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Michal Kwiatkowski earned his first victory of the season at E3 Harelbeke, out-sprinting Tinkoff’s Peter Sagan after a bold breakaway that the current world champ initiated with about 30km to go. Sky’s Kwiatkowski posted his race data to Strava later in the day (as he’s done before). Though the numbers may not seem eye-popping, remember that the 2014 world champ was on the road for almost 209 kilometers (130 miles) in the Belgian classic.
His average weighted power was 282 watts, which is pretty high, considering that Kwiatkowski likely kept a low profile for the first 90 kilometers (based on heart rate, which was low during the early kilometers, averaging 154bpm on the day), before the flurry of cobbled hills later in the race. That said, he did hit his max heart rate during that early phase, 182bpm, about 32km in, probably while the early break was trying to establish itself.
Kwiatkowski’s two big power spikes came late: about 900 watts when he went with Sagan on the Karnemelkbeekstraat, and, naturally, the sprint finish, which he won, topping out at 1,131 watts, also his max for the day. You could call that saving the best for last.
Compared to the summer’s big mountain stages at the Giro or the Tour, E3’s 1,829 meters (6,000 feet) of climbing isn’t much, but Kwiatkowski hit a max speed of 85kph (53mph), near Ronse.