Stage 4 of Tour of Utah started off fast and furious and because of the magic of modern technology, we can watch the opening salvos of every stage on the Tour Tracker. From a personal standpoint, I’m pumped about that. It gives cycling the ability to step into the 20th Century (yes, 20th Century) and begin the widespread use of video/film study to help develop an athlete’s skill as bike racers. But that’s for another article, stay tuned.
As with every race, the opening moves are a high speed, high stakes game of chess and poker. Having assets up the road is important strategically and everyone wants that advantage. However, if everyone is in the move, then it’s just the peloton. So there’s a mad scramble to put teammates up the road and leave the peloton behind.
The Tour of Utah is a UCI 2.HC stage race, which means that some of the best in the country and world are present and ready to compete. That also means that getting up the road is hard. Really hard. And it takes longer because everyone wants up the road and everyone is really fit.
So how hard, exactly was that first 90 minutes in stage 4 of Tour of Utah? Let’s take a look at Connor Brown of Elevate- KHS Pro Cycling Team as he was active throughout that first 90 minutes.
The entire day:
Now, let’s take a look at the opening salvos…
Altitude definitely plays a significant role in the performance of the athletes and Elevate- KHS Pro Cycling was able to send riders to altitude to train for the conditions. I’m able to use built in analytical tools, along with some I developed within WKO4, along with the 4iiii power meters and garnish an immense amount of data from each rider.
First, some general stats…
- Time at or above FTP (functional threshold power): 19:30
- 1:50 at >780W
- Average power/ weight: 4.6 w/kg (adjusted to altitude)
To put that in perspective, these numbers are very comparable to Saturday’s race at Tulsa Tough except that at the Tour of Utah, the day begins when the break forms. The riders still have ~3 hours and 2300kJ of racing to complete that day!
Here’s a zoom in of the first 90 minutes:
Connor was incredibly active for the first 50 minutes. Always in the mix and always in the front. That effort came at a cost, however, and you can see the ~20 minute “rest” before he engages again. Also of note is the number of major moves where Connor was present (starred). Each of those stars is a big effort, anywhere between 400-500W average. In this context, we see the accumulation of ~10:30 effort, without the advantage of soft pedaling afterwards.
At the end of the day, you’ll see the big effort again as Connor helps to set up teammate Alfredo as he sprinted for 2nd place on the stage. That, also was a big match at 375W for ~7minutes, after 4:20 and 3400kJ of racing.
So that’s a quick summary of what it takes to ride the first part of the Tour of Utah, before the break away establishes.
Thanks for reading.
About Adam Mills, MSEd, RCEP: Adam is currently the Performance Director of the Elevate- KHS Pro Cycling Team. He has raced at the elite level since 2002 and graduated with a Masters in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kansas in 2005. His true talent comes with his ability to combine his vast experience with his knowledge of sport. He is indeed a student of science, sport, athletic performance, strategy, and tactics. He continuously educates himself by keeping up to date with current trends and methods in sport and his clients have reaped the benefits from this work with over 13 national championships in 8 disciplines on two continents. Adam is able to incorporate these attributes on a daily basis to help his clients reach and exceed their goals whether they are a beginner or a seasoned professional. Learn more about Adam and Source Endurance here.