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No you can't. Unless you can ride 114 miles average 25-30 MPH and on the last climb of the day ride grades of 8%-9%-10% at a speed of 11-12MPH. I am glad to see more real time race information like MPH and grade %. Now we just need what gears they are using.
 

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Last fall on a climb, I was passed by a jogger (running with her dog no less). That was when I released I was never going to make it to the tour.

A couple of days ago they averaged 29mph over the first 95 miles of the ride. Kind of blows my mind. Having said that, they are pros. I can keep up with them just as well as I can block JJ Watt, guard Lebron or hit Kershaw. Meaning, I can't do any of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
^no, it is mph
 

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Was the dog pulling her? If so, maybe you don't want to give up so soon. :hand:
I hiked around PineCrest Lake, Sierra's a couple weeks ago. Rocky hike, up and down but only 4 miles. I met a guy out there with his dog and he said the dog pulled him up the rocks and uphills.
 

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No you can't. Unless you can ride 114 miles average 25-30 MPH and on the last climb of the day ride grades of 8%-9%-10% at a speed of 11-12MPH. I am glad to see more real time race information like MPH and grade %. Now we just need what gears they are using.
So what should the average working guy, getting middle aged and gaining weight, look forward to in his training for fitness and health? Is 6-8 mph reasonable on those 10% grades? For how long? Anyone ridden up a substantial climb on a club ride at 12-14 mph? Are there Strava averages for these climbs? How do you place?

I've noticed the TDF riders are using standard chainrings, like 39/50 or 53, and no bigger than 28 t. cassettes. And they're climbing a lot in the middle cogs cranking around 75-80 rpm at least, "on top of the gear" with a few exceptions. Even the guys dropping off the back in their 28s are still cranking purposefully, not exactly stalling out.

Seems politically correct to avoid talking about performance specifics so as not to make anyone feel bad or like a loser, but heck, we all ride, WTF? Its fun to compare stories of personal exploits.

I rode with guys who could average 25 mph on a club ride. Most of the time it was 20-22 mph but we had our moments of glory.

A buddy rode Hottern Hell Hundred in several packs averaging 25 mph. He did it in 4 hours flat. I used to climb at 12 mph up a steep hill in Rock Creek Park with club riders who could do it a 15 mph. Not a mountain for sure, but a nice taste of what it's like.

We cheer these pros because they're us, only better.
 

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I couldn't win it, but I could keep up with the peloton without any problem. I'd just be riding easy as the motorcycle escort.
 

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I couldn't win it, but I could keep up with the peloton without any problem. I'd just be riding easy as the motorcycle escort.
Nah, you'd get dropped in the switchbacks on the mountain descents. :yesnod: I get really nervous watching the camera motorcycle trying to keep up with some guy whipping through the turns at 30 mph. :shocked: They lean those things way over!
 

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Sure us average Joes couldn't win the tour today but what if we took our fancy carbon bikes and cross fit conditioning back to the first years of the tour? What kind of times did those riders post?

The only issue to doing that is I hear carbon assplodes during time travel, as soon as they work that out I'm going back to challenge the pros!
 

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Sure us average Joes couldn't win the tour today but what if we took our fancy carbon bikes and cross fit conditioning back to the first years of the tour? What kind of times did those riders post?

The only issue to doing that is I hear carbon assplodes during time travel, as soon as they work that out I'm going back to challenge the pros!
You'd be changing flats right and left on those rough roads back then. They broke steel forks. Carbon frames wouldn't hold up worth sh!t, so there's that.

You know what they say, "As speed goes up, endurance goes down!" Truer back then than it is now!
 

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I've noticed the TDF riders are using standard chainrings, like 39/50 or 53, and no bigger than 28 t. cassettes
Sky use 12-28 and 53/39 almost all the time, year round, that's plenty of range. For extreme climbs they may use a 32. Froome uses that 54 oval ring, sometimes a 55.

Federico, remember that these guys are pros. They have all their chores taken care of, food is prepared for them, clothes are provided, there is no laundry to do or lawn to mow. There is even a barber on call.

They ride, eat, and recover. They don't have to mow their lawn, paint the garage, babysit the grandkids.

A lot of us would improve if we had that routine.
 

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No you can't. Unless you can ride 114 miles average 25-30 MPH and on the last climb of the day ride grades of 8%-9%-10% at a speed of 11-12MPH.
Sure I can, I climb 10% grades at 11mph all the time. On the internet... :aureola:

Seriously, many of those randomly selected feats like the above can be achieved by reasonably strong amateurs. I probably have done 11mph on 10% grades myself... for 200 yards, maybe. I have done 100+ miles in a small peloton (12 riders) at 24mph (average, not "whenever I looked at my Garmin I saw 24+mph"); I'm fairly confident that 25mph would be in the cards in a huge group like the kind of peloton they're running at the TdF. Remember, with 100 riders in the group, you'll be pulling only for a mile or so total at that speed, all the rest is just hanging out on somebody's wheel.

The question is, can you still do that on the third 6-mile climb, with 120 hard miles in your legs? And can you do that still on the next day, and the next, and on and on for three weeks? That's when you get into realms of performance that are simply out of reach of anyone but a select few.

Final remark: So, yeah, asking a rank amateur (or even a Cat-3, say) if they can win the TdF is ludicrous. The question of "Can such a person hang in the back of the TdF peloton over a full stage" is more interesting. If you watched some of the early, flat stages, the guys in the peloton took it fairly easy on some of these, with perhaps a smaller break-away hammering it pretty hard. Some decent amateurs could probably survive a stage like that, once. However, it's very unlikely that such a person could survive a full TdF even just hanging in the back of the peloton.
 

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Sure us average Joes couldn't win the tour today but what if we took our fancy carbon bikes and cross fit conditioning back to the first years of the tour? What kind of times did those riders post?
Interesting question, by the way. It turns out the differences in times/average speeds are minimal over the last 50 years. Then as now, it's the engine, not the bike. So, to answer your question, if you could go back 30 years and race your "fancy carbon bike" against TdF guys on six-speed steel bikes, they would leave you in the dust and be out of sight within the first ten minutes, if you're an "average Joe". Flat stage or climb, it wouldn't matter.

Sky use 12-28 and 53/39 almost all the time, year round, that's plenty of range.
Yep, that's what I ride. I still do 10%-average grades over several miles with that gearing. I can turn those cranks up to around 20% grade or so, but then we're talking just managing to keep the cranks turning, and quads screaming in pain...
 
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