July 20, Stage 16: Bagneres-de-Luchon - Pau 199.5km
1 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom 5:31:43
2 Sandy Casar (Fra) Fran.aise des Jeux
3 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
4 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
82 Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:23:42
Must be a record! Hardest start to Tour stage ever!
That is one HECK of a start to a Tour stage. Gotta be a new record in terms of effort. 31 minutes at 6w/kg! That is unreal! I heard that most of the riders were warming up before the start, but that start EQUALS Chris hardest effort of the Tour so far! I can't get over that. Wow, what an incredible start. I am sure that there were many, many riders out of the back right from the start today and heard that at one point the 'peloton' was only 14 riders at the front.... There are only about 15 riders that are holding the wheel of Chris on the climbs, so I know that sounds about right!
Thankfully, the Col d' Aspin was a more sane 5.5 w/kg for 35 minutes and the pace slowed from there with the hour long Tourmalet climb at 4.7 w/kg
It's hard to tell where Chris was dropped from the leading peloton of 49 riders, but I suspect it was pretty early on, on the Col D' Aspin. If you notice the last 8 minutes of the Col d' Aspin, Chris' power really drops off down to 335-340 watts and I would guess this is when he got dropped and then brought the effort down. On the Tourmalet, he really scales back his effort in an attempt to conserve energy, which would also point to the fact that he was no longer in the front group of riders. I am not surprised as he put in a huge, huge effort yesterday for Andy Schleck, so would expect him to be hurting today.
The rest of the stage was relatively uneventful for Chris and he rode in his group of riders to the finish. Unfortunately, something happened to his SRM power meter in the last 12 minutes of the race and the data is not accurate. Up to this point, Chris had scored 337 TSS points, so maybe add on 5 more TSS for the last 12 minutes for a total of 342 for the day, which is definitely a new record fo this years Tour. He climbed over 13800 feet in today's stage, which is quite remarkable itself in the 5 hour 50 minute stage. Normalized power of 297 watts for the stage is 4.6 watts per kg for the stage, so similar to previous stages.