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How fast is Cippolini? How fast are we?(44 posts)

How fast is Cippolini? How fast are we?johnnyd
Mar 6, 2003 9:47 AM
The world's top road sprinters have to do a lot of things right to be there at the end duking it out for the win. But bottomline, how fast do these guys go (in mph)?

Any idea what Cippolini's top speed might have been on the finishing stretch at the world championships last year?

I don't care about wind, uphill/downhill, length of sprint etc. I want to know, given neutral conditions, about how fast do the top guys at the end (in mph).

And about how fast does a top 3 finishing sprinter in say a Cat 3 race get going over a flat finish here in the U.S.? Again, lots of factors to consider, but don't. I want to know roughly about how fast those guys get going who have been sitting in when they leave the rest of the Cat 3 field in the dust over the last 200 meters when its flat, no wind. (I know how fast the rest of the group goes, because I'm there).

And is there a big difference in the top speed of the sprinters between USCF categories. Can the Cat 4 sprinters put it down nearly as fast as the Cat 1/2's or is there a big speed difference? What about local 1/2's vs. Cipo?

I'm looking for approximates, ranges. That way next time I'm trying to talk myself into going off the front with 5 laps to go to a flat straight finish, I can tell myself "Go! they are going to bring it home around __mph and like it or not, you won't be there"
re: How fast is Cippolini? How fast are we?No_sprint
Mar 6, 2003 11:04 AM
If you had any experience racing, you'd be able to answer many of your questions yourself.

In my experience, you'll find avg. speeds relatively close between 3, 4 and 5. You'll likely find the higher cats simply being longer and maybe a 2 or 3 mph avg. difference. Downhill sprints can be up to about 40mph that I've seen. I'm no 1/2 but can venture a guess that most 4's sprints will be slower. Local 1/2 vs. Cipo? Well not many world class have much chance in a sprint against Cipo.

Take a look at the SF Grand Prix, NY, Manhattan Beach, U.S. Nats. Local pros hold up pretty good.
re: How fast is Cippolini? How fast are we?johnnyd
Mar 6, 2003 11:29 AM
Of course Cipo beats everybody. I've got that. But about how fast can he go down a flat straightaway after the leadout? is it more like ~42 mph or more like ~48? And how fast can the guys on the track go?

I know, it's cycling and all that matters is who crosses the line first. 35 mph down a flat straight feels pretty cool. I wondered how much faster it gets.
piecing together some evidenceDougSloan
Mar 6, 2003 11:22 AM
I've read that Cipo tops out around 1800 watts. According to the Analytic Cycling website ( ), that would mean about 50 mph! That doesn't seem quite right, though, as I hear about speeds around 45 mph for the top sprinters, even with a lead out.

He might make 1800 watts, but then he might fatigue before reaching top speed. Maybe if he pulled out of the draft of a truck at 50 mph, he might sustain 50 mph for a bit. Not sure.

A leadout makes a huge difference. I can hit about 36 mph alone, but a little over 40 with leadout. Same thing. You spend a whole lot of your energy accellerating, but with a leadout you conserve much more. I have observed about 1000 watts on a trainer, which according to the AC model, would be about 41 mph, which seems about right. Now, I can only make that power for a few seconds, so without a leadout, I'd never approach my highest potential top speed. I assume the same applies to the pros.

What I would speculate about the pro road sprinters, such as Cipo, is not so much their top speed being impressive, but how hard they can accellerate, and how long they can sustain high speeds. There may well be other sprinters who can go faster than Cipo, but they burn out well before the finish line.

He's a master of tactics, too. With a good leadout guy, he seems to know the exact moment to go. It's amazing to watch it. Also, don't forget that the train leading him out is probably cruising in the last kilo well faster than most of us could ever imagine, then he sprints faster still. We'd be lucky to keep them in sight.

From personal experience, I know there must be a good deal of genetics that play a role in sprinting. I can out sprint many 1's around here if I'm not all wiped out before the sprint. However, throw in some hills, or put us both out in the wind with a mile to go, and they'll clean my clock every time. And I certainly don't train specifically for sprinting, just the opposite, mostly for ultra riding. The point is, sustainable power is probably far more important than peak power.

piecing together some evidencerussw19
Mar 6, 2003 11:37 AM
A long time ago I was a Cat 2 with a pretty decent sprint. I would hit around 41-43 on flat roads at top speed. My top speed was pretty consistent, but how good my lead out was determined how long I could hold it. The irony is that if the lead out is very good, you don't have to hold it for long, you just have to get to top speed very quickly so you can accelerate away from the field. That's what Cippo is the master of. His top speed isn't any faster that many other top sprinters, but he has mind blazing acceleration. That is not only my observations, but the word round the peleton. A good flat pro level sprint tends to top out around 45 to 47 miles per hour max, with no outside factors like wind or downhill to speed them up. And most of the top sprinters are about that fast. It's Cippos ability to come out from behind Lombardi and still accelerate and the rate that he does it that sets him apart from the rest of the field. Rumor has it that in terms of pure speed, nobody in the peleton is as fast as Robbie McEwan, with riders like Zabel and Friere being very close. But once Cippo jumps, you have to not only catch him, but still get around him. If he jumps at the right time, which he is obviously good at doing, you don't stand a chance.

So that's the scoop with Cippo. As for Cat 3 riders, I suspect if you can hit 38 to 40 with no other assistance, you should win a few races. If you are a Cat 4, I suspect if you can hit 36 for 500 meters, you will do pretty well also.
note - speeds are mph, for our non-metric friends

Numbers are so confusing53T
Mar 6, 2003 12:35 PM
As Barbie once said "Math is hard"

I am a Cat 5 sprinter (the crowd goes wild) I will primes and bunch sprints in flat crits. In sprint repeats by myself I can consitantly hit 36 mph and hold it for 150m(last season). In your case 43 mph is about 19.4% higher speed, or 70% higher power, based on drag as the dominant factor increasing as the cube of velocity. Now, I've got pretty high peak power and big legs. (I am dropped on every hill as a testiment to my sprinting ability.) I've not been tested for peak power output, but its very likely 1200W+. Of course this leaves you at around 2040W. So confusing.
oversimplifing is confusingrussw19
Mar 6, 2003 5:47 PM
What is your lead out man going? How fast is the pack you are coming out of? Do you know how to draft the guy in front of you as well as the guys next to you? Are you talking maximum peak power, or long term sustainable power?

You said it yourself... you are doing 36 by yourself for 150 meters... I am talking about race day in the peloton at the bunch finish with the pack speeding towards the line and a team of riders working together for a common goal of propelling a rider to the line as fast as possible.

But that's a big factor of why Cat 5 racing is not anywhere near what Cat 2 racing is. Don't take that as an insult, it's not meant to be. But most Cat 5 races are individual riders competing against each other. Not teams competing against teams. Huge world of difference. You even eluded to the reason for the huge power discrepancy... drag... and that's what a lead out man's job is to do. Pull the sprinter thru the air, blocking as much of it as possible, leaving the sprinter rested and refreshed to do his thing. On top of that, most of the Cat 2's I know are simply faster than the Cat 5's I know, and they train harder to be there too.

oversimplifing is confusingS-U-B
Mar 6, 2003 6:23 PM
I'm a cat 5, just moved up to cat 4 and I agree with Russ. If you have the right leadout and use the riders in front of you, and you are a good sprinter like you say you are, then you should be able to reach low 40's. I have done this multiple times in Crits and Road Races. hit 43.7 in a sprint using another rider as my leadout 2 weeks ago. I do consider myself a sprinter, in 20 races I have never had another rider overtake me in a sprint. by myself I'm not sure what kind of speed I could sprint, probably mid to upper 30's, since I can hold low 30's in the saddle for a short period. Not claiming to be Sprint_Nick or anything :) just agreeing with Russ.
Numbers are so confusingVeloflash
Mar 6, 2003 11:45 PM
It is not confusing. I believe there is a measure of hyperbole here and there. Ever hear Phil Liggett say, with words to the effect, "The peloton is rolling along at about 60kph" and you see the riders on the front on the tops, using mid range cogs on the cassette and chatting.

Fact is the world record for the flying 200 metres on the track is just over 70kph (43 mph) on a specialized bike, by a specialized rider on a specialized fast surface track at altitude (Columbia). Not at the end of 180km + with 5 hours in the saddle.

Cippo has ventured on to the track in Italy and got his ass wiped by lesser riders than elite track sprinters.

On the road Cippo can just beat riders like Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) who is an ex track rider (he still dabbles). But not in sprints. He is an endurance track rider (scratch, points, madison).

Graeme Brown is another endurance track rider (a member of the Aussie world record holding pursuit team)who is winning a lot of international races through his sprinting.

Bike riders are a lot like fishermen when it comes to describing their accomplishments or they have entered the wrong wheel dimensions into their computer! :)
but peak speedDougSloan
Mar 7, 2003 8:17 AM
What is the peak speed for the flying 200? Isn't that more apples and apples, compared to what we are discussing? Also, in a finish train, with riders peeling off every few seconds, the speeds could easily be higher than a solo 200 on the track, particularly with more gears.

but peak speedVeloflash
Mar 7, 2003 12:09 PM
Sprinters can hold peak speed or maximum effort for about 6 seconds. But the difference between peak speed and average speed over 200m, according to master elite sprinter's computer downloads, is only marginal and about 1-2 kmh. Here I am talking about guys who peak at about 69kph.

Same applies with 100 metre dash exponents. They reach the expiration of their maximum effort at the 60-70 metre mark and gradually (more like imperceptively) slow.

If you are behind a derny/motor bike and that bike is travelling above your maximum sprint speed, and you put in a maximum effort, pull out and attempt to pass you will make short progress from the acceleration in the draft. But the reality is that you cannot be travelling at a speed that would require , say, 2300 watts when your maximum power is 1500 watts, and your cadence and speed will rapidly diminish.

Same applies with road sprinters who have been led out. They are fresher to achieve their maximum wattage but, unless there is wind or gradient assistance, would not be achieving speeds beyond their maximum power output.

The issue of riders peeling off every few seconds. If they were sprinters they would not be leading out so their speed could not challenge any track 200 m TT average.
are you kidding me?russw19
Mar 7, 2003 11:07 PM
Veloflash, either I am reading you wrong, or you just have some wacko ideas of how fast cyclists go.

First the top speed of the flying 200 meters is done on a single speed track bike with a solo rider not being lead out by a pack.

Is it your contention that Mario Cippolini and other top sprinters can only ride 43 miles per hour? I say you are full of poo if you think that. As for several of your notions you portray as fact... here are easy answers for why they are crap. First you state that Phil Liggett says the PELOTON (not a single rider I must note) cruises along at 60 kph while in the middle gears... how is it you think this is such bullshit? First off, these are professional riders who are way faster than anybody you have ever seen at your local post office ride. Their middle cog in a cassette is often a 53/16 combo. Pros turn over the gears at 90 to 120 rpms. At that cadence the riders are going 40+ mph. Do the math... 60 kph is only 37 mph. Not that fast by professional pack speeds.
As for Cippo getting beat on the track... he is a road rider, not a track cyclist. He is probably not used to riding a fixed gear. Or he just doesn't have the same understanding of sprint tactics on a track that he does on the road. They are different Olympic sports for a reason, they are not the same thing. Now, Eddy Merckx's 1972 Hour Record was 49.431 kilometers. That's almost 31 miles per hour by himself for a full hour. That is from a dead stop start to the point he was at on the track when the hour elapsed. What do you think his max speed was? It MUST have been more than 31 miles per hour just by simple deduction. And he wasn't ever sprinting on the attempt. Chris Boardman's current record is just shy of 35 miles for the hour. He must have hit 36 mph (a feat you seem to question in your post) at some point in the ride, and still he was never sprinting on the attempt.
Yet the most fascinating number you throw out is that of the 200 meter flying start record. Again this is not coming from a pack, not allowing for the winding up in one gear only to drop it to a higher gear and having a massive lead out to pull you to your 100 meter sprinting point. Now the flying 200 meters a rider is only timed for 200 meters, but usually starts 65 meters before the time starts, right? And by themselves they still hit speeds of 43+ mph (Marty Nothstein has the record at 44.65 mph and that's with no lead out)
You can try to put any spin on this you like to drop down the numbers, but I guarantee you that the numbers in my first post on this issue are real figures and very accurate, not fish tales to make me or Mario Cippolini, or any other sprinter for that matter look any faster than they already are.

Sorry, but your theory for them not going as fast as myself or Phil Liggett claims is a bunch of crap. You are trying to compare two totally different disciplines in a sport that are not any more related than the fact that the guys are on bikes and turning over the pedals. That's about where the similarities end. Stop trying to make the argument something it's not, and leave it as what it is, fast riders doing what they are paid absolute millions to do.
cuz Liggett exagerates. Known fact. Take a chill pill, Russ! nmshirt
Mar 7, 2003 11:25 PM
maybe so, but did you read the posts Shirt?russw19
Mar 7, 2003 11:44 PM
I am not basing my arguement on Phil Liggett's statements, but I am certainly not going to believe that sprinters are only capable of 43 miles an hour because of a Liggett statement either. That's what separates my point from his.

Nope. Semi-functional illiterate. Don't have the energy. nmshirt
Mar 9, 2003 4:12 PM
I read your posts53T
Mar 11, 2003 6:50 AM
and they are chock full of distractions, and a few math errors. I know full well that Cat 2s are gods and that my ability to do physics problems is hampered by my lack of training hours, however I still disagree.

When you are drafting you will undoubtedly be using less watts to achieve a certain high speed. But who are you drafting? Your lead out man is only human. If I can draft him at 42 mph, he must be in the wind at 42 mph. That is a lot of Watts. Say I have a train of 3 in front of me, like you Cat 2s dream of. Let's say each guy has some big peak power left in his legs at the end of a race. Each one can hold 40 mph for what? 6 seconds? That means I get to draft at 40 mph for 18 seconds. Now I have to sprint it alone for what? 150 meters if I am very lucky. That's about 7.6 seconds (can a Div. III pro please check my math?). What magic trick do I rely on to go 40 to 42 mph for 7.6 seconds? Inertia from coming around the last leadout man? Of course not, I have to produce many many Watts to hold 42 mph on the flat with no wind. How many Watts? Too many! This is not an oversimplification, indeed I believe you explanation is an overcomplication. Overcomplication is where the mystique of athletic performance resides, and where the BS gets deep.
Hey, I can read this! And I agree! (nm)shirt
Mar 11, 2003 8:50 AM
are you kidding me?Veloflash
Mar 8, 2003 7:51 AM
Not kidding.

Phil Ligggett exaggerates. Cyclists tend to exaggerate. You exaggerate (53/16 at 100 rpm gives a speed of about 25 mph, 120 rpm 30 mph, not 40+ mph).

Cippo does ride the track and trains on the track. Europeans are brought up on fixed gear riding for the road.

Track sprint tactics are not rocket science.

Eddy Merckx. You lose about 3 - 5 seconds on your start up lap in a pursuit. So, if he was riding a consistent speed, his highest speed would have been sufficient to recover (say) 3 seconds over 3600 seconds.

However, we know Merckx did the first kilo in 1'10" as he was also in pursuit of records at 10km and 20 km, His last two kilos were in 1'13" and 1'12". But what has this to do with sprint speeds?

What has Chris Boardman's average speed or highest speed in his hour record attempt got to do with max sprinting speed?

On a track you get the not so insignificant assistance of coming off a high banking (on a 250m Olympic track) at turn 4 at about double your claimed distance of 65m.

You say your figures are real figures and very accurate. Can you refer us to your authorities?
I second that: tactics beat strengthJames Curry
Mar 11, 2003 7:56 AM
I have seen Cipo's team SHUT DOWN the leadout because someone was on the train that was a threat, and Cipo had to cover 500-600 meters alone, instead of 200-300 lead out by teammates...but he still won. I beleive that is what happened in the worlds last year. No Doubt they were travelling slower in the 500m than they would have in the 200m distance. Cipo AND HIS TEAM know his strengths and capacites and can instantaneously adapt their strategy to foster the win.

Marty Nothstein has tactics. He gets out front on the kirin [SP?] and just doesn't let anyone pass him once he's made 40 mph, and no one can! The best way to beat someone like Marty is to box him out and NOT let him use what he's got! That's tactic, not numbers.
from the (race) horse's mouth:DougSloan
Mar 10, 2003 3:52 PM
"It was a high speed sprint, the kind I like most," said the Italian, who reached speeds of about 70 kilometres per hour (43.4 mph) in the closing metres.

"At high speed, it was impossible for McEwen to come from behind and beat me, as it happened in Strasbourg," he said.


"That scene in the classic bike movie Breaking Away--where the young rider drafts behind the Cinzano truck at 60-mph--may seem a bit far-fetched, but is it really? The great woman racer Laura Charameda once told me about seeing Mario Cipollini chase and catch a truck going 45-mph (meaning he had to be going faster than the truck to bridge up to it). How did Laura know the truck was going 45? Simple: she was drafting behind it at the time."
from the (race) horse's mouth:Veloflash
Mar 11, 2003 1:55 PM
Reached speeds of "about 70 kilomeres per hour". So what is "about"? Sounds very imprecise to me and not relying on some evidence (like downloading a bike computer data)

At "about 70 kilometres per hour" Mario was confident McEwan could not come around him. Yet during the TdF McEwan was claiming in an interview that finish speeds he was achieving were in the order of 75kmh.

In relation to the drafting of a truck at 45mph, read the paragraph before and I quote from it -

"Reports said that at times the group was pacelining at 80-kph. That's just a hair under 50-mph! On a level road. In a cross wind."

Mario should be contracting these guys to be part of his lead out and TTT team!

Just more instances that underscore cycling exaggeration when it comes to speed.

The fact is you can only go faster than the speed you can generate from maximum watts on the flats hitting undisturbed air if you are going downhill or there is a tailwind.
more infoDougSloan
Mar 11, 2003 2:58 PM
One of the strongest masters crit racers on the west coast, Chris Black (team mate) said he recorded a max speed of 39 mph in a field sprint in a crit, where he got 10th (sprinted too soon, apparently). Average speed for the crit was 27.5.

Just another bit of data.

more inforussw19
Mar 12, 2003 6:38 PM
I checked some numbers.. first it has been reported that Cippolini can maintain 1940 watts for 4 seconds at the end of a race. Good god those are some huge numbers, but maybe that's why he is as good as he is. And those figures put him well within the sprint speeds I claim he achieves. So the only way to discount this is if Veloflash and 53T both claim these numbers are impossible soley because they can not achieve them. Don't worry, I can't either or else I would still be in Europe getting paid to race instead of being back in the states in college.
Now 4 seconds, that doesn't seem like much does it? Well, if he really hits 70 kph, that 19.44 m/s or 75 meters. That's well within the normal sprint distance of pro races.
53T in this thread talks about holding 42 mph for 150 meters, and claims it to be too difficult. He's right, top sprinters don't jump that far out if they can avoid it. And if you are Cippo, your max power can be held for 4 seconds. After that, your power drops, makes sense then and holds to my earlier statement that Cippo isn't the fastest in the peloton, but accelerates better than anyone else. If he opened a gap on you in that 75 meters, you won't catch him. If you can sprint for say 6 seconds, all he has to do is sit behind you for your first 2 seconds then come around you. He has the power to do so. Watch some old Tour tapes, you will see the action get really fast at about 200 meters and the real sprint start at 75 meters out, sometimes as late as 65 meters to the line.

Now in the same post, 53T also makes a point of saying that a leadout of 3 guys in front of him is a dream come true for Cat 2's. Yep, it is, but that's a nightmare for a pro. If you only have 3 guys to pull you to the line, you need to get onto the wheel of a rider with more guys. When Saeco or Telekom or Ag2r or Lotto or C/A commit to a field sprint, they commit the entire team to the sprint. If you are in the pack, you better be doing your pull to the line inside the last 1000 meters. Now, the leadout doesn't have to be going 70kms, but lets say 60kms on a flat run to the line. If every guy on your team is pulling for 4 seconds, that's 8 guys at 4 seconds each... 32 seconds to the line, factor in the sprinter doing the last 5 seconds alone. 4 seconds at peak power, 1 second to raise his hands as he coasts to the line. Now we're at 37 seconds. Let's say for the sake of arguement that the 8 guys can all pull 4 seconds at 60kph and the sprinter hits a max of 70 kps for the last 5 seconds, give or take a tenth of a second as he slows down from raising his arms to coast. 32 seconds at 60 kph is 16.67 m/s for 32 seconds = 533 meters plus the 5 seconds of the sprinter at 70 kph (19.44 m/s) equals just about 625 meters that the team is working at absolute full speed, max effort. Not at all unreasonable and in most given Tour field sprints in the early stages there are 5 teams competing for the final sprint. Sure would make for some fast times in the final 3 kilometers of a professional race, huh? And mind you we are talking about professionals, not amatures like me and you.

I can't kick a football 60 yards thru the uprights, but does that mean it's impossible? Point is, there are a lot of things the pros can do that you and I can not, but that doesn't make them impossible, or fish stories.

I'm declaring victory53T
Mar 13, 2003 7:07 AM
I've convinced you that the pros don't go 45 to 47 mph, but rather they go 70 kph with an 8 man leadout, when they win. It might not sound like much, but the power difference between 70 kph and 45 mph is 23%, it's a 40% increase to get to 47 mph.

I congratulate your use of actual math in lieu of sports mythology. You'll make it out of college after all.

BTW, I have kicked a football through the uprights from the 50 (60 yards to the posts).
a questionDougSloan
Mar 13, 2003 7:30 AM
How much power, in watts, do you believe the top pro road sprinters make?

About 22 watts/kg <nm>Veloflash
Mar 13, 2003 9:11 AM
ok, so what's he weigh? <nm>DougSloan
Mar 13, 2003 9:40 AM
Don't know ... but here is a tidbitVeloflash
Mar 14, 2003 9:59 PM
Like all cycling "facts" this is hearsay

Someone who saw the SRM readout told someone who told someone ...

If it is fact, Sean Eadie weighs 97kgs so that equates to nearly 25 watts per kg.

He is the 2002 track world sprint champion but I noted the speeds in the heats, semis and finals in Denmark (enclosed track) ranged from 63kmh to 68kmh when these guys would blow away any road sprinter.

If Mario generates an unconfirmed 1940 watts and Eadie generates a hearsay 2400 watts and weight is not a restriction on flat speed (just the size of the hole you are punching in the air) who do you think would win a shoulder to shoulder sprint? Silly question :)
who would win?DougSloan
Mar 17, 2003 7:12 AM
I suppose the question is whether Eadie would even BE in the sprint, or whether he could make 2400 watts at the end of a 120 mile road race stage. He might get dropped on the first hill.

Not the issueVeloflash
Mar 17, 2003 9:58 AM
The original post asked the question about how fast is Cippo and how fast are we lower mortals. Then he followed up with how fast are track riders.

It is not at issue whether Northstein or Eadie should be considered as they would be dropped on the first hill.

We do know that track sprinters are timed, road sprinters are not. We also know that there are a number of successful road stage sprinters who came from the track but with only an endurance not a sprinting background. Cippo just beats these riders in a sprint (ie O'Grady).

So it is absurd to accept that Cippo is producing maximum speeds that would have him humiliating the best track sprinters in the world (who are rumoured to put out 25% more power than him and ride in a more aerodynamic position).
Response to the hypothesisVeloflash
Mar 13, 2003 9:37 AM
Your problem developed from your first post when you said -

"I would hit around 41-43 on flat roads at top speed"

"A good flat pro level sprint tends to top out around 45 to 47 miles per hour max, with no outside factors like wind or downhill to speed them up"

Your post was headed with the word "evidence" which is supposed to be proof of a fact.

In all your ramblings I have yet to see any evidence only the presentation of a theory based on a "what if" Mario could achieve 70kph (which coincidentally is near the top speed you claim you achieve on a flat road in a sprint).

You appear to be attempting to present unsound data without any basis in fact to authenticate your initial claims about your sprinting prowess.

Why not come clean and admit/confess you were telling a fish story? :)
Pro1/2 Crit in Delandy2kc0wb0y
Mar 14, 2003 5:14 PM
Tell you what boys. I will see Marty N. this weekend in Deland Florida and personally ask him to defuse this
situation for us. I will ask him what kind of speed he thinks he can hit now that he is riding road and how he think he would do against the likes of Cipo.

Personally, I hate to sprint but my brother loves my lead outs. Either way the only speed that is important is the speed that gets first. 30mph or 47mph.. Finally, I like the fish theory.
more complex, thoughDougSloan
Mar 17, 2003 7:16 AM
I think is you put Marty and Cipo 1/4 mile from the finish and said go for it side by side, Marty would easily win. However, make it stage 10 of the Tour, after surviving several hills and breaks, then a 35 mph train for the last few miles, and see what happens. I have a suspicion that Marty's explosive power comes at the expense of less endurance.

Mar 17, 2003 9:46 AM
Cipo won Milan-San Remo at 78kph - 48mph. Crazy.
you're missing the point53T
Mar 18, 2003 12:47 PM
The point of all this physics chatter is that reports of Cippo doing 48 mph on the flat are BS. You should re-read this string of posts from the beginning.
no, you're missing the pointB123
Mar 19, 2003 4:47 PM
The post didn't mention anything about solo. That is Cipo's max on flat ground with a leadout. I was just giving a number...loosen up before you blow an o-ring.
I can't believe what I'm reading53T
Mar 20, 2003 11:59 AM
Is that what you learned from this thread? That solo riders are governed by physics and riders with a leadout are exempt? I don't think you are dense, you just haven't read the entire thread carefully.

"I was just giving a number"

That's the root of this entire discussion, just giving a number that defies reason.

I will sumarize the basis of my thesis: There are only two ways to go 48 mph on a flat windless sprint. You do it alone, or your leadout man is doing 48. Both scenerios are unrealistic.
not the sameDougSloan
Mar 20, 2003 2:46 PM
Working up to 48 mph on your own might well be impossible, given the power output and length of time any one rider can make.

However, let's say you have 6 riders, all very powerful. The first tows the rest up to 40 mph, then blows and pulls off. Keep in mind that drafting closely saves about 30% or so power. The next gives a 4 second burst, and takes the group to 42 mph, then blows, etc.

Any one rider might be capable of maybe 1800 watts, but can only make that for 4 seconds; he won't be able to reach 48 mph alone, because he can't sustain the peak power long enough to get past 42, maybe. However, if each conserves energy in the draft, then bursts for his limit, accellerating a little, higher speeds are possible. I would think anyone who has done a number of field sprints would recognize this; getting up to 48 mph is doing it at the highest level and perfectly, that's all.

I must insist...53T
Mar 20, 2003 6:04 PM
that this is nonsence. When the lead rider pulls off at 40 mph (damn strong rider he is) the wind hits me immediatly, that's t+0.1 seconds. To maintain 40 my power output rises very fast. I'm at max power at t+0.4 sec. For the sake of illustration, my frontal area is the same as my leadout man's. He needed 1600 W to hold 40 mph, so I am now I'm at 1600W. When do I have time to accelerate??? How do I get to 42 mph? Just wind it up to 1800W? Never mind the power required to hold 42 mph, there is extra power required to accelearte (F=ma). I'm just not going to get to 42 mph. I can wonder about it for about 5 more seconds before my power drops fast back to 800W. The guy behind me is just not going to get to 44 mph.

I have done many field sprints, and won my share. Some were won because I held my rate of power decrease at a lower value than the other 3 guys in the last 40m. Others were won because I jumped first and they waited 1 second too long. I won one because my teammate came to the front with 800 to go and just psychologically paralyzed the field (Jedi mind trick).
So, is the model at analytic cycling all wrong?DougSloan
Mar 21, 2003 7:28 AM model of "speed, given power" at 1800 watts on flat ground shows 50 mph. Now, we all know no one can hit 50 mph (22.4 m/s) alone, because they blow up long before they reach that speed. But, if you come out of a draft, you have conserved energy, and are more likely to use your brief peak power to accellerate to a higher speed.

If the wattage assumption is all wrong, or the website model is all wrong, then what should the numbers be?
So, is the model at analytic cycling all wrong?Veloflash
Mar 23, 2003 10:41 AM
It is only theoretically as accurate as the input data.

I have used another site which works on the same principle. It calculated Chris Boardman's world hour record inputting the known data about his record attempt to be an average of 53kmh and not 57kmh. That is a huge difference.

I have also inputted data and requested the power to achieve a certain speed. When the result was computed I requested the model to provide the speed which would be obtained at this resultant power. Totally different result and materially different.

One factor that has a marked effect on power and speed for road sprinters is the aerodynamic position. Out of the saddle and rocking the bike may provide the optimum power but wind resistance and drag skyrocket. Watts, frontal area, wind resistance and drag is what sprinting is all about.

Miguel Indurain was once asked who he admired most in the peloton. He said the sprinters because he could not understand how they could physically unleash the power to sprint at the end of a long stage.

What some of the posters on this forum are suggestng is that extremely fatigued riders who have to be sufficently aerobic to make the 1km balloon can unleash such anaerobic power in an inefficient aerodynamic position so as to be faster than fresh totally anaerobically trained track riders.
Can't argue with the radar gunB123
Mar 21, 2003 5:13 PM
Can't argue with the radar gunVeloflash
Mar 23, 2003 11:09 AM
But persons in alleged violation of speeding laws have been successful in arguing against radar gun speeds.

Rain, temperature, wind, movement of trees, the presence of other objects, etc. have been successfully argued.

To be as accurate as possible the gun must be line of sight directly in front or behind the subject object to avoid parallax error.

Have you ever seen a person with a radar gun standing in the middle of the road just beyond the finish?
errors result in slow indicated speedsDougSloan
Mar 23, 2003 6:32 PM
Radar errors, unless a different object than the target is "caught," almost always result in too slow a speed being displayed, not too fast. FWIW.