Irish U23 champ Michael O’Loughlin’s data for Tour de l’Avenir ride

Posted on: September 4th, 2018

Michael O’Loughlin looking shattered after his stage 3 breakaway battle at the Tour de l’Avenir (Photo: Audrey Duval)


Michael O’Loughlin’s data for Tour de l’Avenir


By Jamie Blanchfield

The third stage of this year’s Tour de l’Avenir took in some testing, rolling terrain from Le Lude to Châteaudun; some165.8km in all.

With just two climbs noted on the roadbook – a cat 4 and cat 3 at 46 and 88 kilometres respectively – a break would inevitably get up the road.

Competition to get into this break was furious, with the final selection not being made until close to 80 kilometres into the race.

When the move finally went, Irish U23 time trial champion Michael O’Loughlin was present. And he was ready to commit to a day out front.

Four of the breakaway – the Irishman among them – survived out front. But they had to bury themselves to just hold off the chasers.

It took half the stage of the move to go clear. When it did they rode hard to get the gap, before a number of nations began the chase.

And with a lumpy finishing circuit and the reduced peloton closing in on them; they had to fight all the way to the line.


0km–80km: Attack and counter-attack

The first 80km of the race was covered at an eye-watering speed of 47kmph, with O’Loughlin slipping into moves and generally going on the offensive.

It was here O’Loughlin recorded his one minute, two minute and five minute peak powers of the day.

An average of 410W, 457NP and 100RPM over the day’s first test at 46km produced his peak five minute of the day.

What was even more impressive here was the power sustained off the descent – 45 seconds producing 550W at an average speed just under 70kmph.

That effort called for a high element of leg speed developed over months of training. Another move at 60km saw O’Loughlin producing his peak one and two minute powers.

That occurred with a searing attack up a small rise; again trying to be on the offensive and make the day’s escape.

Here he produced over 650W for one minute and 530W for two minutes. Furthermore, both of those came off an acceleration over 1,000W away from the bunch.



80–92km: The right move and establishing the gap

Two sharp 1,000W accelerations separated by less than 30 seconds recovery just as the road flattened off a short descent launched O’Loughlin into the break.

He was with the eventual stage winner Damien Touze (France) and one other for company. They would be joined later by four others forming a seven-man escape.

This period saw O’Loughlin hit peak 10 and 20-minute powers at 380W and 360W respectively.

Their coherent riding style (evident with a variability index of 1.02) aided them in establishing a gap over the bunch.

This gap was created on a near pan flat road which then hit the main test of the day, a cat 3 climb at 88km.

To eke out their gap the trio rode at just under 400W for the three-kilometre climb averaging just over 30kmph.

O’Loughlin, knowing his capabilities well, sat right on threshold here to avoid going into the “red” and paying the price later.



92-125km: Entering the finishing laps

With the chasers having merged with O’Loughlin & Co, a strong group was now threatening the stage win ambitions of the other nations.

With Norway, Australia and later Belgium joining forces to form a chase within the main bunch, the break had their work cut out for them.

The breakaway hit the first of two very testing finishing circuits just after 120km – a snapshot of the circuit can be seen below.

At this point the break had been riding for an hour at a normalised power of 320W/average of 290W covering just over 45km.

O’Loughlin, sitting at roughly 80 per cent of his threshold here, was burning energy at a substantial rate given the earlier efforts.

But if he stayed on top of his fueling this type of effort was right down his street due to his strong time trialing credentials.


125km: Down to the wire

Entering the finishing loops with just over 40km to race the break had north of two minutes on the chasing bunch; a modest margin that meant they would have to commit 100 per cent to stay away.

Having the luxury of being out front meant the break could ride the finishing loop climbs at a steady but hard pace; again playing into O’Loughlin’s capabilities.

The climbs were ridden at close to, or just over Sweetspot (0.90 – 0.95 IF), lasting 3 minutes to 8 minutes.

The finish itself can been seen below; a testing 500 metre uphill ramp that resulted in a real drag race to the line.

Coming onto the last lap it was touch and go whether they’d stay away; the bunch breathing down their necks.

At four kilometers to go the gap was below 30 seconds, O’Loughlin producing an average of 340W and a normalised power of 450W during this push for the line. There was no holding back here.

Coming down to the wire, three of the seven had been reabsorbed, with O’Loughlin mustering whatever was left.

He did that to produce a near 1,100W sprint into a one-minute effort to the line to hold off the bunch for a remarkable 4th place.


Key Details, see original file here

  1. Time – 03:43:44
  2. Distance – 169KM
  3. Speed – 45.4Kph
  4. Gain – 1286M
  5. Power (AVG) – 282
  6. NP – 332
  7. TSS – 257
  8. Cadence (AVG) – 91 RPM

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