CORVARA, Italy (VN) — The first hour of the Giro d’Italia is sometimes harder than the last hour. The battle for the breakaway each day features some of the most intense and tactical racing of the day. Sometimes it can take 70km for the breakaway to form, and that usually means a very hard and fast start to the stage.

Unfortunately for fans, those early skirmishes of attacks and counter-attacks are rarely broadcast on TV. By the time the race is televised, the breaks has long been established.

In Friday’s hard mountain stage, Cannondale’s Joe Dombrowski bridged across to a big group that went away, and the Giro rookie said he had to dig deep to make the selection.

“Everyone was attacking in the first hour to make the break. It finally went on the flat, I had to ride across on the climb to join,” Dombrowski said. “That was a big effort, and that may have hurt me.”

Thanks to power meters, we can have a better idea of just how hard it is to ride into the breakaway. Here is a sampling of data from Dombrowski’s ride on Friday:
Average power: 286 watts
Normalized power: 335 watts
Max power: 1057 watts
Max speed: 93kph
Time racing: 4 hours and 36 minutes
5 minutes at peak power: 448 watts
20 minutes: 411 watts
30 minutes: 395 watts
To bridge across to break: 10 minutes at 430 watts