How slow is a pro with 25kg extra weight?

Conor Dunne straps a weighted vest to Chad Haga, then races him up a climb

Clock11:03, Saturday 17th February 2024

In a recent GCN video, Conor Dunne and Simon Richardson carried out a scientific experiment to find out whether heavier riders descend faster than lighter riders. Whilst doing, this Conor got thinking about the impact of weight when heading up the climbs.

With the help of a WorldTour pro and a weighted vest, Conor wants to find out just what it would take to beat them up a mountain climb.

The pro rider in question is Giro d'Italia stage winner Chad Haga. As a member of Tom Domoulin’s victorious 2017 Giro team, Haga is known for being able to put the hurt on other riders, thinning the peloton down as the road heads skywards.

He has now turned his focus to gravel racing but has certainly left none of his WorldTour fitness behind.

The premise of Conor's experiment is simple. Take a lightweight thoroughbred climbing pro and strap a 20kg weighted vest to them, and then race up a mountain. If this doesn’t yield Conor the victory that he is looking for, then he has a bit more weight he can add to the vest.

The climb in question is a four-kilometre stretch of the famous Els Àngles climb situated just outside the Spanish city of Girona. Averaging around 5% over the course of the climb, it is a steady gradient similar to that of an alpine pass.

With the gradient not too steep, and with speeds still relatively high, will weight alone be enough to overcome Haga? Watch out the video above to find out.

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