Stage 02:

Mt Barker to Rostrevor (116.5km). 
Wednesday, 23nd January 


Stage 2 of the Tour Down Under saw a much more ‘lumpy’ day than Stage 1, just the recipe for all of us hoping to get some juicy power data! Anyone who has ridden Corkscrew Road will know there’s no easy way to roll up there, and today’s data shows us just what sort of effort was required to stay with the GC contenders.

Serge Pauwels has again been extremely generous and shared his power file with us. The Belgian climber is now a genuine contender on the overall GC after finishing 17th on the stage. For a full explaination of some of the terms used please refer to our introduction.

Firstly lets look at  the ride summary for today’s stage:

Stage 2 ride summary


Here we can see that both the average and normalised (xPower) powers are higher than yesterday. Less overall energy was actually burned for the day (so Serge might not need that second dessert), however some of this is owing to the shorter distance of today’s stage – nearly 20km less than Stage 01.

We also have the benefit of being able to lay Stage 02’s power over the first days plot, which is reflected in Critical Power chart showing that at nearly every time interval values are higher than Stage 01.

Stage 2 critical power

In addition to this we can see that the ride plot shows significantly less freewheeling today. The racing was harder and faster! Serge was certainly not having anywhere near the opportunities to save his legs.

Stage 2 ride plot (smoothed 30s)


Today though was all about Corkscrew Road and getting in a good position leading into the climb. It was here that the gaps would appear and that Geriant Thomas made his winning move. Below is the ride plot for Corkscrew alone.

Stage 2 ride plot (Corkscrew Road)


Strava shows that Ben Hermans did the climb in 7:36 and from this ride plot we can see Serge was certainly close to this time. His power for the same time was an impressive 434w, or 6.8w/kg! When you consider  that it also came after a 290w (4.5w/kg) 10 minute effort, just to position himself for the climb, it really does show the kind of efforts required at this level.

Another interesting stat for the stage is the high cadence achieved during this climb. Corkscrew Road is steep (average gradient pushing 10%), so to maintain an average mid-80 RPM cadence it almost begs the question if a compact chainring combination was used? Possibly a cassette in SRAM’s 11-28 range with a compact  (50/34) chainring… this would have allowed Pauwels to spin at that speed for the duration of the climb.

Serge also produced a 5.5w/kg 20 minute power (comprised in large part by the final climb and the run in to the finish) as well as a spike of 1166w at the end of the race. Pauwels clearly was looking to make sure he did not give up any easy places on GC, fighting to the very end of the stage.

Could these be the power files of this year’s Tour Down Under overall winner? With the power to weight numbers we are seeing, it is clear Serge has arrived in decent shape to be a contender. Let’s see how the power pans out as the race goes on.

Thanks to Omega-Pharma Quick-Step and Quarq.  For more information please click on the logos below.




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