There is a lot of focus on training cyclists to put out the greatest wattage possible. Descending is another skill that takes thousands of hours before you arrive at a level of comfort that you might see in this video.
Can you imagine if Levi was riding for the Yellow Jersey himself or riding to protect the Yellow Jersey? Remember that what you see here is training pace on open roads. Levi must pay attention possible oncoming cars, cyclists etc.
In an actual race a leading cyclist will often have a motorcycle out in front essentially clearing the road of hazards. In my experience this motorcycle means everything. By concentrating on the acceleration and deceleration of the motorcycle the cyclist has information that may be ahead of what he sees visually. The result is that the cyclist can descend faster and with more confidence.
This is a good video where you can see one of the best riders in the world descend effortlessly. There is no tension in his body and what you see is very fluid. After such a decent a Professional rider will be fully recovered and ready for racing or more training as in Levi’s case.
Marty & Levi were teamates on the US Postal Service Professional Cycling Team. Their friendship started as early as 1994 when Marty had just turned Professional with the WordPerfect Professional Cycling Team and Levi was heading to Belgium as an Amateur. Marty & Levi spent the winter training together in Salt Lake City and continued to meet up for training rides in Europe.
Marty Jemison Cycling Tours
Leading bike tours throughout the world.