Miles: 138.9 KM: 223.6
Start: Thu, May 19: Seaside
Finish: Paso Robles
Start Time: 9:15am Finish ETA: 3:13-3:45pm
Today’s 5 hour and 16 minute stage was a long and moderately difficult day. 138 miles over two category 4 climbs and several more uncategorized climbs is going to smart no matter which way you cut it. From Rory’s Twitter feed “That was a hard old 220km stage. Wind, climbs, heat (finally!!!)”. By the numbers Rory did 4,992 kilojoules and averaged 263 watts or 322 watts normalized. His intensity factor was 0.78 meaning Rory rode at 78% of the Functional Threshold Power or Tempo wattage. The kicker was that the stage lasted over 5 hours giving Rory a training stress score (TSS) of 322.
General Classification Power versus Breakaway Power:
There were no mega-power outputs to speak of nor unworldly power to weight ratios from Rory’s data. Given the terrain and the important time trial on Friday, the GC contenders were content to call a temporary truce and conserve as much energy as possible. In other words, make as little power as possible in stage 5 so they can make as much power as possible during stage 6. With that said, Rory still had to pedal 138.9 miles and be attentive at the front of the field to make sure he finished with the same time as Horner, Leipheimer, Schleck and other GC competitors.
Unlike Stages 2 & 3 where the greatest power outputs occurred at the end of the stage, Rory made his greatest power at the beginning of the stage being attentive to any dangerous GC moves going up the road without him. In the first 20 minutes of the race Rory did 444 watts normalized or 5.8 watts/kg. Based on Rory’s 6.3 w/kg for a similar duration up Sierra Road the day before, this 5.8 w/kg was hard but not full gas and Rory had it under control.
On the other hand, 2nd year pro & first time Tour of California rider, Jim Stemper of the Kenda 5 hour Energy Team was trying to get into a breakaway and similarly made 404 watts or 5.8 watts/kilogram. The only problem was that 5.8 watts/kg was well north of Jim’s Functional Threshold Power (375 watts) and he paid for it the next 100 miles (Stemper was in ‘the’ break during stage 4 as well). Therefore what is easy for one rider is really hard for another rider, even though they both remained in the peloton.
Tomorrow’s time trial is a big day so we’ll wrap up the stage 5 analysis now. Until tomorrow, you can view Rory’s interactive race file by clicking the Training Peaks File viewer link : http://tpks.ws/MGud
Power file analysis by Frank Overton, head coach at FasCat Coaching and owner of the FasCat Performance Cycling Center in Boulder, CO. Frank will be analyzing Rory’s Tour of California race data daily for VeloNews this week. For more information about Frank, FasCat Coaching, and their coaching or performance center services, please visit http://www.fascatcoaching.com/or email frank@FasCatCoaching.com