The freshly crowned under-23 road race champion of Australia, Chris Hamilton, is relishing the opportunity to ride with Team UniSA-Australia against the best teams in the world. In Sunday evening’s People’s Choice Classic circuit race, he broke clear of the bunch for an impressive eight minute period, showing everyone why Team UniSA were quick to select him for their Tour Down Under squad. RIDE contributor Mark Fenner is Hamilton’s coach and co-founder of coaching program Today’s Plan. He explains Hamilton’s efforts using data lifted from the 62-minute race.
‘The Hurricane’ Chris Hamilton showed his versatility in the People’s Choice Classic, the criterium which serves as a prelude to the Tour Down Under. During the race, Chris road a lone breakaway that lasted nearly 8 minutes. By using the unique analytical tools of Today’s Plan, we can delve deep into the actual demands of the race in incredible detail.
By using the new Ride Graph, power and heart rate can clearly be seen and traced for the full race. In this first graph the breakaway segment has been highlighted to show the breakdown of data for the segment.
The start of the People’s Choice Classic was fast from the gun with Team Astana hitting the front with 3 riders. Teams were caught a little off guard and the initial graph shows a large spread of power. Chris had to work hard as he tried to move up and maintain a good position within the fast moving peloton.
The 3D graph below shows the first 5 minutes of the race (shown by the first row of red columns) and the power was quite evenly distributed between 200 – 500+ watts. The spread of power is actually a little tighter in distribution than in a more technical criterium where you would expect to see higher spikes in power when sprinting out of corners. This is due to the more flowing nature of this type of course. This is also reflected in the relatively low Variability of 1.18 (‘Variability’ is a scale that reflects the variability in power range), which is quite low for a criterium and reflects the fact that Chris was in a breakaway and also the constant high speed of the race. Team UniSA had a plan to make sure riders covered every move and Lucas Hamilton, Sean Lake and Anthony Giacoppo were all seen in early moves.
In 3D graph below, we see that the Hurricane struck around the 25-minute mark. His initial attack can be clearly seen in the graph when some of the early layers of data have been removed. The attack was a sustained effort of nearly 30-seconds with a max power of 984-watts and an average power of 473-watts. This effort and the initial segment of the breakaway can be seen more easily when we strip away some of the ride data and expose the actual effort in the 3D graph.
The next graph shows the continued effort as Chris maintained the lead and focused on winning the intermediate sprint. With an average speed for the breakaway of close to 50km/h this was a max effort for Chris and his heart rate averaged 203-bpm a new HR max was also achieved during the effort. You can see in this second graph that the effort was starting to take its toll, as the power has shifted slightly to the left and although still very impressive around the 380 – 400 watts range on average it is slightly lower than the initial 5 mins in the breakaway effort. (It is worth noting that Chris is a climber who weighs 59 kg’s, so, this is a very impressive effort.)
The overall numbers for the race and the breakdown of the peak powers for different time durations can be seen below. Chris was close to his PB number for his 5-minute effort but considering these peak values were all created on climbs, these numbers from the criterium are incredibly impressive.
So there you have it, when the Hurricane strikes it is clear to see that even on a flat and fast criterium course he is a force to be reckoned with!
We will continue to bring daily race analytics from the UniSA team throughout the week, so, stay tuned to learn more about what it takes to race at a WorldTour level.
– By Mark Fenner