Dimension Data and ASO will provide live-tracking of the Tour de France with real-time rider data based on GPS transmitters

Dimension Data announced that it will deliver real-time information on Tour de France riders for the first time in the history of professional cycling. In partnership with Tour organizer Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the company announced Tuesday that it has completed its big-data analytics and digital delivery platform.

“The technology will allow cycling fans to follow the race in ways they’ve never been able to before,” said Dimension Data executive chairman, Jeremy Ord. “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 realized 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.”

Working with ASO, in partnership with the 22 teams participating in the 2015 Tour de France, Dimension Data says it will offer highly accurate data through the use of live trackers, mounted under the saddle of each rider. Dimension Data will then process and analyze the data, and make it available to cycling fans, commentators, broadcasters, and the media.

When the Tour de France begins 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 real-time analytics system will take the data provided by a third-party geo-localization 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 said Dimension Data carried out testing during the Critérium du Dauphiné race in June. “We analyzed one cyclist cycling at an astounding 104 kilometers per hour. This type of data has not been available in the past.”

All data analyzed will be available through a beta live-tracking website. This allows fans to select their favorite rider to follow, monitor the race on their phone or tablet while they watch it live on the television, and gain access to additional data insights. 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 2,000 page requests per second.

“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,” said Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France director. “It will now be possible to understand how to prepare for a sprint finish in the last few kilometers 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.”