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John Korioth on Drafting Lance – Tour de Gruene TTT

November 7, 2008

Mere mortals like me can only wonder and relate to John Korioth in just succeeding to draft behind a POWERFUL animal like Lance.  To quote John, “This was probably the hardest thing I have ever done on a bike.”

From a Training Peaks Interview with John Korioth

John Korioth Shares His Thoughts (and SRM file) About Racing with Lance at the Tour de Gruene

4 November 2008

Lance Armstrong teamed up this past Sunday with John Korioth to race the Tour de Gruene two-man team time trial event. John describes his experience as “probably the hardest thing I have ever done on a bike.” The pain paid off as the pair won their division with a time of 56:37 on the 27.3 mile course, which was 2:34 faster than the second place team of David Wenger and Steven Wheeler.

John and Lance both raced with an SRM powermeter and John has provided TrainingPeaks with his race file which can be seen and downloaded here.

gruene TTT Korioth

John averaged 340watts and had a normalized power reading of 357watts, which makes you wonder how many watts Lance was pushing given that John rode the majority of the race in Lance’s slipstream. John reflects on his experience racing with Lance in a short interview with TrainingPeaks.

TP-How did you feel during the TT?
JK- This was probably the hardest thing I have ever done on a bike. Its tough to say I felt good with my HR so high all the time (well above my Lactate Threshold 168hr). I would have thought I would have been able to get some recovery sitting on Lance’s wheel as I do on my road bike when riding behind him. However, once he is fully aero (TT Suit, and helmet) it is very tough to get a good draft off of him and then be able to get any recovery. As you can tell from the file, I think only once during the race did my HR ever get back down below 170 and that wasn’t for long before it was back up to 178.

TP-Did the race go as planned?
JK- I thought I would have been able to help a little more and make some stronger pulls. When I was called through I was so redlined I tried to go easier just to get some recovery. Lance and I knew one of the keys was going to be communication and with those Aero helmets it is tough to hear so there was a lot of shouting at each other. If you would have heard me you would have thought I was mad at him but that was not the case. I was just trying to tell him to take it easy up the hills and into some turns so he wouldn’t gap me off.

TP- How much did you pull versus Lance?
JK- I would probably say Lance pulled 75% off the time. I think he could have won all by himself if he wanted to. He is just that strong. He also just has the ability to make the bike go fast. He can get it up on a flat road to 31mph and just hold it there. Its tough to stick behind that for a long time.

TP- Did you specifically train for this race? You had a great race.
JK- I did train for it, but not like Masters Nationals (John is the current USAC 40-44 National Road race Champion). This wasn’t even on my schedule until about 3 weeks prior. So I had to go get dust off the TT bike and make some adjustments and do what I could. My coach Dave Wenger (who was part of the second place team) from Source Endurance did the best he could but I think it could have been better with more time and some motor pacing.

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