Paris - Nice

Danny Pate Paris-Nice analysis

By Dirk Friel   Last updated: 16th March 2012

TrainingPeaks data analysis

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Stage eight: Nice - Col d'Èze, 9.6km

Stage Results:

1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky 19:12
2. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM +02
3. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale +33
47. Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky +2:17

Race Summary by the Numbers

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Time: 21:29
Distance: 9.6kms
Wattage: 423W avg (426 normalized power)
Training Stress Score: 39 TSS
Energy: 546KJ
Body weight: 73.5kg

If you thought Danny Pate was overly fatigued by the end of Paris-Nice think again. Pate proved he has more fuel in the tank as he rode a very respectable time trial and set his highest 20-minute peak power value of Paris-Nice at 423w!

By looking at the stage eight's SRM power file it seems Pate has found some amazing form as he described after the finish, "It wasn't that bad today because when you're time trialling you can control how deep you go, and the climb wasn't super difficult. I still went pretty hard though because the TV cameras were behind me, and I think I averaged a 427W average for 20 minutes, which is actually a personal best I think."

We certainly don't know if this was a personal best 20-minute peak power value for Pate, but we do know this was by far his peak 20-minute power output for the 2012 Paris-Nice. Prior to stage 8 Pate's highest 20-minute power was set on Saturday's stage 7 at 386w. Less than 24hrs later Pate easily set his new peak 20-minute power by over 30 watts.

In terms of pacing it looks like Pate may have had those television cameras focused on him within the first half of the race. He blasted out of the start house and rode 454W for the first five minutes and he averaged 434W for the first half of the time trial. However his 2nd half only averaged 408w, which brought his race average down to 423W.

How does this all relate to you? Given that Pate weighs in at 73.5kg you can determine exactly how many watts you would have had to pedal at in order to stay alongside Pate. If you divide 423 (his average watts) by 73.5 (Pate's body weight) you get 5.7, which means he rode at 5.7 watts per kilogram of body weight.

How much do you weigh? Multiply your weight in kilograms by 5.7 and that is the power you would have to maintain to stick with Pate and finish today's stage in a time of 21:29. Try it for yourself. How long can you ride at 5.7 w/kg? Don't have a power meter yet? Ask your local cycling club if they have an indoor ergometer that measures power and give it a try. Once you understand the benefits of using power to measure your workout intensity you will never want to ride without it.

Team Sky Keeps Shining

Pate performed his role as a support rider for Bradley Wiggins just as planned. The week couldn't have gone any better for Team Sky explains Pate, "As for the race as a whole, it's been a good week and we've performed really well as a team. We never missed any dangerous moves and the fact that everyone was strong meant we could share the workload equally. That's got to bode well for the months to come and we're in great shape."

A big thank you should go out to Danny Pate and Team Sky for sharing his Paris-Nice race files. You too can log your workouts within TrainingPeaks just as Team Sky does. Create a free account today here.

Stage seven: Sisteron - Nice, 220km

Stage Results:
1. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM 5:11:48
2. Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis +06:18
31. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky +09:24
115. Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky +12:42

Race Summary by the Numbers

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Time: 5:24:30
Distance: 220kms
Wattage: 248W avg (295 normalized power)
Training Stress Score: 302 TSS (Highest of the week!)
Energy: 4969KJ
Body weight : 73.5kg

As if this year's Paris-Nice wasn't hard enough the organisers decided to make the final road stage the longest of the Tour. Starting in Sisteron and finishing in Nice, this stage demanded the riders pedal 220kms which saw the winner, Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM, finish in a time of 5h11m.

Danny Pate rode as a trusted teammate once again and now his job is done for the week. Bradley Wiggins finished safely in the peloton nine minutes behind the winner De Gendt who was not a threat to the overall general classification.

Pate yet again set new peak power values for Paris-Nice which is a good sign that he is in good shape and able to help the team when needed. Pate set his highest 10 second peak power at 838w, and his highest 30 minute power at 367w during stage seven. He also set his highest Training Stress Score value of the week at 302TSS.

Here is a little statistic I found which proves just how hard these guys raced this week. Pate spent 16% of his racing hours this week (excluding the opening time trial) at or above his threshold power zone (above 365w). That equates to over 5hrs at or above threshold power in six days of racing. Another 18%, or 5:40, was spent in power zone 3.

Wiggins' overall victory now rests in his hands as Sunday's final stage is an individual time trial. Team Sky has done their job to perfection and they could not have asked for a better week of racing.

Stage six: Suze-la-Rousse - Sisteron, 176.5km

Stage Results:
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank 4:07:58
2. Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
41. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky +00:14
128. Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky +08:21

Just as predicted, stage six was an ideal day for a breakaway to succeed and in fact we did see two riders survive to the finish and take the victory by only 14 seconds ahead of the main peloton. The breakaway may not have survived without the hard charging efforts of Jen Voigt. Voigt attacked the final Category 3 climb with only 12.5kms to go and only Luis Leon Sanchez could respond and hang onto his rear wheel. The two veteran riders passed under the final red kite and prepared for a duel, which saw the Spaniard take top honors.

Bradley Wiggins stayed safe in the group, which finished just behind the lead duo to retain the yellow jersey once again. This was not an easy stage however as Sanchez at one point was nearly the virtual overall leader on the road. This meant the Team Sky boys had to dig in and bring the breakaway back to a manageable time gap.

Race Summary by the Numbers

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Time: 4:16:19
Distance: 176.5kms
Wattage: 264W avg (312 normalized power- Highest of the week so far!)
Training Stress Score: 260 TSS
Energy: 4069KJ
Body weight : 73.5kg

The day started out rough for the team with a category 3 and a category 2 climb all within the first two hours of racing! This is never a good sign if you are looking to retain an overall lead like Team Sky. By having two big climbs in the first half of the stage rival teams can send riders up the road to gain some serious time early in the stage. Looking at Pate's SRM power values he averaged 296w for the first two hours of racing, or 334 normalized power. This was by far the hardest two hours of racing so far in Paris-Nice!

Stage six also saw Pate set his Peak 6-minute power value of the week a 437w, and his peak 20-minute power value at 371w.

Following the first two hours of racing Team Sky found themselves in a high-pressure situation where no other teams would help them bring down the time gap to the breakaway group. Pate, and the rest of the team, rose to the occasion and as we can see Pate set his highest normalized power value of Paris-Nice so far at a whopping 312np for over 4 hours. This is essentially what he would have averaged if he rode today's stage at a constant power output. The stress of all of the power surges and spikes is not well reflected in the average power value, which within stage six was 264 watts.

Team Sky took control and brought the lead group's advantage to within nearly two minutes before other teams started to lend a hand. At this point with about 30kms to go Pate's job for the day was complete and he ended up finishing in the third group eight minutes behind the winner. Pate's final hour of racing today averaged only 203w.

In order or Wiggins to win Paris-Nice on Sunday the team needs to have one more perfect day on Saturday within the seventh stage since Sunday's final stage is an individual time trial. Pate and the rest of the team will be laser focused in an effort to help Wiggins enter Sunday in the bst position possible ahead of his rivals.

Sports Director Sean Yates couldn't have said it any better: "Tomorrow it's more of the same - protect Bradley as much as we can and protect the jersey."

Stage five: Onet-le-Chateau - Mende, 178km

Stage Results:
1. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM 4:52:46
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:06
3. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky
150. Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky +20:17

Today's stage five proved to be the killer queen stage everyone predicted it would be. Bradley Wiggins battled the few remaining favorites on the final category 1 climb outside Mende, France to retain his yellow jersey.

The young American Tejay Van Garderen fell to sixth overall from third, Levi Leipheimer dropped one spot to third and stage winner Lieuwe Westra jumped to second overall, just six seconds behind Wiggins.

Team Sky had a perfect scenario as other teams took over the chase fairly early in the stage to help bring back a four-man breakaway. Sports Director Sean Yates explains: "Yet again other teams were wanting to bring it (the breakaway) back for the finish and therefore the bonus seconds up for grabs so they took over from 70k out which meant we only had to ride at the start with Danny Pate and Geraint Thomas so it all panned out ideally."

Race Summary by the Numbers

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Time: 5:13:00
Distance: 178kms
Wattage: 272W avg (301 normalized power)
Training Stress Score: 284TSS
Energy: 5007KJ
Body weight :73.5kg

Stage five was Pate's hardest stage as defined by his average watts, 272w, his normalized power of 301np and his Training Stress Score of 284TSS. The second most stressful day for Pate so far in Paris-Nice was the third stage (264w avg, 300np, 282TSS). Given the six categorized climbs stage five had almost double the elevation gain of any other stage at 2735m.

Here are the details of Pate's power values on today's six categorized climbs:

Category 3 Col d'Aujols- 24 minutes, 255w, 346m gain
Category 1 Cote de la Malene- 20 minutes, 358w, 392m (hardest 20 minutes of the stage)
Category 3 Cote du Cayla- 6 minutes, 323w, 104m
Category 1 Cote de l'Estrade- 25 minutes, 300w, 489m
Category 2 Cote de Chabrits- 15 minutes, 259w, 220m
Category 1 Montee de Laurent Jalabert 15 minutes, 316w, 335m

There was very little flat terrain in today's stage and if we just tally the amount of time on the six official climbs Pate was climbing for nearly two hours. Not to mention all the other short steep hills and a long one-hour stretch of road that gained 165m.

Looking ahead to stage six there are five categorized climbs but overall it should be an easier stage. The hardest climb is a category 2 climb just 40kms into the stage. The route ends with a category 3 climb 12kms from the finish so this is a good stage for a breakaway to succeed.

Stage four: Brive-la-Gaillarde - Rodez 183km

Stage Results:
1. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto-Belisol 4:21:01
2. Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre-ISD
3. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky
144. Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky +10:13

Stage four ended with Bradley Wiggins preserving his six second overall race lead ahead of American Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). Wiggins Team Sky team-mate, Danny Pate, had an easier day in stage four as he only averaged 238W which translated into 203TSS points, compared to 264W and 282TSS points in stage three.

One of the primary reasons Pate's overall power was lower today was that once the break of five riders went away, after about 10km, other teams took over the lead. Team Sky had a much easier time defending the yellow jersey today as they were barely required to hit the front. Wiggins finished in the first group in 10th position and retained the yellow jersey with three road stages and a time trial remaining.

Race Summary by the Numbers

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Time: 4:31:14
Distance: 178kms
Wattage: 238W avg (292 normalized power)
Training Stress Score: 203TSS
Energy: 3358KJ
Body weight 73.5kg

One of Pate's biggest efforts of stage four was when he helped position Wiggins as they entered the final climb of the day. Pate averaged 386W for five minutes as the race approached the category three Cote d'Aubert le Cres.

Tomorrow's 3km final climb up the Montee Laurent Jalabert in Mende will be the next key moment in the race. We should see more of the same from Pate on stage five as Pate will be called upon to make sure Wiggins is positioned well entering the final few kilometers of the stage.

Stage three: Vierzon - Lac de Vassivière, 194km

Stage Results:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 4:36:19
2. Simon Gerrans (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team
3. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto-Belisol Team
20. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky
168. Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky +9:48

Stage three of Paris-Nice ended in fine fashion for Team Sky as the goal of the day to keep Wiggins in yellow was met. The strength of the team was rock solid and Danny Pate's SRM race file shows the demands of defending a race lead.

Race Summary by the Numbers

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Time: 4:46
Distance: 194km
Wattage: 264W avg (300 normalized power)
Training Stress Score: 282TSS
Energy: 4788KJ
Body weight 73.5kg

Whereas stage two (see here) represented a battle against the wind characterized by short intense efforts, stage three was controlled by Team Sky for the majority of the race. The team set a steady, consistent pace ensuring that a three-man breakaway didn't gain too much time. Due to the punchy nature of stage two, and no team taking control, it had much higher power values for every duration less than 2hrs, but stage three had a much higher overall power value of 264W (for 4:46), compared to stage two's 208W (for 4:34).

Pate's story of the day was setting a high pace on the front of the peloton along with his teammates as a way to protect Wiggins and to keep the breakaway in check. Pate was a part of the rotation for nearly 145kms where he averaged 280W (299 normalized power).

The final 50kms included two category 3 climbs and other teams took control on the front and increased the speed as a way to try and put pressure on their general classification rivals. You can see this section within Pate's file where he averaged 321W for 17 minutes, or 4.3 w/kg. The increased aggression and speed quickly separated the peloton into several groups and Pate ended up crossing the finish line in the third group some nine minutes behind Wiggins. Pate's last 30 minutes only averaged 234w as his duties were done and recovering for stage four was the primary goal.

The pressure on Team Sky will certainly grow as the race heads towards southern France and harder climbs await. Wednesday's stage four should be even harder than stage three given the profile, which includes five categorized climbs (three category 3's and two category 2's).

Stay tuned for more power data from Team Sky and be sure to see all the archived race files here. Also, create a TrainingPeaks account and start tracking your own training just like Team Sky does!

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