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Alberto Contador reveals what it takes to win the Tour de France

Joe Robinson
12 Jul 2018

Seven-time Grand Tour champion gives us a glimpse of his incredible power numbers

Just how many watts does it take to win the Tour de France? Well if you are Alberto Contador over a decade ago, it's something like 458 watts for 20 minutes. 

Posting to his Instagram account, the now-retired two-time Tour de France champion has given the world a glimpse of the kind of power figures he was hitting at his peak. 

Over two 20 minute Functional Threshold Power (FTP) tests, Contador managed to average a best of 458 watts with an average cadence of 71rpm and speed of 24.6kmh.

In the second test he was just four watts shy of that mark, with a slightly higher cadence of 73 but slower speed of 23.9kmh.

Across both tests, Contador's heart rate sat at 183 and 187bpm respectively, which is getting towards his max rate.

What makes these numbers more impressive is the weight of Contador during these tests.

The slight climber also posted a photo of his scales showing his weight at just 61.6kg. This means that 'El Pistolero' held 7.4w/kg for 20 minutes, a phenomenal number.

To put this into perspective, when Chris Froome released his power data in 2015, the four-time Tour champion clocked a 20 minute power of 419W while weighing 67kg, giving him a watts per kilo of 6.2, considerably less than Contador at his peak.

It is worth mentioning that Froome's above data is probably conservative to his absolute maximum, but the gap is still considerable.

In the Cyclist office, our strongest rider deputy editor Stu Bowers recorded a FTP test high of 363W while weighing 66kg making his watts per kilo 5.5, almost 2W less per kilo than Contador.

While Contador does not exactly when these tests were done, but it does go a long way to showing how he was able to win seven Grand Tours throughout his career.

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