Dimension Data has completed its big data analytics and digital delivery platform from which the company will deliver real-time information on individual riders for the first time in the history of professional cycling.
According to the ICT provider, the deal was made possible by Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) in partnership with the 22 teams participating in the 2015 Tour de France.
Terms of the deal will see “highly accurate data” collected through the use of live trackers under the saddle of each rider.
Dimension Data will then process and analyse the data, and make it available to cycling fans, commentators, broadcasters and the media.
When the Tour de France begins on Saturday, the viewing public around the world will be able to follow all 198 riders in 22 teams real-time, and be able to track the speed at which each cyclist is riding, exactly where he’s positioned in the race in relation to other cyclists, and the distance between each rider - all via a beta live tracking website.
“The technology will allow cycling fans to follow the race in ways they’ve never been able to before,” says Jeremy Ord, Executive Chairman, Dimension Data.
“Until now it was difficult to understand what was happening outside of what could be shown on the live television coverage.
“The ability to follow riders, get accurate information about which riders are in a group, and see real time speed are just some of the innovations that will be realised through this solution.
“During the duration of the three week race, we’ll be rolling out a range of new capabilities, including a beta live tracking website.”
Ord says the real time analytics solution will take the data provided by a third party geo localisation transmission component, undertake data cleansing and analysis, and provide access to this data as both a real time data stream, and a historical archive.
Ord says Dimension Data carried out testing during the Critérium du Dauphiné race which was held in France from 7 to 14 June.
“We analysed one cyclist cycling at an astounding 104 kilometres per hour,” he explains. “This type of data has not been available in the past.
“All data analysed will be available through a beta live tracking website.
“This allows fans to select their favourite rider to follow, monitor the race on their phone or tablet (through a responsive design beta website) while they watch it live on the television, and gain access to additional data insights.”
According to Dimension Data, the 198 riders in 22 teams will generate 42,000 geospatial points and 75 million GPS readings.
In addition, the live tracking website is built to support 17 million viewers and 2000 page requests per second with data on riders to ve processed in Dimension Data’s cloud platform across five continents consuming over 350 000 000 cpu cycles per second.
“There are multiple layers to the innovation required to deliver the solution for ASO,” adds Brett Dawson, CEO, Dimension Data Group.
“We needed to implement cutting edge technology in the form of advanced real time analytics and a highly contemporary digital platform that’s able to provide innovative insights into the race that have never been available before.
“Dimension Data is bringing a new level of technical capability to the Tour de France in areas that will transform the technology landscape, including internet of things, real time big data analytics, Elastic Cloud Infrastructure, contemporary digital platforms, advanced collaboration technologies, and agile development practices. We’ll be their ‘Technical Tour de Force’.”
From 2016 for the next four years, ASO and Dimension Data will work closely together to extend and enhance the platform to deliver a range of new end-user experiences.
“This top notch technological development 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,” adds Christian Prudhomme, Director, Tour de France.
“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.”