Thursday, July 21, 2011

Descending Technique on Pramartino

The fast descent on a twisty, narrow, road on the Pramartino into Pinerolo was the key factor in stage 17. Here you can see the technique of several riders in the same turn, and that of Contador (who went down blazingly fast) who was the only one with his hands on top of the brake hoods which goes against the conventional wisdom of having your hands in the drops during fast descending.

Crashing at high speed is described by David Millar as, "Next time you are in a car travelling at 40mph think about jumping out – naked. That's what it's like when we crash." Which is what Jonathan Hivert experienced:

Riders: Contador, Jelle Vanendert, Sylvain Chavanel, Cunego, Boasson Hagen (stage winner), Nicolas Roche, Basso and Philippe Gilbert.

Photos: Bettini; you can click on photos to enlarge

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  1. Interesting comparison. Now I am going to have to find out if that is a typical position of Contador.

  2. Comments were made elsewhere awhile back claiming the new Cannondale bike made Basso go downhill like Nibali. We've now seen that's baloney. In our experience it's always better to have your hands in the drops, working the brakes with just your index finger at the end of the lever - much more control and better weight distribution than with hands on the hoods.

  3. Contador may have simply changed position for comfort, which we all do. That was a long descent.