10 July 2012

Tour de France Stage 10 Prediction

Tomorrow's Stage 10 begins in the commune of Mâcon and ends after 194.5 km (120.9 miles) of cycling in the commune of Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, which is just west of the Swiss border.  Predicting Stage 10 is a challenge because of what the French refer to as hors catégorie, which is the designation given to a climb that is "beyond categorization."  Stage 10 has such a climb.

When cyclists reach the French commune of Béon, they will have biked for 130.5 km (81.09 miles) and be at an elevation of 255 m (837 feet).  Today's day of rest will come in handy because they will then need to ascend to Col du Grand Colombier, which is at an elevation of 1501 m (4925 feet).  That 1246 m (4088 feet) change in elevation happens after just 21.0 km (13.0 miles) of cycling.  That's quite a climb!  Drawing a right triangle with a hypotenuse of 21.0 km and a vertical side of 1.246 km gives an angle of 3.4 degrees opposite that 1.246-km side.  That works great as an average, but cyclists won't traverse the average.  They must traverse the final 17.4 km (10.8 miles) of that 21.0 km on a 7.1% climb.

Upon reaching the peak of Col du Grand Colombier, cyclists will still have 43.0 km (26.7 miles) left, including a Category 3 climb in the middle of that stretch.  To state the obvious, Stage 10 will be quite a challenge for this year's Tour de France competitors.  Below is our prediction.
  • Stage 10:  5h 09' 49" (prediction)
The challenge for us as we predict a stage with such a brutal climb is determining what power cyclists will be able to output during their ascent.  If the climb proves to be too intense, our prediction will be too fast.  We want to see the world's best dominate Col du Grand Colombier!

No comments:

Post a Comment