Movistar Team: The Power of Champions (IIi) / Giro TTT
The Italian specialist was a rider to watch during the collective effort that opened the Giro for the Movistar Team in Belfast – all insights in our third performance feature of the season
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In previous episodes of ‘Movistar Team: The Power of Champions’, we brought you Juanjo Lobato’s 4th spot at Milano-Sanremo and Alejandro Valverde’s battle in the mountains of País Vasco. This time, we will be focusing on the opening TTT performance in the Giro d’Italia, looking at the data by one of the strongest specialists in the Blue roster.
Adriano Malori: Team Time Trial Engine!
By Movistar Team and power2max (Nicolas Theopold)
Rider: Adriano Malori
Ride time: 25m37s
Average power: 412w (5.35 w/kg)
Average speed: 50.6kph
Giro d’Italia: The Situation
Yesterday we started one of our highlights of the 2014 season, the Giro d’Italia. Great hopes rest on the next three weeks in which Nairo Quintana and his teammates will go into battle for the highest possible finish. Proceedings opened far from Italy with a 21.7km team time trial in the Northern Irish city of Belfast.
Cycling wisdom says that you can’t win a Grand Tour in a team time trial, but you can certainly lose it. With the big risks of racing a TTT in wet and windy conditions and the limited gains that could be had the focus was on avoiding risky situations.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side and unlike some of the later starting teams, the Movistar Team had to fight with very slippery roads. Nonetheless the teammates rallied together and kept the deficit to 55 seconds to Orica-GreenEdge, 50 seconds to Omega Pharma-Quick Step (Rigoberto Urán) and 48 seconds to BMC (Cadel Evans). On the plus side the team put 38 seconds on Joaquim Rodríguez’s Katusha.
The key to team time trialing
Individual time trialling is won and lost by putting out a very high power for the duration of the event and translating the power into the highest speed possible by being as aerodynamic as possible. In an individual time trial the riders aim to keep a constant high wattage and only let it rise sligthly on hills and lower slightly during faster descents. This is why riders usually keep a very close eye on their power meters during their races.
In a Team Time Trial things are a little different: when at the front, the rider needs to pull the entire team and maximize the speed for the group. Depending on his strength he pulls for some seconds, deeply in the red zone, before he drops back into the pace line and recovers. Not only do riders need to be able to go deeper into the red than in an individual time trial and recover, the squad also needs to work together like a clockwork to keep speed high.
Adriano Malori: the power house
Adriano Malori was a go-to rider in the time trial yesterday. At Tirreno Adriatico he showed his prowess, beating Tony Martin and other time-trialing greats.
In yesterday’s longer ride he put out an average power of over 410 watts. As he needed to drive the team as one of the best time-trialists, Adriano spent time on the front of the group.
What we see is almost a sin-pattern of power: over the 25 minutes Adriano’s 30-second power average rises above 500 watts eleven(!) times and above 600 watts 3 times. For most riders this is an effort they take a long time to recover from. Adriano, however, only drops down to 350 to 400 watts in the frantic pace of the team time trial before being called to duty again and having to take another pull at the front.
Movistar Team’s engineers explain: “the wet roads and the rainy conditions meant that our riders had to work harder to keep the same pace. He put out 412 watts average, when his normalized power, which takes the variations into account, was 445 watts. We are very happy with how Adriano helped pace the team and how he didn’t let up to the finish line.”
Stay tuned till next time, when we bring you more insights on how the team raced.