Le Tour de France features one of the hardest parcours in recent memory, with five mountain-top finishes and a special focus on longer ascents and high altitude. The most decisive climbs of the race, Col du Granon, Alpe d'Huez and Hautacam are all in the 35-40 minute range, a stark contrast to the 2021 edition, in which the race was decided on 25 minute climbs.
The 2021 edition of Paris-Roubaix took place in October, featuring extremely muddy Autumn conditions whilst the 2022 edition in its normal Spring slot was bone dry. This year's race was the fastest ever edition of the race, won by INEOS classics specialist Dylan van Baarle. After the big win, the Dutch rider surprisingly uploaded all of his data on Strava, including power and heart rate, which he usually hides. Let's look deeper into what it took to win the fastest Paris-Roubaix ever and how that compares to the wet edition of last year.
No one thought at the start of March that Mathieu van der Poel would have made this impressive a come back in Milano-Sanremo and the Tour of Flanders, considering his back problem and missed training kilometres in the winter. However in a perverse way, the enforced rest, during his usual cyclocross schedule, probably made his incredible victory at Flanders possible. The Dutchman was the only one able to stay with Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar on the short Flandrian climbs and then produced his typical 15s power to win the final sprint. Let's look at van der Poel's and other riders' power from the big race.
One of the most talented riders of the modern generation, Mathieu van der Poel, will start his season earlier than expected at Milano-Sanremo, the longest race on the UCI calendar. The Alpecin-Fenix star has had rapid improvement in the space of an eight week training block after rehabbing a back injury and has (fortunately for us) uploaded every training ride on Strava with power and heart rate data.
emco Evenepoel again proved that he is a world class time-triallist, winning the decisive Volta ao Algarve stage 4 time-trial by a whopping 58 seconds over Stefan Küng - one of the best TT riders in the world.
Nairo Quintana is on fire in the early 2022 season, performing well once again in the French February…