Check out the data analysis report from Drops Cycling rider Rebecca Durrell’s day in the saddle! Her coach Mark Young talks us through the facts and figures below:

Stage 1

Stage 1 of the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour was a fairly flat fast 132 km ride from Southwold to Norwich via quite literally every village and hamlet that the organisers could find.

This maximised the cacophony of sound created by thousands of cheering supporters, including school children from the local primary schools and many many interested East Anglian’s, who have embraced this race with tremendous fervour. The experience that this give the riders, leaves them with fantastic memories of a special time in their lives as top bike riders and lifts the profile of Women’s racing to new levels.

Rebecca Durrell of the Drops Cycling Team is one of those riders who is on an exciting adventure, and today was the beginning of a new chapter………….

Positioning Positioning Positioning

53kg and under 1.6m tall means that Becks has a couple of advantages and disadvantages to her size.

With the low weight and size, she can find small spaces to hide, give nobody any drafting advantage (nice!!) and when it comes to accelerating, she can shift quickly. However, this means that she also has to be careful in the bunch not to get bounced around by some of the much bigger taller girls. Those Dutch girls all seem to be much bigger. And her absolute power just isn’t the same as them (a term of endearment in cycling parlance).

So how did she fair today in the bunch or Peloton as the French say?

” My aim for today’s stage was to stay as fresh as possible, since it was a stage which suited the me and the sprinters – flat and likely to end in a bunch finish. It was a technical final 3km, requiring punchy efforts, rather than a flat out straight-line sprint. The majority of the stage consisted of surfing wheels, eating, drinking, and conserving as much energy as possible for the final 10km, and also fuelling for the forthcoming stages. I felt good in the finish final positioning could have been improved with better positioning on the approach.”


Let’s start with some headline stats after yesterdays intro (link)

The Training Tress Score from today was a medium 218, which means that Rebecca didn’t push too hard, and although she accumulated some stress from the movement inside the bunch, as well as the fast run in to the finish, she should be feeling ok for tomorrow, provided she replaced the calories she expended and had some recovery food immediately, to help begin repair.

She used round about 1827 calories in the days riding, which either needs to be replaced as she goes, which is very difficult, or indeed consumed post stage in the form of a recovery shake right away and a nice hearty meal within two hours.

The Intensity Factor (IF) was 0.8, which is about right for the stage length, and also shows that Rebecca was doing her best not to expend too much energy.

Her wee thumper was beating like a thrumming engine with the average of 157 beats per minute and 188 max, which is a bit lower than we have seen from her files at other races.

The Power that was needed to be in the race was a fairly steady 161 watts average, which is enough to power two medium sized TVs for the 3hrs 25mins of the Stage, while her Max Power was 916 watts, which while only for an instant, is still enough to get a Microwave working for a few seconds!!

Drill down

The Graph above is just the Power data from the stage and its shows fairly clearly, if a little messy, the sections of the race. The early spikes are a mixture of the Queen of the Mountains and the race attacks. The middle section shows as a little more steady and finally, its clear to see that from 3hrs and 15mins on to the finish the bunch must have been speeding up and kicking hard for the finish.

This Graph shows her Heart Rate, and as we have seen from the Power Graph, this data backs up our assertion that for the most part, things were under control and its really the finish sprint where Rebecca is under some serious stress.

The Blue line is the speed, and as if to corroborate our data further you can see very clearly the speed of the bunch really high, and some parts are over 70kph in certain parts, on the run in to Norwich.

A wee Brucey Bonus 1 here with a way of looking at her power in what are called “bins”, which are in 10w blocks. Interesting that what we know about lots of bikes races, is that you spend a lot time not pedalling, and here its more than 50mins, and then when you need to pedal hard, you have to put some serious watts out, with some bins away up to 900watts.

Brucey Bonus 2 is looking at what is known as Cadence in revolutions per minute (RPM), which is a fancy word for pedalling speed. Note that for similar timescales Rebecca wasn’t pedalling very fast at all, and spent most of the time between 90-105.


Today’s 1st Stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour, while fast and furious in its speed to the line, was just on the right side of hard enough for Rebecca to be competitive with some of the World’s best riders and in fact, it was only World Champion Lizzie Armitstead who finished higher up as Best Brit finisher in 18th, while Becks was 25th.

Tomorrows Stage 2 will be a much hillier affair, and this will mean the bunch will more than likely split into groups of those who have a better power to weight, have been looking after themselves over night, and probably those teams and riders who are looking to take control of the race.

Tuck in weeyin – Over and out Mark

Check back here tomorrow for Rebecca’s Stage 2 data and some more insightful words from coach Mark Young.