The 102nd Tour de France begins this Saturday in Utrecht in the Netherlands. Will Vincenzo Nibali repeat? Or will Alberto Contador or Chris Froome or someone else finish on top? This year's race looks mostly flat for the first half and mountainous for the second half. Watching the early strategies between sprinters and climbers will be lots of fun.
My research student, Chad Hobson, and I are once again modeling the Tour de France. I'll be posting our stage-winning time predictions on this blog. We predict the winning time from a physical model of the race; we are not trying to model any particular cyclist. Sticking our necks out and putting predictions online ahead of the stages has made the physics research even more enjoyable. Look for our Stage 1 prediction tomorrow!