The World Championships have already been a showcase for some absolutely stunning rides as the event kicked off with a series of time trials - but what can we learn from the Strava stats?
Racing kicked off in Flanders on Sunday (September 19) with the elite men’s time trial, won by Italian superstar Filippo Ganna after a tense battle out on the road with Wout van Aert (Belgium).
The men’s race was followed by the under-23 TT and the elite women’s race, as we saw Denmark’s Johan Price-Pejtersen take an emotional victory in the U23 before Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) crushed the field in the women’s event.
Sadly the winners of the elite men’s and women’s event didn’t share their power data publicly, but we can still gain an insight into the efforts thanks to the other riders in the competition.
In the men’s event, Max Walsheid of Germany shared his power file on Strava, revealing the huge wattage he was putting out during the 43km elite men’s TT.
Walsheid pushed a huge 456 watts for 49-39 during his ride, or an estimated five watts per kilogram, which was good enough for an 11th-place finish, 1-54 behind the winner Ganna.
That carried Walscheid to the finish with an average time of 52.3km/h (32.4mph), compared to the winner’s speed of 54.3km/h (33.7mph).
British rider Dan Bigham, former Cycling Time Trials national 10-mile champion and Ribble-Weldtite rider, was given the unique opportunity of riding the Worlds for British Cycling this year, utilising his aerodynamic expertise against the best riders in the world.
Bigham put in a very solid ride in the elite men’s race, riding to 16th place, 2-11 down on the winner.
Despite saying he was slightly disappointed with his ride, Bigham still put out some very strong power numbers, pushing 377w for the 49-52 ride, with an average speed of 51.9km/h (32.2mph), his heart-rate averaging 172 beats per minute.
The elite women and the under-23 time trials both covered the same 30.3km course from Knokke-Heist to Bruges, with a rapid and pan-flat route.
Denmark’s Price-Pejtersen took the victory in the U23 with a time of 34-29 and an average speed of 52.7km/h (32.7mph).
The 22-year-old churned out a phenomenal power 452w, an estimated 5.8w/kg, which also put him top of the Strava leaderboard on the for the course segment.
In the women’s race, Ellen van Dijk took the QOM on the segment with a time of 35-54, and an average speed of 50.4km/h, but sadly she didn’t share her power data.
The quickest rider who has published her wattage is Juliette Labous from France, who finished sixth.
Labous pushed 269w for her ride, pushing it to the limit with an average heart-rate of 183bpm.
She was carried to the finish at 48.km/h, leaving her 1-47 off the dominant time of Van Dijk.
Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.
Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.
Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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