Sunday, 10 December 2017

The 2017 'Subiendo como una moto' Awards


© Olav Standal Tangen

...and the best climbing performances of the 2017 season are:

10th. Mikel Landa on Piancavallo, stage 19 of Giro d'Italia
9th. Alberto Contador on Col de la Croix de Fer, stage 17 of Tour de France
8th. Richie Porte up Leysin, stage 4 of Tour de Romandie
7th. Raul Alarcon on Senhora da Graca, stage 4 of Volta a Portugal
6th. Richie Porte on Willunga Hill, stage 5 of Tour Down Under
5th. Julian Alaphilippe on Salmon Hill, World Championships road race
4th. Alejandro Valverde on Mont Caro, stage 5 of Volta a Catalunya
3rd. Contador, Froome, Woods and Chaves on Ermita de Santa Lucia, stage 5 of Vuelta a Espana
2nd. Sagan, Kwiatkowski and Alaphilippe on Poggio, Milano-Sanremo
1st. Warren Barguil on Col d'Izoard, stage 18 of Tour de France

          The hot Australian summer. Old Willunga Hill filled with fans. Richie Porte out of the saddle, dropping everyone. A déjà vu, that's how the cycling season starts every January. This time though, the Tasmanian didn't just drop them, he crushed them. During Tour Down Under and the spring races, he rode at his best climbing level. On Willunga and later on Leysin, in Tour de Romandie, the watts he unleashed make him as probably the fastest ever climber in this category: 5-10 min effort on a 7-9% gradient climb. Nonetheless, it wasn't Richie the most impressive climber of the 2017 spring season...
             After 37 rides around the Sun, Alejandro Valverde left us wondering if the Fountain of Youth is not out there, somewhere around Murcia. While winning pretty much every race he entered, on the slopes of Mont Caro, El Bala turned back the clock to 2005, recording his best climbing performance since the famous sprint against Armstrong on Courchevel. It was a wild first part of the season, really. Sixteen years passed since the last time Poggio di Sanremo was climbed under 6 minutes and it almost looked like this barrier won't be broken again. Until Peter Sagan attacked, that is. At the top, the stopwatch showed 5 min 55 sec, the 3rd ever fastest ascent of the Poggio. The watts were blooming in the spring.
           The Double. Thanks to Quintana, that was the word most of the fans had in mind at the start of the 100th Giro d'Italia. But after Blockhaus, where Nairo set a very high performance, it all went downward for him. Despite the multiple attempted ambushes by his rivals, despite not having the best team support and the poorly timed toilet stop at the foot of Umbrail Pass, Tom Dumoulin won Il Giro. The Dutchman even delivered an Indurain-like performance on the climb to Oropa, dropping the pure climbers one by one, his top uphill performance in La Corsa Rosa. The third week though was pretty much a one-man show, the Landani show. After two impressive raids to Bormio and Ortisei, Mikel got his stage win on Piancavallo, proving on the way that he was the best climber of the race.
          Different colours, same watts for the Team Sky train in July. Just like last year, Chris Froome didn't have to set any crazy VAM records to win the Tour, his time-trialling superiority and the dream team around him did the trick once again. One of his main helpers even finished just one second off the final podium. Among his rivals, Rigo Uran was the most constant, finding again after 3 years, his best climbing level. Alberto Contador, nowhere to be seen in the decisive moments, did try to cause chaos from far away. His full-gas chase on Col de la Croix de Fer was one of the best efforts on a long climb this season. There was a superior performance recorded in this Tour though. Straight from the first high mountain stage, Warren Barguil proved to be in the form of his life. Then came the succesful, brilliant raid to Foix. The cherry on the cake was his win on the mythical Col d'Izoard. Panache-fueled, Barguil set a record time which was hard to imagine and will be harder to beat. It was the top climbing performance of the season. So the 2017 'Subiendo como una moto' Award goes to Bretagne, bravo Wawa!
           Out of the 10 best uphill efforts of the season, only one took place outside the World Tour races. Where? You guessed it. The anomalous Volta a Portugal, of course. Raul Alarcon frighteningly climbed Senhora da Graca under 21 minutes (~6,7 w/kg) and on stage 9, his team W52 put on a show rarely seen since the magic Gewiss-Ballan circa 1994. But like they say, what happens in Portugal, stays in Portugal. In the neighbouring Spain, Froome brought in La Vuelta a top team at his side, lesson learned after last year's Formigal collapse. Over the three weeks, he showed very few signs of fatigue, his teammates saving the situation every time it was necessary. In Madrid, Froome became the first rider to win two consecutive Grand Tours in the same season since Marco Pantani. A heck of a feat. Even more, he set new personal best performances for the climbs under 15 minutes. The highest of them all came on the road to Santa Lucia church. Contador, Froome, Woods and Chaves recorded pretty much the same wattage as Pantani, Indurain and Riis on Mende, 1995. On the long ascents (more than 30 minutes) though, the numbers were lower than in recent years. Other important mentions from La Vuelta: Superman Lopez superiority at high altitude, Kelderman and Woods reaching their best ever climbing level, Contador's tremendous resurrection in the third week of the race and the unbelievable strength of the Team Sky mountain train.
          The last mind-blowing uphill exhibiton of the season came during the World Championships road race in the stunning Bergen. With 260 kilometers already in his legs, Julian Alaphilippe climbed Salmon Hill (1,5 km@6,4%) at a staggering speed of 33.3 km/h. At this type of efforts, the Frenchman's numbers are higher than those of the best Valverde or Gilbert, it remains to be seen if he can reach their results too...
          Overall, the 2017 climbing speeds were superior to the previous years. While the performances on ascents longer than 30 minutes didn't return to the levels seen before 2006, the short efforts went through a Bitcoin-esque boom. That's why five from the top 10 performances of the year are efforts under 10 minutes. Today's riders climb the short hills as the best did in the mid '90s. The other particularity of the season was Christopher Froome, his exceptional recovery skills allowing him to win the Tour-Vuelta double. Officially going for the Giro-Tour next year. Can he do it?  Vedremo...

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Great Rigo on Superga




Superga
2017:4,9 km@8,9%---13:51---average speed 21.23 km/h(Rigoberto Uran)
2016:4,9 km@8,9%---14:00---average speed 21.00 km/h(Miguel Angel Lopez)
2015:4,9 km@8,9%---13:40---average speed 21.51 km/h(Diego Rosa)
2015:4,9 km@8,9%---15:09---average speed 19.41 km/h(Vincenzo Nibali)

Sunday, 10 September 2017

New Angliru Top 50: Far away from the fastest


© Tim de Waele


1.  2000: 41:55 Roberto Heras 18.32 km/h
2.  2013: 43:06 Chris Horner 17.82 km/h
3.  2008: 43:12 Alberto Contador 17.78 km/h
4.  2000: 43:24 Pavel Tonkov 17.70 km/h
5.  2000: 43:24 Roberto Laiseka 17.70 km/h
6.  2013: 43:34 Alejandro Valverde 17.63 km/h
7.  2013: 43:34 Vincenzo Nibali 17.63 km/h
8.  2008: 43:54 Alejandro Valverde 17.49 km/h
9.  2002: 43:55 Roberto Heras 17.49 km/h
10. 2011: 43:57 Juan Jose Cobo 17.47 km/h
11. 2008: 44:10 Joaquim Rodriguez 17.39 km/h
12. 2000: 44:13 Raimundas Rumsas 17.37 km/h
13. 2008: 44:17 Levi Leipheimer 17.34 km/h
14. 2000: 44:22 Txema Del Olmo 17.31 km/h
15. 2013: 44:25 Joaquim Rodriguez 17.29 km/h
16. 2013: 44:29 Thibaut Pinot 17.26 km/h
17. 2017: 44:38 Wout Poels 17.21 km/h
18. 2017: 44:38 Christopher Froome 17.21 km/h
19. 2000: 44:43 Fernando Escartín 17.17 km/h
20. 2008: 44:44 Carlos Sastre 17.17 km/h
21. 2011: 44:45 Wout Poels 17.16 km/h
22. 2011: 44:45 Denis Menchov 17.16 km/h
23. 2011: 44:45 Christopher Froome 17.16 km/h
24. 2017: 44:46 Alberto Contador 17.16 km/h
25. 1999: 44:50 José M. Jimenez 17.13 km/h
26. 1999: 44:50 Pavel Tonkov 17.13 km/h
27. 2013: 44:50 Domenico Pozzovivo 17.13 km/h
28. 2013: 44:56 Daniel Moreno 17.09 km/h
29. 2017: 44:56 Ilnur Zakarin 17.09 km/h
30. 1999: 44:58 Manuel Beltran 17.08 km/h
31. 2013: 45:06 Samuel Sanchez 17.03 km/h
32. 2008: 45:08 Robert Gesink 17.02 km/h
33. 2011: 45:11 Bradley Wiggins 17.00 km/h
34. 2017: 45:12 Franco Pellizotti 16.99 km/h
35. 2017: 45:12 Vincenzo Nibali 16.99 km/h
36. 2017: 45:12 Steven Kruijswijk 16.99 km/h
37. 2011: 45:18 Igor Anton 16.95 km/h
38. 2000: 45:26 Manuel Beltran 16.90 km/h
39. 2000: 45:26 Massimiliano Gentili 16.90 km/h
40. 2002: 45:30 Joseba Beloki 16.88 km/h
41. 2008: 45:30 Ezequiel Mosquera 16.88 km/h
42. 2011: 45:32 Joaquin Rodriguez 16.87 km/h
43. 2011: 45:32 Maxime Monfort 16.87 km/h
44. 2011: 45:32 Bauke Mollema 16.87 km/h
45. 2011: 45:32 Sergey Lagutin 16.87 km/h
46. 2017: 45:32 Wilco Kelderman 16.87 km/h
47. 2000: 45:36 Richard Virenque 16.84 km/h
48. 2000: 45:36 Angel Casero 16.84 km/h
49. 2002: 45:36 Francesco Casagrande 16.84 km/h
50. 2013: 45:37 Tanel Kangert 16.84 km/h

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Slowest Angliru ascent since 1999





Alto de la Cobertoria
2017:8,0 km@8,7%---26:00---average speed 18.46 km/h(40 riders peloton)
2012:8,0 km@8,7%---24:51---average speed 19.32 km/h(Paulinho-Hernandez-Majka-Henao-Uran-Landa-Talansky-Quintana-Anton)
                                ---25:07---average speed 19.11 km/h(25 riders peloton)
2010:8,0 km@8,7%---25:07---average speed 19.11 km/h(Kreuziger-Nibali-F.Schleck-Mosquera-Tondo-Sastre-P.Velits-Rodriguez-20 riders group)
2006:8,0 km@8,7%---22:50---average speed 21.02 km/h(Alexandre Vinokourov)-RECORD
1997:8,0 km@8,7%---25:20---average speed 18.95 km/h(Laurent Jalabert)
                                ---25:24---average speed 18.90 km/h(25 riders peloton)




Alto del Cordal
2017:5,6 km@8,6%---16:45---average speed 20.06 km/h(Zakarin-Woods)
                                 ---17:14---average speed 19.50 km/h(20 riders peloton)
2013:5,6 km@8,6%---17:05---average speed 19.67 km/h(25 riders peloton)
2011:5,6 km@8,6%---16:32---average speed 20.32 km/h(David Moncoutie)
2002:5,6 km@8,6%---16:38---average speed 20.20 km/h(Félix Garcia Casas)




Angliru
2017:12,8 km@9,6%---44:38---average speed 17.21 km/h(Poels-Froome)
                                  ---44:46---average speed 17.16 km/h(Alberto Contador)
2013:12,8 km@9,6%---43:06---average speed 17.82 km/h(Chris Horner)
                                  ---47:34---average speed 16.15 km/h(Kenny Elissonde)
2011:12,8 km@9,6%---43:57---average speed 17.47 km/h(Juan Jose Cobo)
2008:12,8 km@9,6%---43:12---average speed 17.78 km/h(Alberto Contador)
2002:12,8 km@9,6%---43:55---average speed 17.49 km/h(Roberto Heras)
2000:12,8 km@9,6%---41:55---average speed 18.32 km/h(Roberto Heras)-RECORD
                                  ---46:50---average speed 16.40 km/h(Gilberto Simoni)
1999:12,8 km@9,6%---44:50---average speed 17.13 km/h(Jose Maria Jimenez-Pavel Tonkov)

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Los Machucos: Contador flying again




Puerto de Alisas
2017:8,7 km@6,2%---20:40---average speed 25.26 km/h(Mate-Haig-Visconti)
                                ---20:45---average speed 25.16 km/h(Peloton)




Los Machucos
2017:7,3 km@8,8%---23:00---average speed 19.04 km/h(Alberto Contador)
                                ---24:00---average speed 18.25 km/h(Stefan Denifl)

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Sierra Nevada confirms Lopez as the best climber




Alto de Hazallanas
2017:7,3 km@9,6%---25:20---average speed 17.29 km/h(Bardet-Kruijswijk-A.Yates)
                                ---27:27---average speed 15.96 km/h(50 riders peloton)
2015:7,3 km@9,6%---23:39---average speed 18.52 km/h(Alberto Contador)
                                ---23:58---average speed 18.28 km/h(Chris Froome)
2013:7,3 km@9,6%---23:22---average speed 18.74 km/h(Chris Horner)
                                ---24:10---average speed 18.12 km/h(Vincenzo Nibali)
                                ---24:24---average speed 17.95 km/h(Valverde-Basso-Rodriguez-Pinot)




Sierra Nevada-Hoya de la Mora
2017:28,1 km@6,0%---1:11:08---average speed 23.70 km/h(Miguel Angel Lopez)

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Slowest ever ascent on Pandera




Sierra de la Pandera
2017:8,4 km@7,8%---24:30---average speed 20.57 km/h(Miguel Angel Lopez)
2009:8,4 km@7,8%---23:52---average speed 21.12 km/h(Samuel Sanchez)
                                ---24:55---average speed 20.23 km/h(Damiano Cunego)
2006:8,4 km@7,8%---23:24---average speed 21.54 km/h(Kashechkin-Vinokourov)
2003:8,4 km@7,8%---23:40---average speed 21.30 km/h(Valverde-Cardenas)
2002:8,4 km@7,8%---23:07---average speed 21.80 km/h(Roberto Heras)

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The big watts vanish in the high mountains




Puerto de Velefique
2017:13,0 km@7,3%---37:35---average speed 20.75 km/h(Atapuma-S.Yates)
                                  ---39:15---average speed 19.87 km/h(35 riders peloton)
2009:13,0 km@7,3%---34:31---average speed 22.77 km/h(Gesink-Mosquera)
2004:13,0 km@7,3%---36:37---average speed 21.30 km/h(Francisco Lara)
                                  ---37:47---average speed 20.64 km/h(35 riders peloton)




Calar Alto
2017:6,8 km@8,8%---22:07---average speed 18.45 km/h(Nieve-Moscon-Froome-Nibali-Contador-Zakarin-M.A. Lopez-Kelderman-Pellizotti)
                                ---22:37---average speed 18.04 km/h(Bilbao-Aru-Woods-De La Cruz-Carapaz-Kruijswijk-Poels)
                                ---22:47---average speed 17.91 km/h(Haig-Chaves-Oomen-Pardilla-Meintjes)
2004:6,8 km@8,8%---21:58---average speed 18.57 km/h(Francisco Lara)
                                ---23:05---average speed 17.68 km/h(40 riders peloton)


Sunday, 27 August 2017

Froome, new best time on Puig Llorenca




Alto de Puig Llorenca
2017:3,8 km@9,7%---11:12---average speed 20.36 km/h(Christopher Froome)
2015:3,8 km@9,7%---11:19---average speed 20.15 km/h(Tom Dumoulin)

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Only Contador can follow Froome on Cati




Xorret de Cati
2017:3,8 km@11,8%---13:20---average speed 17.10 km/h(Froome-Contador)
2016:3,8 km@11,8%---13:36---average speed 16.76 km/h(Wouter Poels)
                                  ---14:03---average speed 16.23 km/h(Navarro-I.Izaguirre-Aru-Intxausti)
2010:3,8 km@11,8%---13:56---average speed 16.36 km/h(Nibali-Anton-Rodriguez-Tondo-Sastre)
2009:3,8 km@11,8%---13:27---average speed 16.95 km/h(Valverde-Evans-Basso)
2004:3,8 km@11,8%---13:15---average speed 17.21 km/h(Jorge Ferrio)
                                  ---13:25---average speed 16.99 km/h(Valverde-Heras-Piepoli)
2000:3,8 km@11,8%---12:42---average speed 17.95 km/h(Eladio Jimenez)-RECORD
                                  ---12:52---average speed 17.72 km/h(Heras-Zulle-Gotti)
1998:3,8 km@11,8%---12:58---average speed 17.58 km/h(Jose Maria Jimenez)
                                  ---13:23---average speed 17.04 km/h(Roberto Heras)
                                  ---13:45---average speed 16.58 km/h(Jalabert-Olano-Armstrong group)