One of the early research studies we did investigated the differences in braking between beginners and experts. The particular graph below was from a study we did looking at a short descent leading in to a long sweeping turn. We did all the sciencey things like control speed and bike setup, and clear differences came out between the groups.
We broke the track down in to sections, and analyzed tons of data for many many months. It came as no surprise that the experts were faster (a LOT faster) over the short distance.
While the stopwatch doesn’t lie, sometimes the eye does. None of the braking differences were clear while watching the hundreds of trials, but by looking at the braking data itself, we were able to come up with recommendations for beginners to ride more efficiently.
This is the same as in fitness training: sure, the race times don’t lie, but if we want to get faster, we need to know what we are actually doing out on the race course.
So what do we do? We record data, analyze data, hire a coach, practice, practice, practice and GET FASTER!