Amgen Power Analysis: Deignan stage 7, Weening stage 6

TrainingPeaks co-founder reviews power data from the Amgen Tour's two mountain stages

Stage 7 Analysis: Philip Deignan
Ontario – Mount Baldy (126km)

Stage 7 was the last chance to win the Amgen Tour of California and no one left anything to chance. The day started out with an attack by general classification threat Chris Horner, looking to repeat his 2011 victory. Behind Horner, BMC Racing held their own, even with a reduced squad, and was able to get its young rising star, Tejay van Garderen, within reach of victory on the final climb.

As the lead group launched into the final climb up to the Mount Baldy ski area, UnitedHealthcare was fighting to keep Rory Sutherland in the top 10 on the general classification. Alongside Sutherland was his Irish teammate, Philip Deignan. The two fought all the way up the above category (HC) climb and finished in 17th and 18th, three minutes behind the stage winner, and overall Amgen Tour of California winner, Robert Gesink.

1. Robert Gesink, Rabobank 3:37:08
2. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado, Columbia-Coldeportes
3. Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo, Columbia-Coldeportes 0:00:14
18. Philip Deignan, UnitedHealthcare 0:03:15

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Training Stress Score: 254 TSS
Energy: 3434 KJ
Body Weight: 65 kg
Elevation Gain: 3190 m

Peak Power Values
Average Watts: 256 W
Max Watts: 890 W
Normalized Power: 297
Peak 1-minute: 446 W
Peak 6-minutes: 374 W
Peak 20-minutes: 349 W
Peak 180-minutes: 260 W

Climbers take center stage

Stage 7 featured three categorized climbs including two Cat. 2 climbs at Glendora Ridge Road and Glendora Mountain Road, and the final hors categorie climb to Mount Baldy. As you might imagine, Deignan had his highest power readings on the final climb of the day. However, the first two climbs were covered at a rapid pace as Horner was off the front and teams such as Garmin-Barracuda, Rabobank and BMC needed to stay within striking distance.

Summary of Stage 7 Climbs
Glendora Ridge Road (Cat. 2)
Time: 49 minutes
Distance: 20 km
Average Watts: 258 W
Average Heart Rate: 156 bpm
Max Heart Rate: 173 bpm
Watts per Kilogram: 4.0

Glendora Mountain Rd (Cat. 2)
Time: 43 minutes
Distance: 21 km
Average Watts: 325 W
Average Heart Rate: 159 bpm
Max Heart Rate: 171 bpm
Watts per Kilogram: 5.1

Glendora Mountain Road produced the highest 30-minute power of the day for Deignan at 341 W (5.3 w/kg).

Mount Baldy (hors categorie)
Time: 26 minutes
Distance: 7.3 km
Average Watts: 328 W
Average Heart Rate: 166 bpm
Max Heart Rate: 175 bpm
Watts per Kilogram: 5.1

Even though Deignan’s overall average on Mount Baldy was 328 watts, it is interesting to note how he covered the first seven minutes of the climb at a much higher 372 W (5.8 w/kg). This is because of the increase in speed, first by BMC Racing and then by the GC favorites such as Gesink, Danielson and van Garderen.

Philip Deignan rode a perfect race for his team in a support role and showed he came to fight to the bitter end. The difference in finishing first and just a couple minutes behind the winner was less than one watt per kilogram. At this level of racing almost every ounce counts, whether it’s found on the bike or on the body.

Stage 6 Analysis: Pieter Weening, Orica-GreenEdge
Palmdale – Big Bear Lake (186.3km)

French rider, Sylvain Georges, of Ag2r La Mondiale was the man of the day as he single-handedly held off a charging peloton by just 28 seconds to win stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California.

Behind the Frenchman, Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) put on quite a show with an attack on the final climb in pursuit of Georges. Weening hoped to put time into his rivals as he started the day two minutes behind the general classification leader, David Zabriskie.

Weening, was joined by fellow Dutch rider, Wilco Kelderman (Robobank), and Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Cycling). The initial attack and following 12 minutes produced a whopping 412 watt average! The chase reeled in the trio with 3 km to go, but instead of giving in and dropping out of the peloton, Weening continued to pump out the watts and averaged 385 watts for the final 2.5km.

If you think these power numbers are high just think what they could be if the finish of stage 6 wasn’t at an altitude of over 6,000ft above sea level. It is typical to see athletes produce five percent less power at these altitudes, as compared to sea level, due to less available oxygen to deliver to their working muscles.

1. Sylvain Georges, Ag2r La Mondiale 5:07:06
2. Peter Sagan, Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:28
3. Peter Velits, Omega Pharma-Quickstep
41. Pieter Weening, Orica-GreenEdge

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Distance: 186 km
Energy: 4164 KJ
Body Weight: 68 kg
Elevation Gain: 3549 m

Peak Power Values
Average Watts: 259 W
Max Watts: 914 W
Normalized Power: 320
Peak 1-minute: 527 W
Peak 6-minutes: 439 W
Peak 20-minutes: 391 W (set while in the breakaway move)
Peak 180-minutes: 278 W