Andy Schleck in Yellow: Power Data from Team Saxo Bank
In another exciting day at the Tour de France, Team Saxo Bank's Andy Schleck rode his way to the yellow jersey in a dominating performance that included amazing support from team mates like Chris Anker Sorensen, who rode at an average of over 300 watts for 6 hours. With numbers like that for Chris, just imagine what Andy did! Will this be the hardest stage of this year's Tour? View power data and analysis of all the stages so far, sign up for a free training account from RoadCycling.com, and read on for more.
In Stage 9 of the 2010 Tour de France, Saxo Bank's plan for the day went perfectly. "The plan was to put on huge pressure if Andy [Schleck] was feeling alright and thankfully, he was flying," said team owner Bjarne Riis. "Jens [Voigt], Chris [Anker Sorensen] and Jakob [Fuglsang] put in a world class effort and they actually started the massacre on our opponents."
As the peloton started up the biggest climb of the day, the hors categorie Col de la Madeleine, Team Saxo Bank took control for their leader as described on Velonews: "Chris Anker Sorensen came to the front and Saxo Bank began drilling it for Schleck, shedding first the classics riders and sprinters like Fabian Cancellara (Saxo) and green jersey Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam), and then stage racers like Amgen Tour of California champion Mick Rogers (HTC-Columbia) and Critérium du Dauphiné winner Janez Brajkovic (Team RadioShack)... Evans had one teammate setting tempo in the yellow-jersey group. Then Saxo Bank's Sorensen came to the front once more and put the pressure on."
"Chris went right to the front at the base of the climb and began setting the highest pace he could set for the climb in order to burn off as many riders as possible, thus launching Andy Schleck in a breakaway," explains Hunter Allen in his analysis of the day's data. "Chris' effort was highly effective as when he did pull over from the pace making at the front, there were hardly 15 riders left in the front group. In that 10 minutes that he was on the front, he averaged 410 watts, or 6.4 watts per kilogram! This pace was clearly above his Functional Threshold Power, as he could only maintain it for 10 minutes and when he pulled over, he rode at 358 watts for the next ten minutes in order to recover. For Chris, the entire Madeleine climb was 1:16 minutes long at an average normalized power of 334 watts."
"All in all, an outstanding performance by Chris Anker. We have seen this from him in last year's Tour as well, when he did roughly the same effort on Stage 20, leading out the Schlecks at the base of Mt. Ventoux," continues Hunter. "Chris has the ability to climb with the worlds best for sure and today was one of them. Had he been on his own, I would venture to guess that he could have climbed with Levi Leipheimer in that group and finished in the top 15. Team Saxo bank has one of the strongest well-rounded teams in the tour this year and Chris Anker is without a doubt one of the most important riders to help Andy in the mountains."
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