15 July 2012

More Tour de France Greatness!

Luis León Sánchez of Spain did what I thought might happen -- win Stage 14 of this year's Tour de France in under five hours.  What a finish he had!  As I noted yesterday, I'll never cease being impressed by what the world's best do on a bicycle.  Below is the comparison between the winning time and our prediction.
  • Stage 14:  4h 50' 29" (actual), 5h 03' 27" (prediction), 12' 58" slow (4.46% error)
Our error isn't too bad, but think about how great Sánchez was today.  How did yellow-jersey donning Bradley Wiggins do?  He came in 15th with a time of 5h 08' 44".  What about last year's winner, Cadel Evens?  He was right behind Wiggins in 16th place with the same time.  Our prediction would have only been 1.71% off had Evens or Wiggins won the stage, but that's not what we try to do.  Our goal is to predict the winning time; our true error was 4.46%.  It should be clear just how dominant Sánchez was today.  His average speed is below.
  • Stage 14:  10.96 m/s (39.45 km/hr or 24.51 mph)
That's a great average speed for such a tough mountain stage.

Tomorrow's stage is classified as flat, but there are a couple of category 4 climbs and one category 3 climb.  Riders begin the 158.5-km (98.49-mile) stage in the commune of Samatan and head west to the commune of Pau, which is just north of the Pyrenees.  Below is our prediction.
  • Stage 15:  3h 50' 46" (prediction)
After tomorrow's stage, cyclists take a day of rest on Tuesday, 17 July.  They then leave Pau the following day for two great mountain stages.


  1. Hey Eric, I'm back after a couple of days off to try again not to embarrass myself. I would like to say that in my defense, I have picked a few stage winners although not the right stages. So, for tomorrow's stage, I see a time of 3h46'26" with Andre' Greipel edging out the rest of the sprinters.

  2. Bob,

    Your pick beat mine this time! That was a great sprint at the end. As I note in my blog post, my last two predictions have been great for the second group in. Of course, that's not what I'm trying to predict!