Thomas De Gendt and Tim Wellens set new Strava KoM on Vall d’Ebo during training race  

The Belgians set a new fastest time will competing with Lotto-Soudal team-mates 

Thomas De Gendt at Paris-Nice 2020 (Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thomas De Gendt and Tim Wellens have set a new fastest time on the famous Vall d’Ebo climb during a training race.

Lotto-Soudal rider De Gendt and his compatriot smashed the previous fastest time on the climb, located just inland from Spain’s Mediterranean coast, topping the Strava leaderboard ahead of their team-mates. 

The Belgians climbed the 7.88km-long, 5.6 per cent average gradient ascent in a time of 16-37, beating the previous best time of 17-02 set by local rider Dario Gadeo in August last year.

Their record was set during a Lotto-Soudal training ride, as the WorldTour squad are currently holding their winter camp in Costa Blanca.  

As part of their training programme, the Lotto riders took on a 10-minute power test on the climb, topping the effort off with a full gas sprint to the summit. 

Wellens and De Gendt rode to the line in a photo finish at the summit of Vall d’Ebo, which is a popular climb for the pros training in the area. 

De Gendt revealed after the effort that the team had planned to do a 20-minute max-power effort, but that the climb wasn’t long enough.

Instead riders put in a huge 10-minute effort and continues racing to the top instead. 

The power on display was also pretty phenomenal, with De Gendt pushing a huge 470 watts for the duration of the climb, with Wellens holding 463w with a heart-rate of 169 beats per minute.

De Gendt also said his power was 10-20w lower than if he had just been riding his 10-minute maximum power.  

Both riders crested the climb with an average speed of 28.5km/h, while the next fastest rider was Andreas Klon, seven seconds behind his team-mates.  

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The effort was also part of a 139km, four-hour ride for the Lotto squad that took in 2,000 metres of elevation gain. 

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Alex is the 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 and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has 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 journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.