Ever-popular route mapping and ride tracking app Strava has achieved another first – a Tour de France stage win uploaded to the site courtesy of Lars Boom (Belkin).
Boom, one of the Strava pros currently competing at the Tour de France, blasted to victory in treacherous conditions on stage five, showcasing the sort of riding which earned him the world ‘cross title in 2008.
And his ride details – which show an estimated power output of 215 watts for the 152.5km route can now be compared to Strava’s other pros such as Niki Terpstra.
So just how did Boom blast to his phenomenal victory – the first Tour de France stage win of his career?
His mastery of the cobbles was second-to-none, hitting each section on – or at least towards – the front of the ever-decreasing bunch.
And consistency proved key for the Dutchman, whose times on the cobbles remained unparalleled throughout – the penultimate secteur showing an average speed of 40.7km/h on Wandige-Hamage a Horaing.
Touching top speeds of 55.4km/h on a secteur which proved troublesome for several riders – including Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Boom’s stats show only Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) came close to matching his speed.
It was not just a case of peaking when it mattered either – his estimated power output of 157 watts on Bersee – when again he reached top speeds well in excess of 55km/h – putting him leagues ahead of his rivals too.
It was on Bersee when Boom and team-mate Sep Vanmarcke burst clear of the bunch, staying safe when the likes of Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) and Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) suffered falls.
And while not all riders upload their data to Strava, the fact Boom was able to put 30 seconds into team-mate Laurens ten Dam and white jersey Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) shows just how good his – and Vanmarcke’s – effort was in the conditions.
It was not just on the cobblestones where the race was won and lost either – as Paris-Roubaix winner Terpstra found to his cost.
Poor positioning in the bunch meant his race was over before the cobbles had even really started when they hit the first cobbled secteur.
Throughout the ride, Terpstra’s stats over the pave are comparable to the efforts of Boom – but the Omega Pharma-Quickstep man finished 3’43” down on his compatriot.
And all because he found himself towards the back of the peloton when they hit the first cobbled section.