UnitedHealthcare’s Marc de Maar rode a strong opening stage at the Amgen Tour of California on Sunday. De Maar finished 22nd in Santa Rosa and his primary role was to make sure his teammate, Rory Sutherland, made it safely to the finish with the first group. De Maar has been racing very well recently in races such as the Giro del Trentino in Italy and he should perform well in California this week, as long as he has recovered from his European campaign.
Team Doctor Iñigo San Millan described the opening stage, saying, “It was a hard stage as we saw at the top of the last climb where without attacks there were only about 25-30 guys left. A tough, uncomfortable, rolling terrain on rough roads, the first stage of the tour and the fast pace by the top teams to bring the breakaway back took a toll in a bunch of guys. The way the Tour of California has started will make this tour a hard one for sure!”
1. Peter Sagan, Liquigas-Cannondale in 4:42:35
2. Heinrich Haussler, Garmin-Barracuda at s.t.
3. Fred Rodriguez, Exergy at s.t.
22. Marc de Maar, UnitedHealthcare at s.t.
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Training Stress Score: 270 TSS
Energy: 3935 KJ
Body Weight: 70kg
Average Cadence: 82 rpm
Peak Power Values
Average Watts: 234 W
Max Watts: 1034W
Normalized Power: 297
Peak 1-minutes: 529 W
Peak 6-minutes: 458 W (Set on Coleman Valley Road)
Peak 20-minutes: 374 W
Peak 180-minutes: 264 W
As you take a look at de Maar’s file it is easy to see how the Coleman Valley Road climb demanded the riders be in top form. De Maar held 445w for seven minutes on Coleman Valley and that was only one small part of the intense racing. He also averaged 403w for 12 minutes within the same section of the race.
De Maar’s teammate, Jeff Louder, represented the team within an eight-man breakaway on today’s stage, which gained a maximum of eleven minutes. Louder finished within the front group and is now placed third in the overall classification.
It certainly wasn’t easy to finish in the front group as there were a large number of riders finishing more than four minutes behind the stage winner, Peter Sagan. Even if a rider survived the undulating course they still had to have luck on their side to not get caught in a crash with 3km to go. The final three minutes of racing into downtown Santa Rosa produced an average of 372w as de Maar stayed protected and didn’t contest the sprint. He finished just behind Sutherland, and UnitedHealthcare had another three riders finish in the first group.
Dirk Friel is a co-founder of TrainingPeaks.com. Follow Dirk at twitter.com/dirkfriel.