Lydia Boylan's OVO Energy Women's Tour Power File Analysis - Stage 5

Stage 5 of the ‘OVO Energy Women’s Tour’ was a city centre circuit race in the heart of London passing landmarks such as Piccadilly Circus and Whitehall. The rides were to complete 10 laps of the 6.2km circuit making for a total race distance of 62km!

Unfortunately for Lydia things didn’t go quite as planned….


Some of the keen eyed amongst you may have noticed in my analysis of stage 4 that Lydia’s power balance – the difference between power from her left and right legs hasn’t improved since her crash on day 1. The WNT soigneurs have been working hard each day to try and correct the problem however each day as the race has gone on the problem has worsened.


Unfortunately, today things weren’t good from the start. After 20 mins Lydia’s said that she just didn’t have any power in her left leg and was struggling with the accelerations after each corner.

Lydia was therefore forced to pull out after 3 laps of racing. This is not the way she wanted to finish the race but was on the back foot from day one after her crash.


Despite this she has battled through 4 incredibly tough stages. I therefore wanted to give everyone just a sense of what 5 days of world tour racing looks like. 

Fig 1, Stage 4 of the OVO Energy Women's Tour

Fig, 2 Lydia’s power balance after 20 minutes of racing

In the two days before the start of the race Lydia only rode for an hour per day, there were two reasons for this, 1 to ensure she started the race fresh and 2 training time was limited due to travel commitments – you can see this is figure 3 under ‘bike duration’. In those 2 days she only notched up 60 TSS points. This leaves 1263.5 TSS points in the last 5 days! That is the roughly equivalent of 13 twenty-five-mile time trials!!


If we look at the amount of work she has done this week we can see she has expended 12047Kj (2878Kcal). This is as measured by her power meter. We know that elite cyclists are roughly 22-23% efficient (for reference Chris Froome is ~23.3% efficient). This means that an athlete with 22% efficiency would convert 22% of the energy they take in to power through the pedals.


Therefore,12047Kj (2878Kcal) actually represents a required intake of 54759Kj (13087 Kcal).


Elite cyclists such as Lydia are able to take up approximately 90g of carbohydrate an hour, this represents around 1530Kj (366Kcal) per hour. She has raced in total for ~18 hours this week so in total her in race energy intake was approximately 27540Kj (6582Kcal).


This leaves a deficit of 27219Kj (6505 Kcal). This needed to come from Lydia’s glycogen and Fat stores, her glycogen stores have likely been quite deleted at the end of each stage and therefore needed to be replenished after stage.  


This means on average she needed 5443Kj (1300Kcal) per day on top of her daily metabolic expenditure of ~8786Kj (2100Kcal) to ensure she had sufficient energy for each stage.


All this means that to fuel her riding and her recovery each day Lydia has had to consume approximately 19807Kj (4733Kcal) per day – 5433Kj (1300Kcal) in the race and from 14374Kj (3435Kcal) her daily meals!


This last figure highlights just how important fuelling is for athletes! Without sufficient energy intake Lydia would have been able to perform this week to anywhere near the standard she has!


Finally, I would like to finish by thanking Lydia for allowing me to share the analysis of her files each day during the OVO Energy Women’s Tour. She is a remarkable athlete, with whom I have the privilege to work and I hope I have brought across both her physical capacities on the bike and her grit and determination even when things don’t go fully as planned. 

Fig, 3 Weekly Summary of Lydia’s time on the bike