TechPowered By

More tech

Pinot to drive racing car to improve descending

Cycling News
August 28, 2013, 10:59,
August 28, 2013, 11:57
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)

  • Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)
  • Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)

view thumbnail gallery

Frenchman set for Magny-Cours lessons in October

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) will take lessons behind the wheel of a racing car in October in a bid to overcome the fear of speed that so hindered his descending during this year’s Tour de France.

The Frenchman lost all hopes of a high overall finish at the Tour when he was dropped on the descent of the Porte de Pailhères on the first day in the Pyrenees and he admitted afterwards that he had developed something of a psychological block when it came to going downhill.

Former rally and ice racing driver Max Mamers volunteered his services to FDJ manager Marc Madiot to help Pinot overcome the obstacle and he has arranged for Pinot to be tutored on the Magny-Cours circuit – former home of the French Grand Prix – in late October.

“I’ve followed this boy’s results since he was best climber at Paris-Corrèze at twenty years of age,” Mamers told L’Équipe. “When I saw him petrified on the descent, I said to myself that I could do something for him. That very evening, I sent a text message to Marc.”

Madiot maintains that Pinot’s problem is a fear of speed rather than any specific problem with his descending technique, and Mamers believes that driving an electric car at 190kph can help the rider assuage his doubts.

“Above all, we need to work on his viewpoint, on getting him used to seeing obstacles that arrive quickly,” Mamers said. “At first, he will have an instructor with him and then he will drive alone. With the run-offs at the Magny-Cours, he’s not risking anything.”

Madiot, who suffered from a similar problem to Pinot in the early part of his career, said that he had also considered sending the 23-year-old to the ski slopes during the off-season as a means of improving his descending, but decided that putting him behind the wheel of a car was a safer option.

“The objective is to familiarise Thibaut with high speeds,” Madiot said. “Skiing is also useful for learning how to adjust your trajectory but I’m not in favour of riders doing that.”

Pinot currently lies in 29th place overall at the Vuelta a España, where he is racing with the aim of winning a stage in the final week and preparing for the world championships in Florence.


Peter von More than 1 year ago
Cool, i hopes it help him, or at least that he'll have a lot of fun trying.
bigmig1000 More than 1 year ago
That could help... but I found motorcycles to be even better training for cornering and descending. they have two wheels like a bicycle, but the weight makes them more stable. the contact area is more comforting that practicing on a bicycle. Plus, you can practice high speed counter steering.
Toobab More than 1 year ago
Some of the guys that descent well look horrible, they do everything wrong and you think they will fall every corner, but they have belief in themselves; his problem is he believes he is a bad rider. If this driving doesn't work, he should try one descent as the stoker on a tandem. That will give him gladness to have his own hands on the handlebars after.
justDave More than 1 year ago
Didn't Bugno have to re-learn to descend? I recollect that he was told to listen to Mozart - or some story like that...
chiocciolis_calves More than 1 year ago
Yep, he crashed at one point and lost all his nerve.
wallymann 11 months ago
i'd read that bugno had an inner-ear issue that affected his balance. but that could be a BS story to cover-up the truth.
miba111 More than 1 year ago
He should get together with Wiggins and Danielson and make it a 3-person party. Honestly though - I can't even imagine going down those curves at the speeds those guys do it. It's pretty darned awesome.
Rossco8 More than 1 year ago
I think there is hope for Pinot....
Cance > TheRest More than 1 year ago
maybe not for Wiggins though
egtalbot More than 1 year ago
I definitely can't imagine going downhill at those speeds myself. That said, get him on a downhill MTB on a machined trail for a few days. Yes, he'll only get up to 35-40 instead of 55 but it seems like it's a lot more on point than driving a car.
MattCla More than 1 year ago
A racing car or racing go kart would help a lot to develop his techique and confidence. And yes, all nervous professionals should do the same.
Gary Lee More than 1 year ago
Well, if the cycling falls through he can start racing cars or karts! That's a lot of fun too!