During the centennial Tour de France, we published power data daily on TrainingPeaks.com, the CyclingNews Tour Tracker, CyclingNews.com, VeloNews.com and several other websites. Here are our picks for the best race files we got from the past three weeks - some of which are making their debut for the first time here.
Stage 1: Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM) makes the first breakaway of the 100th Tour de France.
Flecha goes from the gun! He’s in the breakaway from the first few kilometers until 37km to go, averaging 3.3 w/kg for five hours! Then with sprint points on the line to wear the green jersey in stage 2, he attacks for the intermediate sprint averaging an astonishing 832 watts (11.1 w/kg) for 36 seconds and hitting a maximum of 1193 watts. This is really impressive considering he was in the break for 150km already.
Flecha burned 4400 calories riding aggressively during Stage 1. If every rider in our 180-rider peloton expended 4000 calories that day, it’d take 1125 French baguettes to replenish them all.
Stage 3: ORICA-GreenEDGE rider Simon Clarke buries himself for the team and scores top KOM points on the road from Ajaccio to Calvi.
As reported to VeloNews: In less than four hours and 145km, Simon Clarke racks up 331 TSS points (equivalent to doing more than three, back to back one-hour time trials in a day). Clarke went after and scored top KOM points on Col de San Bastiano, Col de San Martino, and Côte de Porto.
On the Col de San Bastiano, Clarke averaged 940 watts (14.6 w/kg) for 26 seconds and peaked out at 1186 watts. Clarke put out another impressive attack on the Col de San Martino, averaging 749 watts (11.6 w/kg) for 33 seconds. He was able to continue his winning streak on the third KOM, cranking out 828 watts (12.8 w/kg) for 16 seconds.
In the final kilometers, Clarke went to the front of the hard-charging peloton to help bring back a dangerous move. Still not willing to call it a day, Clarke also guided the leadout train until 2km to go. During this 5-minute effort he averaged 380 watts - 5.9 w/kg!
Stage 4: Greg Henderson and his Lotto-Belisol teammates rev it up in the Team Time Trial.
During the TTT in Nice, Henderson averaged 348 watts (5 w/kg) for 26 minutes. If all of his teammates averaged the same during that time, the nine of them could have powered a small boat docked in the Port of Nice that day!
Henderson also zipped through the 24k course at a brisk 54.3 kph (33.7 mph) clip.
Stage 8: David Lopez (Team Sky) helps Chris Froome into yellow from Castres to Ax 3 Domaines.
On the final climb up Ax 3 Domaines, Lopez burned 534 calories - approximately the amount in the bottle of champagne awarded to teammates Froome and Richie Porte on the podium that day as Sky went 1-2 and took the yellow jersey. To complete the 7.8km, 8.2% climb took Lopez 32 minutes, during which he averaged 279 watts (4.1 w/kg).
The big climb of the day was the 16km, 7.2% grade Col de Pailheres. To ascend the 1167m climb, Lopez averaged 289 watts (4.3 w/kg) for an hour and maxed out at 802 watts. He hit his 20-minute Peak Speed of the day coming down on the other side, averaging 57.3 kph and maxing out at 85.4 kph.
Stage 10: Greg Henderson's file shows the anatomy of a perfect leadout.
Henderson's efforts for the 197km stage from St-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint Malo show the jockeying among the riders that happens at the end of a sprint stage. He held 2.7 w/kg for the first four hours of the stage, then hit his Peak 5 minute power for the day of 5.7 w/kg in the final 5 minutes of the race.
In his final one-minute leadout for teammate Andre Greipel, Henderson’s power multiplied 3x from his average of 203 watts for the stage, holding 624 watts for a minute and hitting a max of 1016 watts. In the final 30 seconds of that leadout, Henderson held 712 watts (10.2 w/kg)! His efforts paid off in getting Greipel to the line for 2nd that day.
Stage 15: Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi) climbs the equivalent of 3 Empire State Buildings grinding up Mont Ventoux.
On the longest day of the Tour, Stage 15 from Givors to Mont Ventoux, the riders covered 151 miles, ending on Mont Ventoux, a historical 20.8 km climb averaging a 7.5% grade. At an ascent of 1500 meters (4921 feet), that’s like climbing more than 3 Empire State Buildings.
Sicard completed the Mont Ventoux climb in 1 hour 24 minutes, averaging 234 watts or 3.8 w/kg and grinding it out at 62 rpm (compared to an average of 80 rpm for the stage as a whole).
Stage 17: why you might consider investing in a skinsuit for your next TT...
Wearing a skinsuit saved Sicard 107 seconds over the 32km ITT from Embrun to Chorges. Without the skinsuit, his time would have been 5:15 after the winner instead of 3:28, dropping him from 34th that day to 70th. The technology and the competition at the Tour are so leading edge, the difference of a skinsuit can cost you 36 places.
Stage 18: Riders face down the Alpe d’Huez twice.
During Stage 18, Team Sky’s David Lopez averages 360 watts (5.3 w/kg) for 45 minutes his first time up the Alpe d’Huez, then follows it up with a 55-minute, 288 watt (4.2 w/kg) ascent at the end with team leader Chris Froome safely up front. How much does it take to race the Alpe d’Huez twice in one day? 5093 calories in 5.5 hours.
How far we've come...
We didn’t get any more power files after Stage 19, but you can hardly blame the riders for having other things on their minds after three weeks and 2115 miles of racing. To put that into perspective, the peloton has ridden the distance from SF to Chicago...or 2x as long as the average American drives in a month.
All in all over the course of 21 days, the 100th Tour de France did not disappoint. TrainingPeaks congratulates Team Sky on a hard-earned victory as well as thanks all of the riders and teams who shared their power data with us during these exciting three weeks. It's been our pleasure and privilege to get to analyze and share data from some of the best athletes in the world, and we hope you've enjoyed following along.