NTT is using Dimension Data’s technology and innovation to enhance the fan experience across the Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.

The 2022 event will see the inaugural women’s race which will start on the Champs-Élysées on 24 July 2022 , prior to the conclusion of the men’s race on the same day. The women’s race will feature 24 teams of six riders and will conclude on 31 July 2022 in La Super Planche des Belles Filles.

NTT has been the official technology partner of the Tour de France for the past eight years.

“Dimension Data South Africa acts as the global digital war room for NTT, offering a hybrid support operation with team members around the world and on the ground in France,” says Lauren Wortmann, head of applications southern Africa at Dimension Data. “In 2020 and 2021 this was delivered virtually; in 2022 we’ve moved to a hybrid model with a core support team based at the Campus in Bryanston.

“We also have team members in the ‘Tech Truck’ situated at the end of each stage of the race ensuring that any issues that need a hands-on approach are addressed on the ground in France,” she adds.

“For Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), it is critical that they’re able to meet the needs of fans, broadcasters, race officials and their team members. For the past eight years, we’ve worked together to deliver rich experiences to fans at the event and around the world and digitally transform race operations. Leveraging a digital fabric consisting of IoT sensors, edge computing, networking connectivity technologies, and real-time analytics we’ve created a digital twin of the race, allowing ASO to use the power of data to meet their business objectives.

“In 2022 we’re using this solution to support the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, creating the best digital coverage of any women’s cycling race in the world.”

Alan Turnley Jones, CEO of Dimension Data MEA, explains that the war room at the Campus offers a connected stadium experience, deploying technology to enable fans to keep up to speed with the race on the roadside.

“Our team of analysts and technicians here in South Africa are providing the global team and race organisers with a digital view of the race including vehicle tracking, crowd monitoring, race and caravan monitoring, media wall and in-car dashboard, amongst others, to enable a more seamless spectator experience on site. Culminating in the world’s largest connected stadium,” he says.

The data is provided to the global broadcast teams in an understandable and formatted way that it can be seamlessly integrated into the broadcast feed. This includes allowing the production team to track riders and speeds in real-time, enhancing the viewing experience.

In addition, information will be available at:

  • Race Center – Race fans across the world use the Tour de France Center to follow the race in real-time. Using stage profile and map-based visualisations fans can identify individual riders and follow their progress in real-time.
  • @LeTourData – Through a dedicated team of data scientists, cycling experts and content specialists @LeTourData, delivered from South Africa, provides insights into the state of the race and the performance of key riders, leveraging the full spectrum of data available. This content is delivered on social media and broadcast platforms.
  • 3D Race Tracker – Increasing the opportunities for fans to follow the race is a key objective for A.S.O. Our augmented reality app allows race fans to track the progress of all the riders and groups, giving roadside fans a new view into the progression of the race.
  • Media Wall – To enhance the experience at the Departure and Arrival Villages, this year we’re building on the success of the NTT Media Wall which we introduced last year. Delivering an integrated experience on a large screen, this provides a curated set of race data, combined with live race footage and insights into the riders and teams for fans on the ground including geo-located content for fans on the roadside.
  • Digital Human –This year we’re introducing a ‘Digital Human’ to the fan park in Copenhagen and in our Big Data truck to offer users a real-time digital interface with the race and local location information.

NTT’s role as the official technology partner to Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, means NTT will now support ASO at four of its female events, including Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift, Flèche Wallonne Femmes, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes.