Updated 13th July 2019
Since the advent of power meters being used in cycling we have heard that a Professional Cyclist needs to be able to produce around 6+ watts per kilogram for an hour to be a Tour De France winner.
And while there is truth in that. It is far too simplistic and maybe even insulting to the Tour winner.
Video Watch Sam Bennett weave his way through the calvacade getting back to the peleton
Just to survive the first week of the Tour De France bike handling skills and nerve are essential.
Cycling around narrow, cobbled roads at 60 to 100kph on descents kph elbow to elbow with other riders takes a lot of skill and nerve.
Road furniture is a constant hazard and full concentration is required to survive this and get through each stage.
The amount of nervous energy used by a not so skillful rider could just wear them down so much that they end up sick or exhausted by the time they hit the mountains.
Or the amount of energy wasted by riding out in the wind because of poor positioning could also wear them down.
Video Cancellara Descending Then when they get to the mountains they have to survive descents at 100 to 120 kph as the great descenders drop like stones to put pressure on.
So for any aspiring Tour winner work on bike handling skills! a
s it looks like this approach to finding the Tour De France winner is going to be a feature of the Tour for a while.
Colombian cyclists development system
The system put in place by Colombian cycling to have their riders race and train with an academy system based in Europe is really paying off. There are now a number of great all round Colombian cyclists challenging for Honours in the Tour.
This is a change from the days when Columbians ran riot in the mountain stages but lost time on flat stages
The cobbles usually work in the favour of bigger riders with high absolute power. So to see light climbers and all rounders mixing it with the front groups on the flat and cobbles suggests that top Tour Rider now need a full suite of skills as well as power..
Roll on the mountains!!
Paddy Doran level 3 Cycling Coach http://www.peakendurancecoaching.com
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