12 July 2015

Great Ride for BMC!

Today's team time trial could only be mastered by a smart, well-disciplined, and coordinated group of riders.  Taking turns in the lead and keeping the all-important fifth man in place for the finish were part of each team's strategy.  The final 1.7-km (1.1-mi) climb and its over 6% average grade taxed all teams.  Forget the power driver on the team; today's effort was about the fifth man.  Chris Froome retains the yellow jersey, but his Team Sky mates were slipping a bit at the very end, and they came in second.  The BMC Racing Team put together a great group effort and won the stage.  I grabbed the screen capture below as they neared the finish line (click on the image for a larger view).
Below is a comparison between BMC's time and our prediction.
  • Stage 9:  32' 15" (actual), 31' 50" (prediction), 00' 25" fast (-1.29% error)
That makes three consecutive great predictions for us!  We were too slow two years ago on the team time trial, but we had the final climb today pegged about right.  BMC's average speed is given below.
  • Stage 9:  14.47 m/s (52.09 kph or 32.37 mph)
That's pretty fast!  Rotating teammates at the lead, aerodynamic helmets and clothing, and specialized bikes all contribute to a speed like that.

Tomorrow is the first rest day for this year's Tour de France.  Cyclists must rest up because the Pyrenees are lurking!  I'll post our prediction for Stage 10 tomorrow.

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