12 July 2014

Kadri Makes France Proud!

Blel Kadri left the field in today's Stage 8 after only about 28 km (17 mi) of cycling -- and never lost the lead.  The Frenchman was a machine on the arduous climbs at stage's end and crossed the finish line more than two minutes before anyone else (click on the image before for a larger view).
Kadri will look good with the polka dot jersey as the leader in the mountains classification.  The battle for second today was between Alberto Contador and yellow-jersey wearer, Vincenzo Nibali.  The image below shows Contador grabbing three seconds off Nibali's lead (click on the image for a larger view).
Below is Kadri's time and a comparison with our prediction.
  • Stage 8:  3h 49' 28" (actual), 3h 59' 54" (prediction), 10' 26" slow (4.55% error)
Wind was not a big factor and the light rain probably helped riders keep their legs cool during the big climbs.  We are happy to be under 5%, but we were thrilled to see Kadri powering his way up the mountains.  He was a star for France today!  Below is his average speed.
  • Stage 8:  11.69 m/s (42.10 kph or 26.16 mph)
Picking up where Stage 8 left off, tomorrow's Stage 9 begins in Gérardmer.  The 170-km (105.6-mi) medium-mountain stage eventually gets riders southeast to Mulhouse, which sits near the French borders with Germany and Switzerland.  Riders are tested with six categorized climbs before a great downhill and flat finish.  Below is our prediction.
  • Stage 9:  4h 20' 39" (prediction)
We hope to be impressed by some great climbing tomorrow.  Though we were about 10 minutes slow today, just 47 of 184 cyclists (~25.5%) beat our prediction.  The world's top cyclists are truly athletic marvels!

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