Paris-Roubaix is always a tough race, but Dylan Van Baarle has uploaded his data to Strava to show just how tough the 2022 edition was. Let's see what we can learn...
The first crucial point of the race came on the long, straight and exposed roads before the cobbles had even begun. Van Baarle’s team, Ineos Grenadiers, lit up the race with Polish rider Kwiatkowski rolling through to get echelons going.
Between this point and the first section of cobbles at Troisvilles a Inchy, a full 50km of racing, Van Baarle needed to push a normalised power of 344w, or just under 4w/kg for his 77kg frame.
The data shows just how tough it is to position yourself towards the front for the sectors of cobbles, with Van Baarle twice peaking at over 1,000w in a short space of time as Ineos battles with Intermarche Wanty for control of the front group.
Having made this front group with the entire team, Ineos were understandably keen to hold onto their advantage and the early section of pave at Vertain shows Van Baarle having to make a 3-minute effort at 456w to maintain his speed on the rough cobbles.
But Ineos weren’t having it all their own way. They decided to ease off after their Italian TT specialist Ganna punctured before the Quievy-Fontaine. When we saw them fly past on this sector, the gap to the main peloton behind had visibly closed and Van Baarle’s average power of 334w for the 5:42 effort, compared to the chasing Ganna’s 4:59 shows just how much they slowed.
An interesting sector to look at is the Arenberg. Often, riders aren’t able to put down their full power, be that due to the harshness of the cobbles or simply that they get caught behind another rider. Van Baarle’s 383w for 3:26 shows that as he got deeper into the race, he was cleverly measuring his effort.
And it was for his own attacks that Van Baarle was saving his effort. The Dutchman went clear on the Auchy-lez-Orchies sector, attacking at 814w and holding a whopping 430w for just under 4 minutes.
He would eventually be brought back by a charging Wout van Aert group, and the next phase of racing saw multiple attacks. But Van Baarle bided his time until 29km to go and launched a stealth attack of which he is becoming a master. Noticing that the situation in the group is ideal, he accelerates with a 923w effort which he quickly brings down to around 500w. He then proceeds to bridge to the riders in front with a 4-and-a-half minute effort at an average of 454w, gaining contact on the cobbles of Cysoing.
After working with Mohoric for a few minutes, Van Baarle drops the Slovenian on the Camphin-en-Pevele sector with a 739w attack.
It is interesting to note the heart rate data at this point as the Dutchman is clearly going full gas. Van Baarle’s maximum for the whole race is 176bpm, and yet he averages 167bpm from his attack to the finish. For a whopping 37 minutes, he was at the upper limit of his sustainable ability and that was after 5 hours of brutal racing.
The final real test is the sector of Carrefour de l’Arbre. While Van Baarle is certainly measuring his effort over the 2km of rough cobbles, he still needed to push 417w for 3:13 to hold off Wout van Aert and Stefan Kung, who would form a formidable 2-up time trial team.
> The best bike tech from the men's Paris-Roubaix
In the end, Van Baarle rode into the velodrome alone in a time of 5:48:39. He averaged 307w and 147bpm with the neutral zone included, burned 7,071 calories and racked up a TSS of 351.
> Now go give the man some kudos
Sauce for Strava suggests that he burned the equivalent of 40 beers, and we’d say he earned every one of them.
> Monumental tipples: the best beers and wines to watch the Classics with
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