Those still waiting for fireworks in this year’s Giro d’Italia may have been frustrated by the return to racing in the second week.
A plan-flat 140km stage 10, from Ravenna to Modena, offered no excitement until the final kilometre when a crash tore the peloton apart as the sprinters made their charge for the line.
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Despite the upheaval on the finishing straight, the first racing after the rest day looked like a serene affair for those in the peloton, with only two riders making it into the day’s breakaway.
But how easy was it?
Breakaway star Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) wouldn’t be tempted out of the peloton on stage 10 of the 2019 Giro d’Italia for obvious reasons, instead sticking with his team-mates in the hope of setting up sprinter Caleb Ewan in the final.
De Gendt’s Strava reveals that the Belgian averaged a sedate 38.3km/h during the four-hour stage, and averaged just 179 watts for the duration.
He did hit a maximum power of 918w, but that still isn’t much for a multiple Grand Tour stage winner.
De Gendt managed to take a Strava leaderboard top-10 however, on the ‘SP3 – S. Vitale_Svincolo Bagnarola’ segment, which is 20km-long at zero per cent gradient.
Sunweb’s Chad Haga, famed for his simple Twitter explanations of Giro stages, had an even easier day, averaging 132w over the day, and hitting a maximum of 973w.
His heart-rate averaged just 88 beats per minute, low even for these fine-tuned athletes, and hit a maximum of 154bpm.
Britain’s James Knox (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) will have been relieved at the easy pace of the day as he continues his recovery from injuries suffered in the first week.
The Deceuninck – Quick-Step climber averaged 108w for the day and hit a maximum of 654w, taking him to an average speed of 36.6km/h.
With these numbers, it’s no surprise Mitchelton-Scott leader Simon Yates fears losing form due to de-training in the opening 10 days.
Even the breakaway were allowed a relatively undemanding day, with Bardiani-CSF escapee Luca Covili averaging 200w despite being off the front from kilometre zero until the 30km mark.
Stage 10 was not the slowest day of this year’s race however, with an average speed of 40.2km/h for the winner.
The slowest road stage of this race was stage four from Orbetello to Frascati, where the winner averaged 39.3km/h for 235km.