The 16th edition of the Tour of Britain starts in Glasgow on Saturday 7 September with the Grande Départ and concludes on the iconic Manchester Deansgate on Saturday 14 September. Over the course of the week, the riders will endure 1,268km of riding spread over eight stages, including an individual time-trial. This stage-by-stage breakdown will tell you what to expect and what to look out for each day, plus give you an insight into the history of each stage. How to watch the Tour of Britain 2019 live on TV How to watch the Vuelta a España 2019 What is the route for the Tour of Britain 2019? 2019 Tour of Britain Stage 1: Glasgow to Kirkcudbright Date: 7 September Distance: 201.5km Did you know? Glasgow hosted the second Tour of Britain start (a crit) in 2005 The ones to watch: British National Champion Ben Swift will relish a finish like this Glasgow hosts the Tour for the sixth time in its modern history, consolidating its position as one of the UK’s premier road cycling venues on the back of hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games road race and last year’s European championships. After a circuit of the city centre, the route heads south across the River Clyde through Renfrewshire, East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire before finishing in Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway. Along the way it will skirt the ‘Ayrshire Alps’ — a playground for local roadies — and take in two testing climbs at Lambdoughty Hill and Dalmellington. The finish in Kirkcudbright will be the first time the Tour has ever visited this colourful fishing port and artists’ retreat. Stage 1 highlights, times and route profile Stage 1 starts with a city centre circuit before following the River Clyde towards Kirkcudbright. tourofbritain.co.uk 0km: Depart Glasgow – 10:30 43.6km: Kilmarnock sprint – 11:47 102.7km: Cat 2 Lambdoughty Hill climb – 13:15 112.5km: Dalmellington sprint – 13:25 112.9km: Cat 2 Dalmellington climb – 13:35 128.7km: Carsphairn sprint – 13:48 186.0km: Cat 3 Bankhead climb – 15:14 201.5km: Arrive in Kirkcudbright – 15:32 2019 Tour of Britain stage 2: Kelso to Kelso Date: 8 September Distance: 165.9km Did you know: Kelso hosted the opening stage in 2017, with Caleb Ewan coming out on top The ones to watch: Another one for the sprinters, and Caleb Ewan is riding Though Scottish fans north of the Central belt often complain that the Tour of Britain never visits their part of the world, fans in the Borders have been regularly spoiled with stage starts and finishes. This year, for the first time, an entire stage will be raced within the region, starting and finishing in the historic town of Kelso. This is also where Caleb Ewan won stage one in 2017. Featuring three KoM climbs and three intermediate sprints, the anti-clockwise loop will take in Coldstream, Chirnside, Duns, Scott’s View, Melrose and the Eildon Hills before a fast run back alongside the River Tweed to a cobbled finish. It’s the second shortest non-time-trial stage of the race. The final stage — starting in Altrincham — is 1.5km shorter. Stage 2 highlights, times and route profile Stage 2 is all about the Scottish Borders, and features three KoM climbs. tourofbritain.co.uk 0km: Depart Kelso – 11:00 13.2km: Coldstream sprint – 11:33 67.1km: Cat 2 Hardens Hill climb – 12:54 74.9km: Duns sprint – 13:02 127.9km: Cat 2 Scott’s View climb – 14:20 140.0km: Melrose sprint – 14:35 140.5km: Cat 2 Dingleton climb – 14:39 165.9km: Arrive in Kelso – 15:12 2019 Tour of Britain stage 3: Berwick-upon-Tweed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne Date: 9 September Distance: 183.2km Did you know? This is the first Tour of Britain visit to Newcastle in a decade The ones to watch: A sprinter/puncheur such as Michael Matthews is likely to win Stage three promises to be memorable for a range of reasons: the brand new start town in Berwick-upon-Tweed, some stunning Northumberland scenery, and the possibility of crosswinds as the route hugs the North Sea coast for an intermediate sprint at Seahouses. The three KoM climbs at Ford Common, Lyham Moor and Longhoughton all come during the first half of the stage. After passing through Whitley Bay, Tynemouth, North Shields and Wallsend, the race will head alongside the bank of the River Tyne on Newcastle’s Quayside before a dramatic uphill finish in the centre of a city hosting the Tour for the third time. Stage 3 highlights, times and route profile Stage 3 takes the Tour of Britain into Newcastle for the first time in a decade. tourofbritain.co.uk 0km: Depart Berwick-upon-Tweed – 11:00 21.4km: Cat 3 Ford Common climb – 11:45 40.7km: Cat 3 Weetwood Bank climb – 12:13 47.2km: Cat 2 Lyham Hill climb – 12:22 67.2km: Seahouses sprint – 12:51 105.6km: Warkworth sprint – 13:45 155.2km: Seaton Delaval sprint – 14:56 183.2km: Arrive in Newcastle-upon-Tyne – 15:36 2019 Tour of Britain stage 4: Gateshead to Kendal Date: 10 September Distance: 173.2km Did you know? This is the third finish that Kendal has staged since 2013 The ones to watch: Ineos’ Tao Geoghegan Hart has the climbing talent for this This is the hardest stage with the race’s highest point being reached at the summit of Bollihope Common in the heart of the North Pennines, an 8.8km climb with a gentle gradient that tops out at just over 500m above sea level. Later on, the riders will face another KoM climb at Gawthorp in the Yorkshire Dales, before the stage reaches Kendal in the Lake District and a gruelling, 500m uphill slog to the finish line that nudges a gradient of 11 percent. In total, riders will have accumulated around 3,000m of climbing during the day as they cross from east to west, and we could see the first significant gaps in the general classification start to appear. Stage 4 highlights, times and route profile Stage 4 is the hardest one of the Tour of Britain, with an 8.8km climb to 500m above sea level. tourofbritain.co.uk 0km: Depart Gateshead – 11:00 12.5km: Whickham sprint – 11:32 33.2km: Cat 2 Snods Edge climb – 12:08 58.0km: Cat 1 Bollihope Common climb – 12:37 105.9km: Kirkby Stephen sprint – 13:46 127.9km: Sedbergh sprint – 14:17 138.0km: Cat 3 Gawthorp climb – 14:32 173.2km: Arrive in Kendal – 15:22 2019 Tour of Britain stage 5: Birkenhead to Birkenhead Date: 11 September Distance: 174.1km Did you know? Matt Bostock of Canyon dhb won the Tour Series round here The ones to watch: Continental team Canyon dhb has bossed the British scene this season The Wirral peninsula hosts the Tour for the first time in recognition of this being its year as Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture. Starting and finishing in the emblematic Birkenhead Park, the route will take riders through the beautiful model village of Port Sunlight and past one of the UK’s most historic cycling cafes, the Eureka Cafe near Chester, which dates back to 1929. The route then returns to Birkenhead via West Kirby and Hoylake (Chris Boardman’s birthplace). It will cross the finish line once before completing a circuit that includes a fast stretch along the banks of the River Mersey through Seacombe, Wallasey and New Brighton. Stage 5 highlights, times and route profile Stage 5 sticks to the Wirral peninsula, recognising its Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture status. tourofbritain.co.uk 0km: Depart Birkenhead Park – 11:00 78.6km: Cat 2 Kelsall Hill climb – 13:07 117.2km: Heswall sprint – 14:02 130.1km: Hoylake sprint – 14:20 140.2km: Cat 3 Flaybrick Hill climb – 14:35 144.0km: Birkenhead Park sprint (first passage) – 14:40 170.2km: Cat 3 Flaybrick Hill climb (x2) – 15:18 174.1km: Arrive in Birkenhead Park – 15:23 2019 Tour of Britain stage 6: Pershore to Pershore Date: 12 September Distance: 14.4km — Individual time-trial Did you know? Two times since 2014 the winner of the time trial has won the race The ones to watch: Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Ineos) is a very strong time-trialist On to the individual time-trial stage, which for many cycling fans is an excuse for a snooze, but for the host town, it’s a bonanza. Instead of the peloton steaming through in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it blur of sponsors’ logos, the whole Tour circus pitches camp on your doorstep for most of the day giving fans unparalleled access to their heroes. So when the Tour descends upon the riverside Worcestershire market town of Pershore it will offer spectators a close-up view of how the world’s best riders operate. If you pick the right spot on the undulating circuit that passes through Little Comberton and Bricklehampton you’ll get your share of dramatic, pain faces too, because the route is not the simple, flat, out-and-back TT route familiar to regulars of the midweek club TT up and down the local dual carriageway. Stage 6 highlights, times and route profile Stage 6 is a 14km individual time-trial, with Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos) being the one to watch. tourofbritain.co.uk 0km: Depart Pershore – 13:01 (first rider) / 15:05 (last rider) 14.4km: Arrive in Pershore – 13:21 (first rider) / 15:25 (last rider) 2019 Tour of Britain stage 7: Warwick to Burton Dassett Date: 13 September Distance: 188.7km Did you know? Matt Holmes tops the standings of the National Road Series in 2019 The ones to watch: A rider such as Tony Gallopin (AG2R) could ride to victory You may recognise the roads on this stage from the Women’s Tour in June. Host county Warwickshire is getting its money’s worth by using largely the same route for the men’s race. After the start in Warwick, the riders will pass through the University, Kenilworth and Meriden. The name of this sleepy village in the heart of England may not ring any bells, but it is the home of the National Cyclists’ Memorial, which commemorates riders who lost their lives in the two World Wars. After this, the riders will climb Sun Rising Hill before beginning two 12km loops of Burton Dassett and Farnborough that will include three ascents of a challenging 1.7km, 4.9 percent average gradient climb. Brit Matt Holmes of Madison-Genesis was first to crest this climb during last year’s Warwickshire stage, which ended in Leamington Spa with André Greipel winning a bunch sprint. Stage 7 route profile, highlights and times The Stage 7 route featured in the Women’s Tour in June. tourofbritain.co.uk 0km: Depart Warwick – 11:00 19.0km: Berkswell sprint – 11:38 80.8km: Brinklow sprint – 13:07 134.6km: Cat 3 Friz Hill climb – 14:24 142.0km: Pillerton Priors sprint – 14:35 149.6km: Cat 2 Sun Rising Hill climb – 14:45 163.4km: Cat 2 Burton Dassett climb (first passage) – 15:05 175.2km: Cat 2 Burton Dassett climb (second passage) – 15:23 188.7km: Arrive in Burton Dassett Country Park – 15:41 2019 Tour of Britain stage 8: Altrincham to Manchester Date: 14 September Distance: 166km Did you know? Manchester hosted the first stage of the modern Tour of Britain in 2004 The ones to watch: The leader, with a tougher job than usual defending the jersey In a welcome break from tradition, the Tour eschews its usual finish in the southern half of the UK and caters for fans north of the M25. There’s a whole section on the Tour’s official website that explains how the route and host towns are chosen, and a maximum average stage length of 240km is just one of the UCI rules that organisers have to consider, as well as how much host towns are prepared to pay. But surely no one can begrudge Manchester, home of British Cycling, its second appearance as a host city. The parcours itself is far from a ceremonial procession to the finish with enough lumps, bumps, and challenging climbs — amounting to almost 2,000m of elevation — to keep everyone on their guard. The finishing straight on Deansgate in the heart of the city centre promises a spectacular finale to the previous eight days’ racing. Stage 8 highlights, times and route profile The final stage sees the Tour of Britain finish in Manchester. tourofbritain.co.uk 0km: Depart Altrincham – 11:00 23.5km: Hazel Grove sprint – 11:48 39.2km: Cat 2 Werneth Low climb – 12:11 58.3km: Uppermill sprint – 12:38 64.6km: Cat 2 Grains Bar climb – 12:47 94.2km: Cat 1 Ramsbottom Rake climb – 13:29 123.1km: Horwich sprint – 14:10 166.0km: Arrive in Manchester – 15:12
Kurt Sorge and friends head to the Caribou to ride lines down to the river. “Ever since my first trip to this area I have wanted to spend more time here. This Spring it worked out to come camp for a few nights accompanied by some friends that are locals to the area and they gave us the royal treatment. Conditions were right and we spent the next 3 days out there exploring what the canyon had to offer. It was a Chute Show and I wouldn’t had it any other way!” -Kurt Sorge
18. July 2019 – Forchheim, Germany: Passion, skill, potential to grow; these are key factors the YT Mob with Martin Whiteley and Elite UCI World Cup athlete Angel Suarez have been looking for while searching the globe for the next Young Talent to join the YT Mob in 2020. The seven episodes of the online video series “The YT Mob World Tour” show the process within this unique and unprecedented scouting program and tries to deliver answers to the following questions: What is talent? Where can you find it? Can you create it? We will receive a behind the scenes look at the road to building a team with Young Talent from around the world and who will make it to the final camp in Granada, Spain. Six continents, six camps, one goal In February the YT Mob announced with title sponsor YT Industries that they would be embarking on an adventure in 2019 that would take them around the world in order to unearth the best downhill talent on the planet. Applications were accepted for six stops on six continents, four of which have already taken place in New Zealand, Argentina, Scotland and Japan. The camps have been and will be accompanied by production crew “Knowmad Development” (“Tales of the Mob”) to create a video series that will let us take a peek behind the curtain. The series will not only tell the tale of what happens at the camps and how mentor and talent developer Martin Whiteley and his team identifies talent, but will be enriched by insight from Whiteley’s former protégés such as Brook MacDonald, Neko Mulally and Greg Minnaar, who all can look back on a similar process of being discovered, refining their raw talent and making it to the World Cup Elite. “In a way, ‘The Mob World Tour’ reminds me of my original reason for starting my first team, Global Racing, with riders from every continent; wanting to showcase talent from all over the world. Now we are discovering new riders and giving them the chance to attend a Young Talent camp on their continent, enjoy training with a World Cup rider like Angel, and perhaps taking it all the way through to a pro contract in 2020.” – Martin Whiteley, YT Mob Team Owner Young Talent from all over the world The story starts to unfold this week and will continue to put Young Talent in the spotlight in the episodes that follow with two camps in the United States and South Africa and the grand finale at ‘The Mob HQ’ in Granada, Spain, in mid-October. A lot of talent has been attracted to the program so far. 500 Young Talents from 45 different countries applied to be part of the camps of which 20 per camp have been admitted. The youngest to be part of “The Mob World Tour” was born in 2007, the oldest in 2001. During the camps Whiteley observes how well the Young Talent understands race craft, while the participants have the chance to gain valuable riding knowledge from current YT Mob rider Angel Suarez. The Spaniard is aware of the importance of mentors and slips into this role, teaching the up-and-coming how to walk a course and assess it or how to improve in certain sections through braking and cornering to maintaining speed through connected sections. “It’s amazing to have the opportunity to help super talented kids improve and it’s great to see how many good riders there are around the world. When I was starting out, I always found it very helpful to have someone more experienced by my side that trusted me, boosted my self-confidence and helped me feel more comfortable on the bike. That was one of the most important things at that stage in my career and I hope I can do the same for the kids I meet at the camps. Every kid has a different skillset and I think it will be hard to find the most complete riders, but I am really enjoying the process.” – Angel Suarez, YT Mob Pro Rider True to the roots of YT Industries Pure passion and an unwavering drive to unleash one’s true potential is the foundation to every successful career and also reflected in the roots of title sponsor YT Industries. That passion and of course ability on a bike are vital to the YT Mob, but aspects such as mental strength, physical development and also room for growth in all categories will be the deciding edge, when it comes to who gets invited to ‘The Mob HQ’ later in the year. This unique chance to receive first-hand advice and being given an opportunity to shine have been received well. With two camps still on the calendar in Snowshoe, USA, and Stellenbosch, South Africa, we can look forward to learning more about talent development and getting to know more downhill talents around the globe in the next months. “We stand for finding and unleashing young talent. YT Industries is stoked to be working together with Martin on this because true to our roots we want to give the Young Talent a chance to show their potential and prove their passion for mountain biking. We are convinced that ‘The Mob World Tour’ is a unique opportunity to uncage the talent out there and are looking forward to seeing how The Mob will develop.” – Markus Flossmann, CEO YT Industries
The Keystone Bike Academy Dirt Camp is a five-day mountain bike camp designed for kids aged 9-13 The post Keystone Bike Academy’s Special Programs appeared first on Mountain Bike Action Magazine.
Our friends at EcoBike Adventures are hosting the 4th Annual Lost Sierra Electric Bike Festival, in Northern California. It is an opportunity to connect with people who share the same passion for E-Bikes and the great outdoors. The 3-day Electric Bike Festival includes open ranch riding, group rides, e-bike races, camping, and BBQ. Located less than an hour from Reno, NV or Truckee, CA and four hours from San Francisco, CA, the Lost Sierra is a lesser known, yet stunningly beautiful region of the Sierra Nevada. It is a high alpine area with spectacular features such as the Sierra Buttes, Gold Lake, Graeagle and the gold rush town turned mountain bike mecca, Downieville. You can camp at the Diamond S Ranch Friday / Saturday Night, and enjoy a buffet-style Western BBQ in our traditional dutch barn Saturday Night, and then jam out to some music with family and friends. Camping on Friday and Saturday night July 12/13 is $20/night. Water & bathrooms available on site. Lost Sierra Event Schedule Friday, July 12th 3:00pm Camping Check in 4:00pm Open Ranch Riding/Practice Saturday, July 13th 7:30am Trail Race Practice & On-site registration Opens 9:00am Registration Closes & Adaptive OPEN Start 9:30am Event Opening Riders’ Meeting 10:00am PAS Class 1 – Pro Start 11:00am PAS Class 1 – Amateur start 11:30am PAS Class 1 – Kids Start 12:30pm Pedal Assist OPEN Start 1:00pm Announce Best of Show & Break 1:30pm Throttle Assist – Kids Start 2:00pm Throttle Assist – Amateur Start 2:30pm HPC Throttle Assist OPEN Start 4:00pm 100 meter Drag Race 5:00pm Long Jump Exhibition 6:00pm BBQ Dinner 6:30pm Awards Ceremony 7:00pm Networking/Industry Roundtable Discussion Sunday, July 14th 10:00am SurRon Stock Class 1:00pm Luna Cycles Unlimited Pro Class 5:00pm Festival Close Registration site for the electric bike races is: https://ecobikeadv.wufoo.com/forms/mp4mk5g0zwx279 Use Eventbrite to reserve camping and BBQ To request further info, please email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org The post LOST SIERRA ELECTRIC BIKE FESTIVAL IS THIS WEEKEND appeared first on Electric Bike Action.
Michael and Alex begin the climb up © Henning Angerer The team rendezvoused again, this time in Caldaro in the South Tyrol region of Italy © Henning Angerer Marie-Louise approaching the peaks with trepidation © Henning Angerer Confident: Nick mid descent © Henning Angerer Alex imparts some pro knowledge © Henning Angerer Leaving Caldaro for the Mendel Pass © Henning Angerer Alex imparts some pro knowledge © Henning Angerer Alex coaches Marie-Louise on the ascent © Henning Angerer Before the bend, use your front brake to kill your speed to a controllable level © Henning Angerer Feather the rear brake to kill more speed if needed © Henning Angerer Ensure you have enough speed © Henning Angerer Brake, release, glide… and repeat! © Henning Angerer Brake, release, glide… and repeat! © Henning Angerer After last month’s meet and greet in Germany, the team rendezvoused again, this time in Caldaro in the South Tyrol region of Italy, close to the Austrian border. Barely a metre of road was pedalled in anger in Bielefeld, but that’d be more than rectified this time, with the riders subsisting on a week-long diet of long climbs. Part 1: Meet the Team Alpecin riders training to take on L’Etape du Tour 2019 With two big climb-heavy events coming up this summer, in the shape of the Fred Whitton Challenge and l’Etape du Tour, our three riders needed the conditioning. However, what goes up must come down and for some, therein lies the true fear of the mountains. Reaching speeds north of 70km/h on long, switchback-filled descents either fills you with joy or dread. It’s an emotional business with few sitting on the fence. For Marie-Louise Kertzman, she falls very much on the side of dread. While some riders revel in high speeds, getting a kick out of pushing their equipment to the limits, others lack the skills and confidence to squeeze any enjoyment out of what should be a respite from all that effort expended on the way up. I had to admit I wasn’t just a slow descender. I was fearful too For such riders, the valley can’t come soon enough. This isn’t something that bedevils amateurs – plenty of pro riders who do this for a living baulk at the speed of some of the most-skilled pros. Teams have been known to work with downhill coaches in recent years, realising this is an untapped area for improvement. Take someone like Thibaut Pinot who, having worked hard on his descending, went from one of the more nervous riders in the peloton, to someone who can win the hilly Monument Giro di Lombardia. Best road bike: how to choose the right one for you Marie-Louise approaching the peaks with trepidation. © Henning Angerer For Marie-Louise, her fear is built on sturdy foundations that are hard to crack, such as a lack of control at high speeds, and taking the wrong line around a corner and hurtling off the side of the mountain. “I always thought I was simply a slow descender,” she says, “but after a couple of days on this training camp, where the long Italian descents dwarfed anything in the UK, I quickly realised it was more than that. The amazing views and glorious sweeping descents are ruined as soon as I pick up any speed. The first time I had to do it, I was shaking like a leaf and holding back tears, and I held my brakes the whole way down. I had to admit I wasn’t just a slow descender. I was fearful too.” If you’re already fit, the gains you can make in your time spent climbing will be small compared to descending gains Sound familiar? Anyone who has experienced this feeling will know what a vicious circle it can create. The nerves rise, the tension builds in your shoulders, spreading through your body. You’re jumpier on the brakes, your turning is like an oil tanker. It can be a thoroughly distressing situation. “It came to a head on an admittedly tough descent,” she continues. “It was 14 percent in places with technical bends of every description. I found myself losing my nerve completely, screeching into a layby, sobbing and inconsolable.” As we’ve already written, if you’re already fit, the gains you can make in your time spent climbing will be small compared to descending gains. It’s often an area that people overlook, sitting up on the descent and recovering from climbing exertions. But there’s huge potential in working on this weakness. Feather the rear brake to kill more speed if needed. © Henning Angerer Team Alpecin spent a whole day focusing on descending, with the lesson led by no less than Grand Tour stage winner and former Hour Record holder Alex Dowsett of Team Katusha-Alpecin. The location? The Mendel Pass, which climbs out of Caldaro, with an 8 percent average slope over its 14km. That’s pretty steep and, with a bunch of cracking switchbacks, it makes a perfect training ground to build technique and confidence. There was just one problem: the weather wasn’t playing ball. The falling rain drained away with the confidence. “Waking up to see the rain and a daunting lack of visibility was overwhelming” recalls Marie-Louise. “Taking the grown-up solution, I cried some more, hid in my bedroom and sent a text saying I wouldn’t be joining. Luckily for me, I have teammates who don’t take no for an answer and after much coaxing I made it outside, looking apprehensive on my bike, on the wheel of a pro, contemplating how I would survive the coming hours. “During the climb Alex explained the mechanics of a steep hairpin, how you take the line wide and come into the apex, ‘straightening’ out the curve. Alex coaches Marie-Louise on the ascent. © Henning Angerer “He showed how and when to use each brake and finally when to let go completely. It was then possible to glide round the bend in an efficient, controlled and safe way. He guided me through the bend countless times, increasing the speed by tiny levels every time until, finally, I felt like I could take a bend without looking or feeling like Bambi on ice.” For a nervy descender like Marie-Louise, following a pro through the correct line was invaluable and improvement was fast. “It was definitely a breakthrough. But it’s one thing having a pro on your shoulder, in whose experience you know you can trust to get you down safely. On my own? That was a different question altogether.” Practice makes perfect, though, so the following day the team set off up the Mendel Pass again to hone their new-found skills. Brake, release, glide… and repeat! © Henning Angerer “At the top of the climb I replayed what I’d learnt throughout the week, reminding myself how this time, technique and skill was going to override fear. With that, I clipped in, pressed forward and was off. I let the others go in front – I was under no illusions that I would suddenly be fast! “Control, confidence and a lack of fear was the goal. A teammate kindly waited, reminding me that this whole entire saga had been full of support and kind words. “Coming into the first hairpin, something clicked. Brake, release, glide. Brake, release, glide. I was off. I may have spoken to myself sternly all the way down. I may have broken no records. But I was in control, and I was enjoying it! Twenty minutes later, I spun into the hotel, joyous and ecstatic. There were even tears. But this time it was happiness, not fear.” Alex Dowsett breaks the corner down into three simple sections… Zone 1 Before the bend, use your front brake to kill your speed to a controllable level. © Henning Angerer You want to be out as wide as possible on the road, make sure you are in a gear that allows you to leave the corner at an appropriate cadence. Before the bend, use your front brake to kill your speed to a controllable level. Zone 2 Feather the rear brake to kill more speed if needed. © Henning Angerer Aiming for the apex of the corner, you should be off the brakes and leaning the bike over, and your weight should be on the outside pedal. Try pushing down ever so slightly through the pedal so that the chamois on your bib shorts expands as you take the pressure off the saddle. At this point you can feather the rear brake to kill more speed if needed. Zone 3 Ensure you have enough speed © Henning Angerer Leave the corner with enough speed that you are pushed out to the opposite side of the lane. The riders on descending Name: Michael Rammell Age: 31 Michael Rammell © Henning Angerer Embracing the descent and enjoying a smooth ride “I’ve never had any issues with descending. It’s an area of riding I enjoy and look forward to. Having said that I’ve never had any technique training and I lapped up the chance to improve my skill and speed. Alex shared a tip that his dad – who was a successful racing driver in his own right – shared with him. “The idea being that smooth cornering is a friend of speed: imagine that there is a pint balanced on the centre of your handlebars. The objective is to spill as little of that pint as possible and so a smooth corner is a fast corner. Sudden braking on entry to the corner or braking harshly during a corner will only disrupt that smoothness. “That same excessive braking shows that you didn’t approach the corner and adjust your speed accordingly to start with. This late and harsh braking is more likely to lock up tyres, which won’t only slow you down but could also cause you to lose control and crash.” Name: Nick Mayer Age: 39 Nick Mayer © Henning Angerer Happier on descent than ascent “I would describe myself as a cautious descender; confident, but I’m not exactly a thrill seeker. But I do enjoy the downhill sections much more than climbs. “Having dedicated time to focus on one area of riding really has helped improve my technique and encouraged me to push harder in the corners. Maintaining speed through the corners, leaning the bike over further and trusting the grip. “I feel more confident and relaxed, now I just need to do the same for my climbing ability!”