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Giro d'Italia stage stats: Froome's Zoncolan watts and Yates's surge for victory

Joe Robinson
21 May 2018

The numbers needed for Froome to win on Zoncolan and for Dumoulin to limit his loses

The penultimate weekend of the 2018 Giro d'Italia is now behind us and two stages in firstly the Alps and then the Dolomites has set up what will be a fascinating final week of racing.

Ahead of tomorrow's 34km individual time trial, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) will be quietly confident after chipping away a healthier lead on defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) over the two stages. He now presides over a 2 minute 11 second lead.

Dumoulin will have been happy with his performance on Saturday, limiting his loses to 38 seconds although will no doubt be frustrated to have shipped 41 seconds yesterday, albeit due to a lack of cooperation in the chasing group.

Saturday saw Chris Froome (Team Sky) silence his critics with an impressive victory on Monte Zoncolan while those same critics open their mouths again on Sunday as the four time Tour de France champion lost 1 minute 32 seconds.

Fortune favoured the brave on both Stage 14 and 15 of this year's Giro and, thanks to Velon, we can look deeper into the numbers needed to come out victorious. 

While the efforts of Froome on Monte Zoncolan were spectacular the weekend's show was certainly stolen by maglia rosa Yates.

On a spiky finish to Sappada on Stage 15, Yates attacked on the penultimate climb of Costalissoio before extending his lead on the descent and then holding the gap on the final rise to Sappada.

In the final 3.5km of the climb, which had shallowed to 2.1% gradient, Yates had to produce an average of 330W to maintain his gap over the chasing group and finish with his 41 second lead. 

With this easing of the climb, a dropped Dumoulin managed to muster the strength to bridge to the chasing group and even sprint to third on the stage. The Dutchman managed to recoup 13 seconds on Yates in the closing 3.5km by averaging 395W.

In the final kilometre, Dumoulin caught back up to the chasing group of four. In doing so he pushed out 430W across 2 minutes 13 seconds as he entered time trial mode to limit his loses. 

It also helped that Dumoulin sprinted for the win, during which the defending champion had to produce 770W for 21 seconds.

Dumoulin could be slightly disappointed with the time lost considering his team's efforts earlier in the stage. Young Sam Oomen did much of the work in the final 30km to catch the break. The Dutchman rode at 370W for 12 minutes emptying himself in service of Dumoulin.

Froome was absent from this chase and it's probably because of the efforts he produced the day before on Zoncolan.

Attacking on a 14.3% gradient, it was reported that Froome sustained 465W for 1.3km at the 4.3km to go marker to distance Yates and ride to stage victory. Assuming Froome is weighing 69kg, that means the attack would have been 6.7W/kg, a pretty formidable effort.

Froome scaled the Zoncolan in 39 minutes and 58 seconds, the sixth fastest time in history only 55 seconds down on record holder Gilberto Simoni, who set his time in 2007. This time was also the fastest ascent of Zoncolan since that Giro 11 years previous.

In reaction to Froome's attack, Dumoulin did not panic instead sticking to his numbers. For 6 minutes 41 seconds, he held 6W/kg on the 14.8% gradient dragging him along at 11.6kmh. This measured approach to the climb allowed him to only ship 37 seconds.