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To win a stage of America’s top stage race in a major exploit in itself, to win in your home town on top of an iconic mountain is another, this is what Rory produced on stage 6 of this year’s race. This victory was another special day for the UAS Pro Classic as one of America’s top ranked domestic riders who has dominated many races in the States over the years soloed to a victory in front of family and friends on his home mountain of Flagstaff, it really does not get much better.
The stage was again off to a very aggressive start with Rory being part of the day’s 14rider break which seen him hitting around 900w on occasions in the first 15min to make the race winning move, all of this in the lead up to the first big climb of the day- Boulder Canyon, 23.17 km, 0:47:10 at 371w average producing 5.5 w/kg sitting at a good rhythm of 91rpm on this long climb. A long sub-threshold effort to establish the break was needed to make the platform for the breakaway to increase its lead over the main GC teams who were chasing behind.
The final showdown was to come of Lee Hill and the finish to Flagstaff, the penultimate climb up Lee Hill seen the break fragment and splinter as the pace being set by Voigt, Rory had to hold a sustained effort of 400w approx. for 23:43min/ 11.9km, again using his ability to keep a sustained rhythm of this long climb averaging 93rpm. This effort was close to Rory’s threshold and his ability to recover from such prolonged efforts would be crucial in his fight for the win as the approached the ascent to Flagstaff. Ability to recover between such long efforts is a real trait of a top flight Professional such as Rory and from his performance on Flagstaff it is easy to see his pedigree.
On this final climb Rory really pulled out all the punches, producing his peak 20min power for the stage along with a massive 14min effort to the line above his threshold to catch and drop the other aggressors such as Voigt, in doing so he produced 464w Normalized for close to 20min (6.4w/kg) along with that 472w Normalized average wattage in the last 5km at 6.8w/kg. His ability to produce this big numbers after a long day in the saddle is impressive to say the least, Rory has the adaption to altitude which many of his European counterparts do not have with living in these conditions along with knowing each meter of the final climb and a home crowd shouting him on he had all his cards to lay in this final 20min’s of racing and he played them perfectly.
With so many great exploits over the week of racing it is difficult to show all the data that was produced in the race, thanks to our friends at Training Peaks we were able to get an accumulation of data. Below do a few more files to enjoy for those want to see what it takes to race at this level in the conditions.