Pro riders have been hoovering up Strava KOMs during the 2021 Tour de France; here are some of the most eye-catching that we've spotted on the major climbs.
Dylan Teuns of Bahrain Victorious may have won the stage from Oyonnax to Le Grand-Bornand, but it was Pogacar who picked up the all-important KOMs as he made his move from the overall contenders’ group with around 3.5km remaining of the day’s penultimate climb, the Col de Romme, to take yellow.
It was only Richard Carapaz – the highest placed Ineos Grenadiers rider – who initially managed to go with him, but was unable to follow the Slovenian’s second acceleration just moments after.
Across the 8.59km long Col de Romme par Scionzier segment, which averages 9.1 per cent and goes up 786m, Pogacar set a mighty average speed of 19.3km/h, clocking a time of 26:45 for the ascent.
Continuing on the pace down the descent and up the following and last Col of the day, la Colombiere, Pogacar easily bagged the KOM that included the Romme ascent beforehand, the Colombiere climb, and the descent in between them.
Pogacar stormed further ahead of his GC rivals, averaging 24.4km/h across this longer 54:25 segment, with a total of 1,015m. No one else this year was close… Next down on the Strava leaderboard is Lutsenko with a time of 58:02, putting the Astana – Premier Tech rider in 24th place, 3:37 behind Pogacar.
After digging deep up the 9 per cent average Côte de Domancy to get into the Stage 9 break, AG2R-Citroën’s Ben O’Connor picked up some impressive KOMs on his way to his solo victory at Tignes. His ride on Strava can be found here.
The second major climb was 596 metres up the Col des Saisies, which averages 6.4 per cent over 9.31km. O’Connor scooped up this Saisies Climb segment, rolling at 22.km/h and pushing 387 watts for his 24 mins 57 second time, 36 seconds ahead of next placed Deceuninck-Quick Step’s Mattia Catteneo.
125.1km into the race, O’Connor hit the lower slopes of the Montée de Tignes with fellow escapee Sergio Higuita of EF Education Nippo. With 17km remaining, O’Connor attacked and soloed to the finish.
For the challenging final 1,178m ascent into Tignes, he pushed 351 watts for the 21km segment. O’Connor impressively bagged the KOM in a time of 55 minutes and 5 seconds with his 22.8km/h average speed and also crossed the finish line for the stage victory 5 mins and 7 secs ahead of second-placed Mattia Cattaneo.
Although Tadej Pogacar was unable to stick to Jonas Vingegaard's wheel on Stage 11, he was still fast enough to snatch the Mont Ventoux via Bedoin KOM by 43 seconds.
Helped by the early pacing of the Ineos Grenadiers and a tailwind on the exposed upper slopes, the yellow jersey summited the 20km long official segment from Bedoin in 57:16 at an average speed of 21km/h. Not bad for an 8 per cent climb.
Stage winner Wout van Aert clocked the ninth fastest time on Strava with 1:00:02 at 20km/h. The 78kg rider impressively pacing it up with all the climbers, just after mixing it the day before with the sprinters, coming second to Cavendish at the finish into Valence.
US rider Sepp Kuss achieved a KOM on the 6.48km Col de Beixalis on his way to winning Stage 15 of the Tour. It’s an elevation difference of 526m and an average grade of 8.1 per cent.
Kuss made it in 18:55mins and sits at the top of the leader board by a whopping 23secs.
Strava gives his average power as 383 watts, while Kuss is likely to weigh around 59-61kg for the Tour de France. If accurate, you’re looking at about 6.3 to 6.5W/kg for the climb.
Jumbo–Visma’s Sepp Kuss bagged another KOM on the Peyresourde, along with B&B Hotels P/B KTM’s Quentin Pacher, although the riders eventually finished 22nd and 23rd on the stage.
The segment from Bagneres-de-Luchon to the top of the Peyresourde is 13.69km at an average grade of 6.7 per cent. The elevation difference is 911m. Kuss and Pacher were both up the climb in 35:52mins with a whole load of other Tour de France riders within a few seconds.
All of the top 10 times for the climb (out of over 15,000 attempts) were achieved on this stage.
Tadej Pogacar took the KOM for the Col de Portet climb, along with a load of KOMs for shorter segments of it, when he raced to victory on stage 17.
The full climb is 7.95km at an average grade of 8.4 per cent. Pogacar got to the summit in 23:31mins at an average speed of 20.3km/h, beating the previous KOM time set by Steven Kruijswijk in 2018 by over a minute.
Richard Carapaz was just three seconds slower than Pogacar.
Tadej Pogacar won stage 18 which saw a summit finish on Luz Ardiden. Not surprisingly, the race leader took a whole lot of Strava KOMs in the process, including the segment for the whole HC climb from Luz.
This is 13km long with an elevation difference from start to finish of 963m, and an average grade of 7.4 per cent.
There have been 25,000 attempts recorded with all of the top ones coming on this stage of the Tour. Pogacar’s 35:27mins, averaging 22km/h, was six seconds quicker than Richard Carapaz, with Sepp Kuss a further 25 seconds adrift.
Fancy having these rides pop up on your Strava activity feed? Here are some of the accounts of the top names who regularly upload their rides from the Tour de France on Strava (who you don’t have to request to follow):
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.