Le Tour de Langkawi stage 1: The winning ride.

23 February 2017

It takes a huge amount of power and great teamwork to win a UCI Hors Catégorie (HC) classified race in a sprint finish. We will take a quick look at IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness superstar sprinter Scott Sunderland’s power and heart rate data and see just what it took for him to be able to throw his hands up in the air at the end of stage 1.

Heart rate and altitude profile for stage 1.

By looking at the heart rate (HR) data for the stage in the above graph, it is possible to get a general overview of the way in which a road race often plays out. In the initial efforts you can see an early elevated HR trace, this is in response to riders looking to get into the early breakaway. This can, and often does, make for a tough first 10 – 30 minutes of a race.

After the initial efforts, the break will usually be allowed to go and the peloton will settle into a tempo that will contain the breakaway group to an achievable distance. A flat stage like this one is usually controlled by the sprinters teams and lead sprinters like Scott will do as little work as possible and be kept out of trouble by their teammates. You can see that after the initial efforts most of the race, up until the 2h:30m mark, is relatively controlled and the riders HR is quite stable averaging around 130 BPM.

The final 30 minutes of the stage

Gradual Increase

As the race enters the finishing circuits with a little over 30 minutes to finish, the pace picks up and you can see on this graph that the HR and speed increase as the remnants of the breakaway get reeled in.

The final 5 minutes of the stage

Final Stages

In the above graph, power has been added along with speed to look at the individual efforts Scott needed to sustain to stay on the wheel of one of his IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness teammates. This final 5 minutes is made up of multiple above threshold spikes in power of up to 1500+ watts.

The final 1 minute and the sprint

In this last graph, we drill into the final 1 minute of the race and the winning sprint. The final 1 minute was an effort of nearly 800 watts. This was made up of 10 x 3-5 seconds’ efforts of between 800 – 1537 watts with an average HR of 189 BPM.

In the final 15 second sprint for the line Scott produced nearly 1200 watts for 15 seconds with an average cadence of 118 RPM. Heart rate maxed out at 193 BPM as Scott hit a staggering 74km/h top speed to win by well over a bike length from 2nd place.

This was a great win by a World Class sprinter and a superb result for the team at its very first Le Tour de Langkawi.