Stage 7: Le Mans – Chatearoux (218km)
The sprinters will be very motivated to chase down any and all breakaways during Stage 7, because there’s an intermediate sprint just 25 kilometers from the finish line and then maximum green jersey points available at the finish. It could represent a huge haul if a rider can manage to win both, but it would also require a supreme effort from that rider’s team. The pace in the final 90 minutes of this stage is likely to be ridiculously fast, and riders like HTC-Highroad’s Danny Pate will be called upon to sit on the front of the peloton taking monster pulls to keep the pace high. The riders you see setting the pace in a sprinter’s leadout train are often very good time trial riders in their own right, and the final leadout men, riders like Mark Renshaw, are very good sprinters in their own right. It takes high-quality riders to set up your best riders for victory.
Danny Pate lives in Colorado Springs and spent some hours riding on the Computrainers in the CTS Training Facility last winter when the snow or cold kept him from riding outside. Even all those months ago, he was preparing to hopefully build the strength necessary to make the HTC-Highroad Tour de France squad. And what workouts was he doing? SteadyState Intervals. These intervals aren’t very sexy or exciting, but they are the cornerstone of developing greater sustainable power at lactate threshold.
Today’s Workout: 1:30 Endurance Miles (50-91% of Field Test average heart rate, 45-73% of Field Test average power) with SteadyState Intervals. (Click for CTS Field Test Instructions)
How to do it: The intensity for SteadyState Intervals is closer to your maximum sustainable power, but far enough below it that you’re stressing the aerobic system and calling upon the anaerobic system to supply the extra energy when the aerobic engine can’t generate it fast enough. Specifically this means: 92-94% of the higher of your two average heart rates from the CTS Field Test, or 86-90% of the higher of your two average power outputs from the CTS Field Test. The key to SteadyState Intervals is the overall duration of the efforts. Your cadence should be 90 rpm, and you should aim to complete three intervals in the workout session. The intervals should be 8 minutes (beginner), 12 minutes (intermediate), or 15 minutes (advanced), and whichever time you choose, your recovery time between intervals should be half of that time (Example: 12-minute SS Interval, 6 minutes recovery).