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Analytics in Action – Stage 1


Starting with a bang … make that two! 
Contador crashes and Cav shines

A dramatic start to the first day of racing in the 2016 Tour de France: Alberto Contador crashes, while Mark Cavendish makes magic once again. 

It’s all pain and glory. Stage 1 of the Tour de France showed what cycling is all about with two legends of the sport taking centre stage … if for different reasons. A top speed of 68 km/h in the sprint offered Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) his 27th stage win on the Tour and his first Yellow Jersey ever! Just meters behind him, his teammate Edvard Boasson Hagen and several rivals were hitting the deck as hard as you can imagine.

Eighty kilometers before that, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) may just have lost the Tour de France in this very first stage. No crash is benign when you want to give your all over three weeks and 3,535 km! And his crash happened on dangerous terrain.

The numbers behind Contador's crash:

First of all, let's look at the location of the crash: on cemented road furniture right after a curve:

But more important were the racing conditions at that time. With 30 km/h tailwinds, the peloton was riding at a blazing 62 km/h when the crash occurred. Contador is always willing to push his opponents to the limits. Sometimes too hard. That’s what got him out of the Tour in 2014. We’ll have to wait and see how much impact it will have on his performances this year.

Key data highlights:

1.)  The largest gap was achieved very early in the stage: 4'36 after 20 km of racing.
2.)  Diego Rosa (Astana) suffered the first crash of the Tour, within the first 10 km of racing. Nothing serious though, compared to Contador's.
3.)  Two – the number of categorised climbs Paul Voss (Bora-Argon 18) dominated to establish himself as King of the Mountains. There are 56 more on the way to Paris.
4.)  Alex Howes (Cannondale) pushed to 60 km/h on a slight downhill (-2%) with 15 km to go. Impressive, but not enough to hold off the peloton.
5.)  With 184 km in the breakaway today, Anthony Delaplace (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) has now spent more than 2,000 km at the front of the Tour de France since 2011.
6.)  Mark Cavendish is the third British rider to wear the leader's jersey on all three Grand Tours after David Millar and Bradley Wiggins. 

Your victory also starts with data

Every great win begins with information. To visualise victory, you need all the facts about the race you can get. Imagine what accurate data can do for your organisation. The more you have, the faster your decision-making, and the better your chances of success. Dimension Data will help you unleash the power of data in your digital business, just like we do for the Tour de France … so you can sprint to victory right from the start.

See our analytics in action

Next Article: What running @letourdata taught us in 2018