BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — When Timmy Duggan rolled across the finish line of the 2012 USA Cycling Professional National Championship road race alone, arms raised on Monday, he left his competitors scrambling for podium scraps. Duggan pulled off a victory in Greenville, South Carolina, that had been years in the making. It was also one that took a hefty few months of racing and training to reach the fitness needed to perform.
The power file from his SRM power meter substantiated this fitness level on race day. The cumulative season’s data had him starting the day with a CTL of 154 TSS/d, an ATL of 115 TSS/d, and a positive TSB of 39. The file can be viewed in TrainingPeaks File Viewer.
What does it take to win a national championship? From the file, it’s clear the racing started in earnest almost as soon as the gun went off. During the time when the initial, 28-rider selection was being made in the opening lap, the 60kg Duggan had a 27-minute segment at 337 Watts (5.6 W/Kg). Once this split was established the race hit the first of four ascents up Paris Mountain. Duggan had a relatively easy time during these laps with the first three climbs registering around 305 W (5 W/kg) with the remainder of the lap around 225 W Normalized Power.
Heading into the final ascent of Paris Mountain, Duggan had accumulated 2600 kilojoules of work and a Training Stress Score of 255.
Paris Mountain, by the numbers
Lap # | Paris Mountain (NP) | Remainder of Lap (NP)
1 | 310 W (5.1 W/kg) | 239
2 | 304 W (5 W/kg) | 226
3 | 328 W (5.4 W/kg) | 233
4 | 387 W (6.4 W/kg) | –
The final ascent of Paris Mountain saw a true fireworks display by the nation’s top racers. Duggan was caught out when Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) attacked low on the climb, but chased hard to make contact on the descent. Duggan was in full flight during this display of power and managed a personal record of 387 W NP for 10 minutes (6.4 W/kg). This effort was exactly what it took to make the final selection of five as the race re-entered Greenville.
From this point on, the power numbers took a backseat and tactics became the name of the game. Duggan had the savvy and experience to know the time to attack was coming and when the opportunity presented itself he took it. A surge and two minutes at 365 W (6 W/kg) helped Duggan establish a roughly 20-second gap over his four breakaway companions. He then proceeded to execute an excellent time trial effort for 27 minutes at 313 W (5.2 W/kg).
As has been the case for several years, the final ascent of Paris Mountain proved to be the pivotal moment of the race. While many of the efforts shown in Duggan’s file are routine for WorldTour-level riders, the push to make the final selection proved to be something special for the new national champ. That effort put Duggan in an elite group of riders that did not intimidate him. From that point on, it was a confident, well-executed, and well-timed “day at the office” that helped Duggan earn his first professional national championship.
Editor’s Note: Jon Tarkington is a senior coach at FasCat Coaching and Performance Cycling Center in Boulder, Colorado. For questions or comments please email firstname.lastname@example.org.