Dimension Data and Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O.) have announced significant enhancements to the big data cycling analytics platform that will deliver real-time information to viewers, commentators and teams at the 2016 Tour de France.
Headlining the innovations is Race Center, a web-based application hosted on Dimension Data’s cloud platform and developed in partnership with A.S.O. that combines live race data, video, photographs, social media feeds, and race commentary, which combines with a new live tracking website to give viewers an immersive digital experience that goes beyond the television coverage of the race.
Race Center will become A.S.O.’s digital hub of the Tour de France going forward. And the live tracking website is a testament to the evolution of Dimension Data’s real-time big data collection, analytics, and digital platforms over the past 12 months.
Viewers will be able to get far richer and more accurate information from each of the 198 riders in 22 teams, including speed, distance between riders, composition of the race pelotons, wind speed and direction, as well as prevailing weather conditions.
Many of the new technologies that were trialed at last year’s race are now production-ready and feature significant improvements across the board. This year, the telemetry sensors installed under each rider’s seat that are responsible for transmitting live data boast a tenfold increase in transmission range. This means far fewer dropouts or ‘gaps’ in the data, resulting in more seamless communication and continuity throughout the race.
Dimension Data’s big data truck has also been upgraded and enlarged to accommodate the various television graphics, race coordination, data capture and analytics teams responsible for delivering the complete end-to-end data solution at the 2016 Tour de France. This is one of the biggest changes from last year, where each team worked separately, and continues the theme of collaboration and data integration made possible by the advancements in the technologies on display.
Adam Foster, Dimension Data’s group executive, Sports Practice, said, “The enhancements to this year’s solutions means we can tell richer and more enhanced stories as they happen, giving viewers, the media, cycling fans and race commentators deeper insights into some aspects of the sport that weren’t available until now. This year, we’re working with a much broader palette, which means access to more meaningful race data, race routes, riders and current weather conditions. What’s exciting this year is the ability to deliver all of this information to A.S.O. through a unified digital platform. This makes the quality of the data even more valuable for viewer engagement, and speaks directly to a generation of younger viewers who rely on new technologies such as social media and live video to engage with their world.”
Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, A.S.O, said, “The unprecedented growth in different social channels such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and live video at last year’s race demanded these technologies be embraced and enhanced for modern viewers.”
“The Tour de France is a flagship event in a modern world, and it’s only natural that we give our viewers access to as much quality content, entertainment and analysis as possible through the media they use every day,” said Prudhomme. “Together with Dimension Data, we’ve been working on new ways to appeal to our billions of viewers, and we’re excited to showcase the result of our efforts through Race Center. I believe the appeal of having access to multiple real-time video, social media and live race information from one responsive and intuitive interface will greatly enhance the quality of coverage of the Tour de France, and become an essential companion to the largest live televised event in the world.”