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Stage 17 Power Analysis: A Decisive Battle in the Alps

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Stage 17: La Mure to Serre-Chevalier, 183km

Name
Country
Team
Result

1
Primoz Roglic
SLO
LottoNL-Jumbo
5:07:41

2
Rigoberto Urán
COL
Cannondale-Drapac
+1:13

3
Christopher Froome
GBR
Team Sky

Stage 17 was an epic mountain battle that saw the Slovenian Primoz Roglic come out on top from the day’s breakaway. Meanwhile, in the general classification Fabio Aru (Astana) lost time to Urán, Froome and Bardet.

It was a fast stage that was animated by Alberto Contador’s attack on the first HC climb and by fierce attacks on the Yellow Jersey on the slopes of the Galibier, however none were enough to unsettle the Team Sky rider.

Let’s take a look at how Orica-Scott’s Roman Kreuziger (a  Climber) Cannondale-Drapac’s Nathan Brown (an All-Rounder) and his teammate Dylan van Baarle (a Classics rider) all handled this tough mountain battle.

Click on the image below to see Kreuziger’s SRM Power File:

07189-tour-de-france-stage-17-analysis-fig2

07189-tour-de-france-stage-17-analysis-fig1

Click on the image below to see Brown’s SRM Power File:

07189-tour-de-france-stage-17-analysis-fig4

07189-tour-de-france-stage-17-analysis-fig3

Click on the image below to see van Baarle’s SRM Power File:

07189-tour-de-france-stage-17-analysis-fig6

07189-tour-de-france-stage-17-analysis-fig5

Overall Data Stage 17

Roman Kreuziger (Cze)
Orica-Scott
29th +12:48
Nathan Brown (Usa)
Cannondale-Drapac
42nd +16:43
Dylan Van Baarle (Ned)
Cannondale-Drapac
67th +28:46

Duration: 5:20:29
Speed: 34.3kph
Training Load: 328 TSS
Average Power: 269w, 4.01w/kg
Normalized Power: 314w, 4.69w/kg

Duration: 5:24:24
Speed: 33.9kph
Training Load: 340 TSS
Average Power: 252w, 3.88w/kg
Normalized Power: 303w, 4.66w/kg

Duration: 5:36:27
Speed: 32.6kph
Training Load: 338 TSS
Average Power: 285w, 3.65w/kg
Normalized Power: 337w, 4.32w/kg

To learn more about TrainingPeaks metrics, click here.

Stage 17 in Five Acts

The story of stage 17 had five distinct parts:

Start phase: The first 54km until the foot of the Col de la Croix de Fer
Into the Alps: The 24km-long ascent of the Croix de Fer
Status Quo: Breakaway and Peloton from Croix de Fer descent to the Col du Télegraphe
Climbing Battle: GC and stage win fight on Col du Télégraphe and Col du Galibier
High-speed downhill: Chase race towards the finish in Serre-Chevalier

Start Phase

The first 50km featured a downhill start before the field tackled the Category 2 climb Col d’Ornon. It was here that the day’s break containing stage winner Primoz Roglic went away.

In this breakaway was also Dylan Van Baarle, who has been part of countless attacks during the Tour 2017. His effort on the attack: 414w, 5.31w/kg for 18:59min. To get into the 25-man strong break, he produced all his relevant peak powers of the day, most importantly 20min (414w).

Col d’Ornon (5.1km at 6.7%) – KM30

Time / Speed
Power
Power-to-Weight

Dylan Van Baarle
13:20 / 23.1kph
413w
5.30w/kg

Roman Kreuziger
14:37 / 21.0kph
330w
4.93w/kg

The break gained more than a minute on just that 5km climb, with 0.5w/kg more power. They pushed out their lead to a maximum of about five minutes approaching the Col de la Croix de Fer.

Having to start at such an intense pace around threshold imposes a different physiological cost on the body after 16 Tour de France stages, and many of the riders out front would pay for it on the mythic Alpine passes to come.

Van Baarle covered the first 53.7km in 1h17:30 with 41.5kph, producing 366w normalized power. This is massive power, before the race even hit the first major climb. Compare that to his teammate Nathan Brown in the peloton with 297w normalized for 1h22:25 and 40.0kph. Not easy either, but significantly less taxing for the American shielded by the field.

Into the Alps

The first mountain over 2,000m of elevation of this year’s Tour was the Col de la Croix de Fer (2,067m).

The breakaway arrived with a five minute advantage, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), having established a small lead on the rest of the escapees. The lead group hit the early, steepest slopes hard with van Baarle producing 419w, 5.37w/kg for 8:51min on the toughest 2.4km.

The peloton increased the pace significantly once the climbing started as well. Team Sky really increased the intensity when Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) attacked and started to make inroads on the breakaway, where three of his teammates waited for him.

Roman Kreuziger was in the mix and close to the GC riders at this point and rode the steep part with 401w, 5.99w/kg for 8:16min. It was very hard climbing from here on out and many riders were dropped from the main field.

Col de la Croix de Fer (24km at 5.2%)

Time / Speed
Power
Power-to-Weight

Dylan Van Baarle
1h03:56 / 22.4kph
370w
4.74w/kg

Roman Kreuziger
1h00:26 / 23.8kph
343w
5.12w/kg

Nathan Brown
1h00:35 / 23.7kph
335w
5.15w/kg

Click on the image below to enlarge.

07189-tour-de-france-stage-17-analysis-fig7

The famous climb features three steps that are interspersed by two downhill sections that allow for some rest. All groups on the road had to produce strong efforts on the first step, 5.15km at 8.2 percent.

Van Baarle (in the break) produced 396w for 5.08w/kg – the group climbed this sector in 17:49 minutes—while the GC group flew up this part.

Kreuziger rode at 388w, 5.79w/kg and Brown at 379w, 5.83w/kg for nearly 16 minutes, respectively. The Yellow jersey group gained nearly two minutes here.

The rest of the climb saw the field settle into a steadier climbing tempo between 5.1 and 5.3w/kg without ever easing off. Van Baarle gave it his best shot on the second step with 403w, 5.17w/kg for 25 minutes on the second step. He suffered due to the pace set by the climbers and dropped back on the final slopes of the climb.

Aside from Contador’s attack, nothing critical happened on the Croix de Fer, but racing uphill for nearly an hour far in excess of 5w/kg took its toll on everyone, and would be felt later.

Status Quo

In the 40km drag between the Croix de Fer and the Télégraphe, the gap between the breakaway and the peloton remained stable at around 3:15 minutes back. The riders used the long downhill followed by 15km in the valley to rest the legs and refuel.
Kreuziger’s average speed on the 28km-long descent was 51.8kph at 117w ( 32:20 minutes). As the climb before, it featured two uphill interruptions of about 1km where he had to put out 300w or more.

In the valley, Team Sky’s Kiryienka rode a strong pace for the Yellow Jersey that required 257w from Nathan Brown, as the group approached the biggest test of the day.

Climbing Battle

The duo of Alpine passes with Col du Télégraphe and Col du Galibier has been the stage for many epic battles in past Tours, and once again it would see the riders pushed to their limits.

On the Télégraphe, the GC group was reduced to around 40 riders, and the break was able to increase their lead to nearly four minutes, with Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) riding a fierce tempo for Contador.

The GC riders climbed the 11.7km ascent in 33 minutes and Brown and Kreuziger put out 353w and 364w average power – both at 5.43w/kg. The first 3.5km were particularly tough: 376w, 5.61w/kg from Kreuziger.

Col du Télégraphe (11.7km at 7%)

Time / Speed
Power
Power-to-Weight

Roman Kreuziger
32:56 / 21.2kph
364w
5.43w/kg

Nathan Brown
33:00 / 21.2kph
353w
5.43w/kg

The efforts on the Télégraphe proved too much for most of the guys that were still in the main group and as soon as they hit the first slopes of the mythical Col du Galibier, the group’s size was reduced to about a dozen riders. Both Brown and Kreuziger were dropped after producing desperate last efforts.

The Czech climber from Orica-Scott tried to hang on for 4:20 minutes with 399w, 5.96w/kg – Brown made it for 1 km or 1:50 minutes with 373w, 5.74w/kg.

Once they had to let the group ride away, it was game-over and the power dropped significantly below 5w/kg for the rest of the climb. Kreuziger lost 12 minutes until the finish, and Brown nearly 17 minutes as the strongest climbers fought for the overall classification and raced up the Galibier at 5.5w/kg or more.

Click on the image below to enlarge.

07189-tour-de-france-stage-17-analysis-fig8

Col du Galibier (17.7km at 6.7%)

Time / Speed
Power
Power-to-Weight

Roman Kreuziger
57:20 / 18.5kph
314w
4.67w/kg

Nathan Brown
1h02:30 / 17.1kph
276w
4.25w/kg

All that was left was a long, non-technical downhill. The main descent was covered by Kreuziger in less than 15 minutes at 60.0kph, maxing out at 76.7kph. He wasn’t taking huge risks, because his job for the day was done.

Performance Conclusions

The high mountains of the Alps revealed mercilessly which riders had recovered well from previous efforts and were still in the mix for stage wins and the general classification.

It was a real race of attrition, and each subsequent climb ruled out more riders until only a chosen few remained.

To be able to compete, it is necessary to produce 5.5w/kg for 30 to 60 minutes on all the climbs and also to follow attacks at over 6.5w/kg. Brown and Kreuziger could do that for two of the three major climbs—but the third proved too much. Still, their performances were very solid, as indicated by the huge training loads of 328 to 340 TSS. These numbers are especially impressive considering they rode in service of the team captains, Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) and Rigoberto Urán (Cannondale-Drapac).

Get more Tour Stage analysis, course predictions and training takeaways from this year’s Tour de France here.

The post Stage 17 Power Analysis: A Decisive Battle in the Alps appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

How to Recover From Endurance Mountain Bike Races

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Marathon and ultra-marathon mountain bike races are hard endurance events to compete in and finish. The various terrains, from gravel roads to steep rocky mountain trails, combined with upward of 10,000 vertical feet of ascent, make for a long day in the saddle.

With finish times in the five to 10 hour range for most, these races can place a large physical toll on the body. How much of a toll will determine the length of recovery needed. Your recovery time will then determine when you can start to train hard and consistent again.

To do well in these races you need to push your limits. For some, just to finish will push their limits, for others it is to best a time or compete at the top. Regardless, whenever you push your physical limits, you’re going to experience fatigue both physiologically and mentally.

Studies on muscle fatigue, which are usually done on subjects performing shorter bouts of exercise, show muscle soreness peaking 24 to 48 hours post event but lasting up to five to seven days. Strength begins to rebound in 48 hours but a loss can be felt up to seven-plus days. Swelling is also associated with muscle damage and peaks within 12 hours of the event, and then again around five to seven days1.

Recovering from any event is going to depend on level of fitness, time of year and difficulty of the race. A few days off, resting and relaxing with either active recovery or easy riding is always a given, but then after the first two or three days, when the legs are feeling a little better, what do you do?

Training too much, too hard, too early can lead quickly to overreaching, which then takes extended recovery to rebound from. So it’s best to be smart, listen to how you feel and test yourself, to learn when it’s time to increase the intensity and volume of training again.

Jeremiah Bishop is a world-class athlete, a multiple time national champion and coach, now racing for the Topeak Ergon Global team. Topeak Ergon is focused on hard multiple day stage races and marathon MTB races up to 100 miles.

When Jeremiah recovers from a 100-mile ultra, he takes a few days off and then listens to himself. “I try to get off the bike for a couple days, hit the pool, do yoga or go for a jog. After three light days I introduce some speed work to see where I am. This system check can be a group ride, sprints or just hill jams,” says Bishop. “ I feel like crap if I just sit around all week, so this usually tells me I’m good to go for some maintenance-style work or if I need a few more days of easy stuff. Muscle trauma is a big factor for the ultra-long, six-hour plus race. If there is uphill running, it can take up to 10 days to feel back to normal in the legs. The aerobic system recovers a lot faster.”

Bishop also adds, “Early season is easier to recover from a 100-mile race. Later in the season, when I’m sitting on some form, I might recover for a couple extra days to keep my mind fresh. This keeps training exciting. I also lean toward more spaced and shorter, hard effort micro and meso cycles of training. You still have to go fast, it just doesn’t take much late summer.”

Listening to yourself and using all forms of feedback from power, form, heart rate, perceived effort and overall motivation will let you know when you can train hard again. When at least four of these five sources of feedback are in line, over several days up to a week, it is a sign of being fully recovered and ready to increase training volume and intensity once again.

Heart Rate and Recovery

Heart rate trends post-race can drift high or remain low with the first few workouts. Tapering, fatigue, and post-race recovery will likely skew heart rates. After a few days of training, heart rate will start to normalize. It is a sign of good recovery when heart rate responds quickly into zone 4 and 5, during a hard effort, along with low perceived exertions and good power numbers.

Power and Recovery

Power will rebound as recovery happens. Fatigued muscles have a hard time producing force for extended periods. To test recovery, work long, five to 10 minute Zone 3 and Zone 4 efforts, comparing power to season best averages.

To get within 5 percent of season’s best numbers or to be besting those numbers would a sign of good recovery. Repeating sprint and hill efforts, while maintaining power, is another way to measure recovery.

Perceived Effort and Recovery

Perceived effort will tell you how your entire system is working together. We have so many parts to our engine, from the heart to the lungs, legs and mind. When fatigued from the race, we don’t know which parts are fatigued the most. Power gives us a glimpse, heart rate does as well, but a low-perceived effort lets us know all systems internally are firing properly and that is a sign of recovery.

Form and Recovery

Form on the bike will tell you how your muscles are recovering. Fatigued, tight muscles will be sore and lead to poor form. If your spin feels choppy, legs are turning over slowly, and upper body fatigued—then it’s a sign you need more recovery.

Motivation and Recovery

Overall motivation and how you feel mentally toward training may be the most important form of feedback. If you’re experiencing little motivation to ride, take it as a sign you need more recovery.

Racing and training take a large toll emotionally, and at times you need to unload the emotional stress to have fun again. When you’re excited to get out and ride, you will get the most out of your training days, leading to the biggest gains possible.

The post How to Recover From Endurance Mountain Bike Races appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

Stage 16 Power Analysis: A Hard-Fought Battle Through Crosswinds

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Stage 16: Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-sur-Isère, 165km

Name
Country
Team
Result

1
Michael Matthews
AUS
Team Sunweb
3:38:15

2
Edvald Boasson Hagen
NOR
Dimension Data

3
John Degenkolb
GER
Trek-Segafredo

Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and his team made the most of one of the last chances to win a stage before the race enters Paris, winning the stage and making it an exciting race. On a day that waited with threat of crosswinds in the last 40km, Matthews’ team caused a split in the peloton on a climb after just 15km, leaving German sprint star Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step) behind!

After a hard-fought final with several more splits due to the anticipated crosswinds, it was left to the Australian to finish off a superb stage. He edged out Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) to take his second win of this year’s Tour de France.

Rider Analysis: Dylan Van Baarle (Ned), Cannondale-Drapac, 38th, +0:51
Overall Stage Stats

Duration: 3:39:06
Speed: 41.2kph
Training Load: 236 TSS
Average Power: 280w, 3.59w/kg
Normalized Power: 349w, 4.47w/kg

To learn more about TrainingPeaks metrics, click here.

Click the image below to see van Baarle’s SRM Power File:

07188-tour-de-france-stage-16-analysis-fig1

07188-tour-de-france-stage-16-analysis-fig2

The action started early again as attacks went from the start, and Team Sunweb set a blistering pace, making the race difficult. The initial 21km of the stage featured a gradual climb with a section of 4.5km classified as a Category 3 climb.

During this hard start, van Baarle produced all of his peak power efforts between five minutes and 30 minutes. His Normalized Power was 393w, 5.04w/kg for this intense section where many riders had already lost contact with the main bunch.

The Category 3 climb to the Côte de Boussoulet, started after only 16km of racing and van Baarle had to ride at 5.59w/kg for nearly 11 minutes in order to hold on.

Côte de Boussoulet (4.5km at 6.3%) – KM 20.5

Time / Speed: 10:44 / 25.0 kph
Power: 455w
Power-to-Weight: 5.59 w/kg
Heart Rate: 162 bpm

The next 125km saw a high tempo in the field, as they steadily grew out the advantage to the Kittel group. With the anticipation of wind causing havoc and the danger of splits, position became a major factor on the final 50km. The effort for this period by van Baarle amounted to a Normalized Power of 325w, 4.17w/kg and 46.8kph average speed.

Click on the image below to enlarge.

07188-tour-de-france-stage-16-analysis-fig3

Intense Final in the Wind

The next big effort in the race came inside the final 18km when Team Sky and BMC used the strong side winds that battered the riders and forced gaps in the peloton until only about 30 riders remained at the front.

Van Baarle was in the first chase group fighting to stay in contact with the leaders as they rode hard to bring back the deficit. At the end, his group lost 51 seconds. The effort needed to chase the lead group was substantial.

Last 17.8km with crosswinds

Time / Speed: 21:10 / 50.9kph
Normalized Power: 399w
Power-to-Weight: 5.16w/kg
Heart Rate: 160bpm

Van Baarle produced two impressive efforts. 504w, 6.46w/kg for 2:41min as the fight in the wind began and 417w for 4:21min, when he was forced into the chase a few kilometres later. These last 20 minutes of racing caused some critical gaps with riders such as Dan Martin (Quick-Step) missing the split during the full gas effort by the GC contenders and sprinters at the front. Van Baarle had to spend a lot of time over 550w for durations of 10 to 30 seconds, which was needed to keep active in the chase group and hold the wheel in the echelons.

Performance Conclusions

While it was not the most decisive stage, the fast tempo all day was still a challenge for the riders, and with the crosswinds in the final it produced more stress and fatigue than many likely hoped for.

Since Stage 8, when the mountains were first reached by this year’s Tour, there haven’t been any easy stages. As a result, there have been no real breaks in racing and no recovery days for the contenders. Stage 16 was yet another one of these tough days of Grand Tour racing.

Get more Tour Stage analysis, course predictions and training takeaways from this year’s Tour de France here.

The post Stage 16 Power Analysis: A Hard-Fought Battle Through Crosswinds appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

Announcing Peak Performances Beta Release

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TrainingPeaks is happy to announce the release of Peak Performances on the mobile app for iOS and Android for all premium users. Every time you, or your athlete, produces a peak power, run pace at a given distance, or heart rate you will be rewarded with a medal indicating that you have achieved a new Peak Performance. A graph showing where each Peak Performance ranks among others of this year and/or all time allows you to track your progress over time.

Peak Performances allows you to quickly see improvement and progress toward your—or your athlete’s—goals through awarded medals on new peak power, heart rate, or pace numbers on all bike and run workouts.

Click on the image below to enlarge.

07195-peak-performances-fig1

Measure your progress

Achieving a goal is about consistency and progress over time, laying the foundation and then building upon it with longer, faster and often more intense workouts. While the goal is the ultimate destination, knowing whether or not you are on course to reach that goal is just as important. Peak Performances will let you know how are you doing in that pursuit with every workout you upload.

Get started

To get started using Peak Performances, simply record a workout and then upload it to your TrainingPeaks account. If the workout contains a peak power, heart rate, or run pace at one of the defined distances it will be denoted by a medal icon on the workout.

Tapping on the workout will reveal all the Peak Performances for that workout along with a number showing where it ranks. A round medal is for a metric from this year while a star denotes an all-time best!

To gain a historical perspective on your performance, click the medal icon at the bottom of your screen to show up to 20 best bike or run performances during the past year or all time over the durations or distances that matter most to you.

Is 20-minute power the key to your mountain bike performance? Trying to set a new personal best for the 10K? You can now easily track your progress and highlight the top three performances of the year or your best performances all time.

Click on the image below to enlarge.

07195-peak-performances-fig2

Peak Performances provides you with another way to track your progress over time as you work toward your goal. Take this new feature out for a test run by logging a workout today!

The post Announcing Peak Performances Beta Release appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

Stage 15 Power Analysis: An Unexpectedly Intense Transition Stage

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Stage 15: Laissac-Sévérac l’Église to Le Puy-en-Velay, 189.5km

Name
Country
Team
Result

1
Bauke Mollema
NED
Trek-Segafredo
4:41:47

2
Diego Ulissi
ITA
UAE Team Emirates
0:00:19

3
Tony Gallopin
FRA
Lotto Soudal

The stage through the Massif Central was characterised by a Cat 1 climb at the start and a Cat 1 climb inside the last 40km, with rolling terrain in between. A large group went early in the race and the survivors of the final Cat 1 climb fought it out for the stage win.

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) won solo after attacking the group on the descent of the last climb with about 30km to go. Behind, there was chaos in the GC group as race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) punctured when AG2R La Mondiale was riding full gas at the front of the group. Froome was able to regain contact despite the massive pace in the group and kept his lead, but only after a tough chase and some hard racing.

Transitions Stage Becomes a Serious Test
Rider Analysis: Overall Stats for Stage 15

Rigoberto Urán (Col)
Cannondale-Drapac 
29th +6:25

Duration: 4:48:12
Speed: 39.5kph
Training Load: 295 TSS
Average Power: 211w, 3.35w/kg
Normalized Power: 291w, 4.62w/kg

Dylan Van Baarle (Ned)
Cannondale-Drapac
42nd +9:17

Duration: 4:51:10
Speed: 39.2kph
Training Load: 323 TSS
Average Power: 300w, 3.77 w/kg
Normalized Power: 352w, 4.51w/kg

Click on the image below to see Urán’s SRM Power File:

07187-tour-de-france-stage-15-analysis-fig1

07187-tour-de-france-stage-15-analysis-fig3

Click on the image below to see van Baarle’s SRM Power File:

07187-tour-de-france-stage-15-analysis-fig2

07187-tour-de-france-stage-15-analysis-fig4

Learn more about TrainingPeaks metrics here.

Stage 15 was supposed to be another transition stage with some medium mountain climbs before the riders reach the real Alpine passes. What it became was an intense challenge, not just for the successful 28-man break including stage winner Mollema, but also for the guys fighting for a podium spot in Paris.

Normalized Power in extent of 4.5w/kg for both Cannondale-Drapac riders with 291w, 4.62w/kg and 353w, 4.53w/kg for Urán and van Baarle, respectively. Urán is still very much in contention, just 29 seconds down on Chris Froome and today he showed again why he is up there.

The intense race really took off on the first climb after 20km with several groups going up the road and a high pace in the Yellow Jersey group. It was all about that first climb, when they tested each other, and the final 40km, which featured one steep 8km climb.

Montée de Naves d’Aubrac (8.7km at 7%) – KM 28.5

Time / Speed
Power
Power-to-Weight

Dylan Van Baarle
23:09 / 22.5kph
452w
5.79w/kg

Rigoberto Urán
23:42 / 22.0kph
353w
5.60w/kg

Van Baarle’s incredible 452w for 23:09 minutes was his strongest long effort of this year’s Tour, and he made it into the breakaway once again. He has been there on various stages and still seems to be improving.

He attacked the first 4km of the climb with 481w, 6.17w/kg for 10:33min! Van Baarle is not a climber and these numbers are absolute world-class level. A 20-minute peak effort of 457w!

Before that, he had already produced his peak 30 second power with 637w, 8.17w/kg, and his peak one minute at 545w, 6.98w/kg in the opening kilometer of the stage when the first attacks went.

The Yellow Jersey group was not far behind as they were forced to chase after an aggressive Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) before letting the break go and settling into a moderate tempo after the climb. For Urán, it was 353w, 5.60w/kg and 23:42 minutes on the climb and even 385w, 6.11w/kg on the first 4km, covering them in 10:34 minutes.

After that, the breakaway with van Baarle went on a three-hour long, hard race while the field rode at easier speeds and power until the approach of the last climb. The break rode cohesively to gain an advantage of more than six minutes.

Van Baarle rode the 115km between the major climbs in 2:47h with 262w average and 316w normalized power. Urán had to produce 165w and 220w normalized as the field covered the middle sector about 4:30 minutes slower. A significant difference in effort that would have an impact on the race, when the groups reached the category 1 Col de Peyra Taillade climb with 40 km to go.

Most Intense Climb of the Tour

The Col de Peyra Taillade would become the hardest test for the GC riders so far, while the break fought a stunning battle out front. The lead group rode hard into the 8.35km-long climb and started to splinter, with the pressure being put on by Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) and Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb).

The intensity was felt by van Baarle as he rode the first 3km of the climb at 411w, 5.16 w/kg, fighting but failing to stay in contact with the leaders. The pace set by the climbers in the lead group proved too much for many and van Baarle rode at a steadier tempo in the last half of the climb. He was careful not to go too deep into the red zone and stayed close to a 4.7-4.8w/kg effort for the last half of the climb.

Click on the image below to enlarge.

07187-tour-de-france-stage-15-analysis-fig5

Even before the climb, the Yellow Jersey group started to split under the pace of Romain Bardet’s AG2R domestiques. Chris Froome was dropped after a puncture and started to chase but Urán was able to stay close to his rivals at the front. The tempo in the 6.5km before the climb: 49.7kph as Urán rode at 351w normalized before the road started to slope upward.

Col de Peyra Taillade (8.35km at 7.1%) – KM158

Time / Speed
Power
Power-to-Weight

Dylan Van Baarle
26:08 / 19.2kph
391w
5.01w/kg

Rigoberto Urán
22:33 / 22.2kph
415w
6.59w/kg*

* Hardest climb of the Tour de France 2017 so far

For the full climb, Urán put out 415w, 6.59w/kg for 22:33min – by far the toughest effort he had to produce during the Tour. AG2R rode themselves into the red, trying to prevent Froome from catching back on to them.

The steepest part of the climb required 430w for 8:16min from Urán – 6.83w/kg! After a lull in the middle sector of the stage, the top riders still had a lot of reserves left to produce their best efforts. The result: Power numbers off the charts at 6.5w/kg for more than 20 minutes—something we hadn’t seen up to this point!

The final kilometers saw some more action from the captains, as they attacked each other on the last short climb and Urán had to ride at 447w, 7.10w/kg for one minute to follow Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) and his other rivals.

Only Daniel Martin (Quick-Step) gained a small advantage and for the rest of the leaders, it was a moderate ride into Le Puy-en-Velay afterward, coming into the finish 6:30 minutes behind Bauke Mollema.

Performance Conclusions

It was a surprisingly hard day for all the riders. Dylan van Baarle had to produce his best efforts in a breakaway and with a TSS of 322, this was one of his hardest days yet. The GC riders gave it their best shot before the rest day and even Urán had a TSS of 295, a Training Load equivalent to that of the high mountain stages.

The massive effort on the first and final climb of the day were only feasible with the upcoming rest day to help recover before the race hits the Alps. The strong performances by various Cannondale-Drapac riders will help focus the team on the final push to help Rigoberto Urán as he makes his bid for a podium in this year’s Tour de France.

Get more Tour Stage analysis, course predictions and training takeaways from this year’s TDF here.

The post Stage 15 Power Analysis: An Unexpectedly Intense Transition Stage appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

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