Tour de France: Explore the stats

I’ve been a fan of the Tour de France for many years. I’ve always been a keen cyclist but as a mountain biker the tactical and physical magnificence of the Grand Tours  had always eluded me. It wasn’t until British Cycling’s wave of success swept the nation along that I began to take an interest […]

Football and skill: why you’re not as individual as you think you are

As much as I hate football (for explanation – I’m a Blackburn Rovers fan; enough said) I’m enjoying my holiday read.  It’s The Numbers Game by Chris Anderson and David Sally and is subtitled “Why everything you know about football is wrong”.  It’s not actually the best thing to relax to as I keep jumping […]

Sprinting’s latest performance enhancer: Usain Bolt.

The following article is a synopsis of “Material Advantage” which was published in Physics World in July 2012.  It can be found here. — When I went into the field of sports engineering, people would say to me “it’s ruining sport, it’s just about who has the best equipment”.  This put me in a dilemma: […]

Gold fever: predicting the number of medals for Team GB at London 2012

The great physicist Niels Bohr was responsible for the famous quote “prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future”.  Of course that doesn’t stop us trying – especially when it comes to sport and doubly so if you are hosting the next Olympics in London. Some of my colleagues (Simon Shibli and Chris […]

Swimsuit ban will affect world record progression

FINA changed the rules on swimsuits on 1st January 2010.  This effectively banned full body polyurethane swimsuits which had been blamed for the overwhelming number of world records in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2009 Rome World Championships.  Nunzio Lanotte wrote a guest blog on this very subject and concluded that perhaps we shouldn’t […]

Premier League Relegation: the Wheel of Fortune

Well, it’s all over.  And what an amazing day it was. It was exhausting trying to work out who was staying up and what the scenarios were.  Here is what happened drawn as a polar time plot of the 5 teams that were in danger of relegation.