05 July 2015

The Gorilla Wins a Close One!

German André Greipel, nicknamed the Gorilla, prevailed in a very close finish to win today's Stage 2.  Rain and winds reaching 35 kph (9.72 m/s or 21.7 mph) pestered riders, as the image below shows, which is a screen capture I grabbed with about 56 km (35 mi) left in the stage (click on the image for a larger view).
Check out the screen capture I got below, which is the entry into Neeltje Jans (click on the image for a larger view).
The image below shows Greipel in red just ahead of Peter Sagan in the yellow helmet (click on the image for a larger view).
Sagan recovered beautifully after suffering a flat tire.  Coming in third on the far left in the above image is Fabian Cancellara, who now has the yellow jersey.  Mark Cavendish is on the far right in the above image, coming in fourth.

As I feared we might be after yesterday's record-setting speeds, we were a bit slow today with our prediction.
  • Stage 2:  3h 29' 03" (actual), 3h 45' 51" (prediction), 16' 48" slow (8.04% error)
Greipel's average speed is given below.
  • Stage 2:  12.63 m/s (45.47 kph or 28.25 mph)
Our model's power output, based on last year's Tour de France, looks to be a tad low for this year's first two stages.

Tomorrow's 159.5-km (99.11-mi) medium-mountain stage begins in the Belgian city of Antwerp.  Mostly flat to start, the stage contains three category-4 climbs and a category-3 climb at the finish on Mur de Huy, also in Belgium.  We'll see how our medium-mountain power does; our prediction is below.
  • Stage 3:  3h 28' 35" (prediction)
I enjoyed watching the racing in the Netherlands.  I can't wait to see Belgium tomorrow!

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