US Pro Race Shape

Posted on 31. May, 2011 by in race

Confession time: my inner geek likes data.  There are many ways to try and understand what happened where and when at a race, words and photos have come into play and now, straight from the mind of Paul Mach (BISSELL), comes Race Shape. Through Garmin files, Race Shape shows how a race developed by comparing the data from multiple riders over time.

Let’s take a look at the 115-mile (185.1 km) US Pro Road Race.

The race started off with a flurry of attacks on the three short 4.18-mile circuits, until an early move which included Andrew Dahlheim (BISSELL) was off the front at the start of the first  20.8-mile loop but the chase was on, and they were caught the first time the field went up Paris Mountain.

Phil Gaimon (Kenda/5-hour energy) in break

Phil Gaimon (Kenda/5-hour energy) in break

The field splintered on the climb but many rejoined on the descent, with a few more attacks on the backstretch until a group of 6 riders were able to escape. That break which included Phil Gaimon (Kenda/5-Hour Energy). The gap went up to 2:43 by the time they started the second big loop. The eight riders stayed together for the second big loop but the pace was too much the third time up Paris and Gaimon was re-absorbed in the field on the descent.

The remnants of the break was caught the fourth time up Paris Mountain while attacks flew in the dwindling field. The selection was made at the front by the time the field crested with the final four (not represented in the graph) battling at the front for the win.  Chase Pinkham (BISSELL) covered moves in the final flurry on the climb and finished in the chase group.

2010. A very different race from the 2010 edition where Ben King, then riding for Trek-Livestrong now for Radioshack, solo’ed to the win on the same course.

Third time up Paris, Ben King (Trek-Livestrong) decided to go solo in 2010

Third time up Paris, Ben King (Trek-Livestrong) decided to go solo in 2010

A break of four was away very early on the first of the start circuits, while the field just sat back.  The break, now down to three riders, had over 14 minutes on the field when they crested Paris Mountain for the first time.  After hitting an amazing 17 minute, the gap was starting to come down on the third loop, and King just hit out solo on the climb up Paris. By the time he crested on the third loop, he had still over 9 minutes on the now chasing field.  The gap continued to decrease but King held his own.

Meanwhile, a chase group which included Max Jenkins (UnitedHealthcare) emerged from the field, the fourth time up Paris Mountain. But the 12 riders in the chase were not able to reel King in who till had almost a 2-minute lead when he crossed the line, arms up in victory.

We think that Race Shape is a good addition to race reporting. The goal is simply to understand how a race unfolded an hopefully more riders will provide their data.

Embrace the geek within you. Check out the data from the Amgen Tour of California stages.

Tags: , , ,

3 Responses to “US Pro Race Shape”

  1. Greg

    31. May, 2011

    Time gaps are nice and all, but power data is really what we all are interested in.

  2. James

    01. Jun, 2011

    Greg, I have been checking out the GPS and power data from Ted King, Ben King, and Jacob Rytlewski on I live in Greenville, so it really is pretty amazing to see what those guys can do on climbs that I ride pretty often.

  3. Paul

    01. Jun, 2011

    Cycling, at its heart, is about getting to the finish line first. Even if you matched Matt Busche’s power, it doesn’t mean you’d win.

    Race Shape is about showing were the power made a difference in the race.

    Golf is the only sport where you can truly compare yourself with the pros. Power is the best we have for cycling, but it doesn’t tell you about what happened in a specific race.