Microsoft Band 2 Blog: Stage 1

Microsoft Band 2 Blog
By: Ryan Ung

Stage 1 presented by Breakaway from Heart Disease – Sunday, May 15, 2016

San Diego > San Diego
108.7 racing miles

Welcome to our new Microsoft Band blog! Each day we will analyze rider data recorded from the previous day’s stage. We provided wearable wrist units to 10 of the 144 riders in the race to track metrics such as speed/distance (via GPS), heart rate, calories, UV exposure, and sleep patterns. During the course of the week we hope to provide insight on physical requirements it takes to complete a challenging 8-day stage race such as the 782-mile Amgen Tour of California.

Patten's Heart Rate

Microsoft Band 2 is a wearable with GPS and optical heart rate capability

In every stage of a cycling race, riders choose different goals race based on their strengths – climbing, sprinting, riding a steady tempo pace, or being the most consistent rider over the course of 8 days.

On Stage 1 we will focus on two scenarios as we followed #66 Daniel Patten of Team WIGGINS who managed to enter the early 7 man breakaway and #157 Travis McCabe, a sprinter for Holowesko | Citadel presented by Hincapie Sportswear.

Patten and his 6 breakaway companions composed primarily of continental riders escaped very early during the stage without much resistance and achieved a 2:35 gap by 10 miles. The peloton led by Team KATUSHA was content with allowing these young riders a chance to get away while managing the time gap all day.

Patten's Heart Rate

Patten’s Heart Rate Data through the Honey Springs Lexus King of the Mountain point, mile 54

You can see that Patten’s heart rate spiked during the initial jump to make the breakaway and leveled off in the “Very Hard” range once the group was established. Riding in the breakaway requires steady pedaling and equal sharing of the workload to stay away and we can see that Patten’s heart rate was consistently high over the first 2 hours. A strong onshore breeze and rolling terrain meant a lot of energy was required to maintain the pace of the breakaway – these efforts took their toll on the breakaway in the final 20 miles as it fell apart quickly as the peloton charged to the finish line.

McCabe's Heart Rate

McCabe’s Heart Rate Data through the Honey Springs Lexus King of the Mountain point, mile 54

In direct contrast to Patten’s heart rate data, Travis McCabe, rode in the peloton all day, hoping to save his legs for the flat fast finish. Riding in the peloton provides significant energy savings with many periods of light or no pedaling where the heart rate can drop to low levels. We can see there were many surges in the peloton so the efforts are less consistent but still a lower level of exertion throughout the day than riding in the breakaway. McCabe opened up the sprint early from the last corner with 800m to go and placed 21st on the stage.

As a member of the key staff of the organization I racked up 16,646 steps (approximately 8.4 miles) walking around the start and finish while fulfilling my daily duties. With a total UV exposure time of 3 hours, 21 minutes it is important for our staff to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated while out in the sun, even on days where the sun doesn’t feel strong – the temperature was only in the upper 60’s Fahrenheit yesterday. The riders aren’t the only ones putting out the physical effort this week!

Stage Summary:

  • Distance: 111 miles
  • Max Heart Rate: 191 beats per minute
  • Max Speed: 53 mph
    - This was a narrow twisty but shallow descent of Honey Springs Road, Cat 1 – expect higher speeds on wide the mountain roads of Stage 2 on the Angeles Forest Highway
  • UV Exposure: 2h 20m