Mikkel Koser, Interaction Designer at okdeluxe dedicates a visualization to the unsung heroes of the Tour de France 2010. The application helps understand the race dynamics of all the riders who are not heavily covered by media, and who are, in a sense, only there to support the big names.
In ‘Le Grande’ race, there’s a tendency to focus on the top riders, even sometimes only on the top 10-15 riders, and while this sure is what makes for a thrilling race (and good media coverage) I wanted to understand what is going on during the race for the rest of the 100’s of riders. Some struggle, others shine briefly during one or two stages while some decide to call it quits before getting to Paris.
The software grabs data from all stages and all riders and displays each rider as a line. The horizontal lines represent 5 minute increments. We can clearly see the gaps that start to appear after the first few stages and how the gaps become immense once the tour reaches the mountains. On the top of the visualization the profile of each stage is shown—most of the stages are insignificant but the Alps and the Pyrenees are stand out with their difference in altitude. This gives us context to the displayed development of ranking and time differences.
The visualization is simple enough to understand what’s happening at first glance but also allows for deeper investigation in the individual performance of each rider.