Tour de France 2020

Getting Cavendish over the Pyrenees: Kwiatkowski’s stage 11 Strava

World champ Michal Kwiatkowski uploaded his power data from stage 11 to Strava, showing just how hard the Tour is, even in the grupetto.

The Pyrénées are some of the hardest mountains of the Tour de France, especially when you are pulling someone else up the climbs. Showing everyone how tough it is, Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick-Step) uploaded his stage 11 ride to Strava after finishing Wednesday’s grueling stage in the Pyrénées.

Stage 11 of this year’s Tour de France featured an 116.4-mile route that included a 12km (7.45-mile) climb up the Col d’Aspin and a 17.1km (10.6-mile) climb up the Col du Tourmalet. Over the course of the stage, the riders climbed 11,873 feet and hit speeds in excess of 100kph (60mph) on the descents. On the ascents, their speed dropped to as low as 10kph (6mph).

Kwiatkowski spent most of the stage pacing teammate Mark Cavendish over the steep climbs, burning 5,396 calories and producing 4,840 kilojoules to power himself through the stage.

As Kwiatkowski climbed the category 1 Col d’Aspin, he generated an average power output of 296 watts, maxing out at 598 watts. On the hors-categorie Col du Tourmalet, he paced Cavendish in the grupetto, averaging 245 watts with a maximum of 552 watts. He finished 146th on Wednesday, 32:34 behind winner Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo)

The data shows that a day of racing in the Pyrénées is no easy feat, even in the grupetto. Cavendish was not lacking in appreciation for the world champ’s help, thanking him on Twitter afterward.

For more data from Kwiatkowski’s stage 11 ride, check out his complete Strava file, and have a look at the FlyBy of the stage, which includes climbers such as Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo). The FlyBy also shows how most of the riders have to ride back down the finishing climb once the day is done.