Can anyone become Pro cyclist?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Number 9, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. Mark Fennell

    Mark Fennell Guest

    Scott wrote:
    > Mark Fennell wrote:
    >> Andy Coggan wrote:
    >> > Sorry, but I must disagree: no matter how dedicated you might be, I
    >> > don't think you can become even a domestic professional unless you have
    >> > a genetic "leg up" over >50% of the population.

    >>
    >> Andy,
    >>
    >> I'm certainly no Robert Chung, but aren't you simply saying that if one
    >> is
    >> "below" the median, then it might not be possible to make it to a
    >> professional level? Since the original question was about the average
    >> person, it doesn't seem like you're disagreeing too strongly.
    >>
    >> btw, my opinion is based only on comments from people who have made it to
    >> that level and credit hard work, not superior genetics, as well as
    >> observing
    >> the correlation between training commitment and success of many people
    >> over
    >> a long time. So, totally empirical. Are there studies that address this
    >> issue? In particular, quantifying the response to significant training
    >> over
    >> many years?
    >>
    >> Mark

    >
    > Of course they credit to their own hard work. Nobody wants to admit
    > that they are 'naturals'.


    Scott and Curtis, you make good points, and you might be right. And Andy is
    Andy--he might be right too! However, in true rbr spirit, I can't concede
    just yet... Humor me and consider the following: suppose a hypothetical pro
    "retires" from pro-level bike racing at the age of, say, 29, and then simply
    rides 6-8 hours a week, which might be typical for a category 3 racer. If
    said rider then only performs at an average category 3 level, wouldn't that
    suggest that he doesn't possess any superior genetics (at least compared to
    other cat 3 racers)? Or will you suggest that there is already some
    filtering that has occurred by that level too?

    Perhaps my argument above is flawed... Could it be that rider A and B
    respond identically to 8 hours training per week, but at 20 hrs per week,
    rider A sees much greater improvement than B? Why would that be?

    As an aside, two real-world examples... one guy in town who recently retired
    from domestic pro racing to get a real job, but is still riding a few hours
    a week. Although he is nowhere near his prior fitness, he still crushes a
    lot of other hacks training about the same amount. Could that be genetics,
    or is it residual fitness? Or a learned ability to suffer? How long does it
    take to de-train from a professional level? If Lance comes out on our group
    ride, will he get dropped? Second example: a current pro who is very good
    now but remembers when he didn't train as much he wasn't so far above
    average. Maybe he is rider A in the above example?

    Mark
     


  2. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
    > On Tue, 28 Feb 2006 21:38:03 -0700, Raptor <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> Number 9 wrote:
    >>> Thanks for that serious opinion Raptor. I was referring to the "basic" Pro
    >>> cyclist. This includes the guy that rides in the race to break the wind
    >>> for the winner, and bring food, etc to everyone as well. I get the feeling
    >>> you mean "top" Pros. Please revisit.

    >> Robbie McEwen,

    >
    > This brings up the question -- what "pro" is the question about? A
    > leader on a Protour team like McEwen? That' s a pretty high level.
    > Most pros never even get to ride the Tour of France like McEwen. What
    > about a leader of a small US team. Or even a worker on a small US
    > team?
    >
    > JT


    I was pointing out that a tour rider, riding his (presumed) absolutely
    weakest event, out-rides any but the strongest amateurs riding their
    best event.

    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall
    "You American workers haven't seen an increase in real wages since the
    1970s... But are you rioting? No. You're voting for Republican
    candidates who give people like me tax cuts. You know what? I think
    that's your way of saying 'Thank you.'" - Stephen Colbert
     
  3. Bret

    Bret Guest

    Mark Fennell wrote:

    > As an aside, two real-world examples... one guy in town who recently retired
    > from domestic pro racing to get a real job, but is still riding a few hours
    > a week. Although he is nowhere near his prior fitness, he still crushes a
    > lot of other hacks training about the same amount. Could that be genetics,
    > or is it residual fitness? Or a learned ability to suffer? How long does it
    > take to de-train from a professional level? If Lance comes out on our group
    > ride, will he get dropped? Second example: a current pro who is very good
    > now but remembers when he didn't train as much he wasn't so far above
    > average. Maybe he is rider A in the above example?


    I used to train with an ex-pro who didn't ride through the winters here
    in CO. He would come train with my group in the springs and have
    problems just sitting on the group at first. Within two months, he'd be
    unbeatable. One year he won the RR and Crit at Masters Nationals and
    then won the RR at Masters Worlds just a few months after being
    nowhere. That was either talent or amazing training efficiency. He did
    do a lot of weight training in the winter.

    Bret
     
  4. Donald Munro

    Donald Munro Guest

    Mark Fennell wrote:
    > If Lance comes out on our group ride, will he get dropped?


    Only if he doesn't pull.
     
  5. Donald Munro

    Donald Munro Guest

    routebeer wrote:
    >> > There is a huge difference between someone 28 and someone 30 years.


    Donald Munro wrote:
    >> Between 28 and 35 perhaps, not that much between 28 and 30.


    routebeer wrote:
    > The way I understand it, by 30 your body has begun to die. At 28 you're
    > still on level ground, and in your early 20's you are still growing. If you
    > begin training at age 28 then you benefit much more than if you waited until
    > 30. At 30 your body will take longer to adapt to the physical stress. That
    > said, you're no old man at 30. I don't know if this is 'huge' per se but it
    > seems to be the largest gap to me, bigger than say 30 to 32. 18=smart,
    > 28=late/still some partying, 30=fukt, 32=fukt+


    I would say there is genetic variation between different individuals when
    it comes to aging. I doubt if the human body follows some convenient
    timetable whereby you can say your body if 100% at 29 yrs and 364 days,
    but you need to buy a nicely fitting coffin to wake up in on your 30th
    birthday. The process if probably much more continuous than it is
    discrete.
     
  6. routebeer

    routebeer Guest

    > I doubt if the human body follows some convenient
    > timetable whereby you can say your body if 100% at 29 yrs and 364 days,
    > but you need to buy a nicely fitting coffin to wake up in on your 30th
    > birthday. The process if probably much more continuous than it is
    > discrete.


    Absolutely. I can not disagree with common sense like that.
     
Loading...
Loading...