10 July 2015

Manx Missile Wins #26!

Mark Cavendish exploded in the final few meters and pushed just ahead of André Greipel to win his 26th career Tour de France stage.  Wow, what a great sprint to finish off Stage 7!  Below is my screen capture just as the Manx Missile crossed the finish line (click on the image for a larger view).
Racing was faster today in the gorgeous French countryside.  Temperatures were warm, around 27 C (81 F), and scenery was beautiful.  I grabbed the screen capture below with 102.5 km (63.7 mi) left (click on the image for a larger view).
That is just one of many lovely bucolic vistas the peloton could behold (through the trees!).  I also enjoyed seeing Daniel Teklehaimanot of Eritrea making Africa proud as that continent's first person to don the polka dot jersey.  I grabbed the image below with 91.5 km (56.9 mi) left (click on the image for a larger view).
Below is a comparison between today's reality and our comparison.
  • Stage 7:  4h 27' 25" (actual), 4h 32' 22" (prediction), 04' 57" slow (1.85% error)
After the past three stages, I'm thrilled to be under 2% today!  The average speed for the Manx Missile is given below.
  • Stage 7:  11.87 m/s (42.74 kph or 26.56 mph)
Now that's more like it!  The racing in the final 20 km (12 mi) was wonderful, and the last sprint with the world's best sprinters was exhilarating.

It's a great day for Great Britain with Mark Cavendish of the Isle of Man winning the stage and Chris Froome of Team Sky reclaiming the yellow jersey after Tony Martin broke his collarbone yesterday and had to withdraw from the Tour de France.

Cyclists contend with a 181.5-km (112.8-mi) medium-mountain stage tomorrow that commences in the French city of Rennes.  A category-4 climb awaits riders halfway in, and a category-3 climb ends the stage at the commune of Mûr-de-Bretagne.  The finish is essentially due west of the start, but cyclists will have plenty of twists and turns as they compete in the last stage before Sunday's team time trial.  Below is our prediction.
  • Stage 8:  4h 19' 45" (prediction)
I hope the weather tomorrow is as perfect as it was today.  Enjoy the final climb.  It will whet your appetite for the real climbs to come!

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