Descending

Descending is the the payoff from all your hard work climbing; knowing how to take advantage of it will increase your average speed and help you keep control. Over a 24-hour race, the track will change and become rougher due to being hammered by a few hundred riders. Remaining calm and confident can help massively in the later stages of a race.

Position

Keep your weight a back to keep control. If you’re too far forward, and a rogue rock or unseen drop can send you over the bars. The catch is that if your weight is too far back, braking will become less predictable and you’ll have less control over the steering. The idea is to keep your weight going through your pedals, but not lifting your front wheel.

Keep your heels pointing down when you’re not pedalling to absorb the rougher stuff and keep control.

Braking

Applying the brakes the whole way down is inefficient and will quickly wear out your pads. Try to brake harder on the shallower slopes, and use the corners to reduce your speed if needed.

Remember, you have a lot more control when the wheels are rolling – try not to lock out your brakes, especially on the rougher, more technical sections.

Levelling out

When hitting the bottom of the descent, there could be another sudden change in gradient. If there is, as you hit the bottom, you’ll suddenly have a lot more grip which can send you over the bars if you turn too soon.  You’ll also have to remember to move your weight back to the new centre of the bike (i.e. keep your weight going through your pedals).