Just how fast are pro cyclists? Welcome to the first of our new series, where we see just how long we can keep up with the pros. Whether it’s road, gravel, cyclocross or mountain bikes, we’ll be lining up rides with all kinds of pros and seeing just how long we can keep up with them.

To kick things off, I met up with our friend, GU Energy ambassador and Niner Bikes’ sponsored athlete Yuri Hauswald on the day before The Rift Iceland. With a neutral start leading out a 200km race through the country’s southern highlands, my goal was to see how long I could keep him in sight. Turns out, not very long. Here’s how it went down, and how my race performance matched up to Yuri’s…

Average rider versus the pro, by the numbers

how long can an average rider keep up with a pro gravel racer cyclist during a race

The results show just how much faster Yuri (and the rest of the top 10) are than me. The results show the finish time, but also the checkpoint times, starting at Checkpoint Two, which was around 40km into the race. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Checkpoint 2 – 2:10:36 behind
  • Checkpoint 3 – 2:33:42 behind
  • Checkpoint 4 – 3:20:17 behind
  • Finish – 4:02:03 behind*

…but, that doesn’t exactly tell the real story. I stopped to take photos and video to compile my race report, and slowed down (a bit) to shoot some of the intermediary footage for this video. The Strava profiles for each of us tell a bit more accurate story, albeit with some interesting quirks:

Yuri hauswald strava profile for The Rift Iceland gravel race

Yuri’s Strava results above, versus mine below. You can check out the full course profile on Komoot, and the full race results are listed here.

If we compare moving time, I’m within 2:44:41 of his finish time. Which means he’s about 35% faster than me. Note the average speed (16.2mph versus 11.9mph), which generates similar math. Neither of us were using power meters, but Strava’s formula came up with a substantial difference in estimated average power. And somehow, I climbed about 1,140 more feet than Yuri…go figure. Where did I win? I hit a higher max speed, at least according to our individual computers’ GPS-generated speeds. But I’ll take it.

Huge thanks to Yuri for playing along, and thanks to GoPro for the hardware support! Stay tuned for more, and hit that Subscribe button on our YouTube channel so you don’t miss a single episode!

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