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How hard is it to win Tour of Flanders? Mathieu van der Poel uploads mind-boggling power data to Strava

The Alpecin-Fenix phenom powered his way to a second Ronde van Vlaanderen title (and plenty of KOMs)

As the saying goes: if it's not on Strava, it didn't happen. Thankfully, Mathieu van der Poel's Tour of Flanders-winning ride did happen (and has since been uploaded with full power data), giving us all the pleasure of enjoying his cobble-smashing brilliance...

The Dutchman added a second Ronde title to his palmares on Sunday afternoon, dispatching double Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar, compatriot Dylan van Baarle and Valentin Madouas in the pulse-raising sprint for the line.

> Two out of three ain’t bad: Mathieu van der Poel takes second Tour of Flanders win in thrilling finale

Van der Poel and Pogačar proved themselves to be the strongest on the climbs, breaking free on the Koppenberg before slugging it out up the remaining cobbled bergs.

Ultimately, however, the Alpecin-Fenix rider was the fastest of the four contesting the sprint, punching the air as he crossed the finish line in Oudenaarde, with a second Monument (and a hatful of KOMs) secured...

The pedal-smashing prodigy isn't afraid to show his key numbers to the world either — uploading his race-winning ride to Strava with the all-important power data for us to marvel at.  

Mathieu van der Poel Strava Tour of Flanders

Van der Poel's weighted average power was an incredible 338w for the duration of the six hours and 34 minutes of racing.

His peak one-minute power came almost 80km from the finish, on the Berg ten Houte, where he hit 727w for 60 seconds. On the same climb, Van der Poel managed 618w for two minutes.

The second ascent of the Oude Kwaremont was Van der Poel's fastest of the race by some distance (15 seconds to be precise) as the 27-year-old bridged the gap to a rampaging Pogačar.

In the process, setting his peak five-minute power of the race (502w) and the joint second fastest time on Strava up the iconic cobbled climb...

Mathieu van der Poel Strava Tour of Flanders

It was a similar story up the Koppenberg where, pushed to the limit by the speedy Slovenian, Van der Poel took the KOM for the Koppenberg, Steenbeekdries, Taaienberg triple-header, ticking off the climbs in 13:10, at an average speed and power of 38.2km/h and 436w...

Mathieu van der Poel Strava Tour of Flanders

With the gap established early, Van der Poel and his UAE Team Emirates companion took the rest of the final ascent of the Kwaremont a touch easier than the previous time.

I say a touch, Van der Poel still smashed out 475w for 5:20, followed by 649w on the Paterberg as Pogačar did everything in his power to dislodge the Dutchman from his wheel.

Unsurprisingly, the 27-year-old's peak 15-second power came in the devastating kick for the line, unleashing 1,137w for 15 seconds, and 1,383w for five, bringing back shades of his famous 1,000w Strade Bianche attack.

Other stats from the day include an average heart rate of 141bpm, plus a max of 189bpm.

Van der Poel's average speed was 42.5km/h, top speed 84.9km/h, tapped out at a metronomic average cadence of 88.

Mathieu van der Poel Strava Tour of Flanders

Calories burned can be harder to pin down, Strava goes with 6,778 (or enough for 42 post-race beers) and a total work of 6,753kj, earning the newly-crowned two-time champ a historic relative effort score of 344. Go put your feet up, Mathieu. Chapeau.

Here's the link to the full Strava activity...

Dan is the news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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RTB | 2 years ago

Almost 21mph up a 3.5% incline for 2.79km on cobbles!  Are you kidding?  All whilst racing 279km at an average 42.5km/h, oh and climbing almost 2.4km vertical.  Mindbending doesn't even come close. 

Pity those who didn't win and whose output will have been similar numbers.  Pogacar's numbers must have been even more amazing for 99.9% of that race. 

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