My teammate Juan Antonio Flecha filmed the descent off the Cipressa with a helmet camera while we were out pre-riding the racecourse. The Cipressa and the Poggio are the two decisive climbs in Milan Sanremo where the descents are as important as the ascents as position and a rider’s ability to handle his bike often determine the outcome of the race.

Yearly, a rider crashes in the one of the numerous hairpin turns coming off the climb. The road surface is smooth and the climbs are in the final hour of the race so the speed will be high. Every rider is tired and on his limit from the distance and the intensity of the race so errors are made and splits in the peloton occur. When the peloton reaches the coast road after the descent off the Cipressa the peloton will be in a long thin line and will often split near the back of the group as riders are unable to maintain the speed.

16 thoughts on “Cipressa Descent

  1. brilliant vid! nice to see those gopro helmet cams being adopted by profis on training rides to help us better understand speeds, cornering angles etc.

    can’t wait for your book to be released btw!


    Vancouver, BC

  2. That was great. Smooth as silk. I really liked the music too. Does anyone know who the artist is?

  3. the artist is “The Gossip” or just “Gossip” depending on which album that is…they dropped the “the” at some point…

    Now how about suggestions as to good helmet cams?

  4. Bloody ‘ell!….Can only imagine the insanity that is Sean Kelly attacking on this thing, in the pouring rain!
    To Win…

  5. My neck is sore from trying to look up a bit higher! Next time out (yes, more please) raise the camera angle a bit. But that’s a quibble, it was great fun experiencing that descent. I hope you could see more than I could as you passed that car – looked a bit like “you bet your life” to me.


  6. Great stuff, I now the feeling going down a mountain…)
    When it take’s a time its even hard to keep concentrated but I love the speed.

  7. Having done helmet cam work of most of the mountain stages of the 2009 Tour de France, I appreciate how practice is necessary to get the most out of the picture. It is always a compromise between road and horizon and a slight angle change can have the camera pointing in a totally unintended direction, not to mention having to look at things during the ride or how a camera can end up cocked to one side or the other for that “slant” effect. On top of that, these cameras add noticeable weight to the helmet which in turn takes a toll on the neck …. especially having to crane it upwards during a speedy downhill. I was especially impressed by the lack of windnoise, but maybe that was toned down post-shooting as it can get to be pretty deafening without foam and tape placed in strategic locations around the built in mics….

    As for cameras, I use a Sony HXR-MC1 – not cheap, but tremendous video quality (1080i) and you can get 32GB cards that can shoot for several hours at HD quality. You still have to work around wind noise and camera shake, however….

  8. pleased flech remembered that it wasn’t closed roads! Passing the car was fantastic and i too loved the music

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