02 July 2012

Tour de France Update and Stage 3 Prediction

I thank my brother-in-law, Bob Calano, for putting my Tour de France predictions on my blog for me.  Below is a summary of how our predictions fared against the actual results.
  • Prologue:  7' 13" (actual), 7' 35" (prediction), 22" slow (5.08% error)
  • Stage 1:  4h 58' 19" (actual), 4h 49' 18" (prediction), 9' 01" fast (-3.02% error)
  • Stage 2:  4h 56' 59" (actual), 4h 48' 45" (prediction), 8' 14" fast (-2.77% error)
Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland won the Prologue; Peter Sagan of Slovakia won Stage 1; Mark Cavendish of Manx won Stage 2.  Below are their average speeds.
  • Prologue:  14.78 m/s (53.21 km/hr or 33.06 mph)
  • Stage 1:  11.06 m/s (39.82 km/hr or 24.75 mph)
  • Stage 2:  11.64 m/s (41.92 km/hr or 26.05 mph)
Part of the reason my student, Brian Ramsey, and I may have been a tad fast on the first couple of stages is that no cyclist really broke free of the peloton.  Several riders were awarded the same time in each of the past two stages.  We were hoping for some late breakaways!

I am pleased with how our predictions came out for the Prologue and first two stages.  Anytime the error is around 3% for a stage that takes nearly five hours to complete, I'm happy.

Tomorrow's Stage 3 is mostly flat for the first half of the stage.  Some lovely rolling hills make up the second half of the stage.  Classified as a "medium-mountain stage," the riders start from the French commune Orchies and end 197 km (122 miles) later in the city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, nearly at the English Channel.  Below is our prediction for tomorrow's Stage 3.
  • Stage 3:  4h 47' 16" (prediction)
Our predicted times for Stages 1, 2, and 3 are all quite similar.  Will we be a tad fast tomorrow?


  1. I thought I would take another stab at this. I would love to see one of my favorites win this stage. Thomas Voeckler gets out in a break away and holds on at the end to with stage 3 in 4h55'30".

    1. Bob,

      Sagan was just too strong on the last climb. He was also lucky to avoid the big crash.

      Tomorrow is another long, flat stage. Are you going to pick Cavendish again?