Pacing a windy TT (stage race)

Question: wondering a good pacing strategy for a 10-mile TT with 16mph HEADWIND for the first 5 miles, and then a tailwind for the second half? The course is pancake FLAT, and a simple out-n-back. I’m a CAT 2 rider, competing in a Arizona stage race this weekend.

My TT FTP is 273w, and I’m on a Canyon Speedmax CF 8 with a speedsuit all aero stuff.

If there was no wind, I would just pin it at 270-280w and hold on. What say you?

I guess my thinking overall is, follow your standard pacing and survive the headwind. Don’t risk blowing up in the first half. In the second half you’ll be flying with the tailwind, and if you feel good now is the time to push the pace 280+. If you blow up with a tailwind or in the 2nd half, the consequences are a bit lower than blowing up fighting a headwind in the first half.

I would go about 105% on the way out and whatever is left on the way back. You should always go harder in the slower portions.

Good luck at the VOS!



What @Majoeric wrote: About 105% into the wind. No less than 95% back. Don’t forget it an L shape; so 4 miles into the wind to start with 1 mile cross wind to the turnaround going south; 1 mile cross wind going north and the last 4 miles tailwind.

So for the 4 sections with 273W FTP: 286W, 273, 273 and at least 260.


For a 10 mile TT you should be aiming for an average power of 105% of your FTP - basically the same as a 20 minute FTP test. For a block headwind out you need to aim above 105% on the outbound leg such that you just manage to not blow-up before the turn and then its just trying to hold-on at or just below your FTP on the way home. In practice I would use some round numbers calculated from 107.5% +/- 2.5% on the way out and then try to hang on to 97.5% +/- 2.5% FTP on the return leg. So go with these which you may remember (assuming you are confident that your FTP is really 273):
Outward leg = 285 to 295 watts. Never exceed 300!!!
Return leg = 260 to 275 watts
But why listen to me? You should be using