The Spring Classics
The Spring Classics are once again upon us, many cyclists believe it to be more exciting than Christmas! Already we’ve had Team Quick-step dominating over the brutal cobbled climbs of Flanders. Zdenk Stybar attacking at the perfect moment in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Bob Jungles soloing to victory from 16km out in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. It’s off to Italy on Saturday where from the comfort of your sofa you’ll be able to enjoy 184 km of strife in the Tuscan countryside. Strade Bianche is one of our favourites and includes 11 sections of gruelling “white road” averaging 6km each. These chalky gravel sections have a tendency to get muddy if it rains. So enjoy your glass Chianti and a large piece of Focaccia as you watch the world’s best cyclists suffer for a taste of glory!
(How can I watch Strade Bianche live on TV: Eurosports will be showing it from 13.00 on saturday 9th March)
So how much power does a pro cyclist put down during a world tour race?
The power a pro cyclist has to put down during a world tour race is important and until recently a closely guarded secret. Luckily for us Oliver Naesen of AG2R Le Mondiale, who came 10th over the 200 km of Omloop and 43rd over the 205 km of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne the following day, has published his power data for all to see!
Naesen who is 2017 Belgian road race champion powered ahead of the peloton as part of a successful breakaway at 85 km to go. The breakaway, including Bob Jungles the race winner, covered the ground in 2 hrs, averaging 43.4 kph. Strava tells us that Naeson tapped out an average 315w with a high of 1153w!
How long could you and I hold 315w…?
The efforts on the cobbled climbs are impressive
During the 5 hours of cobble strewn hell, the break worked extra hard up the cobbled climbs to draw away from the main bunch:
- Oude Kwaremont (89 km to finish) – he stormed up holding an average of 444w, his average speed was 25 kph and this hill kicks up to 20% in places!
- Kluisberg (81 km to finish) – Naesen averaged 438w and this also kicks up to 20%
- Tiegemberg-Vossenhol (63 km to finish) – he kicked out 449w
- Holstraat (60 km to finish) – he bossed with 403w
- Nokereberg (50 km to finish) – attacks were flying in and he held a 511w average, it makes my legs hurt just thinking about it
The power data in the last 16 km
Bob Jungles, Luxemburg road race champ and the eventual winner attacked and stayed away at 16 km to go. Naesen and pals were caught at 9 km to go. For the final 16 km he held an average of 328w just to stay with the pack who were traveling at around 50kph. So imagine what Bob Jungles was putting out to stay away on his own at around 50kph into a headwind – OUCH!
If you’ve ever wondered what the power a pro rider puts down during a 5 hour race then here you go!! Pretty epic!
Getting strong using power data
Now you may ask yourself “how do I get that fit?” the answer is: you probably never will, but you can try and the best way to do that is to buy a power meter – PowerSense of course, and train like crazy in power zones within this excellent guide our MD and bike racer/trainer and coach; Mike has produced for you.