When you watch professional cyclists compete, it’s hard to quantify how fast they actually ride – and how your own skills build up. In a video from the Global Cycling Network, three men with different abilities try to keep the world record pace for an hour.
It’s going just as well as you can imagine.
The three decided to set Bradley Wiggins’ hour record, which “requires an average power of 440 watts”. In Wiggins’ hour’s drive at this pace, he drove 54.5 kilometers, or about 33.9 miles. This is impressive.
“Now imagine you were climbing 655 flights at this rate,” says Wired’s article. “That’s an hour.”
How did a self-proclaimed rookie cyclist, seasoned amateur, and professional cyclist team up? The three used a Wahoo Kickr bike for testing and adjusted the resistance to make sure it produced 440 watts no matter how fast the cyclists scroll.
Well, spoiler alert, the rookie only lasted 46 seconds. The experienced amateur ran through three minutes and 50 seconds. And finally we have the professional who drove an impressive 46 minutes with 440 watts.
However, the reason for such a large difference in the numbers is difficult to determine. Along with the exercise and general skills, the crew believes that genetics, like a person’s rate of oxygen absorption and the body’s ability to use energy, could simply be higher in professionals. They also theorize heart strength and lung capacity, and psychology can take this into account. Probably all of these things together make a great cyclist a seemingly superhuman force.
“The simple fact is that most of the best athletes in the world are born, not made,” says the seasoned amateur.
Check out the attempts below – and be careful if you try this yourself.
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