Here at WHOOP, we’ve covered the most extreme endurance events, from the Tour De France, to the Boston Marathon, to the Specter Series. WHOOP friend and professional cyclist Tayler Wiles is no stranger to the grind. As the men’s tour winds its way through the Vuelta and Tour of Britain, we look back at Tayler’s time at the Giro Rosa, the crown jewel of the women’s calendar.
Part of the UCI Women’s World Tour, The Giro Rosa has been held for 30 years and traverses through the northern countryside of Italy. It consists of grueling hill climbs, long flat stages, and speedy time trials. Tayler currently rides for team Trek-Segafredo, a professional American UCI cycling team.
Below is a chart that outlines each stage, along with Tayler’s daily recovery, strain, and sleep metrics. Amazingly Tayler never spent a day in the red, which she credits towards her fitness and the resources available to her team on the tour.
“I found this year I recovered the best between stages because of my team. I’m lucky to be on one of the most well supported teams in women’s cycling,” she explains. “We had a doctor, physios, and osteos looking after us each day, and a staff that made all the transfer and travel incredibly easy and stress free. All of these things are so helpful when racing hard day after day. Every little bit counts.”
Also worth noting is the difficulty of Stage 5, Ponte in Valtellina to Lago di Cancano, a 54.4-mile leg with two major climbs and a hilltop finish. Tayler reached a 20.5 strain for the day, and subsequently woke up with the lowest recovery of her tour at 39%. That morning she pushed through a speedy, uphill individual time trial, where she finished 9th out of 144 riders.
As an elite cyclist, Tayler was primed for peak performance leading up to the Giro Rosa. This meant that her body was ready to endure several consecutive days of high strain, something she had practiced many times before during her training cycles.
During the 10-day tour, you can see that her resting heart rate (RHR) gradually increased and her heart rate variability (HRV) gradually decreased. This was a natural progression, considering the repeated days of high strain she was putting on her body. Luckily, her training and fitness allowed her to keep going and avoid being in the red. Tayler regularly has a high HRV and a resting heart rate below 40.
Having her WHOOP data not only allowed Tayler to optimize her training prior to the tour; it helped keep her mentally balanced throughout. “[Cyclists] like numbers, data, and certainty,” she says. “I think it’s easier to rest when you have some solid data telling you the ‘why’ behind your fatigue.”
Tayler recently completed the Challenge Madrid, and will be racing the World Championships on September 28th. Check her out at @taylerwiles to follow along!