Alberto Contador has shared some the staggering numbers that were required to get him in shape to win the Tour de France, putting out 458 watts over 20 minutes with his weight at 61.6kg.
Os dejo un dato secreto nunca enseñado,muchas veces estimado pero nunca confirmado 100%. Aquí la potencia media que se necesita mover en un test de 20' para poder ganar el Tour con 62kg!Os dejo 2 test junto a mi peso tras finalizar el entrenamiento...Qué os parece??? I leave you a secret data never taught,many times estimated but never confirmed 100%.Here the average power that needs to be moved in a 20' test to win the Tour with 62kg!I leave you 2 tests together to my weight after finishing the training...What do you think???#458w/avg #62kg #TopSecret #Vayadolordepiermashaciendolo #Cycling #QuererEsPoder
Contador doesn't state which year this was (he won Le Tour in 2007 and 2009) and says the numbers "were never confirmed 100%" in his Instagram post; presumably he means the test wasn't done under lab conditions and was recorded as a personal marker in his lead-up to the race. There are two tests shown on Contador's SRM head unit, with the first showing the power output at 458 watts, with an average heart rate of 183 and a cadence of 71. The second test shows an average power of 454 watts at 187bpm and a cadence of 73. Anyone familiar with the brutality of a 20 minute FTP test will know that the cadence is surprisingly low and the heart rate pretty damn high, the latter suggesting these were absolute all-out efforts.
What's even more impressive is Contador's weight; the scales show 61.6kg, meaning that if we divide that by his 20 minute power of 458 watts, he was putting out a ridiculous 7.4w/kg for the duration of the test. Multiplying 458 by 0.95 to get the hour-long Functional Threshold Power number of 435.1 watts, that transposes to 7.06w/kg. The chart above shows that the very best world class cyclist can be expected to have an FTP of 6.6w/kg, putting Contador's performance way off the scale.
To give some context compared to performances from current world class cyclists, Training Peaks recently shared power profiles from Joe Dombrowski at the Giro d'Italia showing he averaged 321w, or 4.94w/kg on stage 19, for which he was in the saddle for nearly six hours. Other notable efforts included 341w (5.25w/kg) for 55 minutes on stage 6 up Mount Etna.
For Chris Froome's famous stage 19 victory he averaged 397 watts on the final 3 kilometres, and on his stage 14 win over the Zoncolan, Froome's 1.3 kilometre attack saw him average 465 watts; or 6.8w/kg given his 68kg bodyweight.
While there are many variables that can affect race day power, Contador's data from his Tour-winning days suggests he could have definitely matched or surpassed Froome's efforts from these stage wins.
Comparing the data to an almost normal human, our very own Liam who has recently started racing as a Cat 2 has bravely shared data from his recent 20 minute test undertaken in sunny Mallorca (above): 4.67w/kg to Contador's 7w/kg! How do you compare?
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.