Nibali – 5.05 Watts per Kilo or 6.4 Watts per Kilo?

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .
Share

I was reading this article at Velonews about how Vincenzo Nibali was climbing closer to 5 watts per kilo, thus proving that he was racing the Giro clean. This was even after Danilo Di Luca, 2007 Giro winner, tested positive control for EPO, and was getting smeared by Nibali.

Here’s an excerpt from the Velonews article –

La Gazzetta didn’t cite the source of the numbers, but even at face value they provided some telling stats. The last time the Giro climbed Tre Cime, Riccardo Riccò and Di Luca were the main protagonists. Riccò, who has since been banned 12 years for illegal blood transfusions, won the stage while Di Luca cemented his grip on the pink jersey. Di Luca, after tackling three other categorized climbs, climbed the final four kilometers of the Tre Cime climb, with an average grade of 12.26 percent, in 15:30. Nibali, while racing in a snowstorm, was 2:30 slower. Using the measure of VAM (vertical meters climbed per hour), Di Luca hit 1,780 VAM in 2007 up Tre Cime, while Nibali posted 1,533 VAM up Tre Cime with 5.29 watts/kg.

Citing Nibali’s numbers on the other major climbs, La Gazzetta also estimated that he climbed the last 10km of the Montasio climb in 29:49, with 5.05 watts/kg. Those numbers were challenged by none other than Ferrari, who pegged Nibali’s power up the Montasio climb at a whopping 6.4 watts/kg.

Notice the challenge by Michele Ferrari on his website from May 20th. He says Nibali was doing 6.4 watts/kilogram. Ferrari is a proven liar, but according to just about every rider that admitted to doping and those that didn’t, he was the most sought after coach of all time in cycling. I very much doubt that he doesn’t know how to do the formula for climbing power, especially on Italian climbs.

But, why trust him. I’m pretty sure there are some pretty smart fellas out there. And I’m sure that some of you can figure this out. I probably even could, but don’t have the time to do all the research right now. Why doesn’t someone that does these sort of things, figure out the real number and post it here. That would be very interesting. Somebody has probably already done it and we just need to find it. I haven’t been using a power meter very long, but long enough to know that there is a huge difference between 5 and 6.4 watts/per kg. That would be like me riding at 350 watts, which is doable, to 450 watts, which is completely beyond any ability I’ve even dreamed of. The La Gazzetta number seems way low to me for a Grand Tour winner’s move, so both numbers are suspect.

Yesterday it was stormy here in Kansas. It cleared up right after we got the call from the Vet hospital about Bromont. So I went out for a ride. I didn’t have any specific plan. Pretty soon I was way out of town and ended up riding 83 miles. It was super muggy, so I had to stop after 50 miles and get some Gatorade. I rarely just end up riding over 4 hours when I’m not planning on it. It was super nice out, wind around 15 mph, which is calm by Kansas standards and mid 70’s. It was nice to get in some miles.

There are races in Wichita and Oklahoma City this weekend. All criteriums. Plus, the Dirty Kanza 2oo mile gravel road race is on Saturday. I have a bunch of friends coming in to ride that. I don’t have much desire for that right now in my routine, but you never know. It should be a nice day for it, in the mid 70’s and dry. It has rained a bunch out in the Flint Hills the last few days, so some of the roads could be pretty eroded or just plain muddy. Could be interesting.

Last, but not least, storms rolled through again late last night and pummeled our house with pretty huge hail. And it wasn’t for a short duration. I haven’t went out there yet this morning, but I know all the cars and house roof is toast. Man, this is getting old.

There were 1000's of these.

There were 1000’s of these.

It must be global warming.

It must be global warming.

I picked up 3 or 4 turtles today off the road.  It was a turtle slaughter by automobiles the last couple days.  Snakes too.  Whenever it rains a ton, those guys look for high, dry ground, which ends up being the road.  It isn't pretty.

I picked up 3 or 4 turtles today off the road. It was a turtle slaughter by automobiles the last couple days. Snakes too. Whenever it rains a ton, those guys look for high, dry ground, which ends up being the road. It isn’t pretty.

The lady ahead of me in line at Casey's was buying this.  She was a nurse, or at least dressed like a nurse.

The lady ahead of me in line at Casey’s was buying this. She was a nurse, or at least dressed like a nurse.

It's rained so much here that the cattle are standing in belly deep grass.  Should be a good year for cattle.

It’s rained so much here that the cattle are standing in belly deep grass. Should be a good year for cattle.

The storms were just starting up again when I got home.  Got caught in a thunderstorm walking Frankie, the weiner dog ,last night.

The storms were just starting up again when I got home. Got caught in a thunderstorm walking Frankie, the weiner dog ,last night.

15 thoughts on “Nibali – 5.05 Watts per Kilo or 6.4 Watts per Kilo?

  1. tilford97 Post author

    Here is a chart of some of the numbers- http://www.fillarifoorumi.fi/forum/showthread.php?38129-Ammattilaispy%F6r%E4ilij%F6iden-nousutietoja-%28aika-km-h-VAM-W-W-kg-etc-%29&p=2033540#post2033540

    By looking at the chart, Nibali produced some unbelievable numbers. It isn’t the 5.9 watts/kg that Jonathan Vaughters was sighting at Princeton of a number good enough to win the Tour de France now that it’s clean.

    I’m not sure why Andrew Hood at Velonews picked a low VAM number to compare to supercharged Di Luca’s 1780 number of 2007. Nibali had a 1806 VAM on one climb. That is significantly higher than the 1533 VAM up Tre Cime with 5.29 watts/kg. I guess he was just trying to compare the same climb numbers, but it doesn’t really make sense.

     
  2. TTT

    The wide discrepancy between the La Gazzetta’s and Ferrari’s numbers is very odd. I look forward to some thoughtful analysis of the calculations.

     
  3. Alex Simmons

    You can, and while steeper gradients reduce the large number of variables when estimating power, there are still a lot of variables that influence the estimate of power from climbing speed. The variables that still affect estimates include: wind, how a ride is attacked (steady state versus surges and attacks), variability in gradients, drafting if windy, road conditions and tyres, all affect the estimation of power for a given climbing time up a climb. And of course where the actual climb timing points in the same place?

    As an example, I performed this analysis on the Alpe D’Huez climb a few years ago and showed a range of W/kg depending on which way the wind was blowing on average:
    http://alex-cycle.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/ascent-rates-and-power-to-body-mass.html

     
  4. channel_zero

    VeloNews has been the UCI’s codpiece for decades. They were an enthusiastic promoter of the Armstrong myth and has protected USAC interests like ignoring selection rules to choose favored riders for decades.

    Of course they are going to use low performance numbers to sell the “cleanest peloton ever” story like they have since EPO was killing amateurs.

    What are the “real” numbers? I don’t know. Are they going slower? Yes, it seems so. Are the winners doping? Probably.

     
  5. Wildcat

    Would be great to see you in Wichita this weekend. Going to be awesome weather. The one Sunday is downtown and Riverfest will be going on all around it. It will be a cool atmosphere down there. I’m going to go early so I can find a good spot for my lawn chair. Right between the crit course and the beer trailer.

     
  6. james

    Every sporting publication in this country was buying into the armstrong myth, and velonews had absolutely nothing to do with selection rules. Simply that they didn’t present investigative journalism didn’t make them complicit. If you don’t want to believe the numbers presented by them, don’t, but at least make sure you have something more than your opinion of their journalistic integrity to present as contrary evidence before going off on a political rant.

     
  7. Ken Webb

    My first bike race was the ’73 Riverfest as a 13 yr old. I think I won a Pepsi cooler. I’m pretty sure I rode in ’75 when the race was around Central Riverside Park. That was the final year of my bike racing career, after I realized I wasn’t going to beat the Tilford brothers.

     
  8. jg

    Ha! Formerly Jim keyed on the same thing I did. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years and I don’t remember seeing any references to a dachshund. Is Frankie a member of your family? That’s another reason to like you and this blog. Dachshunds are the best!

     
  9. The Cyclist

    Di Luca for president. Of the UCI. And not to forget, in a blizzard less watts go to the cranks and more to keep the core from turning into an icicle. On a bicycle. Right.

     
  10. channel_zero

    Oh James,

    Pretending VeloNews hasn’t been complicit in the sport’s corruption and doping is a no-win situation.
    Every sporting publication in this country was buying into the armstrong myth
    The publication closest to cycling in the U.S. wouldn’t touch the *long* list of allegations and suspicions surrounding Thom Wiesel (the guy that owns USAC and owned USPS), Armstrong and Co. Oh no. Sell, sell sell.

    velonews had absolutely nothing to do with selection rules.
    Haha. Nice job trying to alter the premise. Their *reporting* on the matter, like their *reporting* on the ACA takeover went to extreme, lengths to minimize USAC’s role. Later on, when readers could comment on stories, factual comments regarding the possibility of doping were moderated away.

    opinion of their journalistic integrity
    Everyone has an opinion. It’s worth considering the possibility that VN has protected the UCI and USAC’s corruption and mismanagement for decades. Shouting me down doesn’t make your opinion any more valid.

     

Comments are closed.