I remember after the "Twitter Time Trial" in Hawaii that Lance put on, there was a shot of his SRM computer showing his average speed, which was impressive at over 35mph (though he had a tailwind). But, he demured when it came to show his power output--booo!
Thankfully, Fabian Cancellara is not as bashful. After winning the Ronde van Flanderen yesterday, he kindly shared his ride data with Markus Neuert (@CycleFilm), who kindly shared it with the world.
So, for 259km over about 6:26 of racing.......
Max.Speed:80km/h - Max.Cad:147 - Max.HR:190 - Max.Power:1450W - Tot.Calories: 6459
Avg.Speed:40km/h - Avg.Cad:73 - Avg.HR:143 - Avg.Power:285W
That is why they call the man "Spartacus". 285W average is mind boggling when you consider all the easy riding in the early part of the race, and the coasting downhill. The average cadence of 73 indicates a fair amount of coasting. An average speed of 25mph for over 160 miles. According to Boonen, at the end he was doing over 30mph and still losing ground to Cancellara. I can maintain that kind of speed for about 300m, they did it for over 10km, with 250km already in their legs. 6459 kilojoules of work
The best sprinters can uncork up to 1600 watts for a short burst at the end. Spartacus hit 1450 watts in dropping Tom Boonen up the Muur, and probably held that level for around 30 seconds. Apparently he did not even mean to attack, he just decided to go a bit harder. "Ooops, I am sorry, did I just crush your dreams with my little acceleration." Boonen is a legitimate Hero in the cobbled classics, and Spartacus outclassed him on the Muur (Boonen cramped up, which did not help). Skip to about 2 mins into this video.
This is why I love the Classics--there are no accidental winners. No lucky breakaway that gives a domestique a chance to grab glory (well, almost never). The Classics are won by the most fearsome of the peloton's elite. Everyone knew Spartacus' gameplan. Only Boonen could answer to the first attack on the Paterberg, and on the Muur it became an anaerobic victory lap.
It is appropriate that there is a chapel on top of the Muur (or Kapelmuur, as it is also known), because it is one of the cathedrals of cycling. Heros are anointed here by the rabid crowd and steep cobbles. I could go on about cycling's cathedral's, but I think I will make that another post.
On a side note, Lance did pretty well to get 27th place. He was always up amongst the leaders, which I was glad to see after his lackluster performances earlier this season.
Bravo, Spartacus! I look forward to Paris-Roubaix this weekend.