July 22, Stage 17: Pau - Col du Tourmalet 174km
1 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 5:03:29
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana
3 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:01:18
4 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions 0:01:27
57 Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:11:35
HARDEST STAGE in the 2010 Tour for Chris Anker!
Just when you thought the hardest day in the Tour was done.
Chris scored the most Training Stress Score points on today's stage at 370, which eclipses 358 TSS on Stage 9. He also had his highest 10 minute wattage of the Tour with 6.6 watts per kilogram, which bettered 6.5 w/kg on Stage 9 also.
Why did today's stage cause so much training stress? First off the beginning of the stage was not easy and Chris had a 17 minute effort that occurred about 30 minutes into the stage and it was quite hard with his normalized power average at 369 watts. The first climb of the day Col De Marie Blanque also was not easy and on the steady 16 minute section, Chris had a normalized power of 390 watts(6.0 w/kg) , which is right near his FTP of 395.
The Col du Soulor was next and took 36 minutes with a normalized power of 374 watts (5.8 w/kg). Note how his heart rate was over 166bpm for most of the day. So, up to this point, the stage was shaping up to be quite a hard day. With this being the last day in the mountains I believe that it was Team Saxo Banks' strategy to go all out and make the race as hard as possible.....and Chris was definitely helping to make that happen. He spent more time in his threshold zone today than any other day in this years TDF, granted not by much(only 1.3% more than stage 7) however it does go to show how hard Chris had to ride in today's stage.
On the final climb of the Tourmalet, Chris was the second rider in line to lead out Andy Schleck. Fabian Cancellara was having one of his best mountain days ever and started the leadout at the front on Tourmalet. When he swung off, Chris took over and knocked his best 10 minutes of the TDF at 415 watts or 6.6w/kg! His effort came to an end when Barredo made the first attack and then Andy Schleck attacked and only Contador could stay with him. At that point Chris' work was done and he cruised to the top of the Tourmalet at 314 watts or 4.9 w/kg.
Chris' work is now done. The mountains are over and he now only has to finish in Paris on Sunday for his 2010 TDF to be over. It's up to Andy Schleck now to win the time trial. I hope he gets to use his SRM on Saturday's stage so we can see how many TSS he gets in the stage.