Just this week I received the lap charts from the Tsukuba race organizers and I sat down with xls and scrutinized them. Well, first of all, our Positivo NFCC team achieved a good 49th place overall out of 305 teams and we finished 29th in the Road-Men category. At some point in time we were also the third team in the 3 rider strong team classification and all six of us were very proud of this result. We did 137 laps, only 14 less than the winning team. Considering that we had two minors on board, our average speed of 34.85 km/hr over the whole race is also pretty good considering the heat as well. So, the first question I asked myself was, where would be have ended in the race, if only one of us would have gone all eight hours and shown the same performance. Here is the answer: If the rider had been
- Alain, we would have finished 28th with 140 laps
- Me, we would have finished 25th with 141 laps
- Jerome, 41st with 138 laps
- Olivier, 92nd with 132 laps
- Leonard, 211st with 117 laps and
- Augustin, 228th with 115 laps
Of course this comparison is somewhat unfair, because Alain and Jerome did much more laps than Olivier and me which dragged down their average speed. But I think it shows that Alain, Jerome and me did a good job and Olivier did well considering that this was his first race. Jeromes kid also had a good show and would have finished more than 100 laps.
Then I checked our average speed by ride or turn. The definition of a ride is a series of laps than one rider did consecutively before handing over to the next rider. Jerome, Olivier and me had four rides, whereas Alain had 5 (he had to do the long last 30 minutes when no rider change was allowed) and the kids had 3. The number of laps within these rides where completely different for each rider. Alains first ride consisted of 11 laps, whereas Olivier and me basically made 5 to 7 laps every ride.
This of course has an impact on the average speed: The more laps you do, the lower becomes your speed average. Another crucial point in endurance racing is, if you find a good group to draft with or not. But basically your average speed goes down, as we can see nicely on the above chart. Alain managed a comeback with his 5th ride, when he hang out long with the leading guys in one group. I always had in my rides good groups to go with and furthermore I always went the same number of laps, that’s why my performance is very much consistent.
Jerome is Jerome. Suddenly he gets a boost and nobody can explain why.
The same is also true for the fastest average speed in one lap during one ride. Finally I listed all average speeds per lap in chronological order.
Alain is green, Jerome is violet, me is of course orange and Olivier is blue. Now let’s see the same data in order of average speed on each lap:
Now we see a lot of green on the left side, so Alain made a lot of fast laps during the race. Jerome, Olivier and me are pretty much everywhere on the whole width. It is interesting to note that Alain is on the very left and on the very right of the chart, I guess that his forth ride consisted of a lot of slow laps, as he was not able to find a good drafting group.
Please use this data to make your own speculations and come to your own conclusions.
Despite the fact that we will probably never have a good team ready to make the podium in Tsukuba,unless we start in the RX class (Road – Mixed), I like the race there very much. It is always fun to compete there and it is also fun to talk about.