Amgen Power Analysis: Marc de Maar stage 2 & 3

TrainingPeaks co-founder Dirk Friel reviews the power data from UHC rider Marc de Maar for the second and third stages of the Amgen Tour

Stage 3: San Jose — Livermore (185.5km)

After three bunch sprint finishes, UnitedHealthcare’s Marc De Maar is sitting in sixth place overall at the Amgen Tour of Calfornia, just 27 seconds behind the race leader, Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale).

Stage 3 was not an easy day for the riders as half way through the 115-mile stage they passed over the Cat. 2 Mount Diablo for the first time in race history. De Maar averaged 341W (365np) on the climb. Later in the stage the riders climbed through a headwind on the third category Patterson Pass, where de Maar averaged 344W, yet the normalized power of 384 was much higher than Mount Diablo. This is a clear indication that riders were attacking and surging at much higher power outputs than on the earlier climb.

Patterson Pass topped out just nine kilometers from the finish, so this was the last chance for climbers to get away from the sprinters. However, the windy conditions on the climb were not favorable and did not allow for a small breakaway.

The peloton regrouped and got back to business as usual with another field sprint to determine the stage winner. As we all know, Peter Sagan won stage 3 and is now undefeated in this year’s race. De Maar finished 21st and by looking at his TrainingPeaks file viewer you can see that he averaged 641W and 35 mph in the final 800 meters of the race. His peak power reading during the final sprint was 1039W.

UnitedHealthcare’s team doctor, Iñigo San Millan gave some insight into Tuesday’s tough stage: “[Tuesday’s] stage was another hard race as it was the first stage under heat conditions as well as the windy conditions in the last part of the stage. It was difficult to drink in this last part of the race due to the heat and the wind so a few cyclists finished a bit dehydrated, which may interfere with their recovery for [Wednesday] and the subsequent stages. Our guys from UnitedHealthcare rode in the front and we all are waiting for Bakersfield time trial to see all the cards on the table.”


  • 1. Peter SAGAN, Liquigas-Cannondale in 4:50:49
  • 2. Heinrich HAUSSLER, Garmin-Barracuda at s.t.
  • 3. Tom BOONEN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step at s.t.
  • 21. Marc DE MAAR, UnitedHealthcare at s.t.


Click here to view the TrainingPeaks File Viewer.

Time: 4:50
Distance: 115 miles
Training Stress Score: 276 TSS
Energy: 3911 KJ
Body Weight: 70kg

Peak Power Values
Average Watts: 225 W
Max Watts: 1039 W
Normalized Power: 295
Peak 5-seconds: 899 W
Peak 1-minute: 612 W
Peak 6-minutes: 424 W
Peak 20-minutes: 354 W
Peak 180-minutes: 240 W

Stage 2: San Francisco — Santa Cruz County (188.5km)

Tensions were high before the second stage, as many experts felt this might be a day that the general classification favorites would do battle up the Cat. 1 Empire Grade and Cat. 2 Bear Creek Road climbs. As the race entered the bottom of Empire Grade the big teams were setting a furious pace, averaging over 30 mph for over two miles. But when the road tilted up, everyone rode at a high tempo and it seemed as if the riders were nervous and waiting for the first attack, which never really came.

In fact the separation of the group actually came on the decent as the race headed towards the second climb. The first five minutes of descending saw de Maar average 38 mph and he peaked out at 47 mph on this technical decent.


  • 1. Peter SAGAN, Liquigas-Cannondale in 5:02:00
  • 2. Heinrich HAUSSLER, Garmin-Barracuda at s.t.
  • 3. Leigh HOWARD, Orica-GreenEdge at s.t.
  • 8. Marc DE MAAR, UnitedHealthcare at s.t.


Click here to view the TrainingPeaks File Viewer.

Time: 5:02
Distance: 117 miles
Training Stress Score: 320 TSS
Energy: 4329 KJ
Body Weight: 70kg

Peak Power Values
Average Watts: 240 W
Max Watts: 1206
Normalized Power: 312
Peak 5-seconds: 1124 W
Peak 1-minute: 558 W
Peak 6-minutes: 422 W
Peak 20-minutes: 367 W
Peak 180-minutes: 262 W

As the race entered the Bear Creek Rod climb, just as groups were catching back on, the pace ratcheted up and de Maar averaged a staggering 394 W for the first 10 minutes on the final climb. He managed to get over the top with the front group and the attention now turned to the sprint finish in Santa Cruz.

De Maar rode a very aggressive final five kilometers and he even made a big attack off of the front of the peloton. The final two miles averaged 28 mph and 429 W. He reached his max power output of the race so far during the final sprint, at 1206 watts.