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Suze-la-Rousse - Sisteron, 176.5km
1-Luis leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank (4:07:58)
2-Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
41-Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky (+00:14)
128-Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky (+08:21)
Wattage: 264W avg (312 normalized power- Highest of the week so far!)
Training Stress Score: 260 TSS
Body weight: 73.5kg
Just as predicted, stage 6 was an ideal day for a breakaway to succeed and in fact we did see two riders survive to the finish and take the victory by only 14 seconds ahead of the main peloton. The breakaway may not have survived without the hard charging efforts of Jen Voigt. Voigt attacked the final Category 3 climb with only 12.5kms to go and only Luis Leon Sanchez could respond and hang onto his rear wheel. The two veteran riders passed under the final red kite and prepared for a dual, which saw the Spaniard take top honors.
Bradley Wiggins stayed safe in the group, which finished just behind the lead duo to retain the yellow jersey once again. This was not an easy stage however as Sanchez at one point was nearly the virtual overall leader on the road. This meant the Team Sky boys had to dig in and bring the breakaway back to a manageable time gap.
The day started out rough for the team with a category 3 and a category 2 climb all within the first two hours of racing! This is never a good sign if you are looking to retain an overall lead like Team Sky. By having two big climbs in the first half of the stage rival teams can send riders up the road to gain some serious time early in the stage. Looking at Pate’s SRM power values he averaged 296w for the first two hours of racing, or 334 normalized power. This was by far the hardest two hours of racing so far in Paris-Nice!
Stage 6 also saw Pate set his Peak 6-minute power value of the week a 437w, and his peak 20-minute power value at 371w.
Following the first two hours of racing Team Sky found themselves in a high-pressure situation where no other teams would help them bring down the time gap to the breakaway group. Pate, and the rest of the team, rose to the occasion and as we can see Pate set his highest normalized power value of Paris-Nice so far at a whopping 312np for over 4 hours. This is essentially what he would have averaged if he rode today’s stage at a constant power output. The stress of all of the power surges and spikes is not well reflected in the average power value, which within stage 6 was 264 watts.
Team Sky took control and brought the lead group’s advantage to within nearly 2-minutes before other teams started to lend a hand. At this point with about 3okms to go Pate’s job for the day was complete and he ended up finishing in the third group 8 minutes behind the winner. Pate’s final hour of racing today averaged only 203w.
In order or Wiggins to win Paris-Nice on Sunday the team needs to have one more perfect day tomorrow within the 7th stage since Sunday’s final stage is an individual time trial. Pate and the rest of the team will be laser focused tomorrow in an effort to help Wiggins enter Sunday in the bst position possible ahead of his rivals.