Bernhard Eisel Tour data

Technical insight from TrainingPeaks

By Dirk Friel.   Last Updated: 25/07/12 5:53pm

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Bernhard Eisel drives the pace at the Tour de France

Bernhard Eisel drives the pace at the Tour de France

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STAGE 19 July 21: Bonneval - Chartres (TT) 53.5km

1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky 1:04:13
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:16
3 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank 0:01:50
68 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky 0:06:19

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 19

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
81 TSS
355 Average Watts
344 NP
1420 KJ
45.1 kph
Average Speed


The 81 TSS score indicates that this was a sub-maximal effort for Eisel today. Eisel is a great and valuable domestique for the team and therefore conserves as much as possible on time trial stages to be able to do more work on the road stages. Today, his 60-minute Peak Power was 337 W and 343 NP in comparison to his 60-minute Peak Power for the entire Tour, in which he averaged 380 W with a NP value of 390 (Stage 11). We can infer from his TSS and his Peak 60-Min during the Tour that Eisel was riding at approximately 80-85% of full effort today.

The warm-up: 12 minutes easy, then a 14 minute steady ramp up from about 200 to 500 watts, 2 minutes easy, followed by 3 - 5-second fast cadence/high power bursts, and finishing up with a minute of easy spinning.

STAGE 18 July 20: Blagnac - Brive-la-Gaillarde 222.5km (Flat)

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Sky 4:54:12
2 Matthew Goss (Aus) ORICA-GreenEDGE s.t.
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale s.t.
141 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky 0:08:54

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 18

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
355.2 TSS
286 Average Watts
435 NP
5201 KJ
43.4 kph
Average Speed
1515 m (5000 ft) Elevation Gain


A high-stakes stage characterized by several riders attacking aggressively in the first hour, desperate to take home at least one stage win for the Tour. Mark Cavendish wins this exciting stage with a lead-out from the yellow jersey himself, teammate Bradley Wiggins.

Fast but not truly flat: Although considered a flat stage, Stage 18 contained several short, punchy climbs totaling 1515 m (5000 ft) in elevation gain, yet Eisel still averaged 43.4 kph (26.9 mph)!

355.1 TSS is one of the top scores of the Tour for Eisel, indicating a very tough stage for him as he did a lot of work on the front and helping to defend his teammates.

The combination of aggressive riding from the peloton and a punchy course profile: 286 Average Power (3.8 w/kg) vs 345 Normalized Power (4.5 w/kg). Normalized Power indicates the true physiological "cost" of the ride. Another way of looking at this is Variability Index, which measures how smooth a rider's power output was, and is calculated as NP divided by Average Power. Here, the VI of 1.21 indicates highly variable ride, which makes for a tougher ride than consistent power. As reference, successful TTs that are ridden without the impact of group riding are typically very close to a VI of 1.0.

STAGE 17 July 19 Stage 17: Bagnères-de-Luchon - Peyragudes 143.5km

1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 4:12:11
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:19
3 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky
151 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky 0:31:32

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 17

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
332.9 TSS
299 Average Watts
345 NP
5195 KJ
77 Average RPM
29.8 kph
Average Speed


Loyal Lieutenant: Cavendish was dropped from the main peloton on the first climb and Eisel stayed with him the rest of the stage, pacing him to ensure that he finished within the time limit.

20-minute Peak Power set on the first climb, Col de Menté: 53 TSS, 427 Average Watts, 431 NP, 5.6 w/kg, 17.2 kph Average Speed.

Out of the mountains and on to the flats! Mark Cavendish tweets, "No more mountains! No. More. Mountains. Only 400 flat(tish) kilometres left! And maybe some sprints. I hope. I can always hope..." Accompanying Cav on the last climb of the stage on the last mountain stage Eisel averaged 282 W for 53 minutes, 302 NP, 17.6 kph Average Speed climbing the 5.1% Peyragudes.

STAGE 16 July 18: Pau - Bagnères-de-Luchon 197km (High Mtns)

1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 5:35:02
2 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:01:40
3 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:03:22
148 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky 0:33:04

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 16

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
402 TSS
295 Average Watts
331 NP
6726 KJ
92.9 kph Max Speed


402 TSS - highest TSS of the Tour so far for Eisel! Although the highest TSS score, Stage 11 still holds many of the records for Peak Power Values. Today's stage contained the infamous "Circle of Death", comprised of the Col d'Aubisque, Col du Tourmalet, Col d'Aspin and Col de Peyresourde ascents. The Col du Tourmalet is the highest point in this year's Tour.

Climbing to the highest point in the Tour, then bombing the descent!

UP: 1:10, 19.2 km, 78 TSS, 336 Average Watts, 339 NP, 16.3 kph Average Speed

DOWN: :15, 17.1 km, 12 TSS, 196 Average Watts, 288 NP, 67.9 kph Average Speed (92.9 kph Maximum Speed!)

STAGE 15 July 16, Samatan to Pau - 158.5km (Flat)

1 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 3:40:15
2 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin – Sharp s.t.
3 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar s.t.
80 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky 0:11:50

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 15

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
302.8 TSS
300 Average Watts
363 NP
4288 KJs
40.1 kph average speed


The first 1.5 hours of racing were fast and aggressive as multiple teams and riders tried to get in a breakaway. However, Team Sky including Eisel had to evaluate each break to determine the threat to Overall Leader Wiggins. If anyone was a threat, Team Sky brought it back. It took many combinations and finally after about an hour and a half of racing, the right mix of riders was allowed to go up the road with the highest placed rider still over an hour down on Wiggins. This 1.5 hour effort cost Eisel 147 TSS. 100 TSS indicates a 100% all-out effort for an hour - a TSS of 147 for 1.5 hrs shows that Eisel held nothing back during the first 90 minutes of the stage as he defended Wiggins' lead.

The final 90 minutes of the stage were quite different from the first 90 minutes: 86.4 TSS, 278 Average Watts,316 NP, 56.7 km

Since we've been following Eisel (Stage 3-15), he has accumulated over 3720 TSS points in 13 stages or 2 weeks of racing! By comparison, a recreational cyclist might accumulate 250 TSS points per week, riding about 6 hours at an easy to moderate pace. (1 hour of easy riding = 35 TSS).

STAGE 14 July 15, Limoux to Foix - 191km (Flat)
1 Luis León Sánchez (ESP) Rabobank (4:50:29)
2 Peter Sagan (SVK) Liquigas (+47)
3 Sandy Casar (FRA) FDJ (+47)
158 - Bernhard Eisel (AUT) - Team Sky - (+28:18)

No power data available

STAGE 13 July 14, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux - Le Cap d’Agde 217km (Flat)

1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team 4:57:59
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale s.t.
3 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky s.t.
104 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky 0:12:31

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 13

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
296.2 TSS
264 Average Watts
312 NP
4987 KJ
41.4 km/h Average Speed


20-minute Peak Power was attained during the crosswind section that blew apart the main peloton. Eisel fights for another 15 minutes before getting dropped by the main group - this is evident as there is a significant drop in power on the graph, and Eisel loses a little over 12 minutes to the stage winner. As a support rider, once Eisel has done his job for the day (such as working on hard in the crosswind section) he then goes into conservation mode, reducing his effort but still careful to finish well within the time limits.

Lowest TSS (296.2) since the rest day but still burned close to 5000 kj, which is equal to about 20 energy bars (250 calories/each)

STAGE 12 July 13, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - Annonay Davézieux 226km (Med Mtns)
1 David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Sharp 5:42:46
2 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale s.t.
3 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi s.t.
114 Bernhard Eisel (Aut )Team Sky 0:11:59

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 12

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
363 TSS
281 Average Watts
325 NP
6005 KJ
125 Average Heart Rate
2440 m (8052 ft) elevation gain
37.7 kph (23.4 mph) Average Speed


Although Eisel spent a great deal of time on the front of the main peloton and also helping Cavendish as needed, he did not achieve a higher average wattage output or TSS than the Epic Stage 11. From yesterday's shortest but hardest stage to today's longest stage. Yesterday took its toll and even though Stage 12 was longer, it resulted in a lower TSS. Many of the riders needed a brief "rest" after the incredible efforts put in yesterday.

Wiggins was comfortable in the lead, the yellow jersey never threatened and tomorrow is a another day for the sprinters. Perhaps Eisel was trying to conserve to help Cavendish in another Stage Victory on Stage 13.

For an "easy" stage, the first climb of the say still proved to be quite hard: 36 minutes, 12.6 km (7.8 miles), 58 TSS, 400 Average Watts, 411 NP, 20.9 kph (13 mph) on a climb with an average grade of 6.5%

Huge effort for Bernie in the first climb, where he rode at his FTP for 40 minutes. He did 410 watts and really nailed it on the front to keep control of the peloton for his leader Bradley Wiggins. Great job here for Bernie!

STAGE 11 July 12, Albertville - La Toussuire - Les Sybelles 148 km (High Mountains)
1 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 4:43:54
2 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:00:55
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
152 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky 0:33:35

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 11

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
365 TSS
307 Average Watts
342 NP
5943 KJs
2751 m (9023 ft) elevation gain


365 TSS: Biggest TSS day of the Tour so far for Eisel! Eisel maxed out on his Peak 10-min through 90-min Power Values for the Tour so far on the first climb of the day, Col de la Madeleine a 25.3 km Category HC climb with an average grade of 6.2%. His Peak Power values: 447 W 10-minutes, 444 W 12-minutes, 425 W 20-minutes, 404 W 30-minutes, 380 W 60-minutes, 365 W 90-minutes. Eisel is not a climber, yet he managed Col de la Madeleine at an average speed of 20 kph (12.4 mph).

One of the shortest stages of the Tour but also one of the most decisive for the GC contenders. It was a hard day for every rider and resulted in the first two riders of the Tour to be time cut (finishing outside of the allowed percentage of winner's time).

Fun fact: KJs Eisel has burned so far in Tour (everything including warm-ups, cool downs, etc): 51,548

STAGE 10 July 11, Mâcon - Bellegarde-sur-Valserine 194.5 km (High Mtns)
1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 4:46:26
2 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:00:03
3 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:07
165 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky @ 0:31:55

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 10

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
362.9 TSS
302 Average Watts
341 NP
5846 KJ
138 bpm Average HR
36.18 kph average speed
1088 VAM m/hr on Col de Colombier


The Col du Grand Colombier (1501m) occurred 151km into the race, and was the toughest climb of the Tour so far. This was the first time it's been included in the Tour and Eisel averaged 322 W (4.2 w/kg) and 15.6 kph for the 1 hour+ it took him to complete the climb.

Eisel set his 20 and 30-minute peaks powers for the Tour so far in the first hour of racing before any of the climbs! This was the fastest hour recorded at the Tour so far this year.

First hour: 45.97 km, 87.7 TSS, 389 NP, 344 Average W vs Last hour: 33.5 km, 45.1 TSS, 279 NP, 236 Average W

STAGE 9 July 9, Arc-et-Senans - Besançon (ITT) 41.5 km

1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky 0:51:24
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:35
3 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:57
153 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky 0:08:25

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage nine

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
67.7 TSS
329 Average Watts
344 NP
1117 KJ
45.0 kph average speed


Eisel was racing very conservatively today, trying to save as much energy as possible for the upcoming sprint stages. He even commented "Half a rest day for me!" However, time cuts still apply on Time Trial stages, so all riders must still finish with in 25% of the winner's time, in this case about 12:45 after winner and teammate Bradley Wiggins' time of 51:24. So, even though we often say they are not going 100%, they still need to give a hard effort to stay in the race. It's never easy in the Tour.

Eisel demonstrated very consistent pacing through out the stage. First half: 35 TSS, 352 NP, 334 Average Watts vs Second half: 31.8 TSS, 333 NP, 319 Average Watts.

Consistent pacing but very different speeds for first and second half of the TT. First half of TT Eisel averaged 40 kph, second half of TT he averaged 50 kph. This was largely due to differences in elevation profile - the second half of the TT had much more descending.

STAGE 8 July 8, Belfort - Porrentruy 157.5 km (Med Mtns)

1 Thibaut Pinot FDJ-BigMat 3:56:10
2 Cadel Evans BMC Racing 0:00:26
3 Tony Gallopin RadioShack-Nissan s.t.
149 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky 0:22:19

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 8

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
309 TSS
302 Average Watts
346 NP
4846 KJ
35.4 kph average speed
98.5 kph max speed
134 bpm average HR
166 bpm max HR


Breaking the stage into halves, for the first time we are seeing a harder first half than second half. With 7 climbs in the stage, Eisel worked hardest at the beginning, keeping Cavendish in the main peloton as long as possible. Once the peloton shattered, he then made sure Cavendish made it in safely and well with the time limits.

First half: 178.7 TSS, 2622 KJ, 323 Average Watts, 370 NP Second Half: 129.3 TSS, 2270 KJ, 272 Average Watts, 311 NP

Eisel's hardest hour of the stage as shown by his Peak 60 Min Power was during the first two of the seven climbs of the day, where he held 369 W (4.6 w/kg) as he climbed 858 m.

Eisel climbed 2688 m over the course of the 7 climbs of the day, yet managed to average 35.4 kph nonetheless!

STAGE 7 July 7, Tomblaine - La Planche des Belles Filles 199km (Med Mtns)

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 4:58:35
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:02
3 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling s.t.
167 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky 0:17:34

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 7

Stage Summary by the Numbers:<
328.1 TSS
278 Average Watts
323 NP
5426 KJ
36.7 km/h average speed
134 Average HR
2244 m (7360 ft) elevation gain


Bernhard registered his highest TSS of the Tour at 328, indicating his hardest day so far. This was the first stage in the mountains, and the first with a mountain-top finish.

A 333W (4.4 w/kg) 30-minute Peak Power was set on the first climb of the day, however only the last 3 km were categorized as the official Col de Grosse Pierre category 3 climb for the stage.

Despite over 2225m (7300ft) of climbing, Eisel still averaged 36.7kph (22.8mph) during this stage.

STAGE 6 July 6, Épernay - Metz 207.5 km (Flat)

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 4:37:00)
2 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team s.t.
3 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team s.t.
15 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky 0:00:04

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 6

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
278 TSS
248 Average Watts
316 NP
4291 KJ
43.1 kph average speed
77.1 kph max speed


This was the last flat sprinter's stage for several days. It is clear from the data that the goal was to set Cavendish up for a stage win, unfortunately it was also a crash-marred stage that left Cavendish out of contention for the victory.

First half vs second half of race comparison
First half: 110 TSS
225 Average Watts
282 NP
38.3 km/h Average Speed
Second half: 162 TSS
271 Average Watts
341 NP
47.9 kph Average Speed

Really interesting to see this file vs. the day before. Today, Bernie had some leeway and went for a top placing in the finish for himself as Mark Cavendish was in a crash near the end of the stage. In the previous day, Bernie's Peak 30-second Power (when leading out Cavendish for the sprint finish) was 844W. Today, when he was riding for himself he did only 796W as his Peak 30-second Power. This is a great example of how Bernie is a perfect lead-out man for Mark. He actually pushes himself HARDER when he is riding for Cavendish than when he rides for himself!

STAGE 5 July 5, Rouen - Saint-Quentin 196.5 km (Flat)

1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team 4:41:30
2 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team s.t.
3 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank s.t.
179 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky>

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 5

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
211 TSS
204 Average Watts
274 NP
3558 KJs
40.7 kph Average Speed

113 bpm Average Heart Rate


The 60-second Peak Power for the stage was the Intermediate sprint where Eisel was leading out Cavendish who won the field sprint for 5th (4 riders in breakaway). Eisel's Peak 60-second Power was 593W average, 1010 Maximum Watts, 60.9 kph Maximum Speed.
2-minute Peak Power of race occurred in the final leadout for Cavendish: 559 Average Watts, 574 NP, 1065 Maximum Watts, 49.8 kph Average Speed
This is a classic TDF stage "shape" from the power perspective. The race gets faster and faster throughout and comes to a head with a crescendo in the last 30 minutes.

STAGE 4 July 4, Abbeville - Rouen 214.5km (Flat)

1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team 5:18:32
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD s.t.
3 Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos-Shimano s.t.
179 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky s.t.

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 4

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
243 TSS
208 Average Watts
278 NP
4070 KJ
39.5 kph average


Bad day at the Tour: Eisel was keeping Cavendish in perfect position for the sprint right before the crash, which happened with 2.5 km to go. Up until then, Eisel put out 393 W for 10 min, his highest 10 min effort of the day, and was averaging 51.5 kph!

Although several riders went down in the crash and crossed the finish line several minutes after the winner, the 3km rule went into effect and all involved in the pile-up were given the same finishing time as the winner. A tale of two halves - the second half of stage was significantly harder:

First half vs second half of race comparison
First half:
1595 KJ
224 NP
162 Average Watts.
Second Half:
2461 KJ
309 NP
251 Average Watts.

STAGE 3 July 3, Orchies - Boulogne-sur-Mer 197km (Flat)

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 4:42:58
2 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky Procycling 0:00:01
3 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
91 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky 0:03:38

Click here to view the TrainingPeaks Activity Viewer for stage 3

Stage Summary by the Numbers:
245 Average Watts
322 NP
4314 KJ
40.5 km/h Average Speed


Bernie did a ton of work in the last 30 minutes to keep Cavendish up near the front and also to make sure that Wiggins was protected as well. Cruising at 45.6 km/hr (28.3 mph), Eisel averaged 365 Watts (421 NP) for the entire final thirty minutes and really was working hard at the front. Unfortunately, Cavendish was dropped on a climb near the finish and once that happened Bernie sat up and cruised in to the finish.

First two hours were pretty easy for Eisel, earning a TSS score of 67 and averaging 199 Watts (2.6 w/kg) but he still maintained an average speed of 40.3 km/hr showing that he was staying hidden in the bunch and out of the wind.

Note Bernie's 10 minute cool-down at the end of the stage. Includes some fast pedal drills after 5.5 hours of racing!

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