I am absolutely convinced that good riders pull up in the up stroke. At the very least, even mediocre riders unweight the upwards foot with a gentle pull up so as not to put extra drag on the other foot involved in the downstroke. People who make circles in their head are applying extra force in all parts of the stroke and not just applying downforce like piston legs. In order to get a high cadence one must be upstroking, otherwise they would bounce. Yes, Virginia there is an upstroking Santa and a backstroking Tooth Fairy.
Garth Libre in Miami Fl USA