Challenge Ciclista Mallorca
BY SHAWN HEIDGEN
TROFEO ANDRATX-MIRADOR DES COLOMER 149 Km. Viernes, 30 Enero del 2.015
Friday, January 30: Trofeo Andratx – Mirador d’Es Colomer (149km)
1 Stephen Cummings (GBr) MTN – Qhubeka 3:56:30
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
3 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:06
60 Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) CULT Energy Pro Cycling 0:8:22
The four-day Mallorca Challenge is the first race of the European season. The four-day event in Mallorca does not award a GC prize and is not a stage race, which may encourage more aggressive racing. Riders are not required to race each day, and teams may field different eight-man squads day-by-day — essentially, the event is four one-day races held in the same region.
Today was the second stage of the race, Trofeo Andratx – Mirador d’Es Colomer (149km). A hilly route including 3 classified climbs and a steep finish that ramped up to 10 percent at some points. CULT Energy and InfoCrank rider Rasmus Guldhammer has shared his data from the race. We have estimated his FTP to be around 340 for the purpose of this analysis.
The race was won by Steven Cummings with Valverde second. The list of the top 25 was littered with top Pro Tour riders so it was a big day for our first year Pro Continental Team CULT Energy. The race was on from the gun at Kilo 0 with a breakaway going before 20km headed by Andre Greipel, who was obviously intent on doing 150km very fast. A total of 10 riders escaped in the opening kilometres, including Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Dylan Van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin), Huub Duyn (Roompot), José Gonçalves (Caja Rural-RGA,), Johann Van Zyl (MTN Qhubeka), Igor Merino (Burgos BH), Imanol Estévez (Murias Taldea), Nico Brungger (Roth-Skoda), Marcos Jurado (Spain) and Mark Christian (Great Britain).
We can see through the data that the first 18 minutes were very surgey and aggressive (numerous spikes over 600 W) trying to decide what to do about the break but once the pack settled in, so did the pace resulting in a more steady effort. During the first hour, Guldhamer averaged 248 W (aprroximately a Zone 2 or aerobic effort) but had and Effective Power (or Normalized Power) of 301 indicating the initial aggressiveness.
Then it was a race to the bottom of what would become the deciding climb of the race, Puig Major. And this is where our inside man (in the team car) described as “where all hell broke loose”. Indeed it did.
The lead group disappeared up the road. Guldhammer was in the third group on the road, with the Valverde group ahead by 1 min at the top and the break still over a minute ahead. (They had been six minutes ahead just before Soller!) Guldhammer put out an impressive 357 W at 90 rpm on 6% grade for 36 minutes! And he was in the THIRD Group. He was generally pretty steady on the climb but gradually faded in the second half. Overall an impressive effort from Guldhammer averaging 5.25 w/kg up the Puig. He gave it a run but was unable to match the efforts of the big guns up the road.
In the end, the remnants of the break were finally caught with 2km to go. Guldhammer and his group came in 8:22 after the winner, Stephen Cummings (MTN). Guldhammer ascended the final kicker in 9 minutes, averaging 305 W, 4.5 w/kg coming in 60th place for the day.
It was a hard day for Guldhammer and a clear showing of what power is needed to be competitive in the top level of the Pros’ even in the first hilly race of the European season.