Palmdale to Big Bear Lake, 135.2 miles
Stage finish: 28th
General Classification: 23rd at 17:52
Avg watts: 261w (304np)
Max Watts: 1024
avg heart rate: 143
Max HR: 185
Wow what a day of racing. The Palmdale to Big Bear stage 4 was a massive 213kms race straight up seven categorized climbs. Not only did the climbs take their toll but the elevation gain placed the riders near 7,500ft
Jakob Fuglsang rode off the front within the first 10 miles to join a group of 8 men that gained a maximum of 6:40. Jakob also had his teammate Andy Schleck in the break away plus big names such as George Hincapie (BMC) and Jason McCartney (TRS). Nearing the final 30km's Jakob was wearing thin and came off of the break and was reabsorbed by the 25-man chase group before he lost contact again. All of this is in preparation for the Tour de France in July and the Tour of California is certainly helping him gain better fitness.
The course was in a nutshell two three-hour climbs with a descent in the middle. Oh plus cross winds between the two mountains. This was an unrelenting stage. If it wasn't the actual climbing that killed you, the wind and thin air at 7,000ft would.
This stage was by far the hardest of the Tour of California having produced Jakob's highest kilojoules at 6364. He also set his highest average watts for a stage at 261watts (304np) and his highest average heart rate at 143bpm.
The real race will be to see which can recover the best tonight as tomorrow is a long time trial in downtown Los Angeles. Hopefully we see power data from Jakob tomorrow. I'd expect to see his power to above 380w if he rides it strong and recovers well. Otherwise we will see a reading closer to 350w.