30 June 2017

Predictions for First Five Stages

I see that I made a mistake in my previous blog post.  I wrote that the Tour de France begins this Sunday, but of course it begins tomorrow, which is Saturday.  My research student has accumulated terrain data and I've run the data through my model.  I won't be able to watch the first few stages as I'll be traveling.  I'll thus put our predictions for the first five stages in today's post and then do my best to comment on the results when I'm able to do so.
  • Stage 1:  0h 16' 48" (prediction)
  • Stage 2:  4h 42' 08" (prediction)
  • Stage 3:  5h 04' 57" (prediction)
  • Stage 4:  4h 48' 37" (prediction)
  • Stage 5:  4h 04' 49" (prediction)
Stage 1 is a short time trial.  I always worry that we'll be a bit slow, especially when such a time trial takes place at the start of the race when cyclists are well rested.  Will a new time-trail record be set tomorrow?  I'll be checking in when I can.  Stages 2 and 4 are flat stages with a few small climbs.  Stage 3 is hilly and Stage 5 is definitely medium-mountain with a category-1 climb at the finish.

I will have to do a lot of reading and catching up when I finish traveling.  In past years, riders have taken the first couple of stages a bit easier than later stages.  We've been a tad fast early in the race on the flat stages.  I'll be curious to see if that's the case this year.

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