Speaker 1: The cobbled climbs of Belgium is
cycling history. They are super steep, short, punchy and well, they’re covered in brutal
cobbles. The pros can make them look easy, but they can be notoriously difficult to ride.
We thought we’d come up with some top tips to help you conquer those cobbled climbs like
Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara, and even the great Eddy Merckx himself.
[music] Speaker 1: I’m in the wrong gear. Now I’ve
lost it. I was in the wrong gear there. A good tip for riding a cobbled climb is to
try to get in the right gear before you’re actually on the climb. It can be really tricky
to change gear on a cobbled climb. You’re bouncing all over the place, and it’s so steep,
your cadence just drops so dramatically. When you come to stop, it’s just so hard to get
going again. Do yourself a favor, get in the right gear
before you start the climb, and it’ll go a lot more smoothly. Let’s try that one again.
That’s much easier. Allez, allez, allez. Come on, full back to the top.
[music] Speaker 1: Now, don’t be afraid to ride in
the gutter when you’re riding a cobbled climb. You’re not wimping out of anything, the pros
do this all the time, and it’s often quite a big fight to get into that gutter when you’re
in a race. It’s obviously a lot smoother, therefore you can go faster but you do have
to be careful. Try to ride in the middle of the gutter and when your exiting it onto the
cobbles, be careful of that lip on the cobbles because it can cut you out.
Now, also race organizers can be quite cruel, placing barriers on the gutter to stop the
pros going into it, forcing them onto the hard rough cobbles.
[music] Speaker 1: Now, you want to be careful in
getting out of the saddle on a cobbled climb. If you put your weight too far forward, it’s
easy to slip and lose grip. You want to put your weight backwards over the saddle putting
the weight down on your back wheel. It will give you more grip on the cobbles, keeping
you in control, keeping that power on the pedals and moving you forward as fast as you
Speaker 1: It’s just got too much for me that time. These cobbled climbs are so difficult
to ride, they’re really tough actually. If it does get too much for you, you have a mechanic
on the climb and you need [inaudible 00:02:43] , don’t be afraid to just run the rest of
it. Pick your bike up, put it on your shoulder, and just run your way to the top. The pros
do it all the time. If you’re stuck behind a crash and you can’t
get going again, it’s really hard actually to get going again on a cobbled climb. It’s
just so steep and it’s hard to build your momentum, to [inaudible 00:03:00] back in,
so don’t be afraid, just pick your bike up and run.
[music] Speaker 1: Now, when riding cobbled climbs,
you really want to try to pick your line up the climb. You want to look for where the
cobbles are most uniform where you can really pick the best way up, where you’re smoothest,
and you can get the most grip. You want to try to avoid the places where the cobbles
are really broken. Where’s there’s jagged edges to the cobbles that are sticking up.
If they’re cut and broken by any sort of storms or cars, this will really make it hard to
get the grip on the cobbles and you’ll struggle for traction, potentially bring yourself to
a hold, but also reducing your speed and making that climb up that much harder. You also want
to avoid any muddy patches and damp patches as this is another place where it’s really
hard to get the grip on the cobbles you need to conquer the climb in the best way possible.
[music] Speaker 1: Smooth is fast, [inaudible 00:03:57]
those rough cobbles. Now, when you attempt any cobbled climb, I think the best approach
is just to give it your biggest effort from the bottom to the top. If you lose any speed
on the climb, it can be quite hard to regain that speed and get going again, so the best
method is just to attack it. Just go as hard as you can, keep your speed, and maintain
it to the top. It’s going to hurt no matter what, so you
may as well just give it all you’ve got. [music]
Speaker 1: Now, at the top of a climb, it can be easy to relax. You’re so tired, you
just conquered a massive cobbled climb, but don’t relax, [inaudible 00:04:37] to speed
quickly. This is one of my favorite corners in cycling, this. I’m going to sprint, come
on. Back up to speed. [music]
Speaker 1: Now, personally I would advise against descending down a cobbled climb. It’s
just so tricky and quite dangerous. Even in the pro races now, you see race organizers
stopping taking the race down cobbled descents. Look at the big one-day classic [inaudible
00:05:03] , they took the descent of [inaudible 00:05:06] out of the race because it was just
too dangerous and riders were crashing too much. They actually made their own roads go
round the descent, which was paved. Anyway, if you are finding yourself on a cobbled descent,
just exert some caution. Be careful on the brakes, don’t go too fast, and put your weight
back behind the saddle. Just take it easy. [music]
Speaker 1: These [inaudible 00:05:32] are just so steep. Now, I hope this video has
helped you get up those cobbled climbs. I just love the climbs of Belgium, especially
the cobbled ones. There’s just so much history here. Tell you what, my legs are hurting and
I think I need to find a Belgian beer to help soothe the pain. Now, if you enjoyed this
video, don’t forget to give it a like, and please let us know what’s your favorite cobbled
climb. Let us know in the comments section below.
To get up the cobbles without slipping– That was a really good one. Go on, you can do it.
It’s steep on this part. Only halfway. [00:06:16] [END OF AUDIO]