1 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 3:13:25
2 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:14
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:00:23
73 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 0:17:40
Total Time = 3:30
Average Power = 323 Watts. Avg Normalized Power* = 357 watts
Avg HR = 136 bpm
Max HR = 163 bpm
Mean Maximal 1-minute power = 522 w
Max Maximal 5-minute power = 467 w
Mean Maximal 20-minute power = 423w
Avg Cadence = 80rpm
Avg Speed = 19.0mph
Flecha made the early breakaway in today’s stage and was right there when Contador came up to the group near the top of the Col De Telegraphe climb. Flecha was one of the few riders able to keep up with him.
On the Telegraphe climb, Flecha averaged 426 watts for 33 minutes which is right at his FTP and he averaged 438 watts in the last seven minutes when Contador caught the breakaway group and Flecha had to up his pace to stay with the 3x winner of the TdF over the top of the Telegraphe. The entire climb was Flecha’s second best effort of the 2011 TdF, with his best in the ill-fated stage 9, where he averaged 446 watts for 20 minutes. Considering that Flecha has now ridden 19 stages and he still could produce power at his threshold is quite a testament to his recovery powers and also to the maturity of his body in these grand tours.
Flecha hung on to the Contador train, even taking some pulls at the base of the next monster of a climb the Col De Galiber. He rode for only 5 minutes with the Contador group before he just couldn’t hang on any longer. During this 5minutes he averaged 450 watts, so a clear 30 watts over his FTP, before he just couldn’t hold the wheel any longer, which makes sense as that’s about 6.1 watts per kilogram and I have estimated Contador’s FTP at 6.3-6.4 watts per kilogram, which means that Flecha just won’t be able to compete with a climber like Contador up any big climbs. Once off the front group, Flecha dialed back the pace a bit to 360 watts for the remainder of the climb as more and more riders caught him and he settled into a rhythm.
On the L’Alp D’ Huez climb, he again had a nice rhythm right in his tempo zone and rode a very respectable time up the climb in 51 minutes, with an average wattage of 355. Must be nice to climb Alp D’ Huez in your tempo zone and do it in 51 minutes!
In all, a great way to finish his last chance for a stage victory with an aggressive attack and impressive amount of climbing! Could we see Flecha attack on the Champs Elysesses? I hope so!
* 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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