My wife did a group ride. The stated pace of the ride, in W/kg, was do-able for her. She got distracted for a short time giving Ride Ons, and she also fell back a little on the climb up to the Road to Ruins. She could not catch up to the group and ended up totally dropped. However, at the end of the ride, her power output was actually slightly higher than the stated pace. The people in the group likewise did not exceed the stated pace. Is the draft effect so powerful that it could account for this?
Also, I was on a group ride where I inadvertently got way ahead of the beacon. I was slowing down, and i could see the beacon 45m behind me. The beacon (and his group) made up that distance in what seemed like 2 sec. and flew past me and dropped me. Again, was this a draft effect?