POWERFILE REVIEW: GREG HENDERSON, Tour de France Stage 9 by Stephen Gallagher, Head Coach.

Jul 05, 2012

TDFstage9.jpgTour de France Stage 9: Arc-et-Senans - Besançon (ITT) 41.5km


1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky 0:51:24
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:35
3 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:57
137 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team 0:07:40


The Tour de France Time trials are always a pivotal stage to the final outcome in every Tour de France and the 2012 edition is no different with 100km of Individual Time Trials in this years addition.


The Sky boys really did show the rest of the field a master class on how these should be performed and prepared for.  The elegance and power of Bradley Wiggins performance will be talked about for many years to come.


We again have the data from sprint specialist Greg Henderson to analyse and show you how a rider that is at the service of his team mates deals with these days on the T.T bike. There is no such luxury within a T.T to ‘take it easy’ as the threshold effort needed to produce power in an aerodynamic position can cause a lot of stress on these riders, remember riders like Henderson will not be spending hours a week on their T.T bikes in order to become more efficient like the top GC contenders.

The warm up.


Greg spent a total time of 20min warming up finishing this warm up around 10min before the start of his T.T.  The first section consisted of a gradual 10min rise in power starting from 160w and he built up at around 10w a minute until he reached a power of 360w/370w (almost 100% of his FTP). This 10min effort was followed by 1-2min easy pedalling followed by a 4min block of fast pedalling high cadence efforts lasting around 1min each reaching 120rpm on these intervals.  Following this last section of Greg’s warm up he had 10min before his race start,  Perfect amount of time to recover from a steady warm up and have his muscle and lungs ready for the intense T.T effort.

The time trial.


Greg has a threshold of 375w currently and you can see from the file that he averaged 338w which is around 90% of his FTP and 4.8w/kg for the duration of the 59min it took Greg to complete the 41km course.


Splitting the course into sections, the first half of Greg’s T.T was around 347w, 356w Normalized, 5.03w/kg. The second half Greg averaged 326w, 342w Normalized, 4.72w/kg. Greg had a TSS of 89 for this ride; remember that 100TSS points is 1 hour at your FTP watts, a great method to measure your training stress or sections of training using Training Peaks software.


From this you can see a gradual decrease in power over the duration of the 41km ride, this may of been due to pacing too hard in the initial section of the race or believing that the effort so far sustained was too hard for someone wanting to finish mid pack and not out there looking to set any pb’s or aiming for a high placing on the stage or GC.  A constant cadence of 85-90rpm was the norm for Greg during the ride which is a bit below the velocity you would see the likes of Wiggins setting which is up around the 100rpm.

Stats for time trial.


Total Time:0:59:02


Distance:41.05 km


Energy:1197 kJ


TSS:87 (0.94)









Power (Watts):




Speed (km/h):




Cadence (rpm):





From the lack of files and power data coming from the top GC riders it is hard to be totally accurate of their wattage and power to weight for the event but you could estimate around 6w/kg for anyone with the objective of aiming for a high GC, solid aerobic power and aerodynamic drag are the biggest factors in this discipline which is shown by the leading riders in the years Tour.


Greg spent most of today's stage in his ‘sweet spot’ zone which is an area just below his FTP and this enabled Greg to produce a time in the T.T that was not going to make today an all out effort and keep his legs with a few reserves going into the high mountains in the coming days that follow.


Category: Powerfile Reviews

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