DCN February 2017 - Page 43

case study could accommodate various television graphics teams, race coordination officials, data capturers 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 2015, where each team worked separately, and continues the theme of collaboration and data integration made possible by the advancements in the technologies on display. Also new for 2016 was a web based application called ‘Race Center’, which combined the live race data, video, photographs, social media feeds and race commentary, becoming the official digital hub of the race. The new live tracking website gave viewers an immersive digital experience with access to more accurate information from riders in the 22 teams, including speed, distance between riders, composition of the pelotons, wind speed and direction, as well as prevailing weather conditions. ‘The enhancements to this year’s solution means we were able to tell richer and more enhanced stories as they happen, giving viewers, the media, cycling fans and race commentators deeper insights into the sport that weren’t available until now,’ says Peter Gray, Dimension Data’s sports practice senior director of technology. ‘This year, we worked with a much broader palette, which means access to more meaningful race data, race routes, riders and current weather conditions. What’s been exciting is the ability to deliver all this information to ASO 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, ASO, says, ‘The unprecedented growth in different social channels, like 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. 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.’ Christian adds, ‘I believe the appeal of having access to multiple real time video, social media and live race information from one responsive and intuitive interface greatly enhanced the quality of coverage of the Tour de France, and will become an essential companion to the largest live televised event in the world.’ As technology continues to evolve, the possibilities for capturing data in professional cycling, and sport in general, are expanding. A number of significant improvements have been made to the solution since the 2015 Tour de France. Being able to send large amounts of data from a large group of riders is already enabling greater analysis, from learning where the stresses and strains are on a bike, to how a rider’s position on their bike can improve performance. As more data Chris Froome, is collected, this will fundamentally winner of the 2016 Tour, was forced to change sport, from how riders train run part of the race to how viewers, fans and the global following a crash media consume live events. with a motorbike. 43