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Best Decender in the current Peloton

Aug 17, 2009
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Does anyone have a view on who is the best decender in the Peloton and can think of a memorable performance demonstrating these skills.

One of my all time favourites was Chiappuchi in the Giro 95. Pouring with rain and mist on a multi lap stage he attacked on at narrow decent on each lap overtaking riders inches from the rails with the back wheel sliding out. There must be a video online for this somewhere.

In more recent times Paolo Savoldelli seemed to be regarded as the best decender. The Giro last year riding off in the rain with Danilo Di Luca was pretty impressive. Savoldelli is now retired and Di Luca banned so who is regarded as the best now?

Two I can think of are Samuel Sanchez and Damiano Cunego.
The 07 Vuelta was pretty dull until the last week until Sanchez put some bold attacks and knife edge decents to spark some life into the race.

Damiano Cunego attacked on the last climb in Lombardy last year to get a gap but it was on the decent through tight lanes where he really made the move stick, pulling away over a minute clear before closing in for the win. The motorbikes were left for dead on the technical sections trying to stay with him.
Cunego certainly prefers a climb over a TT. An interesting fact from the Giro TT this year was that Cunego had the fastest last split on the mostly downhill section. Not much coverage was given to his performance but he easily outsplit Di Luca who was riding on the edge trying to pull back time from Menchov.

If there are any really technical decents in this year Vuelta I wouldn't be surprised to see these guys pull out a gap.

Who else can be regarded as a top decender in the current peloton?
 
Of recent years Savoldelli and Samuel Sanchez. I remember Savoldelli descending like crazy in the Milano Sanremo that Cancellara won, and also in his last Giro when he did a duo attack with Di Luca.

And Samuel Sanchez in his winning Zurich Metzgelde (or something, a pity the race is not around anymore), in the Vuelta of 2007 with Cunego of course and in the last Giro di Lombardia when everyone knew he was going to bridge the gap to the head of the race in the descent. He did and noone could follow.
 
Sep 11, 2009
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I dont calculate how fast sombody falls. only climbing with specail VAM TV future predictor program. I will comment to close this thread.

Fastest desender is heaviest and doesn't crash with no brake.
 
Paolo Savoldelli was never the best decender. He was however the best decender among those who could also stay with the best to the top of the mountain first.

The best decenders can generally be found among the more techical sprinters. It's just rare that we get to see it however since they decend out of camera. Hushovd and McEwen are notorious good decenders as was Magnus Bäckstedt in his day as well.
 
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laurentiu46 said:
How about Yaroslav Popovych? ;)
Thor Hushovd and Linus Gerdemann are good descenders too.

finally, someone who can spell descender... :D
 
Jul 29, 2009
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Cancellara descending on his final day in the maillot jaune in the TdF was incredible. He and Hushovd are two of the best in the business.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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The riders and DSs were asked to vote on the best descender at the Tour.

Hushovd won by a landslide.

Frank Schleck, predictably, "won" last place by an even bigger landslide over Moncoutié.

I'll also nominate Pereiro as one of the top descenders in the world. Simoni comes close. Samuel Sánchez and Chavanel are very good also.
 
ingsve said:
Paolo Savoldelli was never the best decender. He was however the best decender among those who could also stay with the best to the top of the mountain first... The best decenders can generally be found among the more techical sprinters. It's just rare that we get to see it however since they decend out of camera..
Yes, all true. Paolo was a great descender among GC riders. Sanchez, Simoni, Pereiro, Cunego, all can descend very well. But weight, and technical prowess that sprinters contain are great tools for descending.

I'm not at all surprised Thor and Robbie are considered the best amongst the peloton. It was my understanding that Zabel was a superb descender. Once he wasn't so intimidated by the big time, Davis Phinney was a great descender in his day.
 
Jul 11, 2009
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Steampunk said:
Cancellara descending on his final day in the maillot jaune in the TdF was incredible. He and Hushovd are two of the best in the business.

+1. That was brilliant.

And logical cranium has come up with some crackers, not that I want to encorage that kind of behaviour.
 
A bunch of team directors from this year's Tour actually discussed this topic, and they decided Cancellara was the best descender, followed by Hushovd.

Seeing Hushovd in the rain during his breakaway in a mountain stage, to save his sprinter's jersey, pretty much confirmed this.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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Historically, Sean Yates deserves a nod.

Present day, though he might not be in Europe any more, Floyd Landis has got to be up there with the best. Unless exogenous testosterone results in larger metaphorical balls, I think we can call his Stage 17 descending "clean", too.
 
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Id like to nominate myself, i think i left my brains at the top of hills, although to be fair i was usually ten minutes behind everyone else at the top of hills so i didnt really have many options open to me.. :D
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Astana1 said:
Cancellara, Zabriskie is pretty good at it too.


Definately, anyone see Zabriskie leading the peloton down the mountains in the tour? He looked like he had a death wish! :eek:

Worst has gotta be Frank Schleck - the guy can go up hills fast, just can't go down them.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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danyela said:
Definately, anyone see Zabriskie leading the peloton down the mountains in the tour? He looked like he had a death wish! :eek:

Worst has gotta be Frank Schleck - the guy can go up hills fast, just can't go down them.

Worst: are we assuming that Menchov only has trouble on the flats? Great athlete, but he couldn't seem to keep his bike upright in the TdF.
 

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