110 DOWNHILL

MATERIAL

  • Wear a good helmet.
  • Put on an extra jacket against cooling by wind. A newspaper in your shirt also helps.
  • Be sure that the bike is in good condition: good tires and new brake shoes that are properly adjusted.
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Aerodynamic position.                                                                                 Peloton. One steering error can be fatal.

TECHNIQUES IN THE DESCENT

  • If you are afraid you cannot descend and you will fall.
  • Going down is an art that some riders control in detail. Try not to follow them or imitate these specialists. That always goes wrong. You will fly off the road and end up in the ravine.
  • Stay in your own half of the road.
  • For better control of the bike hands in the drops, so you can always quickly brake.
  • Look ahead to where you’re going, look forward through the bend.
  • Brake before the bend with a distribution of 70-30 for the front brake and the rear brake.
  • Do not brake in the bend! Try pumping the brakes to avoid overheating of the rim.
  • Put at the beginning of the turn the pedal on the inside of the bend upward.
  • On steep slopes and sudden braking move your weight back as a counter weight.
  • Let the bike go on straight parts of the road, pedaling quietly for recovery.
  • Take bends as widely as possible. Beginning in the middle of your own half of the road and send it to the inside of the bend and then again to arrive in the middle of your own half of the road.
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The hairpins bends of Mont Vernier, France.                     After the crash.

CURVES

If you do not take the proper riding position before tackling a turn, you’ll never go properly through a bend. Make sure when you start descending, “your hands are in the drops”. This ensures that your upper body is slightly bent; taking a more aerodynamic posture so that you can better accelerates. Your elbows are slightly bent so that it can provide a more stable posture, they also absorb any shocks. All this makes that your center of gravity is lower in your body so you are more stable and you can go faster through the bends.

SPECTACULAR CRASHES IN THE MOUNTAINS

WIM VAN EST, TOUR DE FRANCE 1951

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The first Dutchman who wore the yellow jersey was Wim van Est in 1951. In the descent of the Aubisque he crashed and he fell 70 meters into the ravine. He was hoisted up with tubes knotted together. His fall made him legendary. Cause of the fall was that he wanted to defend his jersey by all means and he had never done a mountain stage in his life before.

Crash Wim van Est, short movie, Tour de France 1951

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Plaque at the Aubisque where Wim van Est in 1951 crashed in the ravine

STEVEN KRUIJSWIJK, GIRO d´ITALIA 2016

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Crash Steven Kruijswijk
Crash Steven Kruijswijk, Giro d´Italia 2016

STEVEN KRUYSWIJK WAS THE GIRO 2016

The way in which he relegated the peloton in the Giro d’Italia had rarely been seen. His rule was divine. Equally surprising the elegance in the maglia rosa. The charm in the saddle and after the race, bursting with cheerfulness. Especially in the mountains Steven Kruijswijk demonstrated his superiority. Finally a Dutchman with climbing legs. He was so much in the mood that sometimes he taunted his assailants at the top of a climb with a sprint.

It seemed to be a great sport summer for the Netherlands with Kruijswijk as Giro winner, Daphne Schippers as the Queen of the sprint in Rio and Max Verstappen the prodigy in the Formule 1.

Robert Gesink was on the way back, but the highest podium was no longer an option. The same applied to Bauke Mollema who just did not make it as a top climber.

Kruijswijk Giro Freak, who really took off last year in the last week, but whether he would be able after his surgery in the groin, to redeem his talent and his Italian passion, was a question that was hardly taken seriously before. His class was undisputed and his bravoure something more. Already in the first week all doubt and suspicion disappeared. By far the most elegant rider of the pack, with suppleness and ease, amazingly simple, but rarely exhibited.

Every day he put on the pink jersey on the stage the sympathy for the leader grew.  The notables of his native village of Nuenen and his current residence Den Bosch had been quarreling already for the premiere of the inauguration celebration. On Friday, Steven made a steering mistake in the descent of the Colle Dell’Agnello. He went over the edge of snow and made a spectacular fall. He quickly stood up again. To his deregulated bike. In a dramatic chase, he tried to save his pink jersey.  It just did not work. You saw him fight, riding and suffering, his face expressionless and pale. But disappeared the suppleness and elegance bit by bit. But actually it does not matter whether Kruijswijk still can close the gap with Chaves and Nibali in the final of a very tough mountain stage.  He was the Giro 2016, by far.