best descender

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best descender

  • popovych

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Jul 25, 2009
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Fowsto Cope-E said:
Being lighter helps in acceleration out of the corners because of F=ma. Cancellara, though, can produce more watts and thus when there is no acceleration has an advantage on Nibali.
Don't think so. There are two forces in this case, gravity and air resistance. The force of gravity is proportional to mass, but air resistance is primarily proportional to frontal area. Heavier riders have higher air resistance in total, but lower air resistance in proportion to their mass. So heavier riders will accelerate more (without pedaling) than lighter riders.

But as you say, Cancellara can produce more watts (and more watts per unit frontal area) than a light rider. Which is an added advantage for a heavier rider on the descent.

That's why I pick Nibs over Cancellara for descending. Not that Nibs would beat Cancellara on a descent, I just find the way he corners so well even when smashing the pedals between corners is impressive. It's not surprising he can't do it when he is exhausted either.
 
I Watch Cycling In July said:
That's why I pick Nibs over Cancellara for descending. Not that Nibs would beat Cancellara on a descent, I just find the way he corners so well even when smashing the pedals between corners is impressive. It's not surprising he can't do it when he is exhausted either.
One poster, yesterday, quoted that Nibali said the descent from the Poggio was done at a crazy speed, that he suffered and finally tried to get on Fabian's wheel but that Gerrans made it impossible.

That should explained what he didn't look that smooth. I haven't been able to find the source though.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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he didn't look as smooth because he isn't a smooth downhille rat all. it goes completely past me how people think nibali has great technique. he look ugly on the bike in every discipline. compare him to cancellara it's unreal. nibali is like celestino back in 90s and early 2000s.
 
Ryo Hazuki said:
he didn't look as smooth because he isn't a smooth downhille rat all. it goes completely past me how people think nibali has great technique. he look ugly on the bike in every discipline. compare him to cancellara it's unreal. nibali is like celestino back in 90s and early 2000s.
Are you the substitute of Dekker?
No problem, you will be converted as well! :D
 
Mar 13, 2012
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Climbing said:
Are you the substitute of Dekker?
No problem, you will be converted as well! :D
lol hope nibbles does the Giro so he shows his boy rujano up nibbles has gt better and better every year people would love his palmeras
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Zam_Olyas said:
Ehems!! Vincenzo says hello to the doubters
Cancellara, Hushovd and Sagan weren't in this race. And neither was Arroyo I think(and otherwise he was dropped before the hill anyway). The descent after the Roche aux Faucons isn't technical anyway, proves nothing except that he was the strongest of the day(or second strongest). We call that a bijtrap afdaling in Dutch.

I voted for Cancellara by the way. And I still stand by it.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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ElChingon said:
Yea, its like he hit the hyper space button or everyone else hit the brakes.
Yet he was struggling to keep up with Cancellara at the descent of the Poggio, which is a very technical descent!
 
Jul 16, 2010
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killswitch said:
Nibali was in the red then just like Gilbert was today (from CN article).
I think Cancellara was also in the red at Milan-San Remo ;)

Both Cancellara and Nibali were in top form that day, so it's a good comparison.

I've just never seen anyone take corners as fast as Cancellara and his style is incredible. There are a couple of good vids on youtube that show his descending skills, it's pretty amazing.

A down-hill time trial on the Poggio would prove a lot.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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El Pistolero said:
Yet he was struggling to keep up with Cancellara at the descent of the Poggio, which is a very technical descent!
Yes, that was after his attack to start the affairs not wheel sucking, and did he stay with him :D
 
Feb 14, 2010
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Zam_Olyas said:
Ehems!! Vincenzo says hello to the doubters
A bit too many matches burned accelerating out of all the curves; paid for in the end.
Still, it was a good chance and he took it well but with a bit too much belief in his own legend. If he had been 5 seconds slower on the descent, he might have had enough left in his legs to hold off Iglinsky. Or not; no way to know.
 
cyclopeon said:
A bit too many matches burned accelerating out of all the curves; paid for in the end.
Still, it was a good chance and he took it well but with a bit too much belief in his own legend. If he had been 5 seconds slower on the descent, he might have had enough left in his legs to hold off Iglinsky. Or not; no way to know.
Tactically, Nibali cannot be criticised. He peppered the opposition with attacks on the Cote de la Roche aux Faucons, before pressing home his advantage on the descent.

"There's not much to reflect on, because I certainly did a good race. I really wanted to do well here in Liège this week. I didn't get anything wrong today, I was just missing something in my legs in the finale."

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/nibalis-last-minute-liege-bastogne-liege-attack-falls-short
 
Mar 13, 2009
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cineteq said:
Tactically, Nibali cannot be criticised. He peppered the opposition with attacks on the Cote de la Roche aux Faucons, before pressing home his advantage on the descent.

"There's not much to reflect on, because I certainly did a good race. I really wanted to do well here in Liège this week. I didn't get anything wrong today, I was just missing something in my legs in the finale."

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/nibalis-last-minute-liege-bastogne-liege-attack-falls-short
Tactically it was fine. Nibali has all the acceleration of a tractor and needs to get to the line alone. He had his card to play and played it. Iglinsky had the perfect blend of strength, tactics and luck.

As far as the better decender goes, there was little skill in this decent the strongest guy got to the bottom fastest.
 
Who is the best descender in the world is a question that probably can not be answered. For starters, before the downhill you need to climb, and since the TV footage concentrates on the head of the race, there is a number of riders that we never see going downhill. Cavendish might be the best of them all, for all we know. Boonen has great bike handling, is not afraid of the speed and taking risks (as we can see when he competes regularly in bunch sprints), and is one of the heaviest pros around. He has all the components to make a great descender yet he is not even in the conversation. Why ? Because we never see him going downhill.

Therefore the only question we might answer is out of the strongest riders of the peloton, which one descends better ? Even then there are a number of problems that can not be solved. For example, a key component of descending well is braking at the last moment but it is not something that we can easily measure in front of our TV especially since the riders of the group have to adjust to the rhythm of the rider leading the group which means that we can not make a direct comparison between two riders.

Sagan closed down a 20 second gap on a fresher Cunego downhill during the last Tour de Suisse, and it is as close to an answer that we can hope to get about the relative descending skills of two riders (one on one during a long and fairly technical descent) so Sagan can reasonably be said to be better than Cunego (who is still very good downhill by the way). Therefore I can not see how Cunego could be the “best”. Same with Samuel Sanchez, he got dropped by Evans on a downhill which in turn could not keep up with Nibali. And since a few years the Spaniard has been pretty unspectacular downhill, therefore I can not see how he could be considered the best descender, let alone be picked by almost twice as much people than Sagan.

As for those that say that Nibali has no technique, well actually try to take your fanboy glasses off and look at his trajectories which are pretty much perfect for 180 degrees turns and even if it can get a little worse when dealing with a rapid succession of not so sharp bends, he probably has one of the best, if not the best descending skills of the entire peloton. Cancellara might still descend faster because he also takes corners well and he is much heavier but since Nibali is basically the only rider that uses his downhill skills consistently to try and win races, that means it is a bigger asset for him than for others (or at least he considers it to be an asset which is not the case of the others riders) and that is why I would give him the slight edge.
 
May 15, 2010
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El Pistolero said:
I've just never seen anyone take corners as fast as Cancellara and his style is incredible. There are a couple of good vids on youtube that show his descending skills, it's pretty amazing.
Agree :cool: There was a TdS prologue where a moto with a camera 20 cm above the ground was following Canc descending. Wish there is such footage in other TTs.

El Pistolero said:
A down-hill time trial on the Poggio would prove a lot.
There was one in the 1987 Giro. :D
 
EvansIsTheBest said:
Who is the best descender in the world is a question that probably can not be answered. For starters, before the downhill you need to climb, and since the TV footage concentrates on the head of the race, there is a number of riders that we never see going downhill. Cavendish might be the best of them all, for all we know. Boonen has great bike handling, is not afraid of the speed and taking risks (as we can see when he competes regularly in bunch sprints), and is one of the heaviest pros around. He has all the components to make a great descender yet he is not even in the conversation. Why ? Because we never see him going downhill.

Therefore the only question we might answer is out of the strongest riders of the peloton, which one descends better ? Even then there are a number of problems that can not be solved. For example, a key component of descending well is braking at the last moment but it is not something that we can easily measure in front of our TV especially since the riders of the group have to adjust to the rhythm of the rider leading the group which means that we can not make a direct comparison between two riders.

Sagan closed down a 20 second gap on a fresher Cunego downhill during the last Tour de Suisse, and it is as close to an answer that we can hope to get about the relative descending skills of two riders (one on one during a long and fairly technical descent) so Sagan can reasonably be said to be better than Cunego (who is still very good downhill by the way). Therefore I can not see how Cunego could be the “best”. Same with Samuel Sanchez, he got dropped by Evans on a downhill which in turn could not keep up with Nibali. And since a few years the Spaniard has been pretty unspectacular downhill, therefore I can not see how he could be considered the best descender, let alone be picked by almost twice as much people than Sagan.

As for those that say that Nibali has no technique, well actually try to take your fanboy glasses off and look at his trajectories which are pretty much perfect for 180 degrees turns and even if it can get a little worse when dealing with a rapid succession of not so sharp bends, he probably has one of the best, if not the best descending skills of the entire peloton. Cancellara might still descend faster because he also takes corners well and he is much heavier but since Nibali is basically the only rider that uses his downhill skills consistently to try and win races, that means it is a bigger asset for him than for others (or at least he considers it to be an asset which is not the case of the others riders) and that is why I would give him the slight edge.
Good post, i am finally in an agreement with a Evens supporter although ACF is my fav poster :p
 
May 19, 2011
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I like Nibalis descending but I think he uses a lot more energy than others to achieve his excellent results on descents.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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gilbertador said:
I like Nibalis descending but I think he uses a lot more energy than others to achieve his excellent results on descents.
Exactly.

How some people here can still claim it doesn't cost energy to descent I don't know... :eek:
 
EvansIsTheBest said:
As for those that say that Nibali has no technique, well actually try to take your fanboy glasses off and look at his trajectories which are pretty much perfect for 180 degrees turns and even if it can get a little worse when dealing with a rapid succession of not so sharp bends, he probably has one of the best, if not the best descending skills of the entire peloton. Cancellara might still descend faster because he also takes corners well and he is much heavier but since Nibali is basically the only rider that uses his downhill skills consistently to try and win races, that means it is a bigger asset for him than for others (or at least he considers it to be an asset which is not the case of the others riders) and that is why I would give him the slight edge.
This! +1000000
 

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