By Dirk Friel and Hunter Allen
Team Saxo Bank’s Gustav Larsson recorded some impressive numbers on his SRM power meter on Monday as he worked for his team leaders.
Not only was the second stage of the Amgen Tour of California contested over a tough route with two major climbs, but the weather conditions again added that unpredictable element of “man v. nature.”
That second climb, up Bonny Doon Road, proved to be harder and more decisive than most had expected it to be. However, it looked like Astana’s Levi Leipheimer knew exactly what to expect as he sent his team to the front at the base of the climb and launched the attack that shattered the main bunch. Larsson set his highest 5-minute power value of 504w at the bottom of Bonny Doon Road.
This final climb took Larsson a little under a half-an-hour and he averaged 435w for the 28 minute climb up Bonny Doon Road. Very impressive. This means his functional threshold power is upwards of 415w.
Saxo’s rider development director, Bobby Julich, described Larsson’s stage as being hard, even from the start. “Gustav said that it was raining for all but 15km of the race and it was a hard start. Once the break was established, with Saxo Bank rider Jason McCartney up the road, Gustav tried to save energy for the last climb. They went really fast from the bottom and he sat up to wait for Andy [Schleck].”
At the top of the climb Larsson was only 10 seconds behind the second group after attempting to bridge halfway up the climb, but “since the descent wasn’t as steep as he thought, he was unable to match the speed of the front group and catch them.”
Larsson finished 1:52 behind stage winner Thomas Peterson and Leipheimer.
“Overall (Larsson) said that he is not ‘there’ yet, but he felt better than yesterday,” said Julich. “He will do what the team asks of him, but if he continues to find his legs little by little every day he should be able to do something in the coming stages.”
To see Larsson’s File Viewer and download his SRM power file visit www.trainingpeaks.com.
For Tour of California race data throughout the entire race please visit TrainingPeaks.com.
Dirk Friel raced professionally on the roads of Europe, Asia and the Americas and is a co-founder of TrainingPeaks.com. He may be reached by e-mail at Dirk@Peaksware.com.
Hunter Allen who is widely respected as an expert in coaching and training athletes with a power meter and co-author of “Training and Racing with a Power Meter”. He may be reached at Hunter@peakscoachinggroup.com.