Etixx-Quick Step’s De Plus Crash

The recent crash of pro cyclist Laurens De Plus at Il Lombardia may have some wondering what exactly happened. So here at the “Road” we decided to break it down for our cycling friends.

In the clip below you will witness the alarming crash of Laurens De Plus during the Giro di Lombardia. As a result of rider error, he winds up as flipping straight over the bike bars and a road barrier then drops 30ft to the ground.  Thank goodness Laurens was not seriously injured, for it certainly could have been very serious or even fatal.

Now to deconstruct the crash. De Plus’s resulting loss of control actually began many, many meters prior to the actual crash. Even before the rear wheel skids out. The error was most likely committed at the exit of the prior corner. [ Yes, at the exit of the preceding corner ]  which subsequently put him ‘off line’ for the entry of the following BLIND but slightly decreasing radius – right-hand corner ( even though it appears to be a sweeping type of curve ) in which De Plus visually loses control and then flies over the barrier.

Unfortunately, De Plus made three critical errors that resulted in a terrifying looking crash, that could have had potentially disastrous consequences.

Mistake number one: Improper line in the previous corner, led to being ‘off’ line for the right-hander that was ever so costly for De Plus.
Mistake number two: The offending right-hand corner entry speed was too high for the radii, which typically results in a very wide exit and in this case it did. Also not identifying (or reading) the corner as a slightly decreasing radius. Analysis: Corner entry speed was too fast for the corner’s radius. This is where trail braking or just a slight scrub of the brakes as a rider turns in, comes into play. Critical skill: brake slightly to set corner entry speed for the given radii of a turn.

Remember, the idea is to always set the bike up for the EXIT. Carrying too much entry speed or ‘rushing’ the corner results in a wide exit- and when the corner is decreasing in its geographical nature, managing corner entry speed becomes even more important. The key to conquering problem corners is to break them down into individual parts and then assigning a priority for each element of the turn.

Mistake number three:
Target Fixation. In a last gasp attempt to get the bike stopped, De Plus locks the rear wheel via braking, which only COMPOUNDS the problem. His vision is LOCKED or fixated on the barrier, he panics and then locks the rear brakes up. ( “it’s all over but the shouting” ) Locking the brakes FORSAKES control. ( say that fast three times! ) Once a rider has locked the bike up under threshold braking, a rider can no longer steer or control the bike.

The take away? It is imperative to be able to ‘read’ a corner or a series of corners at higher speeds. It ALL begins with good Vision/Line of Sight skills. Or as we like to say here… VisionForward. Eyes and head always up towards the exit and on blind corners, towards and past the Vanishing Point. Braking technique and countersteering skills are so very crucial for high-speed cornering, be it flat or downhill. That is why we constantly enforce the idea of practicing these skills on every ride, from the club rider to the pro’s, no one
( including myself ) is immune from making a mistake!

In closing, we are certainly glad that De Plus is relatively okay. For sure he is one lucky lad to be up and about AND still breathing… Hopefully he takes away this hard lesson learned and practices his panic braking, steering and line of sight/vision skills so he may fight and perhaps win another day!

Deutsche Ingenieurskunst… (or the Canyon Concept)

Even though this is from the London Bike Show in 2014, it is still relevant and what I predict will eventually be the future of most all road bikes. Can I get a whoo hoo!
Full suspension… likes me the sound of that!

 

Canyon shows off a full suspension, cloud-connected road bike and it’s sporting some amazing tech…

“It’s a full suspension platform. Obviously, we’re not talking about masses of travel but there’s a carbon leaf spring at each end; Canyon already use that tech in their VCLS seatpost. The really clever bit is the bearing that acts as the pivot of both front and rear suspension.”

“Filled with a special fluid that changes viscosity when it’s subjected to a magnetic field, so the damping of the suspension can be altered electronically, all the way up to a full lockout. It’s called a magneto-rheological fluid, if you’re into that kind of thing. Canyon aren’t the first to think about using the technology: Fox have been playing about with it on their mountain bike suspension for a couple of years.”

Full article here

Base Training – Fact Or Fiction? (GCN Video)

Long and slow base miles, shorter, quicker miles, Periodization, HIIT and now HIIT-tabata style. There are many ways to ‘train’ or condition the body for endurance rides, sportives, spirited club riding or racing.

What I have ascertained from all of these different methods, articles and real world experiences is that there is no single method that can really lay claim to being the ‘best’ or the be all
to end all method. Because everyone who engages in aerobic conditioning responds differently to the varied methods of training.

Bottom line is that they all work, it’s just that some of the tried and true methods may yield better results than other methods. And the end result depends on the varied physiological factors of each individual utilizing a particular method. So, whatever works for you…go with it!