Are you a fan of le Tour de France?. For the first time in Tour de France history, all riders racing in this year’s event have GPS on their bikes (placed under each rider’s bicycle seat). The data collected from this device includes: the stage winner’s top speed, average speed and time per kilometer; the fastest riders up key climbs; the speed of the winner at the finish line; the top speed achieved by a rider on the day; average speed across all riders; among others
With this information the global service provider Dimension Data provides real-time information on each of the 200 riders as they travel 3,360 kilometers in 21 stages. For instance, do you now that for the first 11 stages we know that (source):
- The highest speed in the first 11 stages was 109.08 kilometers per hour, accomplished by Lars Boom (AST), during stage 3, at the 144 km mark. This was followed by 93.38 km/h by Alejando Valverde (MOV) at the 149 km mark on July 15 at stage 11, and 78.48 km/h by André Greipel (LTS) on stage 5 at 89.4 km.
- The highest average speed achieved by a stage winner was 55.45km/h (Rohan Dennis on stage 1).
- The average speed across all riders for the first 11 stages was 42.46 km/h.
- The average speed of the riders during the big spill in last Wednesday’s third stage was 42.03 km/h.
- The analysis of riders’ speed through a Feed Zone shows that on average, riders slow down 20 km/h when picking up their bags.
According Dimension Data Throughout the race are expected to generate 42,000 geospatial points and 75 million GPS readings. The live-tracking website supports 17 million viewers and 2,000 page requests per second; Dimension Data’s cloud platform, spread over five continents. They also reported that at its busiest, the beta live tracking site supports more than 25,000 unique visitors simultaneously.
In addition to allow the millions of cycling fans around the world follow the progress of the Tour de France via the BETA live tracking site (allows users to track their favorite riders and a daily wrap-up), the system will also help the riders and teams. For instance, Christian Prudhomme (Tour de France director) , “it will enable a better analysis of the race, highlight the race tactics, and also show how essential in this sport is each rider’s role within his team”. He also said that “It will now be possible to understand how to prepare for a sprint finish in the last few kilometres of a stage, feel the wind’s impact on the rider’s speed, and so much more. Our efforts combined with those of Dimension Data will permanently change the way we follow cycling and the Tour de France.”