Activity gives a glimpse at the effort needed to win a 214.5km mountain stage
Stage 12 of the Tour de France saw Romain Bardet take a stunning victory on the summit finish to Peyragudes, and now we get a chance to look at some of the details of his ride after he posted it on Strava.
The first half of the stage was fairly relaxed for the GC contenders in the peloton as Team Sky set the pace, with Bardet averaging 43.9kmh for the first 103km of the stage up to the start of the Col des Ares.
From there the riders tackled the Ares and the Col de Menté, before the biggest climb of the day: the HC Port de Balès.
Laurens Ten Dam held the KOM on this climb heading into the stage having ridden it in the 2014 Tour, and neither Bardet nor George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) were able to challenge the Dutchman’s time, with both riders ascending 1-28 slower.
The technical descent of the Port de Balès was far from the fastest of the race, with Bardet averaging 56.3kmh as Sky controlled the front of the peloton, far from his maximum speed for the day of more 90kmh that he’d reached on the descent of the Col de Menté.
Watch: Tour de France stage 12 highlights
The penultimate climb of the day was the Col de Peyresourde, which Bardet’s speed graph shows was covered at a very even pace as Michal Kwiatkowski and Mikel Nieve set tempo on the front of the group for Team Sky.
No riders were able to attack on the Peyresourde, with Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) both being dropped, and its easy to see why from the speed at which Bardet covered the climb in the front group. He averaged 21.8kmh for the 9.7km, 7.7 per cent climb, taking the KOM by a significant margin.
In the end the stage all came down to the final climb to Peyragudes, with Bardet surging clear in the final 300m to take the third Tour de France stage win in his career.
This effort saw Bardet take both the KOM for the whole of the final 2.4km climb, and for the final 300m up the the airport runway to the finish line.
That final surge for the line was completed at 18.6kmh, not bad for a 13 per cent ramp at the end of a 214.5km mountain stage!