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Rainbow Power: Kwiatkowski’s Numbers

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October 2, 2014 – SRAM, Quarq and Training Peaks have released the power data for Michal Kwiatkowski’s 2014 UCI world road championships. It offers an incredible look into what it takes to win the rainbow jersey, both from a tactical and fitness perspective.

peloton/Yuzuru Sunada/data courtesy SRAM, Quarq, and Training Peaks

Broken down into the race’s key moments with thoughts from Gord Fraser, Quarq’s Power Coach, each phase of the 253km, 6:31:24 effort is detailed. During the chase phase when Kwiatkowski’s teammates did much of the work, Gord Fraser describes how Kwiatkowski may have saved more energy than other team leaders that did not have teammates at the front.


“By taking the front it allowed their team leaders (Kwiatkowski and Maciej Paterski) to ride shotgun in the very front of the peloton. This allowed them to carry speed in all the corners and eliminate excess braking and re-acceleration.  Over the span of a 2-3 hour chase these saved efforts due to positioning alone lowered the overall workload and Normalized Power substantially. I’m willing to bet riders further back expended more energy, crucial to have on hand in the closing stages of a race.” Explains Fraser.

Kwiatkowski certainly used those savings to his advantage and Quarq breaks the final 7km into three sections – his move off the front of the peloton on the descent, his attack out of the four-man break on the final climb and the 1.7km run to the finish line while the chase was on behind. The numbers below assume a weight of just over 140lbs, according to Gord Fraser.

Attacking the Peloton to Reach the Break:

Average Power of 436 watts
Peak Power of 928 watts
6.43 w/kg
Average Heart Rate of 161 bpm
Average Speed of 53 km/h (33mph)
Average Cadence was 83 rpm

Winning 3min Attack on the Final Climb of the Mirador:

Average Power of 501 watts
Peak Power of 706 watts
7.02 w/kg
Average Heart Rate of 179 bpm
Average Cadence of 93 rpm

Final 1.7 km to the Finish Line and Rainbow Jersey:

Average Power of 415 watts
Average speed of 59.9 km/h (37mph)
Average Heart rate of 179 bpm
Average Cadence of 102 rpm

Kwiatkowski’s Overall Peak Values

Peak 1 minute: 552 watts
Peak 20 minute: 336 watts
Peak 1 hour: 300 watts
Peak Speed: 86.1 kh/h (53mph)
Peak HR: 185bpm
Peak Cadence: 128rpm
Total Calories Burned: 5670 kj

The numbers give a real glimpse into the type of extraordinary effort it takes to become world champion but, according to Gord Fraser, the real story they tell is Kwiatkowski’s willingness to lay it all on the line on the biggest stage.

“… it’s refreshing to see within this Quarq file that this victory was accomplished by a willingness to go all or nothing with a late breakaway.” Says Fraser.

Thanks to SRAM, Quarq and Training Peaks for allowing us to use this data. To see Kwiatkowski’s entire file on Training Peaks Cick Here.

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