Does being a former Mt. Biker really make you a good descender?
The commentators keep saying Cadel Evans is a good descender because he was former mountain biker.
I've never been much of a mt. biker, but I find this sooo very hard to believe. I mean they are completely different disciplines. Different equipment, different riding surface, and different types of terrain. I'm sure descending down a gravel road makes you a great bike handler, but to me descending on dirt (especially on single track) seems like a completely different experience than descending a mountain road where you have the full width of the road to choose your line.
MTB requires sharper bike handling and, maybe more important, fast route-reading skills than road cycling.
The descending errors today from Voeckler and the tripod guy (can't remember his name) were all from misreading the road. The "world's most famous car park" curve got tighter when they thought it was about to straighten out.
Still, the best descending preparation is training on the route -- Boasson Hagen was totally confident, because that's what he did.
In part yes. Phill and Paul have a habit of saying things like "he is the best descender we have ever seen" and they say that every year about anybody who can go downhill fast.
As for the mountain bike thing, no not really. The technical qualifications vary vastly. Road bikes are more like 500cc road bike racing; the brake thresholding and apexing. Mountain biking is more like moto-x/BMX, where it is not so much the way you lean/sweep around the bend, but more of how you are able to throw the bike around independent of your body.
The part from mountain biking that does however help with road racing is the agility to correct the bike should something go a little off. Thats the part where you can control the bike independent of your body, like snapping your foot out to avoid a crash, or like how the yellow jersey today hopped into the parking lot. Mountain biking specifically requires you to be able to control the bike and your body, road racing requires your body and bike to become "one," so as to swoop through bends and curves like a car.
As someone said, the best thing that makes a good descender is familiarity with the terrain, or experience with similar terrain at least. Oh and ballz, nice brass ones.
Last edited by Howzit; 07-20-11 at 02:47 PM.
Originally Posted by Laggard
Weren't you supposed to disappear after the TDF was over?
Originally Posted by calamarichris
But then I'll never understand how taking a dump became precedent either. Why don't they call it leaving a dump? I mean... you're not really taking it anywhere.
If you're a good MTB rider you're probably good at riding down steep hills at speed and might be more capable of remaining calm when stuff gets sketchy than someone who cut their teeth on weekly road circuit races and training rides with no descents over 3%.