Was stage five of the Tour de France really that easy? Strava stats may just have the answer 

With no breakaway on the road from Gap to Privas, what kind of power numbers were the world’s best riders putting out?

(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Stage five of the 2020 Tour de France was a slightly bizarre day of racing, with no breakaway and a very sedate pace. 

The riders themselves have explained why the pace was so sedate on the road from Gap to Privas, with fans struggling to get excited about a relatively boring stage for the most part. 

But how easy was the stage for these elite riders?

Here at Cycling Weekly we’ve dived into the power numbers on Strava to see whether we’d have a chance of keeping up on the 183km stage.

André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) didn’t contest the sprint finish on stage five, which was won by Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert, but the German sprinter did share his power data from the day.

For the four hours and 32 minutes he was on the bike, Greipel averaged 190 watts, which includes the fairly rapid pace set in the final 20km as crosswinds threatened to split the race. 

In the opening 100km of the day, Greipel pushed 149w, or around 1.98 watts per kilogram. 

Overall contender Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) shared his heart-rate data from the stage on Instagram and revealed his minimum heart-rate was 45 beats per minute, while the average was just 97bpm. 

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) also shared his power on Strava, as he held an average of 189w for the full day.  

In the final 20km, the peloton finally started to ramp up the speed as teams tried to stay out of trouble and get in position for the sprint finish.

During the final phase of the race, De Gendt put out around 230w from kilometre 165 to the finish.  

Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) finished sixth on the stage, just behind the favourite sprinters and he had a very easy day before the finish.

Mezgec averaged 172w for the day, with an average heart-rate of 105bpm. 

But things did ramp up for the sprint for the Slovenian, as his heart-rate maxed out at  180bpm and he hit a maximum power of 1,118w. 

However, these power numbers will not tell the full story. 

The first four stages of the 2020 Tour de France were chaotic and extremely challenging, with mountains coming early in the first week and the road turning upward again on stage six. 

>>> How to watch the Tour de France 2020: Live stream all the action 

Hopefully these lower than usual power numbers mean the riders are saving their legs for fireworks later in the race.  

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