Another long breakaway, but this time it sticks! At least for one rider. This may well be the biggest time gap we see for a break this year since the move consisted of some very strong riders. Unfortunately all the coverage seems to start once the stage has been rolling for some time. I really like to see the start of the races (this usually happens for 2 or 3 stages a year) as this shows how the breaks form, the types of efforts and repeated efforts that eventually lead to a successful breakaway.
Establishing a breakaway requires a big short term power burst to break from the bunch (anaerobic effort similar to a sprint) before settling into a pace that can be maintained long term.
Nibali’s Power Output During the Cobbled Stage 5
Paolo Slongo discusses Nibali’s numbers during stage 5 over the cobbles. You can see that averages hide the truth many times when looking at power as they smooth over the peaks. While Nibali averaged 240w for the 3.5hr stage, the last 2hrs were 320w (made up of work at and above his threshold). Check out the full article here.