruck                     264,    280,    81      Planned: 261            +3W
grand ballon                    225,    233,    77      Planned: 270            -50W
col d’oderen                    243,    245,    78      Planned: 262            -20W
col de croix                      239,    240,    80     Planned: 317            -78W
camp jaillet                      211,    230,    70     Planned: 297            -86W
 
Quite a lesson in humility if you ask me ;)
 
You will find my total riding stats in the Appendix Trois Ballons below.
 
In ate and drank:
* 6 bidons (Born carbo pepto pro / go2 ac+)
* 3 bananas
* 3 energy drinks (High Energy Drink Maxim 160ml)
* 2 cookies (Snelle Jelle)
* 3 magnesium sticks cranberry (Wcup)  
Learnings
 
As said above although I reached my goal in terms of total time, I did have a bad feeling afterwards. When looking back on this experience I can write down a lot of things to improve:
 
Things to improve in training
* Focus, focus on high IF for longer rides.  The longer rides I did last weeks before the Trois Ballons had a too low TSS and IF: They were all around 0.73 IF and total TSS of 270. I had never done a ride with an IF of at least 0.8 for let’s say 4 hours (the moment I cracked). If I look at my ride file I reach that TSS of 270 at exactly the point at which I simply break and have to go to an other wattgage level. That is at the 270 point I had done with an IF of 0.84(!) (NP 270 and AP 235) and I have never trained for that!
 
As you can read in ‘Appendix Trois Ballons’ you will see that I also didn’t do enough long (tempo) rides
 
* No slack in training (in the Ardennes or other hill environment). This kind of double in a sense that since I do not have the world of hours to train I have to make everything out of every training hour. Meaning trying to ride / train with riders with same goals: Socially not nice, but that is a consequence
 
* Planning: Try to start from the TSS number needed and then calculate back for better build up to that goal (see also Friel’s book for a good example)
 
* Try to work on higher cadence. In effect this places less stress on the muscles which might keep them better for longer and may keep cramps away longer
 
* Last but not least, but this one is simpy essential as well as ‘base’ for the above: improve FTP
 
Things to improve in the race
* Make sure you're in the first 150 starters (so I won't expend too much energy getting in front)
 
* Be really carefull in the beginning w.r.t surges. It's OK to let x places go in the first climbs.
Usually groups will melt together again and end of the day you will end up in a group of similar strength riders
 
* Do not ride in front of the groups too soon (let other's do the work while you do the coasting)
 
* Don’t get off the bike; try to find people who will give drinks / food while riding (I saw a few teams which had more than 1 person on some climbs who gave bottles and the other gave food)
 
Things to improve: Gearing
* Just pick your right gears. Don’t think the gearing is OK if you’ve done 2 climbs, because the ride is longer than just two climbs

Appendix Trois Ballons

Above I have written about Mr C who ended up being 85th. Fact is that me and Mr C don’t differ that much in some stats:
 
                                    Mr C                 Me
age                                23                   36
FTP                           310-315          320-325   
weight                            70                   68
FTP w/kg                       4.5                  4.7
CTL                               83.3               72.1
ATL                               58.7               76.1
# kms*                         6450                4907      
# rides 3 hours*             11                     8
# rides 4 hours*               5                     4
# rides 5 hours*               7                     1
# rides 6 hours*               4                     2
# rides 7 hours*               2
# hours*                        249                  161
hours per week*             10                   6.7
*since jan 2014
 
So you would say I have just slighly better numbers physically, but he has better numbers in terms of training load which is largely expressed in training hours. Also the number of longer endurance type rides he did was quite some more as me (OK I should have asked for TSS and IFs of his rides instead of hours. but hey).
 
That morning he had a priority starting position (so within the first 300). He started 1 minute before me and at the top of the Col du Chevreres top I was about 2 minutes before him (which makes 3 minutes). From this you can also deduct I started rather quickly. His race stats and mine you see below:
 
    Mr C                  Me
Total time                       7.02                  7.15
AP                                  199                   213
NP                                  243                   248
AR                                 33%                  28%
Endurance                     17%                  24%
Tempo                           24%                  23%
Treshold                        15%                  13%
VO2max                          6%                   7%
Anaerobic                        4%                   4%
Neuromuscular                2%                   1%
Aerobic Decoupling    12.2%              12.4%
VI                                   1.22                 1.16
IF                                  0.785                0.775
 
I have put more power into it and I finished behind…..Also see some of the numbers for the climbs (watt/kg) according to the Strava segments
 
                                Mr C    Me   
faucogny                  4.4    4.6   
col dus chevreres    4.0    4.1   
ballon d’’alsace        3.7    4.1          
hundsdruck              3.7    3.9   
grand ballon             3.4    3.3   
col d’oderen             3.5    3.5   
col de croix               3.6    3.5   
camp jaillet               4.3    3.1   
 
The difference is that I pushed harder in the first climbs, but that after the Hundsdruck he kept himself rather stable and he was even improving towards the end, while I only went down after the beginning of the Grand Ballon (which is also the longest climb of the day). Despite almost similar watt/kg for some climbs he did manage to ride them faster than me. This might be explained by a multitude of factors like: his bike is lighter than mine (?), he is more aero than me (even uphill this might play a part), he was in a group and I rode by myself (aero / wind advantage), my powermeter reading too high (or his too low).
 
Below you see a graph of the first kms and power of Mr C and mine (black line). It’s clear he was in the priority place and I was trying to ride to the front.



Also you see below from the descent of the Chevreres to 60km I ‘waisted’ more watts than he by riding in front of groups.



The last picture below you see the part from the descent of the Ballon D’Alsace until the start of Camp Jaillet. Until that first arrow (the point at which my wattage significantly drops down on the Grand Ballon), I have also ‘’waisted’’ relatively more power on the ‘’flatter’’ parts. You also see that even on the Grand Ballon to Markstein where he was in a group he really got benefit from that. There was quite some wind over there and I had to ride by myself pushing more watts but going slower! (due to the wind and NO group).


From arrow 2 onwards you can see the part from the descent of Col d Oderen to finally the start of Camp Jaillet. It’s clear that I was by myself that part and he was in a group
Now you understand the main difference between our wattages numbers (see also his AR % of 33 and mine of 28%!)
 
From the above I conclude that:
 
1) Despite some better physical numbers in favour of me, he did prepare better in terms of the type of rides (in terms of hours). I had more focus on shorter rides on higher intensity, but I simply did not stress enough duration. His aerobic engine worked better than mine
 
2) He paced himself extremely well and made very good use of the groups! His AR was 33% which is 5% more than mine (note, the info w.r.t the groups I got from himself). So credits to you Mr C! ;)