DE­SCENTS ARE BE­COM­ING A REAL BAT­TLE­GROUND

Procycling - - Review Of The Year 2016 -

De­scents have al­ways played a big part in cy­cling but 2016 saw sev­eral in­stances in which they had as much ef­fect on the over­all out­come of races as the climbs, and the more or­gan­ised teams are look­ing much harder at the plan­ning and tac­tics. Team Sky led this trend in 2016 – they fit­ted a larger chain­ring to Geraint Thomas’s bike in the fi­nal stage of ParisNice, and while he looked to have been defini­tively dropped by Al­berto Con­ta­dor’s ag­gres­sion on the Col d’Èze, the Brit’s pur­suit­ing skills and larger gear meant that he was able to take back enough time be­fore the fin­ish to win the race. Sim­i­larly, Froome, along with his DS Ni­co­las Por­tal, had iden­ti­fied the de­scent of the Col de Peyre­sourde as an op­por­tu­nity to gain time on his ri­vals at the Tour. Froome caught them napping and gained sig­nif­i­cant time, as well as a huge psy­cho­log­i­cal ad­van­tage.

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