Laurens ten Dam (Belkin) took a huge step closer to a top ten place at this year’s Tour de France as he finished 11th atop the Hautacam.
The Dutchman now sits eighth overall, 19 seconds behind team-mate Bauke Mollema and needing to protect a 3’33” lead over 11th-place Pierre Rolland to seal a first-ever Tour top-ten finish.
Ten Dam, who was rallied back to the bunch by Lars Boom on the descent of the Tourmalet after needing a wheel change, took full advantage of the team’s efforts alongside Mollema.
And Belkin’s efforts are reflected in their Strava stats too, with four of their team uploading their numbers to the ever-popular route tracking app.
Ten Dam’s efforts on the stage, climbing with the yellow jersey group, are clear on the Tourmalet – his Pioneer registering an average power output of 343 watts on the ascent – which also featured on this year’s Etape du Tour.
With speeds touching 55km/h, Ten Dam climbed in 49 minutes and 35 seconds, becoming the first Strava user to tackle the climb in less than 50 minutes.
Among those left trailing the Dutchman are Team Sky’s Ian Boswell, who clocked 55.16 on a training ride, but it was on the descent where the team’s numbers are most impressive.
Led by Boom, whose speeds reached 113.4km/h on the rapid descent and averaged 67.6km/h, the Belkin team have locked out the top four on Strava.
Steven Kruijswijk, ten Dam and Bram Tankink follow Boom in the standing – with a full 20 seconds separating the latter and Omega Pharma-Quickstep’s Niki Terpstra.
Terpstra, on the other hand, touched a maximum speed of 92.9km/h with Gregory Rast (Trek Factory Racing), David Lopez (Team Sky) and Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing) clocking similar speeds.
And having descended at speed, Ten Dam was able to drive home his advantage on the Hautacam.
Though unable to stay in touch with the phenomenal acceleration of Vincenzo Nibali, ten Dam’s Pioneer recorded a power output of 370 watts on the climbs.
Rising 983 metres, the brutal climb required an average cadence of 80, which earned an average speed of 20.2km/h.
And if ten Dam’s stats are reflective of what the likes of Mollema, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Haimar Zubeldia (Trek Factory Racing), who all finished in similar time to Ten Dam, put out it says a lot about what Vincenzo Nibali must have been doing up the road.
It is certainly a frightening thought – particularly for those who tackled the very same route on the Etape du Tour.