Le Tour de France is mainly about long bicycle rides and watching the daily race for the yellow jersey on TV, but there is an increasing interest in big data around this competition. South African company Dimension Data has installed connected GPS chips in all the race bicycles so that anyone can know where each cyclist is at any single moment.
Who’s following this information? Of course, the 22 teams are tracking the data about their cyclists so they can detect any incident in almost real time. Additionally, users of the official app and website have access to the GPS information.
These chips are not directly connected to the Internet, but via radio to trackers placed in the race’s motorbikes. A plane receives the data from the motorbikes and resends it to the data center of the competition, which is usually at the end of each day’s journey. According to Dimension Data, data only takes 3 seconds to travel from the bicycles to the data center.