The Battle for the Yellow Jersey

The Battle for the Yellow Jersey

Organisation: TV 2 Denmark ( (Denmark)

Publication Date: 04/14/2016


Size of team/newsroom:small


We scraped the time and position data from the Tour de France website daily to map the battle for the yellow jersey but also all the other battles within the war. Since it can be overwhelming for the user to dig into such a huge data set, the visualisation comes with several preselected stories you can choose. For instance what happened when Peter Sagan hit the mountains (or as you’ll see when they hit him) or how the Danish riders performed. The data project gives the freedom to explore and select riders for the expert user, but also an easy entrance in the selected stories.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

We built the visualization as an ongoing story that the television commentators could refer to and play with during the many hours of Tour de France where there often isn’t much happening. But also to give the cycling nerds a way to deeper understand the data of the tour. The reactions from the users indicate that we succeeded. The biggest obstacle was making the visualization understandable even on the smallest screens. We did several iterations to open up the data to the users. We knew quickly that we didn’t just want to present a dataset they users could dive into but instead wanted to present certain slices of the data with appropriate angles.

Technologies used for this project:

We built a quick working prototype based off our pattern lab which we then iterated several times to make sure it worked in all browsers and devices. Most of the work was done by one developer and one journalist in about ten days (alongside many other assignments) We built a custom Python scraper to get the data from every day, when they were updated right after each race. That way we could publish the visualization at the earliest days of the race but keep updating it with new data and stories all the way to Paris. The visualization was built in D3.
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