The Worst Descenders in Pro Cycling

The Worst 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.

The Best Descenders in Pro Cycling | Pro Cycling Bets
We analyze the best descenders in professional cycling and how you can use the knowledge to pick favourites for races or stages.

It's worth noting that riders are generally not able to lose 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.

And while paying attention to good descenders is a nifty skill, it's also good to keep in mind who are bad descenders so you can stay away from them on certain stages, or at least be more realistic with your predictions. Say a stage race has a hectic descent before the finish. Or the stage race has large number of descent miles in the early season where it might be wet and slippery. It might be worth looking farther afield from the certain riders listed below.

So without further ado, here are some riders who are notoriously poor climbers. It's a skill that can be worked on and changed however so we'll update this list periodically:

  • João Almeida
  • Pierre Latour
  • Enric Mas
  • Eddy Dunbar
  • Hugh Carthy

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