Tour de France 2020

De Gendt’s polka dots beat Strava KOMs

Take a look at Thomas de Gendt's Strava data from his Tour de France stage win Thursday on Mont Ventoux.

You have to feel a little bad for Thomas de Gendt. Arguably the biggest win of his career was overshadowed by one of the Tour de France’s wackiest days in stage 12 to Chalet Reynard on Mont Ventoux. So let’s take a look back at the Lotto – Soudal rider’s impressive day through the lens of Strava.

For starters, if de Gendt is a KOM hunter (and he’s probably not), he’ll be disappointed that the ride only netted him a couple of rinky-dink crowns along the way. On the day’s most notable segment, Saint Esteve – Chalet Reynard, he was fourth, almost two minutes behind Romain Bardet, who set a new KOM that day. But Bardet was 14th, not first. To win, de Gendt averaged 390 watts for 30 minutes at the end of a 195km day. Plus he really is the king of the mountains in the Tour, wearing the polka-dot jersey after stage 12.

Over the course of that windy, five-hour day, de Gendt’s weighted average power was 319 watts. He rode a 38kph average speed the hard way, in a small group. Based on Strava’s formula, that works out to be 5,962 calories burned — about 25 croissants, we reckon.

To earn himself a spot in that exhausting breakaway, the Belgian maxed out at 1,046 watts to make the move, about 19km into the race. However, his max heart rate, 175bpm, came at the very end of the race, when he out-sprinted Serge Pauwels in the final few hundred meters, hitting about 43kph — on an uphill.