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1 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 6:07:56
2 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:02:07
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:02:15
123 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 35:40
Total Time = 6:42
TSS = 376
Average Power = 274 Watts
Avg Normalized Power* = 314W
Avg HR = 129 bpm
Max HR = 166 bpm
Mean Maximal 1-minute power = 583 w
Max Maximal 5-minute power = 440 w
Mean Maximal 20-minute power = 379 w
Avg Cadence = 77 rpm
Avg Speed = 18.5mph
THE HARDEST STAGE IN THE 2011 TdF! Flecha burns 6622kiloJoules, which is about 7000 kCalories!!! When was the last time you burned 7000 kCalories in a day and in less than 7 hours!? Flecha didn’t disappoint me and he was on the attack early again this stage. The first hour, his normalized power was 387 watts, which is in his sub-threshold training zone, but still hard and fast and lots of attacks. I wish he would have made the break today, but just not to be. It really goes to show you how hard it is to make the winning break in these stages. He has tried for 5 stages now and had so many near misses.
Once the break was away, Flecha put it in survival mode and began to eat, drink and rest for the three MONSTER climbs that are fast approaching. The Col Agnel was the toughest of the day for Flecha as the last 20 minutes near the top were steep at an average of 10% and the elevation went from 7047’ to 9120’! That is some serious elevation folks. At that elevation, you can expect to see a solid 10% reduction in your power output and with Flecha’s FTP at 420watts, a 10% reduction is 378 watts. For those super hard 20 minutes near the top of the Agnel, his normalized power was 387! For sure he was on the limit for those 20 minutes and right near the top, he got popped off the group, but was able to catch on during the descent.
The Izoard and the Galiber were much more casual for Flecha as he rode at his endurance and tempo pace up each climb and saving energy for the rest of stages. What is incredible is just the sheer effort that he put out in today’s stage, just to complete it. 376 TSS points today easily eclipses his next hardest day Stage 14 with a TSS of 334 and accumulating that many TSS on stage 18 is truly a testament to the best athletes in the world. Way to go Flecha!
* Click here to learn what TSS (Training Stress Score), IF (Intensity Factor), NP (Normalized Power) and FTP (Functional Threshold Power) are, and how you can use these metrics along with a power meter to optimize your own training and racing just like pro's. Click here if you don't have a power meter but still want the benefits some of the same metrics in your training and racing.
Data captured by SRM Powercontrol 7.
Thank you to Team Sky Pro Cycling and Juan Antonio Flecha for allowing us to share race data and provide analysis on today's stage.
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