05 July 2013

The Terminator Takes Stage 7!

The Terminator, as 23-year-old Peter Sagan from Slovakia is known, won today's Stage 7 after a great downhill sprint to the finish.  Below is how our prediction fared against today's result.
  • Stage 7:  4h 54' 12" (actual) 5h 00' 15" (prediction), 06' 03" slow (2.06% error)
We are thrilled to be just 2% off today's stage-winning time.  We are especially happy with our modeling given that cyclists enjoyed a tailwind of roughly 15 kph (9.3 mph) during most of their final 30-km (19-mi) descent toward the finish line.  Without that tailwind, we would have been much closer!  As I've noted all along, though easy to include if known, we can't predict local weather effects.

Below is Sagan's average speed for today.
  • Stage 7:  11.64 m/s (41.91 kph or 26.04 mph)
South Africa's Daryl Impey retains the yellow jersey with a three-second lead over Edvaold Boasson Hagen of Norway.

The Tour de France hits the Pyrenees in tomorrow's Stage 8.  Beginning in the southern French commune of Castres, the 195-km (121-mi) stage has a category-4 climb early on and heads south from there.  The end of the stage features a brutal category-1 climb to the resort Ax 3 Domaines, which is at an elevation of 1375 m (4511 ft).  Before thinking that the end climb is what will challenge riders most, consider the climb to the 2001-m (6565-ft) peak of Col de Pailhères, which riders reach 29 km (18 mi) before the resort finish.  The climb to that peak is classified HC or hors catégorie, which means "beyond categorization."  You wouldn't know Stage 8 is a mountain stage two-thirds of the way in.  After that, the Pyrenees Mountains take over!  Below is our prediction.
  • Stage 8:  5h 30' 55" (prediction)
If you can only watch part of tomorrow's stage, tune in to the final third.  Two monster climbs sandwiched between a sensational downhill will make for exciting viewing.

No comments:

Post a Comment