Less, in fact, until the first bicycle race of my nascent cycling career. I’m taking it quite seriously as you may have gathered.
Taking a leaf from the F1 testing which was recently at Jerez and Bahrain I decided to do a race simulation yesterday. Obviously without opponents, access to the circuit, or any knowledge of the likely pattern of effort in the race the scope of the simulation I could perform was very limited. What I wanted to test was whether my plan to get up at 5am for the 9am race (so that breakfast should be done digesting) was really better than getting that bit more sleep. It is, so sadly it’s early mornings at the weekends unless/until I get good enough for my races to start later in the day.
The other thing I have been able to find out, using the power meter, is how long I can sprint after a preceding long steady effort. I needed to work this out in order to know how far from the finish line I should go for it to have the best chance to win the race. I can produce my peak power of 830W for 9 seconds or a sub-peak sprint effort of 640W for 20 seconds. I don’t have anything useful in between these extremes, and I don’t have any capability to put out a bigger effort over 5 seconds. Younger athletes, as I suspect will constitute the majority of the competition, will likely have higher power for lower lengths of time.
My fastest two finishing options are to sustain 45 km/h for the final 250m, or to go for 52 km/h for the final 125m. Assuming that I do 32km/h in the 125m of difference the longer option is faster overall, although it does have potential tactical flaws. I’ll try that first. For a younger athlete of similar overall fitness to beat me they will stay in my draft (at 420W or so) letting me lead them out until 50m and then unleash their peak power (of 1200W or so) to pass me for the win. If you beat me with this tactic having read it here first, please let me know after the race.