Alpe d’Huez: What a Difference a Pro Makes

Yesterday’s TDF stage was just as you would have expected after the smash-fest of two days ago. A big group got away and stayed away, with the only real fireworks from the peloton coming on the final climb of the day – Alpe d’Huez.

The fastest time that I could find on Strava for yesterday’s climb was Sepp Kuss, at 39:21, which is an astonishing 21.2 kph up a 14 km climb that has an average gradient of nearly 8%. There are people out there who couldn’t hold that speed on a flat road.

Photo AFP 

To give some perspective on the difference between mere mortals and pros, the fastest rider we had on our Etape tour last week (riding the exact same stage) was 1:24, or 9.9 kph. And this guy finished in the top 10% of the event! The slowest took a full 3 hours.

7 thoughts on “Alpe d’Huez: What a Difference a Pro Makes

  1. So I assume that means that Pog and Vingegaard are not on Strava and they would have gone up faster. 😳. Kudos to Froome. That did offer a little excitement at the front of the race. He can’t be too far off his best as in the old days he would normally sit all day in the draft. Impressive comeback. I love the way they are posting the Strava comparisons on GCN – avg Pro, avg Joe, and that days phenomenal speed.

    • Actually, Pog’s time was 51 minutes. They must have been messing around at the beginning or something, although since Kuss was on the front of Jumbo Visma and Pog was following Jumbo Visma, the math doesn’t work!

  2. Worldclass athletes are something to see, aren’t they? Sometimes when I’m pedaling along at 15mph, I ponder that a human being (several of them, now) actually RAN at that pace for any entire mile.

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