Cloud Collects Real-Time Data on 200 Tour de France Cyclists

Through geolocation and a cloud platform spanning several continents, tournament watchers can view real-time data behind the global race in ways beyond regular television broadcasting

Jason Verge

July 6, 2015

2 Min Read
Cloud Collects Real-Time Data on 200 Tour de France Cyclists
Dimension Data operates a public cloud that spans seven data centers around the world. (Image: Dimension Data)

Dimension Data is powering real-time data behind Tour de France, which is taking place through most of this month. The company said this is the first time spectators are able to view real-time information on all individual riders during the major cycling tournament.

The company said data on riders is processed by its cloud platform across five continents, consuming over 350 million CPU cycles per second. A website showing real-time data is built to support 17 million viewers and 2,000 page requests per second.

Constantly improving ability to track and process data in real time is powering new and innovative ways to look at sporting events. IBM played a similar role during the recent US Open tennis tournament. Now, Dimension has built a platform that brings a new depth of understanding to the Tour.

Tour de France was first held in 1903 and has since evolved into one of the biggest global sporting events. Occurring over multiple stages, the tournament kicked off Saturday and will go on through July 26.

Data is collected from live trackers under the saddle of about 200 individual riders. Dimension's system then processes and analyzes the data making it available to cycling fans the media. Over three weeks, Dimension said it will roll out a range of new capabilities including a beta live tracking website.

The live tracking website lets users track the speed at which each cyclist is riding, how far along they are in the race and their position in relation to other cyclists.

“Until now it was difficult to understand what was happening outside of what could be shown on the live television coverage,” said Dimension Data executive Jeremy Ord in a press release. “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.”

Data is being provided by a third-party geo localization transmission component. It is then “cleansed” or cleaned up, analyzed and provided via real-time streaming and historical archive. In total, the just under 200 riders are expected to generate 42,000 geospatial points and 75 million GPS readings.

The Amaury Sport Organisation partnered with the 22 teams participating in the event making the platform possible. The technology was first tested during the Critérium du Dauphiné race held in France last month. Once cyclist was clocked in at an astounding 65 miles per hour.

“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,” said Brett Dawson, Dimension Data Group CEO. “We’ll be their ‘Technical Tour de Force’.”

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