Tour de France - Stage 2

Jan Bakelandts wins stage two of the 2013 Tour de France (Photo: Graham Watson)

Radioshack Leopard Trek got the most pleasant of surprises at the end of Stage 02 of the Tour de France. With Jan Bakelants riding not only in to the stage win but also in to the Maillot Jaune.

RadioShack Leopard 13_jersey_OK

Throughout this season we have published an analysis of the power files from riders whose team have agreed and been generous enough to share the information. After allowing RIDE a look at Hayden Roulsten’s Tour of Flanders ride, Radioshack Leopard Trek have again been terrific and shared Jan Bakelants’ ride from stage 2.

So what did Jan’s day start like? Up until the final 20 minutes of the race, I doubt even he thought he would be the wearer of the Yellow Jersey by the end of the day.

The stage for the Belgium rider is below


Sadly we did not get the complete file, so not able to give ‘normalised power’. Average power though was 212 watts. With an average heart rate of 142, an average speed of less than 41km/h and no reason (before the attack) to be on the front of the bunch, we can safely assume that normalised power would not have been significantly higher. In fact, up until his attack, Jan’s day in the peloton appears to have been fairly easy.

That is not to say it was just 15 minutes of effort that got the Belgium rider the win. A break down of the final 23 minutes shows that the pace was already on before Jan jumped clear with fiver other riders in the race-winning move.


With a heart rate already in the 160’s, the RSNT rider made his move and went with the final break of the day – with an effort of 390W (5.8w/kg, assuming Jan is not lighter than the 67kg he is listed at) for 2:37.

From there, it was ten minutes at 373W (at a much more impressive 5.67w/kg) of work in the 6-man break in an attempt to hold off the peloton. The television never gives a great depiction of exactly how fast the riders go. If you get a chance to watch a replay keep in mind that 6 men were moving at 50km/h and still losing ground back to the peloton.

What sticks in all our memories though is the final, solo, dash for the line Bakelants makes for the finish line. There are a few moments when he looks back, almost in disbelief that the remaining break companions are not chasing him down. What is clear though, from the data, is that the Belgium rider leaves nothing on the road. 509W (7.6w/kg) for the last two kilometres is truly world class. After four hours of racing, no matter how ‘easy’ the majority of the race may have been, it is efforts precisely like that which you need if you want the honour of winning a Tour de France stage and wearing the Maillot Jaune.

A popular winner amongst his peers, it’s clear Jan’s talents are not just in his joke telling.

Nick Squillari (RIDE contributor)


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