Mitchelton-Scott have revealed Simon Yates’ maximum heart rate during the Vuelta a Espana. Yates won his and the team’s first Grand Tour at the Spanish race, beating Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) to the title.
Yates’ maximum was a massive 201bpm and came on stage 2, from Marbella to Caminito del Rey. As the riders rolled out of Marbella, Yates’ heart rate hovered between 80 and 90, but it quickly rose as the bunch hit the opening second category climb of the day. The graph showing his heart rate looks fairly similar to the day’s parcours, rising on the climbs and decreasing on the descents.
Unsurprisingly, Yates' highest heart rate came on the final ascent of the day towards the Caminito del Rey. The riders hit gradients of up to 15 per cent as they battled it out for victory. Yates hit 201bpm for just two seconds as he pushed for the line and his heart rate quickly subsided as he slowed beyond the line.
"It was really warm, which affects the heart rate quite a lot," Yates said. "It was a slight uphill finish, almost a minute exactly the effort in total."
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took the first of his two Vuelta stage wins on the day with Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) claiming second and moving into the race leader’s jersey. Yates lost a small amount of time, finishing in the second large group some eight seconds behind Valverde.
Yates would chip away at the advantage over the coming days and take hold of the race leader’s red jersey just ahead of the first rest day. He briefly gave it away to Jesus Herrada but took it back two days later with a win at Praeres de Nava. Yates would then hold onto it over the final week of racing and took a winning margin of 1:46 over Mas into Madrid.