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1 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 5:27:09
2 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:05
3 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ 0:00:13
136 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 00:16:38
*Missing last 35km after his crash*
Total Time = 5:43
TSS = 318
Average Power = 299 Watts
Avg Normalized Power* = 348
Avg HR = 137
Max HR =170
Mean Maximal 1-minute power = 577
Max Maximal 5-minute power = 493
Mean Maximal 20-minute power = 446
Avg Cadence = 85rpm
Avg Speed = 23.0 mph
From excitement and exhilaration that Juan Antonio Flecha made the winning break and the possibility of a stage win, to the sheer shock and disbelief that occurred when a French TV car bumps him and crashes him and Johnny Hoogerland out of the breakaway….. it was a day of mixed emotions.
Flecha was strong, he was REALLY strong today. He surprised me with his incredible power output on the first climb Cote De Massiac. I have been estimating his Functional Threshold Power (FTP) at 420 watts for the first 8 stages and he certainly confirmed today as his Peak 20 minutes was 446 watts up the climb. One of the best ways to test your FTP is through a 20 minute all out test, and then subtracting 5% off of this number will give you your FTP(your best avg. power for an hour). If we take 446 watts for that peak 20 minutes, and subtract 5%, we get 423 watts, which is exactly what I was estimating his FTP to be.
Flecha went into the breakaway on the Cote de Massiac and was in the break until the car took him out 3 hours 48 minutes later. During this time in the breakaway, he climbed 9475’, burned 4500 kilo Calories, averaged 351 watts (Normalized) and scored 265 TSS points. Incredible effort by Flecha in the breakaway and what a perfect opportunity to take a stage win. During his time in the breakaway, he rode over eight climbs and generally averaged 360-400 watts on each one, which is right in his Sub-threshold/Tempo zone. Only one climb gave Flecha a lot of trouble and he had to average 460 watts up the beginning of Perthus climb, which threatened to put him out of the group, but his superior pacing skills kept him in control and he pushed right at his threshold at 418 watts for the next few minutes before the decent to the next little hill and then he was back in the break and riding at sub-threshold or 400 watts.
The rest of the eight climbs were definitely hard and Flecha had to really push himself to stay with the other top riders in the breakaway, and clearly this was a star-studded breakaway. There wasn’t much sharing of the pace in the break, since the stage was either up or down, certainly Flecha pulled his share, but it’s hard to share the pace on the climbs. All of the five breakaway riders began working together smoothly after the Cote de Prat de bouc, and I have marked this section in the WKO+ file. Nearly each spike in the power file is a ‘pull’ at the front of the breakaway and Flecha’s pulls were all around 400-500 watts for up to 25 seconds. When he was ‘sitting’ in the group and not pulling he was generally riding at 200-270 watts.
The crash. What an incredibly horrible crash and completely unbelievable. Flecha had just gotten to the front of the breakaway and was beginning his pull when the French TV car turned right into him taking him and Hoogerland down. IF you look at his WKO+ file, he was riding at 31.1 mph when he went down. What a tumble it was. Thankfully, both he and Hoogerland were o.k, but that ended their chances for a stage win. In the crash, Flecha’s bike was damaged and he had to have a new bike, which did not have an SRM power meter on it, so we don’t have data for the final 35km of the stage. So, reminder: All of the data totals above do NOT include the final 35km where he chased for quite a while and then sat up and rode in after the peloton came by, losing more than 16 minutes to the Stage winner Sanchez.
What could have been…..I know he will recover fast and the rest day tomorrow will be good for him. Stage 10 is actually another good stage for him, along with Stage 11, and those might be his last hopes at getting a stage win in this year’s tour. Do everything you can to recover Flecha, I want to see you shoot an arrow this year!
* 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.
File Analysis by Hunter Allen, Co-Author of "Training and Racing with a Power Meter" and Co-Developer of TrainingPeaks WKO+ analysis software.
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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