Beginner wanting to become a pro.



Cheese

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Jul 30, 2003
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I'm thinking of starting cycling as a professional career. My ambition is to ride for a professional European cycling team (ONCE, USPS, CSC etc.)

I've just started a month ago. I'm 15, and I'm not sure whether its too late to start or not.

My main concern is my speed. My average is around 15mph, and I can keep that up for about 2 and a half hours. On the flatter stages of the TdF, they do it around 28mph for around 6 hours. I need some help achieving this.

The furthest I can ride is about 30 miles and I'm stuffed. How can I improve this (other then riding more, of course)

Any climbing tips?

What attire should I wear while riding?

Thanks in advance.
 

zakeen

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Aug 14, 2003
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Originally posted by Cheese
I'm thinking of starting cycling as a professional career. My ambition is to ride for a professional European cycling team (ONCE, USPS, CSC etc.)

Good on you! follow your dreams!

Originally posted by Cheese
I've just started a month ago. I'm 15, and I'm not sure whether its too late to start or not.

Its never too late to start! I didnt start cycling untill I was 20, so you would have 5 years on me!

Originally posted by Cheese
My main concern is my speed. My average is around 15mph, and I can keep that up for about 2 and a half hours. On the flatter stages of the TdF, they do it around 28mph for around 6 hours. I need some help achieving this.

Dont worry about avg speeds! they dont mean much! behind my team car I can ride 90km/h(54,11). but I cant do that without a car!(I wish I could!)

Originally posted by Cheese
The furthest I can ride is about 30 miles and I'm stuffed. How can I improve this (other then riding more, of course)

keep doing what you are doing, how many days a week are you riding? try increase that then the length of the rides.

Originally posted by Cheese
Any climbing tips?

stay seated.

Originally posted by Cheese
Cheese

Dont eat cheese! or dairy products and you will a much better rider!
 

PhilippeR

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Aug 23, 2003
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I remember a few years ago hearing of an Italian who turned pro at 34 and then rode his first Tour de France.

Ludo Dierckxsens, who rode for Lampre in the 2002 Tour and now rides for Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, is 39 .... :eek: He turned pro at 29 after working most of his 20s in a factory painting cars. There's a great article about him in the May 2003 Procycling mag.

You're 15. Most of the young professionals in Europe are about 20-23. Lets say that there are 4 categories of road races where you are. Beginners start with Cat 4 and, depending on performance, move up a category each year. In 4/5 years you 'could' be at category 1/Elite level. If you can make an average of 20 mph over 2-3 hours then you'd be ready for a cat 4 race. Even so expect to suffer and get dropped in your first road race and if you can stay with the bunch then it'll be a bonus.

Join a good road racing club, meet other roadies, read lots like:

The Cyclist's Training Bible -- Joe Friel

Serious Cycling -- Edmund R. Burke

Lance Armstrong Performance Program

It's not about the bike -- Lance Armstong

Age is not an issue here. The main issues are:
a) train correctly (read the books) without overtraining.
b) eat right
c) rest lots
d) enjoy training yet stay committed

Look on the bright side! You've only been training a month and you can do 15 miles over two to two and a half hours ... that's excellent! I can remember doing 20 miles over hills for the first time when I was 15 and my legs couldn't carry my weight at the end. I collapsed when I got off the bike!

Oh and if you're going to push yourself hard you'll need to get a medical from a doctor who understands endurance sports.

Enjoy :D
 

zakeen

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Aug 14, 2003
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Great Post PhilippeR!!!!

Originally posted by PhilippeR
I can remember doing 20 miles over hills for the first time when I was 15 and my legs couldn't carry my weight at the end. I collapsed when I got off the bike!

Thats funny!
 

Lasalles

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Aug 6, 2003
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Hi there Cheese, 1 thing you must realise is that cycling is a [email protected]@dy hard sport.A goal for afew yrs down the track of wanting to become a pro is well and good.BUT set some attainable goals first,like winning a C grade race(or something like this). Set a goal of wanting to race against the A graders in your club(if you join one). It wont happen in 1 year or even 2 but if you stick to it, and put in the training you will find yourself progressing thru the grades until your an A grader. Then you will be able to decide if the next step is for you. Good Luck.
 

seabreeze

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Aug 17, 2003
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Hey Cheese! I love the idea of turning pro I would love to too. (I'm 15 as well) When do you do your longer bike rides? Do you find time on school days or what?

Good luck turning pro!
 

blip

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Aug 20, 2003
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Small steps cheese.
Get training & join a club. Enter the lowest race you can and get smashed off the back.
Speak to the guys in your club about training etc.
Learn from all sources.
Set a goal that by say August next year you will be winning the odd race in a set category in your club racing.
Do Intervals
Know that it hurts and when it hurts others are also hurting, it thne becomes a question of who really wants it.

Good luck
 

Cheese

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Jul 30, 2003
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I don't really get time for rides. I get home school at 4pm, so I ride from then till dark, which is around 5:45 and can only get about 25km in.

I ride about 3 - 4 hour rides on the weekends but i just get bored.
 

abv8

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Aug 23, 2003
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Dont eat cheese! or dairy products and you will a much better rider!

Zakeen am i missing a pun here or is this a serious statement? Just wandering what you mean, because I eat a fair dosage of dairy a day and if what you said is true i might have to reconsider my diet.

Cheers.
 

2LAP

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Feb 22, 2002
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Originally posted by abv8
Zakeen am i missing a pun here or is this a serious statement? Just wandering what you mean, because I eat a fair dosage of dairy a day and if what you said is true i might have to reconsider my diet.
Cheers.
I think it was a pun, but if you eat a lot of dairy I'd keep check on what you eat as to much 'high fat' dairy (e.g. full fat milk, cream, etc.) is not considered particularly healthy.
 

ebrunner

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Aug 2, 2003
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Originally posted by Cheese
I ride about 3 - 4 hour rides on the weekends but i just get bored.

You may want to try riding with others for the longer rides. But if you really want to go pro, understand that you are looking at riding at least that long nearly every day for years. In other words, you need learn to love spending 3-6 hours/day on the bike.

Good luck. You are lucky that you are starting so young. I'm new to cycling at age 24, and every day I wish I had started at your age. Perhaps by now I'd be earning a living doing something I love, rather than trying to earn a living so that I can afford to be doing something I love.
 

zakeen

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Aug 14, 2003
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@abv8 and 2Lap it was a pun. I dont really talk to much about it but seems that you ask I created a new theard on it. As it is off topic here. This might cause a little arguement as it is totally unheard off stuff and most people dont want to accept things like this! But I beleive you will be a better athlete without milk!

have a read.....

http://www.cyclingforums.com/showthread.php?threadid=48386
 

guitarplyr2080

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Sep 10, 2003
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one helpful thing i've found is to watch crit races even before you're ready to race. it helps you learn what racing is all about and what all is involved. if there's a local bike shop that has a team, go and try to hang out with them to get the inside scoop on things. it helps to know what crit racing is about before you show up at the starting line. good luck!!
 

seabreeze

New Member
Aug 17, 2003
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1. Do you have any suggestions as to how to increase your speed for the length of your trip?

2. What kind of speed would you have to maintain to do well in crit races or any type of race?

3. Would you suggest beginners like Cheese and myself do weight training?

Any comments/suggestions would be wonderful.

Thanks