|Tour de France 2010: SRM Analysis Stage 17 - Col du Tourmalet|
The Col de Tourmalet was first included in the Tour de France in 1910. The first rider over the top at 2,115 m was Octave Lapize, who also won the Tour de France that year.
It is one of most prestigious mountains in the Tour de France - alongside Alpe D'Huez in the Alps and the Mont Ventoux in the Provence. Winning a stage on the Tourmalet will always be something special,aAnd today it was a special moment when Andy Schleck crossed the line side by side with Alberto Contador. The two best climbers showed that they are on the same level and highly respect each other. There was no other rider who got close to their performance today. There is a difference between these two and Samuel Sanchez, Denis Menchow and all of the other runner ups.
It was great to see Chris Horner performing so well today. He had a perfect day - finishing 8th. That's a world class performance, as he's put in every day in this year's Tour de France when he has showed stable, consistent riding. He knows his limits well, he got to those limits, but never cracked. We are really happy and thankful that he shared his data.
It was also a great stage for Kristijan Koren (Team Liquigas) and Rémi Pauriol (Team Cofidis) who got into the breakaway at kilometer 3 and stayed in front until they got caught on the final climb up the Tourmalet. They rode with SRM telemetry, so you could follow their data live during the whole stage.
You can't compare today's stage with the Queen Stage on Tuesday, when the riders had to climb two Category 1 and two Hors Category mountains - about 4,330 altitude meters of climbing, burning about 5,500 calories. Today the race was all set up for the "grande finale", but still two Category 1 and the final Tourmalet (Hors Categorie) was only a little less in altitude meters (about 4,170 m) and burned calories (about 5,000).
Kristijan Koren's and Rémi Pauriol's energy consumption today was more than 11% / 16% higher than on Tuesday. A day in the break, leading out the group in regular intervals needs a lot more energy. Kristijan's average power today was 301 watts (4.2 w/kg) with a heart rate average of 149 bpm. The 23-year-old youngster burned about 5,620 calories.
Rémi's average power today was 296 watts (4.5 w/kg) with an average heart rate of 145 bpm - a really high intensity for more than 5 hours of riding! He burned 5,650 calories.
For them the weather was perfect - between 12° and 20°C and rainy. So it was cold compared to the last 2 ½ weeks. When you ride which such a high intensity this cools you down very well, and the fluid loss is a lot less.
Just to explain the differences in watts/kg between Kristijan Koren and Rémi Pauriol: As in previous days, we use the body weight the teams or riders told us or the weight in the official program of the Tour de France. So we use Kristijan's body weight from the official program (72 kg) which is most probably about 5-6 kg too high...
In the beginning of the breakaway, the group rode hard for 15 minutes. Kristijan averaged 383 watts (5.3 W/kg), heart rate 168 bpm, Rémi 394 watts (6.0 W/kg),heart rate 162 bpm.
At kilometer 23, Samuel Sanchez crashed and the peloton slowed down to wait for him. For the seven riders in the break it was the opportunity to gain an advantage. On the base of the Col de Marie Blanque, a Cat 1 climb of 9.3 kilometers with 7.6% average grade, the group was 9:15 min ahead of the peloton.
The peloton picked up speed on the climb and climbed about 1.5 minutes faster than the leading group. Chris Horner's power data fluctuate a lot more in the beginning of the climb until each rider found his position in the group and rode with a consistent power output. Chris rode with an average of 349 watts (5.5 W/kg) for 28:14 minutes.
On their way to the base of the second Cat 1 mountain of the day, the Col du Soulor (11.9 km, 7.8% average grade) the seven riders were able to ride at about the same speed as the peloton, and arrived at the base with an advantage of 7:25 minutes.
The peloton rode about 1.7 km/h faster than the breakaway, and closed down three minutes. Chris Horner rode with 347 watts (5.4 w/kg) - it was already a high intensity. There was a funny incident on the climb when goats crossed the road about 2.5 kilometers from the top and Chris nearly came to a stop and had to accelerate again - avoiding to getting hit on the bike by the mini-muttons ?
After the downhill Rabobank, Astana and Saxo Bank started increasing the speed to prepare for the final showdown on nearly 1,400 m of climbing up the Tourmalet. So the gap to the front group decreased to 3:05 minutes by the base of the Tourmalet. Not enough for a 18.6 km climb with an average grade of 7.5%...
Rémi was able to keep the intensity high for the first 6.5 kilometers with 351 watts (5.3 w/kg), but his heart rate just reached a max of 163 bpm - A typical sign of fatigue in the third week of a 3-week stage race. He had to reduce the speed and reached the finish after 1:09:11 min for the last climb, averaging 289 watts (4.4 w/kg). His heart rate decreased very well, in the end the average for the whole climb was 147 bpm. He had lost 15 minutes to the stage winner Andy Schleck.
Kristijan was able to keep the intensity much longer. His average for the first 9.3 kilometers of the climb was 353 watts, for the second it was 318 watts while his heart rate stayed pretty much the same. His time for the climb: 1:01:21 min, average power 334 watts, heart rate 157 bpm. Great ride by the young talent from Slovenia. He finished 36th,7:02 minutes behind Schleck.
Chris Anker Soerensen's job was to accelerate as hard as possible to prepare the final attack by Andy Schleck together with his teammates. Fabian Cancellara did an awesome job on the flat and the first kilometer of the climb. Then Chris Anker took over: 11:14 minutes, average 415 watts (6.6 watts)! His heart rate increased from 163 bpm to 176 bpm - really high for Chris Anker, especially in the third week. He recovered well on the rest day and was able to give everything today for Andy Schleck. After 5.5 kilometers up the climb, his job was done and a lot of riders had lost contact with the main contenders. His teammate Jakob Fuglsang took over while Chris Anker took it easy for the rest of the climb. His time for the Col du Tourmalet: 1:02:27 hr, average power 330 watts, heart rate 158 bpm.
Chris Horner climbed very well. It was very hard in the beginning with the lead outs by Saxo Bank - average 377 watts (5.9 w/kg) for the first 9.3 kilometers, then 347 watts for the second half of the climb with a very consistent power output and speed, just perfect pacing (5.4 w/kg). He finished 8th, just 1:45 minutes behind the two best climbers of the world right now. It took him 52:22 minutes to reach the mountain top of Tourmalet, a great finish for him in the Pyrenees.