22 July 2015

Geschke Prevails in First Alpine Stage!

Cyclists enjoyed wonderful scenery in today's first Alpine stage.  Unfortunately for Tejay van Garderen, who entered today's action in third place in the general classification, he got sick on the first climb and had to abandon the Tour de France.  High elevations and tough climbing would make all but the best cyclists in the world a bit woozy.  But check out my screen capture below as the peloton made its way up Col d'Allos (click on the image for a larger view).
A nice perk for those who can compete in the Tour de France!  Lovely, isn't it?  Temperatures got to about 30 C (86 F) on the climb, so many riders were content to have their jerseys open.  Simon Geschke of Germany was the first to reach the highest point (2250 m or 1.40 mi) in this year's Tour de France (click on the image for a larger view).
He looks happy to be finally going downhill!  Geschke skillfully maneuvered the treacherous descent with speeds reaching a reported 85 kph (53 mph).  He held on to win the first Alpine stage (click on the image for a larger view).
Germany now has five stage wins.  Herzlichen glückwunsch!  Below is a comparison between reality and our prediction.
  • Stage 17:  4h 12' 17" (actual), 4h 21' 10" (prediction), 08' 53" slow (3.52% error)
I'm definitely happy with that error after such a tough stage!  A total of 26 out of 163 cyclists beat our predicted time.  For a stage like today's in the Alps, getting our prediction at about 16% of the cyclists is fine by me.  Below is Geschke's average speed.
  • Stage 17:  10.64 m/s (38.29 kph or 23. 79 mph)
Tomorrow's Stage 18 begins back in Gap.  The 186.5-km (115.9-mi) mountain stage will take cyclists north to the commune of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.  There are a total of three category-3 climbs and three category-2 climbs, but tomorrow's star will be the hors catégorie climb to the 1924-m (1.20-mi) peak of Col du Glandon.  Riders will have to contend with 21.7 km (13.5 mi) of that climb!  Our prediction is given below.
  • Stage 18:  4h 50' 12" (prediction)
I feel like our time is a challenge to the world's best cyclists.  How many will come in under five hours tomorrow?

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