2013 Tour Down Under – Quarq power analysis Stage 06
Sunday, 28th January
The final stage of the 2013 Tour Down Under sees Serge Pauwels looking to secure a well earned top 20 finish. As even though it is the first race of the season, 20th represents some handy UCI World Tour points that are crucial now for teams to accumulate.
If the street circuit looked tough on television the ride summary certain confirms this. There would certainly have been a few riders preferring an easy final stage after the first stage race of the year, however a champagne sipping roll in to Paris this was not.
At just under two hours the energy expenditure was nearly as high as other, much longer, stages of the Tour. AP of 274w and a NP of 290w are also the highest we have seen all Tour. So not only was the race intense (the minimal NP to AP differential further illustrates this) but there was also precious little time for Pauwels to have any sort of respite. In fact, the ride plot shows precisely how much (or rather, little) freewheeling Serge was afforded….
The best he could manage was backing off the pedals. Which when compared to previous stages, the blue cadence line never hits zero. Critical power was, for the most part, hovering just below Tour ‘bests’with everything after the 1:05:00 mark all new top powers.
The race tactics of Sky and Lotto dictated a very tough finale, with the speed in the final 5 minutes of the race never lower than 42km/h – average was actually closer to 50km/h.
The final power spike also correlates with Pauwels putting in one final push to ensure he stayed close enough to the main finishing bunch that he didn’t lose time, yet was not in the way of the lead out trains or sprinters pushing for the win. We can see from this part of the plot that the speed was close to 60km/h. Over the closing kilometres Pauwels was not close to the front of the peloton where speed would have certainly been above this. Travelling faster than Pauwels in the final 500-700 meters Mark Renshaw, Andrew Greipel, Edvald Boasson-Hagen and Matt Goss launched their sprint!
The numbers alone in this post can’t illustrate just how fast the final metres of a sprint really are… Next time you are coasting down a descent or have a roaring tail wind, up the speed to close to 60km/h and think ‘this is the speed at which the pro riders start their sprits’.
RIDE would once again like to thank Omega-Pharma Quickstep, SRAM, Quarq and especially Serge Pauwels for allowing us this insight in to a professional cyclist. Also congratulations on the top 20 final placing, we have all seen exactly how much hard work it actually required.
Thanks to Omega Pharma-Quickstep and Quarq. For more information please click on the logos below.
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