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Think you can climb 2,310 metres in five days? Then Strava has just the challenge for you...

Strava have launched the Climbing Challenge to coincide with the inaugural Women’s Tour, challenging you to climb 2,310m - about half what the pros will ride - between 7-11th May while the race is underway.

The Climbing Challenge starts today, and presently nearly 44,000 people have signed up for it. There is still time to participate, and you can still enter part way through the challenge, if you think you can complete the climbing total in less than the allotted time. If you complete the challenge you will be able to purchase a limited edition Strava jersey for $109. Don’t forget to join the road.cc Strava club as well while you’re at it.

For the pros, the Queen of the Mountains classification will be hard fought with two classified climbs on each stage. Strava have helpfully listed the main climbs of the race on this page here, which should make for some interesting reading after the race has passed over them, presuming the athletes upload their ride activities. 

Strava have also helpfully listed some of the women to watch out for in the battle for the polka data jersey. Marianne Vos is the clear favourite for the race overall, but she’ll face stiff competition from the likes of Lizzie Armitstead, Lucy Garner, Hannah Barnes, Laura Trott and many others, in fact 21 of the 96 starters are British. For the Queen of the Mountains classification Emma Pooley must surely rank as a favorite to wear the polka dot jersey all the way to the finish.

Marianne Vos is on Strava so hopefully we'll get an insight into the race. Here's a video in which Vos looks forward to the inaugural Women's Tour.

Don't forget to join the road.cc Strava group and share your rides with other road.cc readers as well www.strava.com/clubs/road-cc

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

26 comments

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 2 years ago
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I might join in if the weather is nice tomorrow, I was thinking of hitting the Lecht anyway, that'll give me just short of 4000ft in one ride. As much as I like the jersey, I aint paying that for it

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chokofingrz [407 posts] 2 years ago
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Would I look stupid in a women's jersey? I don't have any moobs to speak of, so would there just be two floppy bits of excess fabric on my chest area? I'm just saying what everyone else has probably thought at one time or another.

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nowasps [426 posts] 2 years ago
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chokofingrz wrote:

Would I look stupid in a women's jersey? I don't have any moobs to speak of, so would there just be two floppy bits of excess fabric on my chest area? I'm just saying what everyone else has probably thought at one time or another.

Having spent a great deal of time in women's clothes, I would have said (speaking as a man) that tightness across the shoulders is more likely to be your problem.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 2 years ago
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Alan Tullett [1568 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm probably going to see the race on Sat and Sun if I can, but we are in the East of England so climbing needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Sprint up in the big ring, more than grind it out!

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Nevis the cat [26 posts] 2 years ago
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The Fred Whitton takes care of numerous $100 jerseys.

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Beaufort [270 posts] 2 years ago
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There are mens versions of the Strava Climbing jersey.

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hardgrit [44 posts] 2 years ago
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Strava needs to sort out their elevation feature first. See so many rides where elevation is at least a quarter higher than what it should be.

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mrmo [2075 posts] 2 years ago
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hardgrit wrote:

Strava needs to sort out their elevation feature first. See so many rides where elevation is at least a quarter higher than what it should be.

I don't think it is possible, problems as I see it, use a barometric altimeter, ride through a weather front and watch as you climb or decend whilst riding a flat road. Use a phone and you are relying on the base maps which don't account for every little rise or fall in the road.

I have a relatively flat ride to work but the discrepancy between when I was using an iphone and the Garmin 500 I now use is pronounced.

iphone
http://www.strava.com/activities/88380884#1834793131

garmin
http://www.strava.com/activities/126274492#2837255313

only 50ft difference but as said a relatively flat road.

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hardgrit [44 posts] 2 years ago
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I use a basic Bryton 20 which seems to get the elevation pretty much correct.
I see a lot of rides done on Garmin which are way out among my Strava buddies.
I did just under 10000ft on Saturday over 110 miles. Ridewithgps mapping gave approximately the same results. In March I did a 100 with my mate. He's got a garmin. My ele 8700, his over 11000ft!! exact same ride. There is some weirdness with garmin and Strava. See it all the time. Bit unfair when it comes to climbing challenges unless you have a Garmin of course  1
Only really trust my phone for shorter rides (commuting), otherwise again incorrect elevation and speed discrepancies.

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 2 years ago
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elevation is an issue for GPS because it's not really designed to measure it. barometric altitude measurements, in spite of their being affected by changing pressure, tend to be more accurate over a ride of a few hours, and topographical measurements based on elevation data in maps can be more accurate still, depending on the map. but not always.

bottom line is, it's not a problem with Strava, it's just a general problem with recording or calculating altitude.

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hardgrit [44 posts] 2 years ago
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Cheers Dave

I tend to ignore it now to an extent and just keep riding uphill till I can ride uphill no more  1

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goggy [153 posts] 2 years ago
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I emailed Strava yesterday and they confirmed that there are both men's and women's jerseys available. They have updated the challenge text to reflect this overnight.

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andyp [1448 posts] 2 years ago
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never mind the altitude thingy, Strava *really* need to look at their power algorithm. So far off the ball it's not true.

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David Arthur @d... [691 posts] 2 years ago
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andyp wrote:

never mind the altitude thingy, Strava *really* need to look at their power algorithm. So far off the ball it's not true.

It's a calculation. No calculation will be as accurate as a power meter

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andyp [1448 posts] 2 years ago
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I know. Hence the use of the word 'algorithm'.

I'm getting up to 500W differences between a calibrated PowerTap and Strava's 'calculation'. Thus I reckon it needs some work.

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mrmo [2075 posts] 2 years ago
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andyp wrote:

I know. Hence the use of the word 'algorithm'.

I'm getting up to 500W differences between a calibrated PowerTap and Strava's 'calculation'. Thus I reckon it needs some work.

But how do you account for chaingangs, tail winds, etc.

Really not sure how Strava can get the Algorithm right?

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Paul J [884 posts] 2 years ago
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On elevation, it's not just a question of GPS versus barometric measuring equipment, but there's a more fundamental issue of measurement granularity. How fine-grained should your elevation change measures be? Should you measure every little bump, or only every 100 metres?

It's like the question "How long is the coast of Britain", there simply is no right answer. It all depends how you measure it, and on subjective factors. There simply is no "correct" elevation change algorithm Strava could implement, even if they had perfect measurements!

On the power calculation thing, if you're getting 500W differences, then you're likely talking about only a very short climb. For long (e.g. Strava cat-3+) climbs I've found Strava's estimation isn't too far off compared to PowerTap, within 10%, sometimes 5%.

In principle, the longer and steeper the climb, the closer to truth Strava's estimation should be - excluding wind factors and assuming elevation data is accurate.

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Al__S [1025 posts] 2 years ago
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Ah, where was this challenge when I was in holiday in Tenerife eh? Would have been one day... only about 100m more than one continuous climb.

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David Arthur @d... [691 posts] 2 years ago
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Marianne Vos has just uploaded here Women's Tour stage one ride http://www.strava.com/activities/138494425?ref=1MT1yaWRlX3NoYXJlOzI9dHdp...

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hardgrit [44 posts] 2 years ago
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hahah they'll be a lot of unhappy stravarites there. MV has just nicked a load of KOMS  1

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andyp [1448 posts] 2 years ago
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'On the power calculation thing, if you're getting 500W differences, then you're likely talking about only a very short climb. For long (e.g. Strava cat-3+) climbs I've found Strava's estimation isn't too far off compared to PowerTap, within 10%, sometimes 5%'

I most recently saw a 450W difference on a flat piece of road. Either way, it doesn't make for a decent 'estimate'.

Agreed around 5-10% off on long climbs, up to around 20%.

'But how do you account for chaingangs, tail winds, etc. '

This is exactly why measuring yourself against others (see nauseating 'KoM' bagging) on Strava is utterly pointless.

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Paul J [884 posts] 2 years ago
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andyp: Yeah, I'd lump flat roads in with short climbs as not being cat-3+ climbs.  3

Just ignore the power estimate on anything other than longer climbs. For the longer climbs, it gets more accurate. Still not terribly useful though.

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andyp [1448 posts] 2 years ago
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Flat...as in FLAT. not flat with short climb. spirit-level flat. Two riders riding shoulder to shoulder, at the same speed, on the same day/time...450W difference. I know one rider might be a *little* more aero than the other, but...  3

I *always* ignore the power estimates as clearly, they are shite  3

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Al__S [1025 posts] 2 years ago
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andyp wrote:

This is exactly why measuring yourself against others (see nauseating 'KoM' bagging) on Strava is utterly pointless.

However using it to measure against yourself is very much valid.

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notfastenough [3679 posts] 2 years ago
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David Arthur wrote:

Marianne Vos has just uploaded here Women's Tour stage one ride http://www.strava.com/activities/138494425?ref=1MT1yaWRlX3NoYXJlOzI9dHdp...

Love that according to Strava, she rode with 11 friends - that's just a club run, surely?! Average speed of just under 24mph too - would leave me standing!