Stage 15 of the Tour de France was 242.5km from Givors to the mountain top finish atop Mont Ventoux in the Provence region of southern France. The longest day in the 100th Tour de France ended with Christopher Froome (Sky) extending his lead with a thrilling stage win. Movistar Team's Nairo Quintana battled for a close second 29 seconds back.
Two category 4 climbs in the first 30km set the stage for an early break in the day. RadioShack Leopard's Spanish pro, Markel Irizar, made the first group and spent the majority of the race out front in preparation for Andy Schlek's potential attack.
Markel's SRM race file is a spectacular example of the power and endurance required for a rider at the Pro Tour level.
Markel's average power over the 242.5km stage was 305.7 watts with an 84rpm average cadence. He averaged 39kph while climbing over 3,700 meters with a 130bpm heart rate average. Irizar burned over 6,600 kilocalories with his effort in the breakaway, the equivalent of more than 13 BigMacs!
In order for Markel to make the initial 10 rider break early on he had to push 342.5 average watts in the first 54km. He held an average speed of 45.2kph with an 87rpm average cadence.
Markel Irizar: “This was my first time on Ventoux. I was in the break for most of the day and I felt like I had good legs. That’s why I went with Riblon in the beginning of the climb. The plan was to stay in front as long as possible in case Andy was to come up."
Markel rode the 21km ascent with 324.1 average watts and 75rpm average cadence. His average speed to the summit was 15.6kph and he burned nearly 1,500 kilocalories on the climb alone.