Contador rides stage 17's finishing climb at a rapid 17.4kmh
Alberto Contador may have hung up his wheels at the end of last season, but the seven-time Grand Tour champion still seems to be in pretty good shape by the looks of a ride he uploaded to Strava on Wednesday.
Contador is working for Eurosport on this year’s Tour de France, and took the opportunity to put down a marker on the Col de Portet on Wednesday morning, the final climb that the current pros would tackle later that day at the end of stage 17.
Riding a Trek Madone Disc and still looking pretty lean, the Spaniard powered up the 16km climb at an average speed 17.4kmh – seriously rapid when you consider the average gradient of more than eight per cent.
Contador also shared a photo of his Garmin stats of the ride, showing that he averaged a whopping 373 watts for the 55 minute effort. However this is still some way off the 458 watts that he managed in a 20-minute threshold test while at the peak of his powers a few years ago.
Whether Contador went out to smash it up the climb to see how he compares with the current crop of riders even in retirement, we don’t know, but his time certainly held up pretty well when the race went up it a few hours later.
Watch: Tour de France stage 17 highlights
Granted, the riders in the Tour had already tackled two mountain passes on the day and had 16 days of fatigue in their legs, but astonishingly Contador’s time was only beaten by two riders on Strava.
Unsurprisingly it was Steven Kruijswijk who set the fastest time on Strava, climbing in yellow jersey group and finishing sixth on the stage to knock more than five minutes off Contador’s KOM, while the French climbing duo of Romain Bardet and Warren Barguil also went faster as they finished 13th and 16th on the day.
However the rest of the riders from the Tour peloton who are on Strava were not able to better Contador’s time, with the 35-year-old climbing the mountain faster than the likes of Robert Gesink, Simon Geschke, Damiano Caruso, and Laurens Ten Dam.
As for some of those at the back of the field, Thomas De Gendt appears to have been the slowest of the pros up the climb, clocking a time that was 15 minutes slower than Contador had managed in the morning.