18 July 2016

Sagan gets 3rd stage win!

Peter Sagan has really discarded the bridesmaid label in this year's Tour de France!  I can recall so many stages in past years when he just missed out on winning a stage.  Below is Sagan's winning time and a comparison with our prediction.
  • Stage 16:  4h 26' 02" (actual), 4h 46' 38" (prediction), 20' 36" slow (7.74% error)
We're not happy with that error!  I don't see any indication of tailwinds or anything similar that would make cycling fast today.  As I wondered at the end of yesterday's post, sprinters must have been going all out today.  Check out Sagan's average speed below.
  • Stage 16:  13.09 m/s (47.14 kph or 29.29 mph)
That is incredibly fast, especially for a 209-km (130-mi) long stage.  Even race organisers didn't think the average speed would be above 44 kph.  To match Sagan's time (and the time of several other cyclists), our model cyclist would have needed nearly 21% more power output.  We've done really well on a few stages this year, and we've had weather and teams' strategies thwart us on a couple of other stages.  But we will have to take a closer look at today's stage.  Tour de France cyclists certainly impress us!

Tomorrow is the second and final rest day.  Cyclists will hang out in Berne, Switzerland.  Chris Froome still dons the yellow jersey.  This year's race will surely be decided in the Alps.  Get some rest tomorrow, cyclists.  You're going to need it!

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