On Saturday, Team Belkin’s Laurens ten Dam rode to fifth place on stage eight of the Tour de France, while Chris Froome scarpered up the road alone for the stage victory. That in itself isn’t the interesting bit. I’ve been following Laurens on Strava for the last year, so when I saw Laurens finish so highly, I immediately logged on to take a look at his ride and give him some ‘kudos’.
So did 2,146 other people. With 1547 comments, his ride certainly attracted some attention on Strava. The details for that stage include a 37.6km/h average speed, 92.2km/h max speed, and an average power of 379 watts.
Now, I know there are a lot of people who hate Strava, but with access to information such as this it pulls away the veil of secrecy that has always covered pro cyclists' performances in races like the Tour de France. In an era when transparency is key to moving forward and leaving the problems of doping in the past, being able to view and analyse a ride in such detail as Strava offers must be seen as a positive step forward.
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.