Once over that peak, the cyclists tore through the rest of the stage, at times reaching speeds around 80 kph (50 mph). I was amazed by the skill with which they maneuvered around turns, avoided spectators, and dodged road obstacles.
The Tour de France organizers certainly knew what they were doing because fans were treated to a fantastic sprint for the stage win. André Greipel once again proved he is as good as it gets when he eclipsed his competitors and took his third stage win of this year's Tour de France (click on the image for a larger view).
Greipel is on the far right of the screen capture, coming in just ahead of fellow German John Degenkolb. Russian Alexander Kristoff is in third, and Peter Sagan in fourth is yet again just out of reach of the finish line. Below is Greipel's time and a comparison with our prediction.
- Stage 15: 3h 56' 35" (actual), 4h 12' 01" (prediction), 15' 26" slow (6.52% error)
If our streak had to end, I'm glad it ended while I was watching the best of the best showcase what they are capable of on a bicycle. Check out Greipel's average speed below.
- Stage 15: 12.89 m/s (46.10 kph or 28.84 mph)
That is an incredibly fast speed, and it's well outside the organizer's estimate for top speed. I am definitely impressed!
- Stage 16: 4h 47' 26" (prediction)
If riders tear out of the start tomorrow like they did today, we could be a tad slow again. I can't wait to see the scenery as they get to the end of the stage.