- TrainingPeaks track the numbers of pro and amateur riders
- Without accurate data, you can never train properly or fulfil your own potential
- But how much stronger is a Tour de France road pro, than the average rider?
Potent power meters and transponders have revolutionised the way we harvest and understand cycling data.
In a world of Strava for all and amateur riders harvesting a considerable stream of data on their bikes, the literacy around power outputs has never been more comparable.
A decade or two ago, the idea of comparing yourself to a road riding pro, was challenging if you were not specifically data literate.
Tracing data more accurately and interpreting it with insight has become a new knowledge economy in cycling.
Pro riders - all the power, all the time
TrainingPeaks is an American cycling technology company that analyses rider output, helping pros and amateurs understand their performance and training smarter.
The company also consults for that proudly African team, Qhubeka. With the Tour de France done, we reached out to TrainingPeaks, to find out how hard a team Qhubeka pro rider would be working during the race.
To make endurance and ability of pro riders relatable, TrainingPeaks shared some numbers of Sean Bennett, one of team Qhubeka’s Tour de France finishers.
Sean’s average power output across 21 stages of the Tour de France, registered at 236W. A moderately fit amateur rider could probably equal that for twenty or thirty minutes, but not for 21 stages and 87 hours of pedalling, as Sean did, during the Tour de France.
Even more impressive, and beyond the realm of an average rider, is how a pro like Sean can increase his effort when marshalled as part of a breakaway.
How brutal, a breakaway can become
During stage 18, from Pau to Luz Ardiden, Sean was part of a four-rider breakaway group. To establish its ascendency on the main peloton, this group required Sean to crank away 393W, for a full sixteen minutes.
As context for that effort, Sean effectively produced an e-bike and rider combination power output of very nearly 400W.
How potent can a Tour de France pro rider like Sean go? Well, on that same stage 18 effort, Sean’s peak power surged to 998W
With those TrainingPeaks insights in mind, you can track and compare your own riding efforts with the likes of a team Qhubeka pro. And realise how vast the chasm in performance statistically is, between a weekend warrior and a true road pro.