The iconic Mont Ventoux made a cameo in this year’s Tour de la Provence, which of course resulted in some phenomenal early-season performances.
Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) undoubtedly earned the ‘man of the match’ award for his record-breaking performance on the shortened version of the climb, taking stage three honours and securing his overall victory in the process.
Unfortunately, Quintana doesn’t post his rides on Strava so we don’t have an insight into the numbers behind his performance and the King of the Mountain still stands, but we can still gain a glimpse into the performance of other riders on the 9.6km-long Chalet Reynard version of Mont Ventoux.
The current KoM on the Ste Estève-Chalet Reynard segment is held by Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale), who set the leading time of 29-45 during the 2016 Tour de France, when the race finished at the lower altitude on stage 12.
But during the Tour de la Provence on Saturday (February 15), Thibaut Pinot was not far behind his compatriot as he posted a time of 30-18 and took joint-third spot on the Strava leaderboard.
Pinot, who finished ninth in Chalet Reynard, doesn’t post his power data on Strava unfortunately but Sep Kuss, who climbed in exactly the same time, does.
American Kuss put down and average of 374w for the 30-18 effort, which is a staggering 5.8 watts per kilo for his 64 kilogram build.
The 25-year-old hit a maximum power of 830w and held an average heart rate of 188 beats per minute, topping out his effort at 197bpm to take sixth on the stage.
Another formidable performance on Sunday came from Jumbo-Visma’s Robert Gesink, who may have only finished the stage as 18th fastest and reached 12th place on Strava, but still put out some enormous numbers.
The Dutchman put out 412 watts for 31-34, or 5.8w/kg.
An honourable mention also has to go to Britain’s Charlie Quarterman, who is riding his debut WorldTour season with Trek-Segafredo.
The 21-year-old made it through his second stage race and finished the Ventoux stage in 112th place out of 141 finishers.
Quarterman made it up the climb in 44-40, holding 309w to the finish with an average heart-rate of 160bpm, finishing alongside his team-mate and junior world champion Quinn Simmons.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former 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, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex 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 the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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