18 July 2013

A Great Day for France!

What a phenomenal stage today!  My student, Brian Ramsey, and I sat in my office and watched the second half of today's stage with its historic double pass on Alpe-d'Huez.  Right at the 2-km (1.2-mi) mark, France's very own Christophe Riblon found a reserve of energy and kicked it into high gear.  Riblon blew past Tejay van Garderen of the US and then savored the final few hundred meters of the stage as throngs of French cheered him on.  Below is how our prediction fared against Riblon's great day.
  • Stage 18:  4h 51' 32" (actual), 4h 59' 50" (prediction), 08' 18" slow (2.85% error)
We are extremely pleased to hit such an unpredictable and challenging stage to better than 3%!  Of the 175 cyclists who finished today's stage, 32 (about 18%) beat our predicted time today.  Riblon's average speed is given below.
  • Stage 18:  9.862 m/s (35.50 kph or 22.06 mph)
What an impressive ride for Riblon!  I hope cyclists are able to get plenty of rest tonight.  Tomorrow's 204.5-km (127.1-mi) mountain stage will require lots of energy expenditure, perhaps as much as 9000 Calories.  Beginning in the commune of Le Bourg-d'Oisans, cyclists will be immediately hit with an hors catégorie climb to reach the 1924-m (6312-ft) peak of Col du Glandon.  A lightening-fast downhill leads to another hors catégorie climb to Col de la Madeleine's peak at an even 2000 m (6562 ft) elevation.  A category-2 and two category-1 climbs must be traversed before reaching the stage's end north of the starting point at the commune of Le Grand-Bornand.  Below is our prediction.
  • Stage 19:  5h 48' 01" (prediction)
Of all this year's Tour de France stages, this is the one we thought our model would get too fast.  I'll explain in tomorrow's post why I think this stage should be won in a time that goes over six hours.  If tomorrow's winner sneaks in under six hours, I'll be writing about top speeds again.

Froome gained nearly a minute of time today over Contador for the overall classification lead.  Will anyone catch Froome tomorrow???

No comments:

Post a Comment