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We have the final pieces in the jigsaw that will make up Chris Anker Sørensen’s epic 2012 Tour de France campaign which saw him receive the overall honours for Most Aggressive Rider in Paris. These final exploits are of mammoth proportions in both physical ability and mental toughness that is the hallmark of this popular Dane. Follow his journey through the interpretation of his data below as we see what it takes to be one of the Tour de France’s major players.
1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 5:35:02
2 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:01:40
3 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:03:22
Stage 16 will be remembered by many as one of the most epic of the 2012 Tour de France. With 4 categorised climbs running through the heart of the Pyrenees, this proved to be a day to remember for many who watched Chris Anker Sørensen’s exploits.
The day started with Chris producing many of his peak powers in the first 30km’s before the peloton hit the first climb of the day which was the Col d’Aubisque (HC). The main move of the day was formed around the 25km mark. The intense effort to make the move and be a decisive part in the effort to get time on the bunch enabled Chris to produce his peak powers from 1min (553w 8.6 w/kg) through to 12min (373w 5.8w/kg) in this early flurry of action. The Col d’Aubisque was ridden at 308w and 4.8w/kg Chris comfortably was able to be part of this lead group which allowed them to increase their lead on the peloton and maintain rhythm on the 16km climb.
The Col de Tourmalet saw the lead group begin to fragment with attacks from Dan Martin and Voeckler, Chris was again to the fore on this vicious 19km HC climb with an increase of effort to 330w average at 5.1w/kg. This was enough power to allow him make the chase group behind Voeckler and Feillu who escaped the others earlier on the climb as they passed the top of this historic mountain.
The final 2 climbs were set as the battle ground for the remainder of the stage which was to produce some of Chris’s best performances in this year’s Tour. The gradual increase in W/KG over the climbs was to continue with the 1st Category Col d’Aspin producing aggressive racing in pursuit of the leaders. Chris formed a partnership with Vino at a steady tempo of 345w and 5.3w/kg with an impressive steady rhythm of 87rpm on the steep slopes, a fantastic trait of modern day climbing specialists who can maintain such cadence.
The final showdown on the Col d’Peyresourde was to be the last chance for Chris and the other poursuivent’s to catch Voeckler for the stage win. Chris’s fight for the stage seen him drop his compatriots and catch and pass Feillu producing 347w and 5.4w/kg on the way, again a steady increase in power over the last climb was not enough to catch Voeckler nor was his chase on the descent hitting speeds of 80km/ph in pursuit of a stage win.
An incredible performance by Chris on this truly epic day, what was impressive is the steady increase of w/kg over the 4 climbs:
Col d’Absique 4.8w/kg 53:58min 308w
Col de Tourmalet 5.1w/kg 58:10min 330w
Col d’Aspin 5.3w/kg 29:36min 345w
Col d’Peyresourde 5.4w/kg 26:46min 347w
Peak 1-minutes: 553w
Peak 6-minutes: 402w
Peak 20-minutes: 352w
Chris’s second placing on the stage was an epic day that allowed him to produce his highest TSS of 435 propelled him to 14th in GC. A truly impressive performance on stage 16.
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 4:12:11
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:19
3 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky
24 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:04:10
Today was the shortest stage of this year’s Tour and was to be the last chance for the climbers to make their mark before the final T.T. For Chris it was his last opportunity to show his climbing powers. With again aggressive racing from the gun, Chris Anker’s recovery was impressive from yesterday’s stage as he again made the break of the day that was to decide the stage win. Producing 386w and 6w/kg on the first climb of Col de Mente, Chris spent nearly 30min over this threshold to maintain his presence in the lead group along with producing many of his peak powers for the stage.
Disaster struck at the start of the descent of Col de Ares when Chris crashed, badly cut and a serious injury to his fingers saw him receive treatment from the Tour doctor and a return to the chasing peloton. The following two climbs to the finish HC Port de Bales and Cat 1 Peyragudes, was set at 352w and 330w, all this while suffering major injuries that was to have a major influence on his ability to remain in contact with the yellow jersey group on the last climb. His effort of 330w and 5.1w/kg saw him lose contact with the leaders on the last climb as he battled to stay in contention. A show if immense ability to recover from yesterdays stage and to be able to produce another aggressive ride along with a serious crash halfway through the stage, was one of the reasons that saw him awarded Most aggressive rider at the Tour final overall standings. A 356TSS score shows it was another big day, with a the last two days accumulating 791TSS points in the Pyrenees , don’t try that at home folks!
Peak 1-minutes: 478w
Peak 6-minutes: 408w
Peak 20-minutes: 390w PB for TDF
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Sky 4:54:12
2 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) ORICA-GreenEDGE
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
54 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:00:16
Today was a long day in the saddle with nearly 5hrs racing on this flat to rolling terrain which saw the race produce a bunch sprint. With a controlled bunch Chris was able to use this opportunity to recover before the upcoming T.T. Chris power profile saw him produce his peak powers from 2-6min on the cat 3 Cote de Saint-Georges, 2min at 440w and 6min at 394w, this was a indication that the aggressors for a breakaway on this stage were riding hard to forge ahead and make their mark on a last opportunity for a break to succeed.
The final excitement was left to the final 5km of the stage as the chasing bunch ave 51kph as Chris produced 344w to maintain his presence in the bunch along with a big peak power of 948w on the final push for the line. Still a long day in the saddle which produced close to 300TSS, this was not such a easy day for someone recovering from a serious crash the day before and two previous big days in the high mountains.
1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky 1:04:13
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:16
3 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:50
78 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:06:41
The final showdown of the 2012 TDF was set on today’s 53.5km T.T on the flat route that was to see Bradley stamp his authority over this year’s event. Chris had a battle of his own to maintain his 14 GC position which he successfully accomplished.
Chris final average watts was bang on his FTP of 360w, this shows a true stage racers ability to be able to produce a 1hr 10min effort at FTP after 3 weeks of racing, this is the sort of performance profile needed to be a top contender in the TDF for both GC and stages.
Chris started his T.T pacing at a 370wattage which was sustained for the first 20min, he then gradually reduced his pacing watts to around 350-355w as the lactate started to mount.
His final GC position was saved by this performance in the individual T.T, a heroic performance when you realise he is suffering with major injury to his fingers that needs urgent operation once the Tour has finished.
He averaged 30watts more in this T.T than the one on stage 9, again an indication that his profile and natural ability is for these long 3 week tours with an upward curve in performance as the race unfolded.