I think I am not really good at conveying what I mean by posting these charts or the Bicycling article.
I, of course, have no idea where the physical limitations of W/kg for an FTP or a 5 min max lie. I don’t even know where my own physical limitations are and I have definitely studied myself better than I have Van der Poel or Tadej.
This thread is meant to be for speculation, so I am writing what I am speculating.
I just take these charts and statements (6.2W/kg is the upper limit of natural human capability) as indications, not as evidence! The people that have made them definitely know more about it than I do, but don’t know everything either.
As for Coggan, my understanding is that the top power-to-weight levels shown are just (pretty much) the best recorded power for cyclists as of the time of creating this. So the best 5s from a world class sprinter, best 1&5 min from a Classics Champion and best 20 min from a world class climber.
I have used them more to put into context how incredible the power numbers of Matt and Pogi are, even in the context of world class athletes.
They don’t prove nothing, but that these guys are pretty extra-ordinary (duh).
My idea of this is more that several indications together hold more value as an argument, than one does in its own.
And for me it is:
- the eye test says, something is off (the dominance of Pogacar is out of this world, and ranges from flattish tts, hilly courses to high mountains)
- the power data compared to what other world class athletes (who we don’t know if natural or not) have produced in the past and experts of the sport claim is natural - is on the very very high side of things, likely above
- the (solo!) climbing speed of Tadej is historically great. Like in better than the climbing speed of Contador, in his fastest ever climb, when he was on juice. He is as fast as a Prime Team Sky train on his own.