Friday, June 05, 2015

Where will Wiggo wind up?

Chart showing the progress of the UCI hour record since 1893 (click on it to view a bigger version):

The chart shows all the successful hour records recorded by the UCI. It doesn't show failed attempts.

The blue dots show the incremental increase in what is the absolute furthest distance attained.

The red dots show successful records for various categories of hour record but that did not surpass the furthest record for all categories up to that date.

For example, up until the early 1990s, the UCI had separate hour record categories for:
- amateur and professional riders
- above and below 600 metres altitude
- indoor and open air tracks

As a result, there were six categories of hour record for the period from about 1940 to the early 1990s.

And of course there have been bike/equipment regulation changes at times, most notably after Obree's and Boardman's records in the mid 1990s,

So where will Bradley Wiggins end up?

I'm pretty sure it'll be another red dot and not get close to Boardman's 1996 record and I doubt he'll beat Rominger's 1994 mark either. But he will likely beat Alex Dowsett's record (52.937km - the currently recognised record) by 1km or so.

I think anything above 54km will be very tough going. 54.5km perhaps if things go well. Closer towards 55km if everything is perfect.

Power 440-460W
CdA - who knows?

Say 0.200m^2.

Such a power range would net him around 53.5 - 54.4km at typical air density. 
On a low air density day that range would stretch to 54.5 - 55.4km. 

Weather forecast suggests low air density is unlikely although there is plenty of chat that they will raise the air temperature a lot, even up to 32C (yikes!).

So if velodrome air is heated to say 30C and air pressure is say 1020hPa, then at that power range and guessed CdA, the distance for a well paced effort will be in the 53.9 - 54.7km range.

Of course his CdA is the big unknown. Looks like he's been doing some work on it.

Drop that to 0.190m^2 and we can add about another lap (260 metres) to those estimated ranges.

Best of luck to Wiggo!