Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California was won by Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale), but Orica-GreenEdge may have been the most powerful team within the closing kilometers. The team’s sprinter, Aussie Leigh Howard, finished just off the podium in fourth place after his teammates did the majority of the lead-out into downtown Santa Rosa.
Howard’s fellow Australian teammate Luke Durbridge had good legs Sunday and was able to climb well throughout the stage and help Howard in the finishing kilometers. Durbidge is the current Australian national time trial champion and he won the U23 world TT championship in 2011. There is no doubt we should be able to see some big numbers from this young Aussie during this week’s Amgen Tour.
1. Peter Sagan, Liquigas-Cannondale in 4:42:35
2. Heinrich Haussler, Garmin-Barracuda at s.t.
3. Fred Rodriguez, Exergy at s.t.
32. Luke Durbridge, Orica-GreenEdge
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Training Stress Score: 282 TSS
Energy: 4260 KJ
Body Weight: 77kg
Average Heart Rate: 144 bpm
Max Heart Rate: 185 bpm
Average Cadence: 89 rpm
Peak Power Values
Average Watts: 252 W
Max Watts: 1414 W
Normalized Power: 326
Peak 1-minutes: 530 W
Peak 6-minutes: 468 W (Set on Coleman Valley Road)
Peak 20-minutes: 379 W
Peak 180-minutes: 278 W
The riders certainly had to have fresh legs to get through this stage, with several hard climbs in the last half of the race. Durbridge was riding within the peloton, saving himself so he could help his team in the final sprint. During the first half of the race, he only averaged of 225W (298 normalized power). However, the second half of the race is where several teams came to the front to help chase a lead breakaway of eight riders, which ended up gaining nearly eleven minutes at one point. A hard chase, coupled with the climbs, meant Durbridge averaged 276W (349np) over the second half of the race.
Durbridge had his peak five-minute power reading of stage 1 on the Coleman Valley climb where he averaged 437W and a 181 heart rate. The Fort Ross Road climb saw the Aussie’s average power hit 412W.
There are bigger climbs to come on stage 2 with the famous Bonny Doon appearing at mile 70 of a 117-mile stage from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. Stay tuned for more insight into what it takes to finish and compete in the Amgen Tour of California.
Dirk Friel is a co-founder of TrainingPeaks.com. Follow Dirk at twitter.com/dirkfriel.