Tour de France Stage 13

Tejay's Alpine Power on SRM

July 18, Stage 13: Saint-Étienne - Chamrousse 197.5km

Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team climbed from sixth to fifth in the overall standings Friday on the strength of a sixth-place finish on the Tour de France's first day in the Alpine mountains.

The BMC Racing Team is sponsored by SRM and Tejay along with the performance team staff shared van Garderen's SRM race file to illustrate the physical demands of a Tour de France Alpine stage.

(Text and quote contribution from the BMC Racing Team Media Service)

Tejay Van Garderen

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Racing at 1m85 with 68kg, Tejay averaged 228 watts with an average cadence of 76rpm. His speed average over the stage was 37kph as he climbed just over 3,480 meters total. Tejay burned more than 3,400 kilocalories in the early Alpine stage.

Dealing With The Heat

On a day when temperatures soared, van Garderen lost contact with the leading group on the climb to the finish of the 197.5-kilometer race. But riding his own pace, van Garderen recovered to finish 1:23 behind race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team), who soloed to win his third stage.

"I had confidence coming in, but dealing with the heat is a different element and sometimes I struggle with it," van Garderen said. "So I am happy to have had a good ride. It was a climb that suited to me, so I just tried to stay in my rhythm and I am happy to have moved up." 

Climbing to Chamrousse

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Van Garderen received support from teammate Peter Stetina in the early parts of the 18.2 km climb to the finish. "We just had to keep him in the front and keep him out of the wind and in good position," Stetina said. "It ended up being a real hard day because Katusha had their big, strong classics guys rolling the front all day. So by the time we hit the climbs, two-thirds of the field was dead." 

Tejay pushed 338 average watts up the final climb for over 50 minutes. His cadence average was 84rpm and he maintained an average speed of 21kph.

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said the stage went according to plan. "For us, it was perfect," he said. "It was a hard day and we have another one to come. But all the guys did a good job today. It is a step-by-step process." 

Battling Heat with Haimar (Trek Factory)

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In the stage 13 the performance was lower than expected due to extreme heat conditions. The average Tº (measured by SRM) until that day was 24 degrees. That day the average was 37º. Other parameters increasing the hypertermia were the length of the stage and specially the amount of time riding low speed in the 2 long climbs of the stage (1h40’). All together makes that the radiation, convection and evaporation are much lower and not enough to keep the balance of the core temperature. In those conditions the core temperature could be elevated even over 40º putting the riders in a critical threshold to perform. As response to the heat, there is a “competition” between muscles’ need for blood and distribution of blood to the skin to facilitate cooling. This INCREASES THE HEART (HR) AND SWEAT RATES. THAT DAY WE SAW THE HIGHEST HR AVERAGES AND WEIGHT LOSSES (DEHYDRATION) OF THE TOUR. THE HR WAS 2-3% HIGHER THAN IN STAGE 14 FOR EXAMPLE AND THE AVERAGE WEIGHT LOSS WAS AROUND 3%(OF BODY WEIGHT) WITH 2 GUYS OVER 4%. As a result we have a reduction of the muscle endurance. - Josu Larrazabal, Sports Director 

The stage to Chamrousse proved much harder on the road than on paper.  With temperatures above 30C all day, the heat was a big shock to the riders' systems after the wet and relatively cool first week of the race.  The pace put on by Katusha earlier in the stage also took it's toll, as they pulled for almost 100km at an infernal pace leading into the bottom of Palaquit.  On the final climb to Chamrousse, Haimar averaged just over 5 W/Kg for 52min, which put him in 11th place on the stage, moving him up 4 places on GC to 14th.  While the performance was somewhat lower than Haimar's personal best 60 min power, the fact that he finished only 2 minutes behind stage winner Nibali showed that all of the GC favorites suffered from the stage's stresses just as much and Haimar. - Jordan Roessingh, Technical Director

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