Spring Races 2010
In a beginning of the racing season that showed some extremely balanced values among the top contenders in all the most important races (Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-SanRemo, Tour of Pays Basques), the extraordinary superiority of Fabian Cancellara emerges clearly.
While the classifications of all those races were decided with just a few seconds gaps, Cancellara gave 7 seconds per km to his closest and obstinate rival (Boonen) in the flat 6 km following the decisive Muur at the Tour of Flanders.
Assuming Tom’s speed in that crucial part to be 50 km/h, then Fabian had to be going at 55 km/h, thus expressing 20% more power.
I remind you in fact that the power output expressed on flat distances is proportional to the square of speed.
Moreover, this time there were no motorbikes to favour the leading rider, as it happened last year when Boonen was protected by several motorbikes, while Pozzato was chasing 8 seconds behind, obstructed by spits and Flemish flag poles…
Cancellara then repeated himself in Roubaix, where he was steadily gaining 6-7 seconds per km after his attack and managing to accumulate an advantage of well over 3 minutes, then handling it easily in the final 10-15 km.
This sensational difference in power is obviously resulting magnified in the final phases of such hard and demanding races, where the strongest rider spends much less than the adversaries and has a lot more fuel at disposal in his legs.