By the Numbers: 24 hours of Travis McCabe
August 3rd 2017, Stage 4, Tour of Utah: Travis mis-timed his sprint to the line on a stage that suited him well, and was agonizingly passed just 80 meters from the finish line. After months of preparation and day-of sacrifices from his teammates, the agony of that defeat led to a lot of disappointment.
August 4th 2017, Stage 5, Tour of Utah: Another opportunity. The stage into Bountiful is one that Travis has wanted to win for over a year. In 2016 he failed to make it over the two steep climbs, with gradients of up to 15%, to be in contention for the sprint finish. Possible redemption.
24 hours in the life of a professional cyclist: longing, defeat, perseverance, success
Stage 5 started at a hot pace with the peloton averaging over 52km/h for the first hour. The early part of the race included a bit of mayhem when Travis got caught in a crash and was forced to chase back to the peloton.
After this, a break formed and the pace in the bunch settled down in anticipation of the finishing circuits, which came soon enough. The first time up the Bountiful Bench climb was hard but he was able to remain in contact averaging 380W with the group still mostly intact with all of the favorites for the stage as shown by his Pioneer power meter.
The second time up, the race really heated up as lots of pressure was put on at the front of the race. Attacks were made while riders looked for the stage win and took the chance to put the race leader under pressure. Travis was able to maintain similar power again, around 380 watts, and remained in a strong chase group behind the leaders; a group that eventually caught the front on the plateau that runs along the top of the climb.
From there came the mad dash to the finish line on the descent down from the climb. On the descent the group hit speeds above 86km/h (53mph), making positioning going into the final corner key. The final sprint to the line from the greatly reduced lead group required Travis to start accelerating out of the final corner where he held 893W for 26secs with a peak 10sec of 1188W to take the win for the UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling team. The win on stage 5 was a champion response to the previous day, redemption for stage 4, and confirmation of a year’s work. Congratulations Travis!
Utilizing the hi-definition Pioneer power meter data streams, we can see Travis’s excellent, efficient pedaling technique with no power wasted as he powered to the line and the win.