To your point about pedaling efficiency @Jonathan , since you didn’t get the time during the discussion to expand on it fully.
Take the Tour de France last year. Pogacar won in 87h20m05s. 10th place went to Caruso 14m03s down. That huge gap is really just 0,27% of the total riding time. And the difference to second placed Roglic? 0.019%!
Now on the other side of the argument, increasing pedaling efficiency from 22% to 23% is really a 4.5% procent relative increase in efficiency (which would translate directly to a 4.5% increase in power).
If riding time would scale linearly with watts, increasing effiency from 22% to 23% procent leads to a difference of 3h58 minutes (say 4h) over the Tour de France… That’s huge! Enough for 56th placed Neilson Powless to win the TdF in dominating fashion over Pogacar, by over one hour
In reality the difference would be less though since
- speed doesn’t scale linearly to watts (although we are talking about tiny speed differences here so the order of magnitude should be correct)
- More importantly though, the difference is only made in a few key sections rather than the whole race duration
Fun as it would be to see Powless pull that off, I’d enjoy even more seeing Nate at 90% bio-mechanical efficiency! Imagine him cruising around at IF 0.6 = 810W. One man lead out train, full gas from the start to the end of every stage Can you imagine the sponsor exposure TR would get? You guys have got to find a way to make that happen!