Pace Partner Weekly Update // WC July 11th

Bonjour mes amis!

I hope you’ve had a chance to check out the Chase Partner races this week. From what I can tell they’ve been going pretty well, with a bit of feedback on the pacing and the event descriptions.


From Tuesday to Thursday next week, to celebrate the Queen’s Stage in the Tour, we will host a number of Alpe Pacer events, which you can see here: The at Home Cycling & Running Virtual Training App

They are set up to complete the climb in 49 minutes, 59 minutes, 69 minutes, 89 minutes and 119 minutes. The pacers will run at 2/3 of their climbing pace during the lead in. Have a go and see if you can set a new PR!

In terms of route selection in Watopia moving forwards, I’ve finalised a list of 8 routes for the Pace Partners to follow. You can see these in the schedule below (missing is Triple Flat Loops). Of these routes, 2 are hilly, the other 6 are flat and will form the ongoing rotation for the Watopia riders.

The Makuri Pace Partners will remain in France for another 3 weeks.

We’re being using Dynamic pacing this week from 1-3%, rather than just 3%+ which I feel is working well and will remain in place.

In terms of Running Pace Partners, I’m not decided on routes yet as there’s been a big drop off since we moved away from the 5k Loop. I’m going to be trying a running only route this week in That’s Amore, to see if this has any impact on the numbers.

Here’s the schedule for next week:

Anquetil (4.2) - Big Foot Hills
Brevet (3.3) - Three Little Sisters
Coco (2.5) - Tick Tock
Daniela (2.15) - Watopia’s Waistband
Diego (1.8) - Flat Route
Diesel (1.5) - Volcano Flat
Dorothy (1.15) - Volcano Circuit

Bernadette (3.8) - Petit Boucle
Charlie (3.0) - Tire Bouchon
Denise (2.0) - Douce France
Eddy (1.0) - RGV

See you all next week.

I just tried a Pace Partner Chase Race

I think getting the pace partners to ride at the top of the category limit is perhaps not ideal.

In cat B with the pace partner riding at 4w/kg who is going to pull the pace partner? 90% of the people in B cat are going to have an FTP below the pace partner. In my race it seemed like the pace partner spent a good 50% of the time on the front. A few people would bravely try to pull but there was only 16 people in B cat. I tried it myself once but I can’t ride at 5w/kg for long and I sure can’t do it repeatedly for a whole 40 minute race.

Looking at the results there were only 2 people who could manage 3.9w/kg and both of them averaged less than 200w.

B. Benny (the pace partner) had the highest w/kg (4 obviously) and watts (298w).

I think maybe the pace partners need to be set at 5-10% less than the category limit otherwise it’s just the pace partners pulling with everyone else just trying to hang on.


Thanks - My rationale behind this was that by setting the pace at the top end they 1) wouldn’t get dropped and 2) most of the category should be able to draft.

I agree that knocking off the top end power to something like 3.8/9 in B could make sense.


I enjoyed my ride with Diego Disc yesterday - Sand and Sequoias seemed like a good mix of Desert flat + Titans Grove KOM. Good Z2/Z3 workout for me as a “D+” rider - did about 40km in 1hr14.

One oddity: in the second loop around, I had the turn buttons pop up somewhere leading in/out of Titans Grove… and ONE of them had the label “Pace Partner” under it.

However, it was the OTHER one (turning off route) that was highlighted by default. I quickly hit the one to keep me with Diego but wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t. (FYI: AppleTV) Maybe a visual bug/programming quirk.

Looking forward to riding with the Pace Partners in France!

Well that’s weird.

I’ve had that happen to me once before also. Looking back at my Strava it was on 11th Jan this year.
Exactly the same happened only I didn’t get to the button in time so the pace partner and most of the bunch turned left and I headed towards Titan’s Grove KOM.
This was running on MacOS.

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Did I read somewhere that the pace partners have been slowed down? Rode with Brevet last night and compared to a normal group ride at the same ave power, speed seems to be 1-2kmh slower.

Similar experience as Aoi, on B last night, as well.

Race format was great though. Missed catching C by just 2".

Suggested tweak sounds good.


No changes in pacing

I searched the forums for an answer to this question, but only found one other person who asked it:

Is there double drafting around pace partners???

When I ride with them (which is often!) I always feel like the effort required to get up to speed with the PP group if you have drifted off the front or the back is higher than it is in races or other group rides. This is particularly true on the downhills.

It is literally just a free ride but one of the riders has a set pace.

No gimmicks.

Love the Pace Partners!! I just started using the Pace Partners and really enjoy the group ride atmosphere. I currently ride around 1.5 W/kg and there always seems to be a big group. Is the plan to rotate each pace through courses and worlds? Diesel…1.5… will be in Watopia, then Richmand etc… How often do the routes change? Thank you!


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Hi Nate,

We will always have 8 Pace Partners in Watopia (from late August onwards) that will rotate through 8 courses.

We’ll also have some in other worlds but we’ll publish details about these closer to the time.

I thought there was drafting in the PP group? What do you mean it is like a free ride?

Normal drafting, not double draft.

any particular reason that dorothy is obsessed with volcano circuits, CCW or otherwise? changing direction ^= variety on such a short loop

Honestly, it’s as simple as the fact I wrote down 8 routes (for the rotation) and Volcano Circuit happened to be 7th on that list!

Sorry about that - it’ll be different for next week and won’t happen again for 8 weeks.


Would like to see a pacer at 2.5w/kg for the Islands, the range from 2.0w - 3.0w is a large jump. I believe a lot of riders would fall into the middle somewhere. When I would ride with Candace this was always a large group.

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Lots of great work by James in the PP space.

With the varying watts (based on varying body
weights), there are more opportunities to spread out the 11 Pace Partners in an even fashion

Currently at:

Eddy (1.0) - 75kg = 75 watts
Dorothy (1.15) - 75kg = 86 watts
Diesel (1.5) - 81kg = 121.5 watts
Diego (1.8 ) - 75kg = 135 watts
Denise (2.0) - 75kg = 150 watts
Daniela (2.15) - 75kg = 161 watts
Coco (2.5) - 65kg = 162.5 watts (does it round up to 163?)
Charlie (3.0) - 75kg = 225 watts
Brevet (3.3) - 81kg = 267 watts
Anquetil (4.2) - 65kg = 273 watts
Bernadette (3.8 ) - 75kg = 285 watts

It seems like there is a lot of demand for small steps in the D range, but there are some big gaps between Coco and Charlie, and Charlie and Brevet.

To better spread watts, consider (changes in Bold) - mostly 30W gaps, with some ~15W gaps for D range
This would smooth out gaps on flatlands, but would not be smooth gaps on hilly routes:

Eddy (1.0) - 75kg = 75 watts
Dorothy (1.4) - 75kg = 105 watts
Diesel (1.5) - 81kg = 121.5 watts
Diego (1.8 ) - 75kg = 135 watts
Denise (2.0) - 75kg = 150 watts

Coco (2.5) - 65kg = 162.5 watts (does it round up to 163?)
Carly (2.6) - 75kg = 195 watts - replaces Daniela
Charlie (3.0) - 75kg = 225 watts
Brevet (3.15) - 81kg = 255 watts
Anquetil (4.2) - 65kg = 273 watts
Bernadette (3.8 ) - 75kg = 285 watts

On the other hand,
It might be easier to make all the PP 75kg, so that the w/kg gaps match up with the watt gaps,
which would reduce the current cognitive dissonance.
Each step up would be about 19 watts, or 0.25 Watts/kg,
which would be a lot smoother, like well-planned cog ratios on a 14-speed cassette.

This might look like

Eddy (1.0) - 75kg = 75 watts
Emma (1.25) - 75kg = 94 watts

Diesel (1.5) - 75kg = 113 watts
Diego (1.75 ) - 75kg = 131 watts
Denise (2.0) - 75kg = 150 watts
Daniela (2.25) - 75kg = 169 watts

Carly (2.5) - 75kg = 188 watts
Cam (2.75) - 75 kg = 206 watts
Charlie (3.0) - 75kg = 225 watts - about the same

Brevet (3.25) - 75kg = 244 watts
Bernadette (3.5) - 75kg = 263 watts
Bobby (3.75 ) - 75kg = 281 watts

Axel (4) - 75 kg = 300 watts
Anquetil (4.25) - 75kg = 319 watts

You could also reasonably argue that 14 PP is too many, and would shrink the groups too much.
There are currently 11 PP (in the current test phase)
What would 11 well-spaced PP look like (0.33 W/kg steps of 25W each)?

This might look like

Eddy (1.0) - 75kg = 75 watts - about the same
Emma (1.33) - 75kg = 100 watts

Diesel (1.67) - 75kg = 125 watts - about the same
Denise (2.0) - 75kg = 150 watts - about the same
Daniela (2.33) - 75kg = 175 watts

Carly (2.67) - 75kg = 200 watts
Charlie (3.0) - 75kg = 225 watts

Brevet (3.33) - 75kg = 250 watts - similar watts
Bernadette (3.67) - 75kg = 275 watts - about the same

Axel (4.0) - 75 kg = 300 watts
Anquetil (4.33) - 75kg = 325 watts

Consistent gaps of both watts and watts/kg should reduce cognitive dissonance, and also make the next pace partner up a level reachable with a bit of practice at the previous level.


I forget. When exactly do the routes change? I cannot remember. Any answers appreciated.