Vincenzo Nibali’s coach shares staggering power data from Val Thorens Tour de France victory

What does it take to win solo on a 33km mountain?

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Vincenzo Nibali’s coach has published the impressive power data from his Tour de France stage victory in Val Thorens.

After suffering throughout the Tour, Nibali took his opportunity on the final mountain stage, making it into the day’s break and riding away on the shortened stage.

His stage win came just days after a spectator at the side of the road shouted “What a shame, you’re old. What have you come here to do? Go home” at the multiple Grand Tour winner as he climbed the Col du Galibier.

Power data from the 59km stage reveals the huge effort Nibali put in to take the win after three weeks of racing.

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Nibali’s coach and Bahrain-Merida sports director Paolo Slongo published data from stage 20, as the Italian averaged 339 watts during the one hour and 51 minute stage, with a normalized power of 353w.

Those are huge numbers for a 65kg climber, putting Nibali’s watts per kilogram at 5.4 for his normalized power.

The stats also show that Nibali hit around 550w early in the stage to make the breakaway before the start of the climb to Val Thorens, jumping up to 500w one again at the foot of the 33km climb.

There was a slight lull in the power during the three short descents on the climb, but Nibali held around 350w for a majority of the climb.

He finally attacked his breakaway companions with 13km, with his power jumping back up to 500w to carry him away from his rivals, with his output remaining above 350w for the remainder of his attack, securing himself a sixth career Tour de France victory, silencing anyone doubting why he was racing.

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According to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Nibali was abused by a fan at the side of the road who questioned why he was riding the Tour, calling him “old.”

Nibali finished the Col du Galibier stage almost an hour down to stage winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar), and Trek-Segafredo rider Giulio Ciccone witnessed the fan shouting at Nibali.

The former winner of all three Grand Tours found his legs once more two stages later, taking the stage at the top of Val Thorens.

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for 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.