Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) claimed the victory in the bunch sprint of Stage 2 Vuelta Espana. The 174.4km route followed the coastal road between Algeciras and San Fernando. Team MTN-Qhubeka raced aggressively, placing two riders in the early break. Kristian Sbaragli placed 2nd in the KPM at 10.2km, and Jacques Janse van Rensburg spent the day in a break of 4.
Jaco Venter takes us through his race:
“The break went really early today so it was not as hard as we thought it would be. We rode steady for the first half, and after the climbs the wind picked up to “Cape Town” level. Overall the intensity was moderate, although stressful at times as the peloton shuffled around like a “washing machine”. In the last 20-30km the speed picked up to over 50kph. Going into the finish it’s difficult. My role is to lead our sprinters into the final few kilometers, keep them in position, out of trouble and minimize their effort by covering the accelerations. At 3.5km to go my job was done. I dropped back and rode easy for the last 1.5km to the finish, spinning my legs out to help my recovery for tomorrow.”
Watch the last 10km of the race here
Average Power = 214W
Normalized Power = 265W
Average Cadence = 91rpm
Ave Speed = 43kph
Fig 1: Jaco Venter Vuelta Espana Stage 2 Algeciras – San Fernando
This was a relatively easily paced stage (TSS 198, IF 0.699, 3123kJ) for the main peloton. The climbs were ridden at an easy tempo pace, as the teams saved their energy for a well orchestrated bunch sprint finish. The temperature was high averaging at 36.6 oC (max 41oC), so our team’s cooling and rehydration strategies were of high importance. Athlete
Insert Fig 2: Sprinter’s Lead-In (from 20km to 3km to finish)
This graph shows Jaco’s data as he leads our sprinters into the finish, from 20km to 3km to go. The speed is high, averaging 53kph and progressively building to 66kph. His cadence is maintained at 95-120rpm, as Jaco repeatedly accelerates as he fights to maintain our sprinters position at the front of the peloton. His average power for this section was 339W , and normalizied at 360W.
“This data highlights the importance of practicing high speed, high cadence, race simulation sessions at the end of long training rides.” says Dr Carol Austin. “Motorpacing in the last hour of a 4-6hour training session a regular workout our athletes do. Training to the demands of your races ensures that you have the right physiological and mental preparation.”