Chris Froome may have swept to victory in last year’s Tour de France stage eight using an unconventional on-the-top-tube position but an Italian rider has been filmed using a far more daring technique.
The side-on video footage shows a rider in fluoro yellow kit pedalling at the back of a small group. He then flips his legs up and into the ‘superman’ position so that his body is completely flat, lying on the saddle.
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Gripping the bars, this evidently aerodynamic position then sees him overtake all of his furiously pedalling fellow riders as they tackle a descent.
Passing them, he then freewheels to another rider behind a moped up ahead. The moped rider gives a double take as the cyclist flies past him, before adopting the same position himself in a bizarre superman duel.
So will Froome be adopting this technique come July? It seems highly unlikely, although research at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands did show that Froome’s position wasn’t quite as aerodynamic as a regular seated aero tuck.
The un-named riders isn’t the only one to have used the superman position (which must not be confused with the Graeme Obree/Chris Boardman rack superman position). British racers Ian Wilkinson and more latterly Tom Pidcock have both adopted the position for celebrations.
As entertaining as the manoeuvre is to watch, we don’t recommend that anyone tries this for themselves.