Dutch rider says he has "no good reason" not to share his data from the Vuelta a España publicly

Tom Dumoulin has this week released his power files from the 2015 Vuelta a España, where he surprised followers by coming close to the overall classification victory.

Giant-Alpecin’s Dumoulin only failed on the final mountain day, slipping out of the lead and sliding to sixth place overall behind Fabio Aru (Astana), who won the race.

“I know of no good reason not to share my data,” Dumoulin told Dutch newspaper AD.

“Only the data from my [time] trial, I’d rather not make that public. Others can read things on my aerodynamics. The rest everyone should know.”

Dumoulin’s team Giant coach, Adriaan Helmantel told Cycling Weekly last week that the Dutchman pushed around 6.0 watts/kilogram for 25 minutes on Ermita de Alba, the last climb on stage 16, the third day of three mountain stages. The article today, however, gives the exact numbers over the entire Vuelta.

The six-foot-one, 70kg rider pushed 459.6 watts over 8-29 minutes, or 6.6w/kg on the first summit finish, where he placed second to Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE).

He reached a max of 508.2 watts over 5-55 minutes, 7.0w/kg, on the short climb at the end of stage six. When he won ahead of Froome in stage nine, he averaged 6.6w/kg.


Watch: Four ways to nail any climb


Dumoulin suffered on the longer climbs though. When he lost the Vuelta to Aru on the final two passes in stage 20, he averaged 5.9 over 16-48 minutes and 5.2 over 30-27 minutes.

The newspaper published an image with the full set of numbers alongside its article.

As Dumoulin does with his time trial numbers, others want to keep their data files to themselves. Chris Froome and Team Sky fear that their rivals could study and plan attacks accordingly based on the information.

Critics say that high numbers could point to doping. During the Tour de France, an expert at France 2 “surprised” Team Principal David Brailsford when they estimated Froome rode at 7.04w/kg during his victory on stage 10 of the race, prompting Sky to release some numbers.

On the same La Pierre-Saint-Martin climb in question, Sky’s head coach Tim Kerrison said that Froome rode 5.78w/kg.

Brailsford suggested that instead of publicising the numbers, cycling’s governing body should set up an independent group to study everyone’s data to create a “power passport” as a way of further controlling the sport.

Chris Froome wins Stage 10 of the 2015 Tour de France (Watson)

Chris Froome wins Stage 10 of the 2015 Tour de France (Watson)

Froome, asked about critics’ speculation on the second rest day, said, “I’m not sure if numbers will fix everything.”

In the case of Dumoulin’s surprising Vuelta ride, team Giant said that the numbers show it is “not strange what happened.”

Helmantel explained that the training at altitude in Sierra Nevada, Spain, and in Livigno, Italy, after crashing out of the Tour de France on stage three, paid off.

He added that Dumoulin’s ride was also possible due to a lack of strong competitors. Froome and Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) abandoned with crashes, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was disqualified on the second day, and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) fell sick. Other riders, he said, were not at their best after the Tour.

  • Chris

    I get absolutely fed up with armchair experts on these forums. If I have an opinion, I keep it to myself. However if I had proof then I would publish it. So all you slanderers and libellers please keep your opinions to yourself unless you have absolute proof and are prepared to repeat it in court. Better still get off your “keyboard” and out on your bike. You will do us a favour and yourself a lot of good.

  • J1

    I’ve had similar thoughts on this, I think I posted on here about it. I really hope there’s nothing dodgy about G, he seems like a great role model and he’s a great bike rider, I would be dissapointed if something came out about him, he seems very genuine.

    I don’t agree with you that riders can’t improve and change their focus to end up challenging for GC later on in their career. I think this is very much the case with Thomas, he’s not half-focusing on the track all the time anymore and hasn’t since 2012, I believe this is the biggest difference.

    If Sky are doing anything illegal then it’s a risky strategy to be calling for things like more doping tests, like when Froome made the point about there being no out of season testing when some of the Tour contenders were training on Mt. Teide.
    It would be huge if in a few years they’re found guilty of anything after all the “No dopers allowed” talk they come out with. I don’t like or dislike them really, it would be very disappointing though.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    There is something very wrong at team SKY and with their riders so it seems.

  • David Sundheim

    Qualifications? None! Potential for being wrong? 100%. Your cited examples are enlightening, but I still just think it smells funny that a rider would discover he has GC potential in a grand tour this late in his career. For instance Dumoulin, heand his team are surprised by his potential, but he is only 24, those types of abilities usually show up long before the twilight of your career. In any case I am not looking for a debate either. I am merely applauding the transparency shown by Giant Alpecin. I think more teams should follow suit in this regard. Team Sky says all the right things, but too many super human performances (and not just by the team leader, but everyday domestiques that can seemingly overnight out climb the likes of Nibali, Quintana, Valverde, Rodriguez, Pinot, Bardet, Van Garderen, Barguil etc), association with Dr.s who are now banned for life, and the leaked power data, and missed drug tests. These all just put another log on the fire for my Interpretation… So my gut says where there is enough Smoke there is likely fire. I could be wrong, and I hope so in a way, but it would be easy for them to release the data and snuff out a lot of that smoke, so why not do so? I apologize for the national heroes remark.

  • Simon Bowers

    Sorry but what are your ‘qualifications’ for determining rider potential again ?!? you might want to go take a look at the Volta ao Algarve, Paris Nice, or even Tour de Suisse (and those are only indicators from this year) – Not sure what context national heroes comment is intended in ?!?! I don’t even live in the UK mate – anyways not really looking for a debate your either ignoring what more educated people are saying e.g Friebe, Moore, and Birnie etc or your blinded by confirmation bias

  • David Sundheim

    Educated analysis? Not by far! I just calls em as I see em. Rodriguez, Quintana, and Valverde, although noticeable less than their tour form still rode in a manner consistent with what you’d expect from a team captain/GC contender. True Thomas had a bad spell in the Tour (the real him) but he “miraculously” recovered just in time for the Alp d’Huez stage. If it were truly in him to be a GC contender, he would have, even if by sheer luck stumbled into a good day in the Vuelta, or when he got farvenough down try and get a stage win… But he didn’t. He wasn’t anywhere near a top ten finish on any of the Mountain stages. Don’t you think that at least bares some scrutiny? Or are national heroes like Thomas and Froome incapable of wrongdoing?

  • Simon Bowers

    What a hater ! just how many who had ridden the Tour performed well in the Vuelta as well ?!?! clearly you are influenced by confirmation bias because you seeming do not like sky – fair enough but at least consider some facts in your educated ‘analysis’ like perhaps the fact that he wasn’t able to maintain that for the entire tdf as well !

  • David Sundheim

    Chris Froome and Team Sky have more to fear from those policing the sport, than their rivals seeing the data. I can’t believe more people aren’t demanding a closer look at Geraint Thomas. He rode the Vuelta like the real him again, the him that his long history his abilities have revealed him to be. This summer they were ready to give him his own team for a grand tour! So which is the real Geraint? The guy who can drop the world’s best climbers at their peak fitness of the year, a superhuman performance he did for 3 weeks out of his entire career or…. The rest of his years as a pro outside and of this “miraculous” July. The him that showed up again this Vuelta?