16 July 2011

A tad more realistic on Stage 14 ...

When I started modeling the Tour de France in 2003, I thought predicting a stage win to better than 10% would be pretty good.  Anytime I got a stage better than 5%, I thought I had done a great job.  The last three stages of this year's race were a little surreal.  I just can't predict every stage to better than 1%!  Stage 14 brought me back to reality a little, but I am still pleased with my prediction.  Here is the result:

  • Stage 14:  5h 13' 25" (actual), 5h 02' 45" (prediction), -10' 40" fast (-3.40% error)
Though thrilled with just a 3.4% error, I think my model was a tad fast because I did not add a "Gee, I'm tired on this third mountain stage in a row!" line to my code.

Here is what Jelle Vanendert was able to average for Stage 14:
  • Stage 14:  8.96 m/s (20.0 mph)
Stage 15 will give the riders a little relief because it is mostly flat.  Monday is a rest day.  Here is my Stage 15 prediction:
  • Stage 15:  4h 36' 38" (prediction)
Will riders be tired on Sunday?  Will the ride into Montpellier be a relief for rider's looking forward to Monday's rest?  I can't wait to see what happens!

After the Tour de France, I will be watching our US women's soccer team take on Japan in the World Cup final.

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