Watch: Rémi Cavagna’s sketchy descending while riding to Tour of California solo victory

The Frenchman admits he was scared on the descent after recent crashes

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We’ve all had a few dodgy moments while descending sweeping roads.

Whether its carrying too much speed and shooting out wide or dabbing the brakes and feeling a bit shaky on the way in, it’s happened to us all - even the pros.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Rémi Cavagna proved that you don’t have to be the most talented bike handler in the world to win at the professional level.

The Frenchman unleashed a mammoth 67km solo attack on stage three of the Tour of California, riding away from his breakaway companion Alex Hoehn (United States) and finishing with seven minutes to spare over the peloton.

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But Cavagna proved to be his own worst enemy on the road to Morgan Hill, as his sketchy descending threw him off course on more than one occasion.

While descending the slopes of Mt. Hamilton with around 60km to race and later San Jose around 20km from home,  Cavagna looked very shaky on the tight hairpin bends, missing the apex multiple times and even unclipping from the pedal to avoid leaving the road at one point.

Speaking after the stage, the 23-year-old said: “Okay,I was a bit scared on the downhill because it was a very difficult one, but I remained calm and went as fast as I could there.”

He added that last year he crashed twice in two weeks, which affected his confidence in handling the bike.

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Despite the hair-raising moments, Cavagna was strong enough to hold the peloton at bay and take a huge solo victory, securing Quick-Step’s second consecutive stage win in the US.

He added: “The stage was so long and hard. We rode full gas from the start, and when I sensed there was an opportunity I jumped into the breakaway where we worked really well together. Then, when I attacked, I felt I could go all the way.”

Stage three in California is Cavagna’s second career victory, after Dwars door West-Vlaanderen last year.

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.