Sub hour Alpe D'huez

Yes! That was quite a leg day workout. :see_no_evil: I’m actually surprised it wasn’t closer to 44rpms. At times I was doing under 40rpms for decent stretches. Probably would’ve helped even just a little bit if I had swapped in my 28-11 that’s still sitting on my lonely rear tire that hasn’t been used since I got my KCore last Oct.

At first I had to stand on any gradient of 8% or higher. Which was almost all of the first half, except for a few corners and dips where I could sit for a few seconds. My back was aching after the first 10 minutes. Towards the top there were more sections under 10%, and my lower back was getting quite sore, so I started sitting even if it was 8% or sometimes 9% - even if I was doing under 40rpms, but sometimes standing when I got tired and 9% got too hard. There’s a good 40-45 second stretch somewhere before bend 1 where I was doing between 31-39 rpms with an extended stretch between 32-34rpms. :grimacing:

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Holy mother of GvA!! Outstanding :wink:

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Honestly, I’m surprised I made it to the top, especially at the cadence. Not being modest, I really don’t know how I made it the whole way. lol. Thank you SUF MTP! :stuck_out_tongue:

And if I had more gears I definitely would’ve used them, and then it would’ve taken me a lot longer, too! lol! So, having harder gears was a blessing and a curse. Forced me to put out a higher power since I really couldn’t have gone much slower in that gear. I came in as a running with lots of leg strength, and as a rider I’m naturally inclined to grind more than spin, so it kind of worked out in some odd way.

But, man, it was painful. I definitely will not be vEveresting in that gear! :rofl:

Just so I don’t double-post. Here’s some of my power stats from most of the segments.

My FTP is around 245-250 and my weight is about 82.5kg.

I averaged 194w for the entire climb. But you can see that I was over 200w until bend 11. Then my power dropped as the gradient eased down to about 175w for most of the rest of the climb except for the last stretch to the line.

But, I was averaging 5.8 miles/hour. lol. I probably would’ve fallen over on my bike if I wasn’t weaving if I did the actual climb on my bike at that speed.

According to the calculator, I either need to drop 20kg, or average 45w more for the entire climb to make it under 60 minutes. I guess if my FTP is 245/250 and I need to do 240w for 59:59, then I should be able to do it full out if I have the right gears, right? :rofl: #goals!

Has anyone (I’m sure there are plenty) who have done ADH in real life + the Zwift version and/or the Rouvy version? How did your times/efforts/watts/stats compare?

I know, I know, static bike ain’t climbing (let’s not go there here, there’s a whole topic just for that ranting). I’m just curious.

This thread piqued by interest as I’ve only done the Rouvy version but at the time I thought an hour would be a good target. I wholly expect that gravity would throw a huge spanner (or 9) in the works if I did it irl. I fortunately(intentionally?) didn’t get round to signing up for the etape in time.

I haven’t been on Zwift for a few years, but when Alpe du Zwift was released, people were climbing that a lot quicker than they did in real life.

GCN had Chris Opie do both ADH and ADZ and compare them in a video. Here’s a link to it on YouTube:

He seemed to think they were pretty similar. Biggest difference is altitude and personal heating/cooling.

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Oh cool, thank you :pray:

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My very best time up AdZ was a few hairs short of 65 mins. Avg power was 250, was in my 34/22 pretty much the entire time, avg HR was 154 and avg cadence was 61. I’ve done it 40 times now and my all day (doing reps) pace would see me at about 90ish mins. I end up standing for most of the bits at 9% or more. My FTP at the time was 261 and my weight on the day was around 87 kg. I definitely think Sub 1 hour is doable for me. A stretch, to be sure, but doable especially if I can rid myself of the excess weight.

What really REALLY amazes me Sir Evan, I did a vEverest of AdZ and I was congratulated by a TOTAL badass that had done an irl Everest of Alpe d’huez. PHENOMENAL athlete who has had a couple years with over 1,000,000 feet of gain. One Million Feet of gain is like Everesting more than 34 times! Who ARE these people?!

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It depends whether or not you can hold your FTP for a full hour. I can’t quite do it. My FTP is around 285 W as measured by FF, but I can only hold it for about 40 mins. My true hour power is more like 250W, maybe 260W if I really put myself on the floor at the end! 250W was enough to get me up AdZ in 58 mins @ 75 kg.

For sure you will do better with more appropriate gearing. I was using 34 front and 11-34 cassette and I spent a fair amount of time in the 34/34 gear. My average cadence was 74

Please note that my posting is nonsense as @Peteski and @smuttiesmith point out in their replies. I will leave it here for documentation’s sake but with this (new edited) disclaimer.

In that case your FTP can’t be right. FTP by definition is the power one can sustain for one hour. Although it is not measured over an hour in most test protocols. The 20 min test in FF relies on already being fatigued by the MAP test and therefore should give a good estimation for your FTP. But still a pure 20 minute test would only measure your CP 20 (critical power for 20 minutes). CP 20 somehow will relate to FTP but will never equal FTP because by definition FTP = CP 60. :nerd_face: :man_teacher:

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It is a common misconception that FTP is defined strictly as your 1 hour power. For some people it happens to work out that way, but for most others FTP is anything from about 30-70 mins. I’m just on the lower side of that range at the moment. Here’s an article that explains it all:-

From the above:-

“FTP is an individual’s power output in watts, or work rate in kilojoules per second, at MLSS. It can be held for approximately 30 to 70 minutes (a 30- to 70-minute TTE) at a blood lactate concentration of 2-8 mmol1.”

So coming back to @emacdoug’s situation, it depends how he measured his 245-250W FTP. Was that actually a full hour TT or was it from a FF test? If the latter, then he might well find that it doesn’t equate to his true hour power.


FTP and CP60 are not always the same thing.

Dr Andrew Coggan has stated that FTP is the power one can sustain for approximately 1 hour however depending on the individual that time may be between 40 minutes to 70 minutes. In WKO 4 and WKO 5 FTP is given as a power figure (Watts) and also a TTE (Time to exhaustion) which will indicate at what duration you are able to sustain your FTP.

This TrainingPeaks article will explain it better

Ahhh … problematic this is :slight_smile:

In SUF for workouts we use the 20min number 4DP gives us, other platforms sometimes do a warm up and a simple 20min x 0.95

And none of those provide one hour power for me.
BUT I need to use the SUF ‘FTP’ for SUF workouts.

My one hour tested power is 85-86% of the 4DP number for example.

So FTP has become, over time, whatever we choose to use it for and what platform generated it …….

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Thank you, @Peteski and @smuttiesmith, for the clarification and the links. :man_teacher: You never get too old to learn new things or (in my case) brush up on something you think you already know. Actually, this makes more sense because FTP should depend on lactate accumulation, right? And as far as I would know, none of these metabolites comes with a built-in stopwatch. :dna: :stopwatch:
Another aspect for the task at hand (Alpe d’Huez in under one hour) may be if one is able to ride at threshold when climbing or only on the flats. Therefore as long as you don’t use a Kickr Climb the Alpe du Z may not resemble to Alpe d’Huez very much.


No worries, there is so much 1hr = FTP on the internet that the confusion is entirely understandable :+1:

No worries, I’m glad you found it useful info.

It’s a good point you raise about flat vs climbing power. I think the main differences with climbing are cadence and inertia. Your road speed and therefore inertia is much lower and you are likely forced into using a lower cadence than your optimum due to gearing limitations. It’s not necessarily harder to hold power when climbing, but it is different and therefore requires specific training. As you mentioned, the slope changes your position on the bike quite a lot too, so it is best to simulate that if you can. Kickr climb is great or you can just raise up your front wheel statically to approximate the slope.


Just done the Alpe D’Huez official Chrono Race 2015 on Bike The World, 8.77 miles, 3685 feet of elevation at 64:03 bloody super for me although I think the 4 weeks of MAP Training has helped immensely. Avg Speed was 8.2 mph and Avg Watts was 194 and spent 43 mins at threshold between 186-217 watts I’m about 54 kgs. Have a 50-34 on the front and 11-32 on the back. I certainly think doing MAP and a Threshold session would certainly improve your chances of going sub 60 as you do need to maintain that speed on the harder 10/11% parts of the climb.


I’m finding this conversation fascinating. I don’t ride Zwift unless forced but do ride on RGT which is always set at 100%. We rode up Stelvio a couple of weeks ago and a few of the guys have ridden in for real so their comparison was interesting. Their biggest comment on the difference was also around temperature, wind and altitude.

I think the indoor platforms have done really well with mimicking the big climbs from what I can see. But I guess that other factor is indoor power and outdoor power always seem to test differently as well. I know mine does on the same PM.


I guess what also plays a part in real life is your CDA which obviously has no affect on your ride or time indoors so your ride indoors would be merely just an approximate measure you’d really have to do the ride 3/4 times to get any kind of knowledge for what power/cadence and speed you can put out. You just look at all the things which could add to that drag, bottles/bottle cages, power meters brake cables, all these things could could be slowing you down especially over 8.5 miles, you could maybe lose less than a minute or over a minute ? How many times do you see professional cyclists dumping everything they can before a final climb so that they have less weight.