Enroute to the Ironman European Championship last Sunday, two-time Ironman World Champion and Olympic gold medalist Jan Frodeno nearly crashed his bike. During the second half of the bike course he misjudged his cornering speed and gave the viewers watching worldwide a dramatic video clip. After the race Frodeno mentioned that he had took the corner too lightly during last year’s edition of the race and wanted to take it faster this year.
Spectacular save by Jan Frodeno after getting off the road at the Mainova #IMEUChamps!
— IRONMAN Triathlon (@IRONMANtri) June 30, 2019
This did not work out as planned as he took his Canyon Speedmax initially travelling close to 80 km/h straight into the tall grass. Frodeno then completed the corner with echoes of Lance Armstrong biking through a field, returning onto the road on the opposite end of the corner. Armstrong performed a similar stunt during Stage 9 of the 2003 edition of the Tour de France on his way to the general classification victory (since revoked).
The majority of age group triathlon courses are relatively simple from a bike handling perspective. Races such as World Triathlon Montreal, Ironman Muskoka 70.3, and Mont Tremblant Ironman and 70.3 have sections of their bike courses where age-groupers can benefit from developed bike skills. You are probably not looking for offroad experience in your next triathlon like Frodeno last Sunday. TMC contributor and 2008 Olympic Triathlete for Canada Carolyn Murray shares a few tips on how to remain on the course while cornering.
1. Practicing sharp 90 and 180 degree turns first at low speed under calm conditions.
2. Entering cycling-specific races like criteriums.
3. Practicing offroad riding (on purpose).
These are all great ways to develop the handling skills you will need for triathlons. For a more complete list of ways to improve your handling skills see here.