Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.), organizers of the Tour de France, and Dimension Data, the official technology partner of the Tour de France, have announced the introduction of machine learning technologies that will give cycling fans around the world an insider’s view of this year’s event.
According to a press release, Dimension Data’s data analytics platform, which was developed in partnership with A.S.O., will incorporate machine learning and complex algorithms that combine live and historical race data to provide unique insight into the race as it happens.
“As more technology is introduced into sport, the viewing experience is transforming, and its popularity increases,” said Scott Gibson, Dimension Data’s group executive of digital practice. “What’s especially exciting for us is how we’re helping A.S.O. to attract a new generation of digitally savvy fans, and how advanced technologies like machine learning are opening up new possibilities for providing the insights that today’s fans demand.”
GPS transponders have been installed under the saddles of each bike, and the data collected from them will be combined with external data about the course gradient and prevailing weather conditions to gather insights into live speed and the location of individual riders, distance between riders, the composition of groups within the race and more.
This year, 198 riders in 22 teams will generate more than 150 million geospatial and environmental data readings along the 3,540-kilometer route. The solution will create and analyze more than 3 billion data points during the 21 stages of the tour, a significant increase from last year’s 128 million data points.
The Tour de France live-tracking website, which supported an average of 2,000 page requests per second in 2016, has been enhanced to support 25,000 page requests per second this year. And Dimension Data’s technical teams will work together across four continents via hyperconnected mobile collaboration hubs equipped with the latest digital and virtual workplace technologies.
“Today, our followers want to be immersed in the event,” said Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, A.S.O. “They’re more digitally engaged on social media than ever before and want a live and compelling second-screen experience during the tour. Technology enables us to completely transform their experience of the race.”