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Spotted on Strava: Evenepoel and Van Vleuten shatter records during unparalleled solos

When the dust clouds of a whirlwind cycling weekend have lifted, it’s time for the numbers! Remco Evenepoel and Annemiek van Vleuten impressed in the Clasica San Sebastián and the Tour de France Femmes respectively. Not only were they the best, the manner in which they were talked about.

Evenepoel and Van Vleuten actually started at the same time on Saturday 30 July. While Van Vleuten went solo at 62 kilometers from the finish line and Demi Vollering cracked, it was Evenepoel who actually said goodbye to Simon Yates as the last ballast in Spain in exactly the same way. They both rushed to the finish and never looked back.

7.2 watts per kilogram and records for Evenepoel

First Evenepoel and his Clasica San Sebastián. The young Belgian already won once in 2019 and returned in optimal form last Saturday for the first time since then. After he broke his pelvis in the 2020 Tour of Lombardy in corona year, it was a long time for the Belgian cycling hope. He alternated great days with big slumps, but in 2022 he seems more stable than ever. Evenepoel sticks to the program, schedules rest, trains hard, works towards his goals and pulls hard on the days in question.

In the Clasica San Sebastián, Evenepoel accelerated on the penultimate climb of the day, the Erlaitz. After putting some pressure on the descent of the Jaizkibel, he accelerated on the climb so hard that only Yates could follow for a moment. Evenepoel completed the 3.81 kilometer climb at 11.1 percent in 11 minutes and 58 seconds. In the Erlaitz’s Strava segment, that meant a big, fat KOM. Evenepoel was 46 (!) seconds faster on Saturday than Simon Carr was in full attack in 2021.

Impressive BOWL from Evenepoel!

“Exactly 7.3 Watts per kilogram of body weight,” he told afterwards The last news. At 63 kilos an impressive average, according to the Belgian media comparable to the efforts of Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard in the Tour de France. The Tour in the second and third week versus the Clasica is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison, but still… “If I can keep this level for a few more weeks that would be fine, but I hope and I think I can do even better against the start of the Vuelta. I’m not at my peak yet’, Evenepoel said coolly.

The competition in the Vuelta a España better hide, because what Evenepoel shook out of his legs in the last 45 kilometers of the Clasica was impressive. Evenepoel drove the KOM out of the books on the plateau and in the descent of the Erlaitz. At 51.8 kilometers per hour on average, he quickly expanded his lead in this phase, just like he did earlier this year in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. On the last climb of the day (1.7 kilometers at 10.3 percent), the Belgian still drove a PR. He was also faster there than in 2019. His solo in the last 45 kilometers went on average at 42.2 kilometers per hour, including two steep climbs. He tapped downhill at 89 per hour, which means that stories about fear of depression can also go in the trash.

Van Vleuten and Vollering measure themselves with the men

Van Vleuten then, because when Evenepoel drove away in the Clasica, the Dutch leader of Movistar in the Tour de France was busy turning the round to her will. Together with Vollering, Van Vleuten started on the first climb of the day in stage 7. After the Petit Ballon, Vollering was ridden off on the second climb of the day, before Van Vleuten crushed the competition on the final climb of the Grand Ballon and put. Average speed with more than 3,000 altimeters in just 87 kilometers: 30.5 kilometers per hour. With that she drove overall one kilometer per hour faster than Vollering.

Yet for part one of this hymn we also have to give Vollering a big compliment. The Petit Ballon was cycled up in 31 minutes by the two Dutch women together. Now that doesn’t say much, but it does if we take the top ten of this Strava segment. Who is showing off in places seven and eight? That’s right, Annemiek and Demi! Thymen Arensman was once at the top in 28.31 minutes in 2020, but there were only six male Strava users in total faster on this climb.

Spotted on Strava: Evenepoel and Van Vleuten shatter records during unparalleled solos

After the Petit Ballon it was full speed downhill, with Vollering putting pressure on Van Vleuten. Again, there were only two people ever faster in Strava on this sink. Vollering bought little for it, because on the steep Col du Platzerwasel (7 kilometers at 8.2 percent) she was still driven off. At the top the difference was 27 seconds. After the plateau, the descent and the valley this had grown to two minutes. Van Vleuten drove an average of 49.8 per hour towards the foot of the final climb over 36 kilometers. Vollering came to 48.1 per hour… Actually the Tour was decided there.

The final climb was a torture for all women, although Vollering lost only an extra minute. There was so much driving that day that a lot of them looked black. Van Vleuten also suffered, but still drove the Grand Ballon up at 18.5 kilometers per hour. We challenge the average cycling tourist to imitate it… In the last stage it all went a lot less fast, it was mainly about SD Worx’s tactical choices, but the final picture was the same: Van Vleuten, solo on top, this time on La Planche des Belles Filles. A big QOM (female KOM) on Strava, as Van Vleuten drove dozens of QOMs from the books on the final weekend of the Tour.

Vabout more Spotted on Strava, click here.

Bram van der Ploeg (Twitter: @BvdPloegg | e-mail: b.vanderploeg@indeleiderstrui.nl)

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