- Stage 18: 6h 07' 56" (actual), 5h 51' 23" (prediction), -16' 33" slow (-4.50% error)
I am happy to be under 5% again! Did the poor weather slow riders down a little? If so, I feel even better about my prediction because my model did not include adverse weather for Stage 18. Then again, it rained on Stage 16, and that one remains a mystery to me.
The Schleck brothers got it done today. Here is Andy Schleck's average speed:
- Stage 18: 9.08 m/s (20.3 mph)
Thomas Voeckler was able to hold on to the yellow jersey. Tomorrow's stage, which is the final mountain stage, might just decide this year's winner. Here is my prediction:
- Stage 19: 2h 57' 54" (prediction)
Stage 19 should be incredible! Riders climb to an elevation of 2.556 km (1.588 miles) as they reach Col du Galibier in the French Alps at the 48.5-km (30.1-mile) mark. The next 46 km (28.6 miles) will then make for a great downhill. The final 15 km (9.32 miles) will have riders climbing a 7.9% grade to get to the famous ski village at L'Alpe d'Huez. In 2004, Lance Armstrong dominated that climb in that year's Stage 16, which was an individual time trial. Armstrong beat the second-place finisher, Jan Ullrich, by just over a minute. That stage sticks out in my mind because I cover it in detail in Chapter 4 of my book.
If weather does not slow riders down, I hope to see the winner's time sneak under three hours.