How Do You Compare To A Tour de France Pro?

We break down some key performance metrics of the world’s best cyclists to see how you would stack up.

Whit Yost |

Ever wonder how you’d fare against a Tour de France pro? Now you can see for yourself. We’ve taken a look at some key performance metrics including the average speed of a Tour de France rider (and some fun ones) to see how you would stack up against the world’s best cyclists.

Average Time Trial Speed

A Tour pro’s ability to produce more power for longer means that, alone, he would complete Stage 2’s rolling 27.6km team time trial about 18 minutes faster than the average rider. In other words, he’s really hammering.

Average Rider: 30 to 33km/h

Tour Pro: 46 to 50km/h

tour de france
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Average Speed on Flat Terrain

Even on flat land, a pro’s average speed needs to be way up there in order to stay in the race. In fact, it’s usually about double that of an average rider.

Average Rider: 27 to 29km/h

Tour Pro: 40 to 45km/h

Maximum Sprint Power

Sprinters generate incredible amounts of power in the final 15-second dash for the line. A rider like Bora–Hansgrohe’s Peter Sagan might hit 1,500 watts at the end of a flat field sprint.

Average Rider: 600 to 800 watts

Tour Pro: 1,200 to 1,400 watts

tour de france

Average Cobblestone Speed

Stage 1 of this year’s Tour features two sectors of cobblestones, known locally as pavé. Riders such as Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet have made their careers excelling on punishing roads like these. On a tough sector, they’ll average an incredible 35 to 39km/h.

Average Rider: 22 to 26km/h

Tour Pro: 25 to 38km/h

Sandwiches Consumed

Soigneurs (all-purpose team assistants) make lunches for everyone on the team, including the staff. With about 12 to 15 staffers supporting a given team’s nine riders in France, that’s a lot of bread and a lot of sandwiches consumed over the course of three weeks.

Average Rider: 1 to 3 sandwiches

Tour Pro: ~30 sandwiches

Daily Bottles of Drink Mix Guzzled

Depending on conditions, you might mix one or two bottles per ride. A Tour de France soigneur might mix between 40 and 120 bottles for the team on each stage, which means an individual rider may throw back up to a dozen bottles or more.

Average Rider: 1 to 2

Tour Pro: 4 to 13

tour de france

How Long it Takes to Climb the Col du Tourmalet

A pro climber will probably average about 350 to 375 watts on this final climb of Stage 14. An ordinary rider would generate closer to 175 to 200 – which means the Tour’s top climbers could ascend the Col nearly twice during your trip to the top.

Average Rider: 115 minutes

Tour Pro: 60 minutes

Bikes at Your Disposal

Depending on the rider and his team’s bike sponsor, most pros will come to the 2019 Tour with an aero road bike for flatter stages, a climbing bike for the mountains, a bike designed for comfort over the cobblestones, and a time-trial bike – not to mention spares. A General Classification contender like Bahrain-Merida’s Vincenzo Nibali might have two or three of each.

Average Rider: 1 to 2 bikes

Tour Pro: 4 to 5 bikes

tour de france
Marshall Kappel

Legs Shaved

Over the course of a 40K time trial, a pro’s shaved legs might gain him 60 to 75 seconds over an unshaved rider. That said, pros don’t shave their legs for aerodynamics. They often do it for the sake of massages and in case of crashes, as shaved legs heal more easily than hairy ones.

Average Rider:
2 legs, hairy

Tour Pro:
2 legs, shaved

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