World champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick-Step) went from chaperoning teammate Mark Cavendish in the grupetto, on Wednesday, to attacking and pushing the pace on the climbs, on Thursday. Kwiatkowski escaped his fellow breakaway companions on the Port de Lers and managed to hold off climber Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) until 5km to go to the finish on Plateau de Beille.
The final stage in the Pyrénées traveled 193.1km (120 miles) and climbed more than 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). Due to the hard effort Kwiatkowski sustained throughout the stage, he burned 6,270 calories, while producing 5,623 kilojoules to power himself through the stage. His weighted average power for the nearly six-hour ride over the Pyrénées was a remarkable 299 watts.
On the final 3.7km of the Port de Lers (the day’s penultimate climb), doing most of the work as Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) him had ridden away from the other breakaway riders, the world champion averaged 350 watts with a maximum power of 458. He also averaged 369 watts for the first 3.3km of the hors-categorie Plateau de Beille, with a 296-watt average for the entire climb.
In comparison, Kwiatkowski “only” averaged 245 watts for hors category Col du Tourmalet. Plateau de Beille came at the end of the stage, unlike the Tourmalet, and he still managed to average 50 watts more, despite being in the breakaway all day, instead of the grupetto.
On Wednesday, Kwiatkowski’s Strava showed how riding in the grupetto is still no easy feat at the Tour de France, but on Thursday, he showed just how strong a rider must be to ride in the breakaway on one of the Tour’s toughest mountain stages. Check out his full Strava here.