Tour de France taps IoT to embed viewers more deeply in this year's race

Tour de France taps IoT to embed viewers more deeply in this year's race

Grabbing more real-time data will let Tour de France watchers make live predictions on breaks, stage wins and who may win the coveted maillot jaune.

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IoT of Cycling Tour de France organizers are hoping for more than just viewers for this year's Tour de France: They want those who take the battle for the yellow jersey to heart. Race data from Dimension Data, collected in the moment, will offer predictive analysis—letting fans make their own bets on social media as the racers charge each stage daily.

The group Dimension Data, a tech partner for the Tour de France, is tapping into "machine learning and predictive analytics," they say to make estimates not only each stage winner but whether the peloton can catch up to breakaway riders—or the likelihood on whether a particular rider can beat their rivals on a mountain stage. Tracking will be live, online, with modeling changing in the minute. For Tour de France fans, there is nothing better.

For cycling diehards, no race even comes close than the annual Tour de France, held (almost) every summer, mostly in France, since 1903. The 2017 Tour de France starts tomorrow, Saturday July 1 in Dusseldorf, Germany ending Sunday, July 23 in—as always—Paris, France. Millions, who can't get to the charming towns where the world's best cyclists buzz past, will be glued to screens. But organizers are hoping for more: They want viewers interacting.

Data pulled from cyclists seats married to historical details will be used to immerse watchers more in the race. You may not be able to run behind the yellow jersey (which, trust us, never looks good from the cheap seats) but you may be able to feel you're in the game. Organizers are hoping viewers will follow the data stream on Twitter at @letourdata, and also post their own predictions with the hashtag #tdfpredict.

Will Brit Chris Froome be able to defend his title for Team Sky for the fourth time? Will Movistar's Alejandro Valverde or perennial favorite Alberto Contador, riding for Trek Segafredo, pull an upset? Crack a Kronenbourg, order up some frites and tune in because Tour de France season starts now.

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