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The 2010 Amgen Tour of California was an amazing event and not easy by any means. The level of racing on US soil has progressed to a point where just finishing the Tour of California is a big accomplishment. The race files are amazing to look at and most people can't imagine the amount of work these guys expend each day for eight straight days. In fact you only have to take a look at the stage results to see how difficult this race was. For example, the results for just the sixth stage between Palmdale and Big Bear Lake (7,000ft above sea level) show eleven riders didn’t make it to the finish line within the 9% cutoff time, and 17 starters simply decided to drop out. That makes 28 riders who never made it to the start of the stage 7 time trial in Los Angeles. Less than half (63) of the 128 starters actually officially finished the entire Tour of California.
TrainingPeaks was fortunate enough to be allowed to post daily race files after each stage. The riders were:
Here are some interesting stats from the 2010 Amgen Tour of California:
Kilojoules- The Hardest Stage
Lill- 4844kj, Stage 6: Big Bear
Fuglsang- 6364kj, Stage 6: Big Bear
Total Accumulated KJ’s
Lill- 28,221kj (avg 3,527kj/day)
*Fuglsang – 29,061kj (avg of 3,632kj/day)
*Fuglsang- Stage 8 is not available so we can assume it was around 3,000 based on Darren Lill’s power file and the two finished in the same group together tied for 40th place 15’ down.
Hardest Stage Measured by Training Stress Score (TSS) Value
Lill- 361TSS, Stage 6: Big Bear Lake
Fuglsang- 431TSS, Stage 6: Big Bear Lake
Total Accumulated (Eight-Day) TSS Points
Lill- 2254 TSS total
Fuglsang- 2192 TSS
The Tour of California is arguably just as difficult as the hardest week of the Tour de France. The US domestic teams certainly deserve a lot of credit for any amount of success they find at the Amgen Tour of California. The race has evolved to a level where the European-based riders can’t simply show up with sub-par fitness. Just finishing the Tour of California now pushes each rider to the limit and keeps pretenders away.