The Best Descenders in Pro Cycling

The Best Descenders in Pro Cycling

Descending is an undervalued skill. It can make or break a great general classification rider's chances. We're thinking Enric Mas in 2021 and 2022 or João Almeida in general. We'll have a corresponding article as to the worst descenders in the pro peloton that we'll link here shortly.

It's worth noting that riders are generally not able to gain as much time on a group descending as one could ascending up a climb. The relative speeds of a descent are more similar compared between a good descender and an okay descender compared to the relative speeds of an ascent between a good climber and a bad climber.

And when a rider drops on a climb - they typically drop. But this is occurring less and less with riders riding to their power and with increased emphasis on nutrition.

But good descending still matters. Not only is your rider less likely to crash, but they can create breaks (think Matej Mohorič in Milan San Remo in 2022), conserve energy, and potentially win (on non-legal descents finishes 🙃).

Descents are also not usually taken into account when the betting houses create the odds, and we've had our most successful days when we've spotted a descent that don't align with the odds. For example, Ayuso on the stage three time trial descent of Tour de Romandie in 2023.

So without further ado, here's our current list that we'll continue to add to as we determine the calibre of the descender.

  • Lennard Kamna
  • Thymen Arensman
  • Luis Leon Sanchez
  • Juan Ayuso
  • Ion Izagirre (2023 Tour de France)
  • Vincenzo Nibali (retired)
  • Marc Soler (after crash)
  • Matteo Jorgenson (2023 Tour de France)
  • Giulio Ciccone
  • Damiano Caruso
  • Simon Clarke
  • Matej Mohorič
  • Tom Pidcock
  • Alex Aranburu
  • Pello Bilbao
  • Carlos Rodríguez
  • Parent-Peintre Brothers

Feel free to hit us up on our socials if you feel a name should be added to the list. We're all ears.

PS. Stereotypically all Italians and Basque riders are great descenders. We'll stand by that 🙃