23 July 2014

Majka Gets Second Stage Win!

Rafał Majka has now done what no other Polish cyclist has done -- win two Tour de France stages.  He earned his polka dot jersey today by besting all his competitors up the grueling final climb.  The image below shows Majka crossing the finish line and picking up 50 climbing points in the process (click on the image for a larger view).

We did much better predicting Majka's second stage win than we did when he won Stage 14 last Saturday, as the comparison below demonstrates.
  • Stage 17:  3h 35' 23" (actual), 3h 38' 06" (prediction), 02' 43" slow (1.26% error)
Majka's average speed is given below.
  • Stage 17:  9.634 m/s (34.68 kph or 21.55 mph)
I continue to be impressed by the vistas in the Pyrenees.  The Tour de France is doing a great job making me want to visit southern France!  I snapped the image below from my video feed (click on the image for a larger view).
Not a bad place to end a Tour de France stage, huh?  Tomorrow's 145.5-km (90.41-mi) is this year's final mountain stage.  Cyclists begin in the commune of Pau and face the hors catégorie climb to the 2115-m (6939-ft) peak of Col du Tourmalet just a little past the stage's halfway point.  For the second day in a row, riders will have to contend with an hors catégorie climb to finish the stage.  The ski resort of Hautacam sits at the end of Stage 18 at an elevation of 1520 m (4987 ft).  Below is our prediction.
  • Stage 18:  4h 09' 45" (prediction)
After the monster climb in the middle, how much will riders have left for the demanding climb at the end?

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