Annemiek Van Vleuten was so fast up the Izoard that only two Tour de France riders could beat her on Strava

Only Warren Barguil and Romain Bardet went faster on Strava

Annemiek Van Vleuten was faster than all but two Tour de France riders up the final five kilometres of the Col d'Izoard
(Image credit: Strava/ASO/Thomas Maheux)

If Annemiek Van Vleuten's attack to win stage one of La Course up the Col d'Izoard wasn't impressive enough, her performance also meant she rode up the final part of the climb faster than the vast majority of male Tour de France riders.

The Orica-Scott rider launched her decisive attack with five kilometres to go to the summit of the hors-categorie, accelerating from 12kph to 23kph in the space of seven seconds to quickly ride away from Lizzie Deignan who had been setting the pace for much of the climb.

She then held an average speed of 17.9kph for the rest of the climb (admittedly helped by the short descent with two kilometres remaining where she briefly hit 60kph), to cover the final third of the ascent in 15-34.

>>> Lizzie Deignan 'surprised' by great form as she rides to second place on Col d'Izoard at La Course

You might expect this time to be beaten by the male riders in the Tour de France a few hours later, but of the 41 riders who uploaded stage 18 to Strava, only two were able to top Van Vleuten's time: stage winner Warren Barguil and second place overall Romain Bardet.

That meant that Van Vleuten was faster than the likes of Damiano Caruso, who was fighting to try and move into the top 10 overall, as well as Tiesj Benoot and Alexey Lutsenko, both of whom finished in the top 30 of the stage.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.