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Just how hard was the Tour? Strava has the answer

If you watched the 2015 Tour de France, you might be wondering just how hard the race was for the 160 finishers? How fast did they pedal around France? How much climbing did they do? How many calories did they burn through?

All those questions and more have been answered by Strava, with MTN-Qhubeka’s Jacques Van Rensburg uploading all 21 stages of the Tour to Strava, complete with power and heart rate data, providing us with perhaps the most revealing insight into the demands of the race.

Jacques Van Rensburg finished 51st out of 160 finishers, with a total time of 87hrs 04mins 30secs. To put that into context, Tour winner Chris Froome was a full 2hrs 18min 16secs faster.

His total distance was 3,403.6 km (2115 miles) as recorded on Strava (of which 3,360 km or 2,087.8 miles, are the official race distances). His average speed over that distance was 38.39km/h (23.85 miles) with an average power output of 208 watts. His average cadence was 86.

He climbed an astonishing 45,134 metres. To put that into perspective, it’s the equivalent of ascending Mount Everest over five times. 

- See Romain Bardet’s Tour de France stage 18 winning ride on Strava

You’re probably expecting he used up a lot of calories on his lap of France? You’re not wrong, he went though 74,983 calories. That’s a whopping 291 Big Macs.

That’s an impressive effort indeed. Some other interesting facts have been revealed by Strava from the handful of riders that have been regularly using Strava during the race. Total KOMs claimed, and not likely to be toppled for a long while, is 845. And the total kudos handed out to those riders amounted to 279,430.

- New Strava Live offers real-time data as you ride

You can view Jacques Van Rensburg's Strava profile here for a more detailed look at his Tour de France. 

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.