Twenty-eight year old Astana ride Tanel Kangert was kind enough to share the data from his SRM power meter after stage 11 of the Tour de France. The Astana team rides SRM power meters that integrate with the Specialized carbon fiber S-Works crankset. The result is a featherweight scientific instrument designed for the hardest racing in the world.
The stage covered 188KM from Pau to Cauteres – valle de Saint-Savin with six categorized climbs, including the legendary Col du Tourmalet. The total distance on the file shows 206KM. This is because the team descended the mountain from the finish of the stage. Given that the halfway point of the Tour was passed today, and that tomorrow’s stage 12 finish on Plateau de Beille is quite challenging, the race was set to be a collision of tactics and tired legs negotiated within the backdrop of a very challenging course.
Kangert’s mission on the stage was to assist team leader Vincenzo Nibali by applying pressure to the peloton. Nibali must have made the call for Kangert to ride a high tempo on the Tourmalet, as the lead group was reduced down to fifteen elite riders.
Kangert’s effort of 356w for 38 minutes of riding works out to 5.47w/kg (based on a published weight of 65kg). This effort came after 10 stages of hard racing and in 34 degree heat, truly a world class performance.
Kangert’s job was not done for the day at this point, as he paced his leader to the finish line on the final climb of the day, the Cote de Cauterets. The average for this eighteen minute effort was 5.1w/kg. Kangert and Nibali crossed the line together, loosing nearly a minute on the yellow jersey.
The stage had a total of nearly 3500 meters of altitude gain, a truly difficult day in the saddle. Kangert made a total of 4577 kilojoules on today’s stage; this is the equivalent to the number of calories found in ten jelly donuts. World Tour riders don’t eat jelly donuts typically, so he will have to find an alternative method to replenish glycogen stores. Given tomorrow’s massive stage, this will be a necessity.