Originally Posted by enfyre .
You have to train thousands of hours. You have to be intense, basically if tears aren't flowing down your face, and you don't feel like vomiting after a training session, then you aren't serious about reaching tour de france fitness levels.
Be warned that you could reach your absolute maximum genetic potential, and still not have enough in you to compete at that level. Many world class cyclists have oversized hearts that can maintain 200bpm, and vo2maxs that us mortals can never obtain.
I think most ordinary folks haven't a clue as to the levels of ability and commitment that is needed to pursue not only a professional career but to race at the professional level.
I've known several guys who have gone off to seek their fortune in the professional ranks. Some fared well and some fared not too well.
What I have managed to divine is that the guy who had the dedication that you speak of, more often than not, fared better.
Each of the guys I know had the physical capacity and genetic potential but for different reasons they didn't have the mental strength required (and this isn't a criticism of them).
It takes a very special individual to have the physical and mental qualities needed to race, and succeed, at the highest level of our sport.
In fact I would say that the level of commitment is unequalled throughout professional sport.
Separately, I know a man who cycled the grand tours and is now retired and working for minimum wage.
This man was a respected professional rider.
The last time we spoke he reflected that at least he could live on the memories of having raced at the very top against the very best, instead of feeling sorry for himself now.
That's the measure of the man