So, you want to ride over the Alps in the Tour? Ever wonder what it takes to crest the mountains with the big boys? Read on if you are curious to know what kind of wattage you would need to generate to be in the prestigious first group of cyclists to view the scenery from atop Europe’s highest peaks.
Flying home from IMUSA I was reading Bicycling Magazine where I came across some interesting data which should be shed some light on the matter. A study was done on the power that one would need to generate for extended periods of time in order stay with the peloton in the Alps and Pyrenees.
In order to be within the top 50 riders, it is estimated that a rider must be able to generate 3 watts per 1.1 lbs. of body weight for an extended period of time. Ouch. For those more ambitious riders who aspire to be in the lead group, a rider might have to produce between 3.5-3.75 watts/pound.
These frightful numbers ought to give you a idea of how fast the Tour riders tear up these mountains. While the Tour riders absolutely are the best in the world, do keep in mind however that despite their denials, all of the riders are using an octane grade of fuel that is not used by everyday folk.