Cheating to get a bigger FTP number

I recently set a time up Alpe d’huez on the “official chrono course” (14k) of 1h12min, I believe you can use an Alpe d’huez time as a semi-reliable way to calculate your ftp (i don’t have a power meter) and am interested in what it comes out as.

I know my ftp indoors (296w measured on a tacx neo in the 20 min test) but I am curious as to the Alpe d’huez number as I’m pretty sure it will be larger.

As an academic exercise I’m curious if I can add a bit more onto the result as I have a number of excuses (see below) that would make this number lower than my theoretical best. Does anyone have a reasonable estimate on my “best case” sea level ftp on a cool day based on the above time factoring in my excuse list

  • I live at sea level and had only been in the mountains for 4 days, having done 3 large climbs before this one.
  • It was 30C, I live in the UK where it is always cold and wet
  • I did zero warm-up and started the climb straight from the car park after a 3 hour drive
  • I paced the climb poorly as I thought the end was at 12k, not 14, also carried on up to the end of the road at 18k so there must have been something (not much) left in the tank.

I’m not really interested in mechanical savings (oversized pulley wheels.etc) the bike was in good order with a clean waxed chain and appropriate gears using gp4000 25c tyres with latex tubes so there was nothing major holding me back. Nutrition was also pretty good with a 70/30 dextrose/fructose mix in each bottle in the max amount I could stomach as talked about in the podcast.

My weight 96.5kg, bike weight inc bottles (2l consumed on climb) and saddle bag.etc approx 10.5kg, total weight 107kg.

I’m not planning to use this number for anything, I’m simply interested.

For the record, I’m aware that I’m much too heavy for cycling and that my time is mediocre at best.

I’m guessing at around 310-315 Watts


This calculator is good to play around with, so I’d recommend putting in your data here.

Not true! No one is too heavy to be a cyclist. Alpe d’huez is an awesome climb and glad you got to experience it :+1:

I’d say there are too many variables plus if you didn’t pace it right then it may not be a true reflection of ftp. I rode Alpe D’Huez for the first time a couple of years ago. I wanted to set a good time but went far too hard in the first quarter and really paid for it. Suffered like a dog to the top. Once you go into the red there’s no going back. FTP at the time was around 260 watts. Average for the climb was 230.

Incidentally I vowed to ride it at tempo/sweetspot if I ever rode it again. I got the chance this year and stuck to my word. Averaged 237 watts and never went into threshold heart rate zone. I was 6 minutes slower though! Granted, I’m about 2kg heavier now than two years ago but the watts per kg for both attempts are very similar, so equipment and the weather must have been a factor.

Forgot to add that at 96kg, that’s a pretty darn good time! :+1: