Le Tour de France Stage 18

l'Alpe d'Huez, Encore l'Alpe d'Huez: Moser, Voigt, and Gilbert

Stage 18 of the 100th Tour de France was a monumental day in cycling history. The 172.5km race began in Gap and finished on the mountain top, Alpe d'Huez. It was the 28th time the Tour de France has featured this notorious HC ascent, but the the first time ever that riders were challenged to climb the 13.8km, 8.1% grade, twice! After the first summit the course followed a technical descent back to the base and looped again up the 21 hairpin turns for a second time with a cool, stormy finish line waiting among the clouds.

The unforgettable day was also marked by France earning their first stage victory of the Tour with Christophe Riblon of Ag2r La Mondiale. Riblon won the stage ahead of Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) and Moreno Moser (Cannondale Pro Cycling) after attacking at the base of the second Alpe d'Huez climb. 

SRM race files below include Cannondale Pro Cycling's Italian pro, Moreno Moser, who battled for third after taking the KoM on Alpe d'Huez 1 and leading the descent to round 2. The famous German powerhouse Jens Voigt, riding with RadioShack Leopard, also shared a race file from his day driving the breakaway. BMC Racing Team contributed SRM data from their UCI Road World Champion, Philippe Gilbert, for added perspective on the days performances. 

Stage 18: Moreno Moser (Cannondale Pro Cycling)

Moreno Moser delivered a standout performance and placed third behind Riblon and Van Garderen. Moser, at approximately 63kg, averaged 297 watts over the 172.5km stage. His average speed over the day was 34.4kph with an average cadence of 85rpm.

"Today was the first day since the start in which I feel really good" said Moser. "In the morning, it didn't seem a good day to go in breakaway because we expected a big fight among the GC riders. Then, when the first riders escaped from the peloton, I decided to follow my instinct and try. I'm happy for the result and for my performance."

Race Averages: Moreno Moser (~63kg)

Time 5:01:01 min
AVG Power 297.3 watts
AVG Heart rate 158 bpm
AVG Speed 34.4 kph
AVG Cadence 85 rpm
ALT Gain 4151.0 meters
Distance 172.5 kilometers
Energy 5,369.5 kilojoules

Moser - Col de Manse

The first climb of the day greeted riders just after just 13km. The Cat 2 climb, Col de Manse, was approximately 6km long at 6.2%.  Moser reached the summit in 14 minutes with an average power of 393 watts. A clear indication of a his stellar performance in the race ahead.

Moreno Moser on Alpe d'Huez

Moser - Alpe d'Huez 1

Moser was part of the 8 rider breakaway at 150km to go and at the first ascent to Alpe d'Huez the group had been determined by Van Garderen and Riblon. Moser caught them just before the summit, he won the KoM and rode the descent alone, outdistancing both the riders.

The young Italian pro averaged over 360 watts up the first ascent to Alpe d’Huez. Moreno took the lead just before the summit with a 611 watt effort to claim the KoM.


Moser on the Solo Descent

As Moser navigated the solo descent he pushed over 204 average watts and maintained an average speed of 51kph. His max speed was midway down at 86kph.

Moreno led a solo descent to the base of Alpe d'Huez

Moser - Alpe d'Huez 2

At the foot of the second climb Riblon and Van Garden were able to overtake Moser. Moreno continued to climb at his own pace and reached the final summit in 44:37 with 337 average watts. Moser finished third for the day less than 1:30 behind Riblon.

"The Alpe d'Huez was really an amazing show, something that I'll keep inside for all my career."

Stage 18: Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard)

Straight after the neutral start RadioShack Leopard's Jens Voigt broke to the front. He drove the breakaway for much of the day requiring 309 average watts over the 172.5km course. Voigt's average power is likely higher than seen in this file as data was interrupted several times by the close proximity of television cameras and radios, but we are still able to get a very clear understanding of his strong performance in the Alps. 

In the post-race interview Voigt, now 41 years young, was asked how he still finds it within himself to fight for victory, “I don’t know – maybe plain stupidity! Maybe I just look at each stage as a one-day race and don’t think about the next day. I was pretty much all in today."

Race Averages: Jens Voigt (75kg)

Time 5:14:14 min
AVG Power 309.1 watts
AVG Heart rate 152 bpm
AVG Speed 32.99 kph
AVG Cadence 74 rpm
ALT Gain 4,148.0 meters
Distance 172.5 kilometers
Energy 5,827.77 kilojoules

Voigt Drives the Break

Voigt made his intentions clear from the beginning as he formed the break, pushing over 1,000 watt peaks in the first kilometers. He led the breakaway up the first climb, Col de Manse, with 390 average watts to the summit. 

Stage 18: Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team)

BMC Racing Team's Philippe Gilbert of Belgium worked in the peloton for the Queen stage. The SRM race file gives another perspective of the different types of performances required in the Tour de France.

Gilbert's average power riding in the peloton was 240 watts with an average cadence of 63rpm, as he had more non-pedal time riding in the group.  

Philippe pushed over 307 average watts up the first Alpe d'Huez climb with 71rpm average cadence at an average speed of 16kph. On the second ascent his group clocked a slightly slower time with an average speed of 15kph. By the summit he had averaged 277 watts with the same average cadence of 71rpm.

Race Averages: Philippe Gilbert (~66kg)

Time 5:32:48 min
AVG Power 239.7 watts
AVG Heart rate not available
AVG Speed 31.13 kph
AVG Cadence 63 rpm
ALT Gain 4,153.0 meters
Distance 172.5 kilometers
Energy 4,786.33 kilojoules
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