Monday, October 5, 2015

MASTER CLASS - Descending at speed

Above: Vincenzo Nibali at the sign-in Richmond 2015

Vincenzo Nibali "The Shark of the Straits" as he's often called in Italy, didn't do much last week in Richmond. In fact the entire Italian Men's Elite Team seemed to control things perfectly until the final trip up Libby Hill, when they vanished more or less.

But back on home soil (and the best food in the world which might explain it?) he won the Tre Valli Varesine and Il LOMBARDIA,  one of the 5 monuments of cycling.

Click HERE to see his masterful display of high-speed descending, which was the key to this victory*.

DOs: Notice his head is up, looking far ahead to the next curve. Hands down in the drops where control is best and brake leverage is optimized. He puts his knee out MOTOGP style though some argue against this. Note his flexibility on the bike, bumps don't get transferred but absorbed, helping to keep the wheels in contact with the road surface. Note his almost perfect arcs through the curves and how he doesn't try to go really fast into and out of the tight road intersections where it's easy to come to grief.

DON'Ts: We don't recommend sitting on your top tube or putting your hands in the center of the bars far away from the brake levers. And of course we don't suggest you use all of the road unless you can see far, far down the hill and know that no traffic is on the way up. Same goes for zipping up your jersey at speed or turning around to gesticulate at motorists who get in your way.


* Note: Nibali's demonstrating ADVANCED descending techniques in this video. He's one of the best of the best when going downhill fast. If you're less skilled, please start HERE.

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