Analytics in Action – Stage 9Blog
Uran rises, Porte goes down
Stage 9 of the Tour de France was no less than a rollercoaster ride! Rigoberto Uran (CDT) won a thriller of a race, while Chris Froome (SKY) neatly avoided the dangers that took Richie Porte (BMC) out of contention with a nasty crash.
The ‘Queen-stage’ lived up to all expectations on Sunday as the part of the course with the most uphill challenges. After 181.5km of hard racing, Rigoberto Uran (CDT) still had the legs to push at 56.05km/h and win the stage just ahead of Warren Barguil (SUN), who had spent the day at the front of the race. Chris Froome (SKY) was part of the first group of six who outperformed everyone else in what was the most demanding stage so far. Seven climbs, including three ranked within the highest category of difficulty, adding up to a whopping 4,600m of elevation – that’s almost equivalent to climbing Mont Blanc, Europe's highest summit.
The climbing offered some action among the riders, but the downhill was even more of a game changer with Richie Porte (BMC) making a scary mistake at 72.5km/h. His dramatic crash meant the end of the Tour for him, and a trip to the hospital to assess the seriousness of his injuries. A crash at 48km/h had already ended Geraint Thomas' (SKY) Tour earlier in the day, who was in second place on the General Classification after wearing the Yellow Jersey up to stage 5.
With an uphill start, things turned even more brutal with climbers bravely attacking the first challenges of the day and immediately turning up the heat. Lightweights and mountain stage experts such as Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) made their ambitions clear from the start: the day offered both a chance to claim stage victory and the Polka-dot Jersey as leader in the King of the Mountains classification.
While Pinot’s (FDJ) strength was on display at the front of the race, his teammate Arnaud Démare (FDJ) soon knew it was going to be a hard day. Immediately lagging behind, the French sprinter spent the entire stage at the back of the race. When Uran (CDT) finished, Démare (FDJ) still had 31km to cover in 39’ to make it within the time limit: a task that proved impossible, causing yet another exit from the 2017 race.
Key data highlights:
1.) Rigoberto Uran (CDT) raced the stage at an average of 35.43km/h, 6km/h slower than Lilian Calmejane (DEN) on Saturday's stage.
2.) Speed is not necessarily the key factor in a crash: Manuele Mori (UAD) and Robert Gesink (TLJ) were only riding at 28km/h when they hit the deck and seriously injured themselves, causing them to drop out. Vegard Staeke Laengen (UAD), however, was able to get back to the front of the race after crashing at 66km/h on a downhill.
3.) Warren Barguil (SUN) averaged 14.03km/h across the three ‘Hors catégorie’ (highest difficulty ranking) climbs of the day – 0.3km/h faster than the top General Classification contenders.
How data analytics creates real-time race predictions
Here’s how we use data in new and exciting ways to revolutionise your viewing experience this year. Read blog.