Watts of Power in Cycling: Who Are Those Who Generate More Watts?

After the photograph that I teach in the social network Facebook of the uncle of the harness, in which prominent German cyclist André Greipellegs we saw yesterday, we also anticipate in a comment that, according to the gossip and comments within the cycling peloton, Greipel is the more Watts of power can be generated in a sprint. Therefore, we are going to explain this concept, so that everyone can have as clear as possible what we are talking about.

First, the laws of physics tell us that the Watt or watt is the power of the international system of units unit, and its symbol is W. It is the equivalent to 1 joule per second (1 j/s) and is one of the derived units.

Once passed the strictly technical matter, we are going to the mess that we are interested in, which is not other than the use of Watts in cycling as a method of measuring the power carried by runners in his pedaling. As a curiosity, tell you that this Watts is a capital issue in the team Sky, where a new form of understanding the cycling, has led to account for every effort and every parameter in the development of the cyclists pedaling.

Training with a power meter, which offers data in Watts, allows the rider to know the amount of Watts that the rider applied on the pedals at all times, which is a great help to control and plan your training. This developed power is the sample of the actual work done by the person regardless of external circumstances: slope of road, wind in favour or against, aerodynamic…

Sprint of the 2011 Tour de Greipel and Cavendish, generating ‘evil beasts’ Watt

Certainly, that these power meters represent a breakthrough to train exactly the necessary intensity at each time. Here, we have to point out the difference between two very important concepts such as the absolute power, and the relative potency; that effectively come marked by the weight of the cyclist himself. Thus, a rider to call to, you have an absolute power of 320 Watts in the anaerobic threshold and weighs 78 kg. Therefore, its relative potency will be 4, 1w/kg. On the other hand, have the Rider B, but much smaller, 270 Watts, has an absolute power as only weighs 62 kg, its relative power is 4, 35w/kg; and when the road chop up it will have no problem in leaving the cyclist A nailing. Thus, there are much more slope, more difference there will be between the two.

However, if we talk about performance in flat terrain, it is normal that the cyclist to be able to roll faster than B, that you go well attached to the bike, since the performance in this area basically depends on the absolute power and aerodynamic resistance.

Having explained this, which I hope not I reached bored, let’s what we like the most, the ‘chicha’ of data; Although the teams and cyclists own jealous offer them officially, some slip.

As a first example, I can tell you that professional cyclists generally manage to maintain an average of 375-420 Watt power in one hour cycling.

The record of Watts in one hour of effort Miguel Indurain (far as we know) has it: with nothing more and nothing less than 510 Watts on average, during his hour record of 1994, an average of 53 Km/h.

The great Miguel Indurain in the hour record where generated 510 Watts average

Greipel seems to be the rider of today that more Watts of power absolute is able to move. Their figures are around 1900 Watts of power. There is nothing…

Cavendish, his great rival in the sprint discipline, moves in a ratio around the 1600 Watts of power.

Cipollini, the great Mario was able to get their cranks a power of 1,800 watts of power.

Another of the great sprinters, the Belgian Tom Boonen, moves around the 1,800 watts of power.

What doubt is that in a sprint, come into play several factors, not only the own power in Watts, making it the boldness, courage, cunning, or know squeeze at the right time efforts, are also basic part of this issue; because if everything were Watts, it would be more boring… and as very rightly said the former cyclist Paolo Bettini: “not only cycling is Watt and power, but imagination”. We are left with your phrase Paolo, no doubt!