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1. Ben Swift (GBR) Sky Pro Cycling 1:53:47
2. Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Pro Cycling s.t.
3. Matthew Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad s.t.
1. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 17:54:27
2. Matthew Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad :02
3. Ben Swift (GBR) Sky Pro Cycling :08
"Today was the final day of the 2011 Tour Down Under and it could not have gone any better for me or the team. I didn't have great legs in the race and I was finding it a hard race after Stage 5's race up Willunga. But the team did a perfect job and my legs came around just in time. That was the best lead out I have ever had. thanks for following my data through out the tour and I hope you have all enjoyed reading it."
Ben had an amazing race having won on a day when he actually didn't feel all that great. This shows how sometimes you just have to stick it out and ride like a true champ.
Stage 6 started out pretty moderate with the first half average watts being 239w. The second half of the race is where Ben really had to dig in and hold his position with the help of his teammates. The second hour of the race had an average watts of 252w (301normalized power). The final 10' of the event saw Ben push an average of 333w.
Reviewing Ben's stage 6 file gives us great insight into what it takes to win at the highest levels. During Sunday's stage Ben recorded his highest 1-minute (CP1) power output of the Tour Down Under at 651w. The final sprint maxed out at 40mph and 1282 max watts! He averaged 106rpm (113max rpm) for 22 seconds. There are certainly other riders who can produce the same numbers so that is why experience, positioning and team work play such a large role in bike racing.
Ben is gaining valuable experience which he hopes to carry with him throughout the season. His next main goal is the UCI World Track Championships which will be held at the end of March.
Ben averaged 235watts in stage 4 yet his normalized power, which is more representative of the actual physiological stress, was 312watts. Ben set his highest 5-minute power output of 421w on the first climb (Checker Hill) of the day. It is interesting to note that Ben had his hardest 10-minute stretch within the first hour of the stage. This is quite common as the riders attack and race hard at the beginning to establish the day's breakaway. Once the break gets away the peleton tends to back off and eases into a steady pace with the goal of of reeling in the break within a few kilometers of the finish. Stage 4 saw the breakaway finally succeed by a mear 24 seconds. The peleton certainly chased hard thoigh as seen with Ben's 356 normalized power value for the final 15 minutes of the race.