As I mentioned in the beginning, most riders have the mechanics of a turn down, and can coast through a corner. Taking the speed from above, and applying a good technique to a criterium corner is what can really set a rider apart, and can help a rider save time and energy in the pack, or gain precious seconds in a break.
One of the most overlooked things in cornering in a race is not scouting the course beforehand, and taking the corners at race speed. This is an important preparation step that every rider should take, either the day of, or if possible, the day before. If you’re performing corning drills, you should still approach it in the same way as a race. If you don’t have access to a low traffic area where you can practice, try a parking lot, and get some cones to set as the corners. (This is sometimes better than an actual course, as you can set up both right and left hand turns).
Once you have the course set, warm up a bit, and then start your practice. Like the descending drills above, you want to start at less that full-gas, and then keep adding speed as your comfort level increases. The main difference here is that you are much more in control of your speed, since you’re not leveraging gravity.
The drill goes something like this (and remember, you need to do this both right and left handed turns):
Drill # 1– Take the first five turns at a reasonable speed, staying in the drops. Shoot for the apex of the turn, and keep pedaling though the exit. Focus on holding a smooth line though the entire corner. Your gear should be such that you have to apply effort to the pedals, but your cadence should be higher the on the descents so you are not struggling out of the turn to keep your speed up. As with the above, really think about your form, applying downward