We had John Atkinson, former 5 times BOFRA Champion and superb descender, come to give a masterclass tonight.
He started by demonstrating a fast flowing descent and had a look at the kids doing the same, before talking about the benefits of attacking the last 10-15m of a climb prior to powering off on the descent and getting away from an opponent. The kids paired up, with one taking the powering away role, and ran a short climb, with a flag at 10m to go before the top. At that point one ran hard, before both turned to run the fairly short descent hard. They swapped and did this twice each.
We then moved to a steep and technically harder descent (part of our time trial route). John talked about route choice and the need to be able to change your stride length and direction quickly to accomodate such a descent. He demostrated and they all had a go at a short section, before finishing with the full descent to the bottom.
Johnwas excellent as a coach and inspirational as a role model. He commented that all of the kids are good at descending, but that they need to practice in order to maintain that level and to boost their confidence.
He said he would be happy to return to do another session later in the summer.