At some point or another we’ve all wondered how we’d fare on a summit finish with some of the world’s best riders, and now, thanks to Strava, we can see how our numbers stack up.
Stage four of the 2017 Giro d’Italia saw the first summit finish of the race, with riders tackling the 18km climb up Mount Etna at the end of a 181km stage.
Of the group of main contenders who finished half a minute behind stage winner Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), four riders uploaded their rides to Strava, including Cannondale-Drapac’s Micheal Woods, who even included his power data.
Over the course of the five hour stage, Woods, who weighs 63kg, averaged 241 watts, burning nearly 5,000 calories and taking a pretty impressive 37 KOMs in the process.
Watch: Giro d’Italia stage four highlights
Woods, ensconced in the pack and sheltered from the wind for the vast majority of the final climb up Mount Etna, then averaged just over 340 watts for the ascent to the finish, which the front group covered in just under 50 minutes at nearly 22kmh.
That included a few moments of respite on flat and downhill sections early on in the climb, but also some much tougher efforts later on.
For example Woods had to put in two efforts of more than 700 watts when Vincenzo Nibali and then Ilnur Zakarin attacked with around three kilometres remaining, before the speed was gradually ramped up in the final kilometre, with the group eventually crossing the line at more than 40kmh as Geraint Thomas sprinted for bonus seconds.
The Strava stats also give an insight into the travails of riders who enjoyed less successful days in the saddle, such as FDJ’s Jeremy Roy who was one of a number of riders to be brought down in a crash on the approach to the final climb.
The crash looked bad enough when viewed from a long, overhead camera shot, but becomes much worse when Strava shows that Roy was doing 73kmh when he hit the deck, before spending just seven seconds on the deck before remounting his bike and continuing to the finish.