University road race is one of the toughest races on the NCNCA calendar. This year, Data Driven Athlete Aria Kiani won the P12 race, and became California road race state champion.  Let’s take a look at his power file and find out what it takes to win on one of hardest courses in California.

The course

The course is made up of short, 2.6 mile circuits.  About 1.1 miles of that is a climb averaging 5.5%, with a short, hard kicker at the top of the climb. The rest of the course is a wide open descent down to the start of the climb. The P12 race was 20 laps long, with 7,000 feet of climbing.

University RR course in Santa Cruz, CA – Nate

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General race stats:

  • 2:34 race time
  • 53.6 miles
  • 313 watts (5.1 W/kg) normalized power
  • 348 watts (5.7 W/kg) normalized power for final 50 minutes of racing
  • 246 watts (4 W/kg) average power
  • 399 watts (6.5 W/kg) peak 4 minute power
  • 605 watts (9.8 W/kg) peak 1 minute power
  • 1038 watts (16.9 W/kg) peak 12 second power

Fastest Climb

Aria put up some impressive numbers on the way to his victory.  His best 4 min power, and his fastest lap up the climb didn’t come until 15 laps into the race.  He put out 6.5W/kg up the climb, putting him in the top six fastest times overall for the segment on Strava.

Aria’s peak 4m power of the race, and fastest time up the climb – Nate

Finishing Kick

Aria’s finishing kick on the uphill drag to the finish earned him his victory in the end.  In the final minute of the race, he set a season best one minute power record at 605 watts, including 12 seconds at 1038 watts!

Aria’s ability to stay relaxed for the first 1:50 of racing while still staying with the front of the field set him up for a great final 50 minutes of racing.  The fact that all of his biggest efforts came near the end of the race tell us that he is very fit, that he chose his moments wisely, and that he saved his most important match for the final sprint.

Aria’s final kick and 1 minute push to the line – Nate

Aria’s own race recap

“University road race final lap.  Aevelo’s Jason Saltzman, takes the gamble of attacking on the bell lap. Tobin Ortenblad, Sam Boardman and I form the rest of the four man breakaway and work together to reel him in by 400 meters to go.  After the final right hand turn Tobin soft pedals and the pace slows to a crawl.  I’ve been keeping a close eye on Tobin thinking he’d be the man to beat.”

“I found that as the pace slowed I felt more confident that I could put in a massive acceleration.  At 300 meters to go I went all in with an attack, well aware that if I had someone on my wheel I’d probably lose by going too early.  Luckily I had a good enough gap to throw up the victory Salute.”

1st Place: Aria Kiani, Team Mikes Bikes p/b Equator Coffee.  2nd Place: Tobin Ortenblad, Donkey Label Racing.  3rd Place: Sam Boardman, Herbalife 24 p/b Marc Pro-Natures Bakery Elite  Cycling .  4th Place: Jason Saltzman, Aevolo.  5th Place: Stephan Vogel

Sam Bassetti
Associate Coach
Data Driven Athlete

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