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Check out Thibaut Pinot's Lagos de Covadonga Strava KOM

Joe Robinson
11 Sep 2018

The Frenchman became the seventh fastest rider ever on the fabled Spanish mountain with Stage 15 victory

On Sunday, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) added victory atop the Lagos de Covadonga to his previous marquee wins on Alpe d'Huez and Asiago to become the latest rider to have taken a stage at all three Grand Tours. 

In winning Stage 15 of the Vuelta, Pinot not only completed the Grand Tour set but also joined a select band of riders including Pedro Delgado, Lucho Herrera and Robert Millar to be able to add the Covadonga to his palmares. 

Dropping the likes of Nairo Quintana and race leader Simon Yates, the Frenchman's exploits also saw him claim a new Strava KOM after completing one of the fastest ascents of the Covadonga in history. 

The Groupama-FDJ man managed to scale the 12km climb segment at an average speed of 21.6km/h despite the 8% average gradient.

This led Pinot to set a Strava time of 33 minutes 22 seconds, a full 30 seconds quicker than closest competitor Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), who was the only other rider on the app who has managed a sub-34 minute time. 

Although Pinot's data dropped, thus losing the many of the specifics, we can see that he averaged a relatively low cadence across the whole climb of just 79rpm.

The efforts of Pinot were also good enough to see him become the seventh fastest rider ever to scale the Covadonga in Vuelta history.

With an 'official time' for the climb of 32 minutes 40 seconds, Pinot was only 18 seconds adrift of Gilberto Simoni's 2005 record of 32 minutes 22 seconds, and was within touching distance of Quintana's stage-winning time in 2016 - just five seconds separated the two across the climb.  

Such a quick climbing time is proof not only of Pinot's ability going uphill but also his ability to perform in poor weather conditions. Fog sat across the climb and temperatures were reduced, but that seemed to benefit the Frenchman, who has continuously commented on his preference for poor weather.

The Vuelta begins its final week today with a 32km individual time-trial from Santillana del Mar to Torrelavega, a potentially decisive day for the GC contenders with race leader Simon Yates holding a slender 26 second lead over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in second place.