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Giro d'Italia stage stats: How many watts do you need to attack from the peloton?

Joe Robinson
18 May 2018

Stage 12 was nothing but relaxing and the power numbers of the stage's protagonists prove this

Stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia to Imola should have been a formulaic procession for the sprint teams with such tough days ahead this weekend. However, thanks to some torrential rain, a bit of wind and a couple of attacks, the race yet again found itself at breakneck speed.

One of the favourites for the day, Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) found himself on the wrong side of a split with best young rider Richard Carapaz (Movistar) while Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) showed his superior strength to begin his spint early and comfortably hold off the rest of the peloton.

The bad weather meant the likes of pink jersey wearer Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) brought themselves to the head of affairs, probably being forced into work they would have much rather avoided.

With this flat stage turning out the be quite frantic, certain riders had to produce big numbers to not only attack off the front of the peloton but just stay in contact. Thanks to Velon, we can dissect these numbers.

Opening attack

As the stage reached its conclusion, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) launched an attack on the final climb knowing he could not outsprint those left in the bunch. 

For 1 minute 42 seconds, the Italian held 515w on the 7.3% gradient. This helped him average a speed of 27.6km/h momentarily distancing the peloton. This attack was eventually closed down by Carlos Betancur (Movistar) towards the end of the climb. 

To catch Ulissi, the Colombian surged to 830w before holding 490w for 1 minute 37 seconds on the 6.5% gradient. With the help of Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida), Betancur caught Ulissi and passed him before the descent. However, both were caught in the final few hundred metres.

Audacious attack

As the race entered these final metres to the line, stage winner Bennett launched an audacious attack from distance catching his rivals by surprise. Behind him, a collection of sprinters gave their best efforts to catch the Irishman however to no avail.

One of the chasers was Danny Van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) who eventually finished second on the stage. The Dutchman reached a staggering 1380w - that's 17w/kg - in his final sprint getting to a maximum speed of 65.5km/h. 

Even so, these numbers were not enough to hunt down Bennett who rode to comfortable second stage of the race.

The break for the day consisted of five ProContinental riders, one of which was Willier-Triestina's Jacopo Mosca. Despite only riding in the second tier of professional cycling his effort to reach the break proved how high quality that is.

For 2 minutes 44 seconds the Italian climbed a 1.7km, 3.4% drag at 36.5km/h managing to distance the main peloton. To do so, the 24-year-old had to average 475w maxing out at 960w.

After doing so, Mosca then sat at an average of 255w for his entire day in the breakaway.