Pro Cyclist KOMs on Strava

This series has explored what it takes to get a KOM on Strava, but what about the pros? Don’t they come home with a sackful of KOMs after every training ride? Which pro rider tops the most Strava leaderboards?

You can follow over a thousand pro athletes on Strava. These include runners, triathletes, mountain bikers and professional cyclists. Although you will not find Peter Sagan, Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana or Alberto Contador  (you can ignore all the fake Strava ids with these names), there is a good selection of UCI team riders. There are also riders who do not claim Strava pro status, like some guy called Phil who recently went out for an afternoon ride.

Some pros upload just a limited number of rides, for example, Marianne Vos only has 243 rides on Strava, with nothing new since December. Other riders, such as Ian Stannard, upload their rides, but withhold their (monstrously high) power data. Nevertheless, many pro riders are more open about making their data available on Strava, including power. Take a look at the Col d’Eze segment on the final stage of Paris Nice. The little lightning bolt symbol indicates that the rider was using a power meter, but rather confusingly, some pro riders (Team Sky) are able to hide their average power for the ride, in which case the figure is a Strava estimate. But you can find the real number by highlighting the segment in the analysis view of the ride.

This review considers over 200 active professional road cyclists who are on Strava. The riders with the highest number of KOMs need to have uploaded a lot fast rides, in regions where many segments have been recorded. Here are the current top 10 pro riders from the sample.

Rank KOMs Name Team
1 1907 Laurens ten Dam Team Sunweb
2 1381 Elisa Longo Borghini Wiggle Honda
3 1296 Annemiek van Vleuten Orica AIS
4 1230 Niki Terpstra Racing Quick-Step Floors
5 1162 James Gullen JLT Condor
6 1070 Thibaut Pinot FDJ
7 1035 Dan Evans Cannodale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team
8 978 Romain Bardet AG2R
9 864 Joe Dombrowski Cannodale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team
10 852 Dani King Cylance

A bit further down the list, Michal Kwiatkowski has 559 KOMs, including eight that he picked up in his Milan San Remo victory. After riding the first 140km at a relatively easy 35kph and an average power of just 124W, he upped the effort to traverse the Passo del Turchino. His power and heart rate rose progressively all the way to the Cipressa, from which point he earned a KOM for the segment to the finish. He claimed four KOMs as he followed Peter Sagan’s dramatic attack on the Poggio, though these would have undoubtably been Sagan’s, if he’d put his data on Strava. Viewing the ride analysis, we see that after over seven hours of riding, Michal ascended the 3.6km 4% climb at 37kph, generating 443W (about 6.5 W/kg) for 5 minutes and 47 seconds, rather than the 536W estimated on the leaderboard. He peaked at over 900W near the summit as he an Alaphilippe desperately fought to get onto Sagan’s wheel.Lauren ten Dam has the most KOMs by a long way, though he does match Maryka Sennema’s haul of QOMs. Interestingly there are three women in the top ten, in spite of the fact that most of the riders in the sample were men. It is no surprise to see Elisa Longo Borghini and Annemiek van Vleuten at the head of the women’s rankings. Niki Terpstra follows his Dutch compatriot, while James Gullen is the leading Brit, followed by Dan Evans representing Wales alongside Dani King. Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet are the kings of the French mountains. Nice-based American rider Joe Dombrowski also makes the top ten.

The next blog will explore some more feats of the professionals.

Author: science4performance

I am passionate about applying the scientific method to improve performance

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