15 July 2015
By: Elliott Parshall and Michael Better
Published at velonews.competitor.com
The Pyrénées are some of the hardest mountains of the Tour de France, especially when you are pulling someone else up the climbs. Showing everyone how tough it is, Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick-Step) uploaded his stage 11 ride to Strava after finishing Wednesday’s grueling stage in the Pyrénées.
Kwiatkowski’s stage 11 ride data is here in his Strava file.
Stage 11 of this year’s Tour de France featured an 116.4-mile route that included a 12km (7.45-mile) climb up the Col d’Aspin (and a 17.1km (10.6-mile) climb up the Col du Tourmalet. Over the course of the stage, the riders climbed 11,873 feet and hit speeds in excess of 100kph (60mph) on the descents. On the ascents, their speed dropped to as low as 10kph (6mph).
Mark Cavendish’s top speed while descending and while eating a rice cake no less… 102.2kph
To read the full article in Velonews, click here.
To link to the Tour de France website, click here.
The following day, Kwiatkowski’s posted his stage 12 ride data, here in his Strava file. Stage 12 was 193.1km long and featured 4 mountain passes: 1 category 2 climb, 2 category 1 climbs, and finished with a HC climb into the finish line. The HC and category 1 climbs were 12-16km in length, averaging grades between 5.7% and 7.9%.
Bike Handling Skills
If you are going to ride at 100+ km/h, stick with the top descenders, and refuel all at the same time, then you better have some. At 100km/h with the road edge only meters away, on narrow roads often barrier-less prior to ravines or cliffs which fall into forest, rock, river or all of the above, there is neither time to learn, nor to panic, you need to have trained to arrive well prepared if you want to be remotely competitive.
Consider that even with a top speed of 102+ km/h, an average speed of 33+ km/h, average power of 245 watts, a max of 552 watts, and having burnt through 5,396 calories, Michal Kwaitkowski finished Stage 11 of the Tour, 32:35 behind the winner Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo).
It leaves one only to imagine the stats required to win a Stage, and the stats that the GC contenders have to put up for all 21 stages in order to podium.