LC Professor Wows Cycling Fans With Tour de France Timing Predictions
Lynchburg, VA - A local physics professor has wowed cycling fans across the world with his Tour de France timing predictions. John Eric Goff was able to predict - almost to a T - just how long it would take for cyclists to complete each stage of the race using nothing but science.
It all started with a student project back in 2002. Now, 13 years later, Goff has become known around the world for his amazingly accurate predictions.
Goff says he compiles published data about the race - from bike specifications, to power output and terrain topography. Then he uses a model he created to apply the good old laws of physics to the data.
This year, Goff says he and his student assistant were able to calculate the winning times within a 1.85 percent margin of accuracy.
Goff says he's been publishing the results on his blog for years, but this year some pretty big names took interest - including CNN and the Washington Post.
For him, the publicity has been a surprise.
"It's certainly nothing I'm seeking. I definitely love doing science. I love working with my students here at Lynchburg College. It's a great place to do sports science, but the attention is flattering, " Goff said.
Goff says he's heading off on a year-long sabbatical in England, so right now he's not sure if he'll get to do the research again in 2016.