04 July 2013

Gorilla and a Windy Stage 6

As I wrote yesterday was possible, weather played a role in today's stage win for German André Greipel, aka Gorilla.  Wind speeds were in the 30-50 kph (19-31 mph) range, often hitting cyclists from the side.  There were also portions of the race where headwinds were prevalent; other portions had tailwinds.  It had to be a lot of fun to be on a bicycle in southern France today!

Below is how our prediction fared against Greipel's winning time.
  • Stage 6:  3h 59' 02" (actual), 4h 05' 47" (prediction), 06' 45" slow (2.82% error)
We'll definitely take an error under 3%!  I am happy to see riders sneak in under four hours.  With strong, changing winds and a crash not too far from the finish, the best of the best still finished a grueling stage in a few ticks less than four hours.  Below is Greipel's average speed.
  • Stage 6:  12.31 m/s (44.30 kph or 27.53 mph)
History was made today as Daryl Impey now leads the overall time classification.  Impey took the yellow jersey from fellow Orica-GreenEDGE teammate Simon Gerrans, who now sits third in the standings.  Impey is not only the first South African to lead the Tour de France, he will be the first African to don the famed yellow jersey.

Tomorrow's Stage 7 is a 205.5-km (127.7-mi) medium-mountain stage that commences in Montepellier and finishes in the commune of Albi.  Riders continue west on their approach to the Pyrenees.  The stage features a category-4 climb near the end, a couple of category-3 climbs, and a category-2 climb near the halfway point.  Below is our prediction.
  • Stage 7:  5h 00' 15" (prediction)
Save a little energy for Stage 8 when the race hits some monster climbs in the Pyrenees!

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