Tour of Britain Stage 1-3 Power file review

Race data analysis from Forme Coaching's Stephen Gallagher

Rider- Chris Opie
Team- Team UK Youth
DOB- 22.07.87
Height- 179cm
Weight- 72kg

With the 2012 Tour of Britain under way with a week of racing over some of the toughest roads in the UK in unpredictable weather we have the opportunity to look at power data from local rider Chris Opie who races for one of the UK's leading domestic teams UK Youth. The standard of this years TOB is higher than ever with the profile of this years race again being raised with the inclusion of riders such as Brad Wiggins and Cavendish, this gives the opportunity for talented young riders such as Chris to put themselves against the top guys in the world on home roads; all this brings aggressive racing from the local teams such as Team UK Youth who have the benefit of having one of the worlds most seasoned professionals in recent years Magnus Backstedt heading the team and advising young riders such as Chris through this years Tour of Britain.

Stage 1: Ipswich - Norfolk Showground; 200km, 4hr 51sec, TSS Score 204

Chris's finish Position: 13th

View the file here:

In what is the longest of the TOB stages across the Norfolk countryside, the main part of the race was ridden at well below threshold pace and this enabled Chris to ride at a ave wattage of 176w (217 normalized) for the first 4hrs burning around 2578kj; a solid 4min effort on the Westleton Cat 3 climb ridden at 4w/kg for 5min being one of the few spikes in the first 4hrs. The last 45min of the race was an all together different affair with the bunch ramping up the pace on the twisting roads leading to the Finish in Norfolk showgrounds, with the hectic and chaotic lead into the final many of Chris PEAK powers can bee seen in the final 10km as he fights to keep position that is crucial in the ability to place yourself in a position to contest the sprint. The crashes on narrow roads and aggressive racing lead to Chris producing his peak 20&30sec effort with 7km to go and going on to produce a normalized power of 350w for the last 7km at an average speed of 50kph, positioning and bike handling avoiding crashes is the priority at this time and Chris seemed to of passed this test superbly with a excellent finish of 13th beating many of the experienced Continental Pro's

Peak Power
2 sec 1238 W
5 sec 1082 W
10 sec 801 W
12 sec 803 W
20 sec 765 W
30 sec 636 W
1:00 min 482 W
2:00 min 439 W
5:00 min 359 W
6:00 min 359 W

Stage 2: Nottingham – Knowsley; 180km; 4hr 31min; TSS Score 248

Chris's finish Position: 17th

Today’s stage has a drastically different profile to yesterdays with 3 Cat 1 climbs in the first 65km with a easier profile in the last 50km in the run into the finish. Again many of Chris's peak powers were produced in the last 30min of racing, fighting for position and maintaining position is both physically demanding and highly stressful keeping concentrated on your team-mates and your team plan to keep a presence at the front of the bunch coming into the final, a last minute crash like the previous stage could see any riders loose valuable time in the last 10km so using your watts to keep position is essential; but not an easy task.

With a period of 1 ½ hrs racing in today’s stage over the 3 categorised climbs, Chris averaged 233watts which included close to 1000meters of climbing during this period. On the climb of Alstonefield Chris produced a consistent effort for 18min at 270w (320w normalized) which saw him gain 252m at a grade of 2.6%, this period of climbing was a controlled affair and Chirs was able to ride within himslef on these longer climbs while keeping all his matches for the last 10km run into the finish. With a gradual drag to the finish in the last 6min was a mammoth effort to maintain a presence at the front, Chris produced his biggest effort so far averaging 428w in the last 5km at 5.9w/kg going on to finish it off with a peak of 1134w in the last 100m in the sprint to the line. Chris ability to make a very hard sustained effort for a 5-6min period along with his ability to 'up' the effort in the final 200m saw him get a top 20 place on the stage.

View the file here.

Peak Power
2 sec 1128 W
5 sec 944 W
10 sec 817 W
12 sec 778 W
20 sec 726 W
30 sec 641 W
1:00 min 524 W
2:00 min 470 W
5:00 min 437 W
6:00 min 428 W
10:00 min 347 W
12:00 min 326 W

Stage 3: Jedburgh – Dumfries; 156km, 3hr 54min, TSS Score 264

Chris's Finish position- 12th

Stage 3 is had another hard start with 3 catheterized climbs in the first 62km as the bunch entered Scotland, Chris was obviously in good form at the start with aggressive racing saw him produce many of his peak powers for the day (20min/10min/6min) in the first 15km of the race before the hit the Cat 1 climb of Roberton after 22km. This high wattage early in the stage is not uncommon among riders and teams who are fighting to get into the break of the day that normally plays a major part in how the stage is fought out.


On most of the days climbs Chris was again riding within his limit normally producing 3.4-4.2w/kg on the climbs lasting from 6min-10min in length, as with the previous 2 days the real action was to take place in the last 12km as the fight for the bunch sprint was to take place. The last 10km saw the bunch average 56.5kph while averaging 330w (4.5w/kg) during this period, with another chance of a top placing on the stage up for grabs Chris produced an impressive 1013w average in the last 200m peaking at 1371w and close to 68kph. When you take into account Chris's aggressive racing at the start of the stage producing many peak powers and containing his effort on the climbs that littered the days stage Chris's ability to peak an effort of over 1000wats for the last 200m is impressive for this local rider fighting against many of the worlds best.

View the file here.

Peak Power
2 sec 1286 W
5 sec 1164 W
10 sec 1013 W
12 sec 979 W
20 sec 805 W
30 sec 763 W
1:00 min 674 W
2:00 min 519 W
5:00 min 444 W
6:00 min 417 W
10:00 min 386 W
12:00 min 359 W
20:00 min 333 W


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