Strava files show why stage 17 of the Vuelta a España will 'live on in infamy'

Lawson Craddock's near 50km/h hour ride has already been flagged

Riders have shared data following stage 17 of the Vuelta a España, where crosswinds allowed a break of 47 riders to go up the road, later aided by a strong tailwind and a heavy presence from a motivated Deceuninck–Quick-Step.

The lead group contained six riders from the Belgian team, and averaged 50.6 kilometres per hour over the 219km stage, with winner Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) reportedly spinning out in the 54x11.

Uploading this ride, EF Education First's Lawson Craddock called the activity 'Vuelta a España Stage 17 - Today is a stage that will live in infamy'.

Claiming eight KOMs along the way to 7th place (though of course his companions may be yet to upload..), Craddock's ride was swiftly 'flagged', but there is plenty of TV footage out there to back him up.

The US rider averaged 47.9km/h over 228.62km, his ride including the neutral zone and over 2,500m of climbing. His max speed on the stage, which didn't include any major climbs or descents, was as high as 104.4km/h.

The 27-year-old achieved all of this with an average heart rate of 150bpm and a max of 184, with power at 288w (average) and 1,049w (max).

In tenth, James Knox was on the winning team - Deceuninck – Quick Step. His ride titling hasn't got any more inventive than "lunch ride" for the time being, but of course the stats tell a similar story: 227.74km at 47.7km/h with a max over 97.

Knox averaged 270w and peaked at 899w, coming in six seconds down on Gilbert.

Of course, not everyone was in the break. Ben King (Team Dimension Data) had to average 45.7km/h to claim 50th place on the stage which finished in Guadalajara.

Swedish rider Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama–FDJ) either had an excellent day or a very awful one, depending how you read the title 'Sickest day on the bike I ever experienced. 17 la Vuelta'.

Either way, the 28-year-old had a solid 'get round' and still completed the course at more than 46km/h to come 36th.

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.

Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 

Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.

Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.