At the stage 8 of this years’ Tour de France, Chris Froome attacked on the descent. He quickly opened up a gap of a few seconds on his main general classification rivals, including Nairo Quintana. Then he tucked down onto the top tube of his bicycle and spun the 54 chainring with all he had, opening up an even bigger gap in the process. Finally, he won the stage by 13 seconds on his rivals.
A lot of people were astonished to his descending technique. But, in fact, we saw it before.
Here is the video of Chris Froome descending:
And look at the video below: at the end of the stage 5 of the Presidential Tour of Turkey 2014, we see Cameron Wurf of Cannondale team uses this very technique (see @0:33).
Wurf wrote on his blog about that stage. He said that he learned this technique from Matej Mohorič:
“We were now on the downhill drag to the line and inside 1km to go. Behind me Peta was doing a great job in instructing me on how to ride with left and right and good and a lot of faster’s! Problem was we were going downhill and I was spinning like a egg beater at 70kmph so I resorted to the technique I had decided to use for this exact moment earlier in the stage. Back in california in January Junior matty mohoric had taught me his much famed sitting on the top tube while pedaling technique. When he did it I realized I had to do a million watts to keep up with him going down hill so knew it was effective. I decided this downhill was the perfect place to adopt it for 2 reasons. Firstly my legs were screaming from the effort of the stage and secondly and although maby not so sporting of me I knew the man behind had to take on more wind. As it was a crucial leadout man for cav the less Peta had at the finish the better for us as cav would have to start sprinting earlier into the headwind and elia would get more time to plan his blast straight past him! So, onto the top tube I went and pedaled as fast down the hill as I could. It was my only possible way to increase the speed as my power was gone and if quickstep or any other team thought I was going to slow well they didn’t have to stay on my wheel and could pass me at anytime. I quickly realized that there was no one coming up on my left so knew the group was strung out a little and Elia was sitting pretty!! As the road flattened out I returned to the comfort of my saddle dug as deep as I could for a few more m’s, had a quick look over my left shoulder to see that there was still nobody challenging me for the front position and got the jolly hell out of there before I slowed down the train. I had the birds eye view of watching elia fly by on the 3 quickstep boys wheels and thought little rippa, Elia is definitely going to finish this off!! “