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What it took Dylan van Baarle to win the fastest ever Paris-Roubaix

Joseph Delves
20 Apr 2022

Strava file shows Ineos rider cranked out an average of 341 watts to finish alone in the velodrome

Dylan van Baarle was first into the showers this weekend at Paris-Roubaix, and he was clearly in a hurry to get there. The Ineos rider posted the fastest ever time for the Hell of the North in 5h 37min, for an average speed of 45.79 km/h over the notoriously tricky 257.2km course.

Unlike surprise fourth-place finisher Tom Devriendt (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), who was seen fiddling with his bike computer the moment he was done sprinting, Van Baarle went in for a hug with his boss before stopping his ride on his computer.

Now uploaded to Strava, we normies can pick over the super-human effort it took him to win.



341 watts like it ain't no thing

Incredibly, Van Baarle managed an average of 341 watts over 5h 52mins – a time which included the neutral start.

During the race, his peak power was 1,126 watts, which came around 28km from the finish as Van Baarle successfully rode away from the remaining favourites and across to the lead group of Yves Lampaert, Matej Mohorič and Tom Devriendt.

 

Van Baarle’s efforts also saw him pick up three KOMs on his way to the line. However, while he’s now leader ahead of Stefan Küng and Mathieu Van der Poel on the prolonged section between Warlaing and Bersée, he’ll have to content himself with a share of top spot on the pavé sectors at Vertain à Saint-Martin-sur-Écaillon and Auchy-lez-Orchies à Bersée.

On these, he’s now tied with teammate Filippo Ganna and Lampaert (who rides under the name John Deere on Strava) respectively.

A dive into Van Baarle’s Zone Distribution uncovers the astounding fact that Van Baarle’s threshold (the power you can sustain for an hour) supposedly lies somewhere between 407-447 watts. We’ll leave data nerds to make their own estimate as to the 77kg rider’s functional threshold power or FTP.

To provide the power for such a massive effort, Van Baarle’s heart beat at an average of 147bpm, with his maximum of 176bpm coming around 70km from the finish.

In doing so, he supposedly burned 7,071kJ, which if you want to get specific is the equivalent of almost two and a half large Pizza Hut stuffed-crust Pepperoni Feast pizzas.

Among other things, Van Baarle’s data reveals how little respite there was during this particularly hectic edition of the race.

With winds causing early splits in the bunch, Van Baarle worked pretty consistently throughout the day, first to try and capitalise on finding himself ahead of his rivals, then later, to escape from them a second time.

Don't miss our Paris-Roubaix 2022 tech round-up and our pick of the weekend's comedy highlights.

Lead image: Bernard Papon via Getty Images