Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) won the 100th edition of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, crossing the line solo with Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) in 2nd and Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-JUmbo) in 3rd position. For Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and Tyler Farrar, the day lived up to the pre-race hype, being a nonstop drama filled race.
The team’s goal for the race was clear: to support Edvald Boasson Hagen for the win. It took just over an hour for the first break away to stick. For the first 2 hours, Farrar, who was in the peloton averaged 44kph with a normalized power of 289W and an average power of 235W. This period of relative calm was a prelude to the notorious 7 Pavé sectors and 18 hellingen.
Farrar’s job was to place Boasson Hagen in the best possible position leading into the crucial cobble and Hellingen sections of the race. Unfortunately, Farrar crashed on the downhill just after the Eikenberg at roughly 47kph. “I hit the ground really hard. I managed to keep going and chased for 40km to get back to the peloton so that I could lead Edvald out for the second lap up Oude Kwaremont”. During this 40km chase period he averaged 335W Normalized Power for an hour, and rejoined the peloton as they were approaching the Valkenberg.
Farrar’s uncompromising commitment to his team mate and designated race day role ensured that he positioned Boasson Hagen into the Oude Kwaremont in almost leadout fashion, when the race featured the climb for the second time. Farrar did 5 maximum efforts of 900-1000W within the last 3kms leading up to the Oude Kwaremont.
Farrar’s TrainingPeaks log comments on his race:
“Today ended up being a disaster. I felt absolutely amazing the first half until I crashed on the descent of the Eikenberg in a mass pile up. I hit the ground really hard I managed to keep going and chased for 40km to get back into the peloton so I could lead EBH [Edvald Boasson Hagen] out for the second lap up [Oude] Kwaremont. I was never the same after the crash though. Completely destroyed by the end.”
Table 1 provides insight into the demands of the hellingen. Over a cumulative distance of 15km and 44min36sec Farrar averaged 373W, NP 390.
Farrar’s TrainingPeaks summary stats for 2016 Ronde van Vlaanderen
Normalized Power: 296 watts
Average Power: 240 watts
Energy Expenditure: 5517 calories
Find out more at www.trainingpeaks.com.